GET FREE – Free your IPODS (on Linux)August 18, 2008
So I’ve bought an IPod, eventually as some might say, after fighting at least 4 or 5 years against it. I came to the conclusion to buy one because simply all of my friends have one, and surely they can’t all be blatantly wrong. Some of them are even hardcore nerds. My only condition was to find a mp3 player that has a good Linux support, good in terms of not having to search 1 week or more to finally get this bastard working. And to be fair, the Ipod was the one, and after almost one week of using it – you can’t beat it. The IPod works out of the box, as the mac people would say, on Linux. Brilliant.
Here’s a quick tutorial on how you get it working on Linux – I’m using Kubuntu Hardy Heron.
List of installed packages:
- ipod *tool for retrieving information from iPods
- ipodslave *kio-slave for iPods
- libgpod3-nogtk *a library to read and write songs and artwork to an iPod
- libipod0 *ipod library
- libipoddevice0 *library for retrieving information from iPods
- podsleuth *Tool to discover detailed information about Apple iPodsdon’t know if they’re all necessary, but this is what I have installed!
Here are some extra applications, that you might find useful:
- gpixpod *Organize photos on your iPod, freely! (pretty unnecessary, it didn’t work for me!)
- hipo *iPod Management Tool (pretty unnecessary as well, as it just manages music…..I’m not using it anymore because Amarok is so much better)
Once you’ve installed the above mentioned packages and libraries, you’re pretty much good to go.
I’ll now show how you can mount and access your iPod pretty easily.
Just mount your connected iPod in your file manager (I’m using Krusader but Dolphin or any other file manager will do as well). Once it’s mounted you can access your iPod via ipod:\ (where you immediately see the folders and mp3s just like any mounted usb drive/stack). Whereas when you just access /media/ipod you only see the file structure from the ipod e.g. Calendar, Contacts, Playlists…..basically cryptic info that you don’t wanna see anyway.
So now, if you want to shuffle music onto your iPod you could do it by copying them directly over the ipod:/ slave or by using your music player like Amarok or Rhythmbox. I’m using Amarok, and it works like that:
1. Start Amarok and connect and mount your iPod to your computer.
2. In Amarok go to Settings –> Configure Amarok –> Media Device (the last one)
3. Click on “Autodetect Devices”, if it’s not autodetected add it manually (if added manually choose the iPod plugin from the dropdown menu and select /media/ipod (or whatever your iPod is called) as your mount point.
4. On the lefthand side menu in Amarok, select Devices, and click on “Connect” in the top bar.
5. Now go to “Files” (also in the lefthand side menu) and select the tunes or albums you want to transfer to your iPod. By right clicking them you can select “Transfer to Media Device”. Once this is done, you have to go back to “Devices” and right click the queue, easier if you press ctrl+a, and right click to “transfer” them.
6. Now you’re done. There’s nothing else to do, if you’ve finished transfering the songs, you need to click “disconnect” to unmount the device.
You might ask yourself how you can transfer Photos and Videos to your iPod?! Well, let me know once you’ve found it out, because I still haven’t found a way to transfer pictures or videos. The aforementioned gpixpod didn’t really work for me, it said the pictures were transfers, but I’m yet to find them on my iPod, which basically means they are not there. God only knows where they are now
Digikam or Gwenview Users, apparently there is a way to transfer pictures by using the kipi plugin “transfer to iPod”, I tried it but it didn’t work for me. Any ideas?!
Edit: Like a visitor just stated in the comment section below, GTKPOD is capable of transfering photos and videos (persumably in mp4 format) onto your iPod. Hip-Hip-Hooray!
As for videos, you’d need to convert your videos first into mp4 videos, which is a bit of a pain in the arse on Linux, you can use ffmpeg  or mplayer, but they just don’t look any good. So basically once you’ve converted them into mp4, you might be able to transfer them via Amarok. But that’s just an assumption.
Please let me know, if you’ve got it working!
Contacts, Events in your Calendar….I have found a way to “synchronize” my events and contacts to my iPod. Just export your contacts into a vcard file, and your events into an ical file. Kontact and Evolution should be capable of doing it. The popular calendar tool Rainlendar2 stores the events and to do’s in a ical file as well, so you can just transfer this ical onto your iPod as well.
That’s it basically, iTunes might be a load of crap, but in the end you will have to use it at some point, e.g when you want to upgrade the Firmware, or if you just want to reset the iPod.
Any comments are welcome! Please let me know!
 FFMPEG FAQ: http://ffmpeg.mplayerhq.hu/faq.html#SEC25