Who taught Apple iPod to speak Hebrew?

“When Yinon Yamin bought his iPod last summer, he was as infatuated with the small music player as the next user — but with one significant difference. The Israeli university student soon discovered, to his great frustration, that the high-tech player had a major deficiency: Download a Hebrew-language pop song with its information written in Hebrew, and the corresponding song title on the iPod would come up blank. The problem made finding certain songs difficult. ‘Nothing would come up. Only the English captions were displayed,’ he recounts,” Carolynne Wheeler reports for The Globe and Mail. “So it seemed only natural for this computer science student to help his player learn to read his mother tongue.”

“Mr. Yamin’s version is a simple program that takes less than 15 minutes to download and install. It was quickly embraced and got a few thousand hits within days. A first part to the program adds Hebrew fonts to the iPod; a second part allows text to be typed and read from right to left, instead of the left-to-right used in English. It was also closest to what Apple’s Israeli designers were already working on, and a deal was struck within two weeks of the program’s posting on Mr. Yamin’s website. After some debugging and upgrading, the Hebrew-language patch was made available through Apple’s Hebrew-language site last fall. It has been widely received since. ‘I didn’t want to make money off this program, so I spread it free, and when I gave it to them I told them to spread the software for free, that was one of my conditions,’ said Mr. Yamin, who added that he wasn’t paid extravagantly for the program,” Wheeler reports.

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Michael K.” for the heads up.]

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34 Comments

  1. ‘Stop killing Palestinians and maybe iPod will respect you.’

    So you sympasize with Hamas!

    Israel is dealing with Nazi’s again, only this time their fighting back, don’t falsely accuse them.

  2. Must articles that are posted here that have anything to do with any country that is involved in ANYTHING political, always turn into a political debate?

    This has nothing to do with Israel’s fights with Palestine. This doesn’t even really have to do with Israel itself. It has to do with a guy who speaks Hebrew who had an iPod that didn’t read Hebrew song titles so he wrote a piece of software that allowed him to do so and kept it free and then gave it to Apple and got paid moderately and made Apple distribute it free. That is all. It would be much better to talk about the efficiency of the software, or how it was important, or at least something about the software and not about what you think about Israelis. Grow up and actually learn to use the comment box properly, thanks.

    On the topic of the actual article, this is a problem for Apple if they want to be able to expand the iPod into other countries and new markets, but I’m glad this guy had the initiative to do something about it himself instead of just waiting for Apple to do it. An honorable feat.

  3. Figures a couple of idiots turn this great story into something stupid.

    Since you two are too dumb to know any better let’s take a quick look at the facts. Extremist Muslims (most Arabs are wonderful people) attack Israeli citizens, Israel counter attacks to try and protect their country and Israel is the bad guy. Next I suppose you’re going to say that the Holocaust never happened like that wacko in Iran is saying?

  4. Would be great if Apple invested more time and money regarding type/text/fonts support for the arabic region. I know lots of people in Dubai, AbuDhabi,Qatar, Kuwait who’d love Macs – but apparently the support for arabic type (esp. in M$ Word) is pretty shitty. Someone told me M$ dumped support for arabic languages in Word/OSX a coupla years back ie. it used to work.

  5. Greg M,

    didn’t you leave out some crucial facts there? I know you said ” a quick look…” but your version really makes you look semi-retarded. Or do you want me to believe that those extremists run around with bombs because they’re bored?

  6. The fact that the “anti-Israel” posters introduced this stupid political topic when the article was about the Hebrew language demonstrates that they are really anti-Jewish. Sad, perhaps, but not surprising. This is the very reason Israel was created as a Jewish homeland, and why all decent people will continue to help it to defend itself.
    BTW, I’m not Jewish, just informed, and not bigoted.

  7. The fact that the “anti-Israel” posters introduced this stupid political topic when the article was about the Hebrew language on iPod demonstrates that they are really anti-Jewish. Sad, perhaps, but not surprising. This is the very reason Israel was created as a Jewish homeland, and why all decent people will continue to help it to defend itself.
    BTW, I’m not Jewish, just informed, and not bigoted.

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