The 3rd generation iPod introduced a new headphone and remote connector, which carries audio data and remote control data to the iPod. The remote control data is sent via a serial Apple Accessory Protocol. Note, on the iphone, itouch, ipad devices, the base ring is used for microphone input.
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Wire Color
in cable
Generation 2
Generation 3
black Tip
Audio, left
white pin 2 Ring (Next-to-tip)
R1 Ring
Audio, right
red pin 3 Ring (3rd ring from end)
R2 Ring
Audio ground
green Sleeve (4th ring from end)
pin 1
Serial RxD
blue inner ring
pin 4
Power to remote, +3.3v
yellow outermost ring
pin 3
Digital ground


pin 2
Serial TxD


sl - Sleeve
Video out on iPod photo and 5 gen iPod

Serial lines are TTL and not compatible RS232 levels - can not be connected directly to PC.

Here is a simple RS232-TTL converter, which may be used to connect iPOD to PC serial port.
PC 9 pin D-SUB --------------------- iPOD special connector
iPod serial computer cable schematic
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6 pin 4 pole 1/8 inch plug + 2 rings iPod proprietary of Apple iPod, iTouch, iPad remote and headphone  connector layout
6 pin 4 pole 1/8 inch plug + 2 rings iPod proprietary connector
at the cable-side connector of generation 2 iPod
Source(s) of this and additional information: Apple iPod Remote Control Protocol,, testing
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