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ipod on Debian GNU/Linux
Your ipod on Debian GNU/Linux Print E-mail
Written by machiner   
Monday, 08 January 2007 12:01

So there ya go, Chrismahannakwanzaka came and brought you that handy little (sheesh, tiny) mp3 player and you want to start using it with your Debian machine. OK - we can do that. No sweat. But let's get a few things out of the way right quick, I'm using an ipod on an Acer laptop with Debian Etch running. Supported hardware is supported hardware, though, and I pop this ipod into any machine and there it goes.

Used to be a pain in the ass getting your ipod working fine and smooth on a Linux box. Not so anymore, and a thanks to all of you out there that made this happen.

See this thread for updated and righteous info about your ipod and Debian

Lately, and by lately I mean for some months, all a music lover has to do is plug that ipod into their Debian box and most times Rhythmbox would fire-up. If no, then you would see an ipod icon on your desktop, and it would be loaded into Rhythmbox as well. In fact, right now if I (you) try to install gtkpod, which was all the rage last year, you will be warned that Rhythmbox must be removed first. (However, this is no longer the case with the release of Etch, you can have both programs coexist happily.) Being that you've got the full Gnome Desktop installed, you've already got Rhythmbox installed. You've got gnome-volume-manager installed, as well.

The simple truth is that with Etch, you plug your ipod in and Rhythmbox will open up, unless you've already set your desktop to not behave in this manner. People dig being surprised by Linux, I have found. They have the preconceived notion that it's...well, you know where I'm going with that. When it works in so many cool little ways people generally let out the "Ahhhh's". And it always works. Well, except for Sunday last when I tried putting Etch on a friend's box -- no dice. Xorg had big problems. But that's an altogether different article.

In Rhythmbox you will see your ipod listed on the left side, at the bottom of the list. Below where it reads, Library

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...hold on, Baba O'Reilly just came on and my boy came running; "I Loooove that song!". We've gotta groove for a few minutes. Be right back....

All apologies. Music holds a high place around here. We play it, we groove. Anyway, Rhythmbox will list the tunes on your ipod when you click on the listing over there on the left. Double click on a tune and you're groovin', too. It's simple enough getting tunes from your hard drive over onto your ipod. You simply drag 'em over.

In your library you can highlight the tunes listed and drag them onto the ipod listing. Ya. Simple. Try it one time. Drag one song over, hover it over your ipod listing and you will see a broken box appear around the listing. Just drop the file now...let go of the left mouse button. Bam. Now you have that tune on your ipod.

From your ipod to your Linux box is just as simple. I know because I recently took my server down. On said server was our shared /music partition, so we've got no access now. No worries, I've got a couple hundred on the ipod. Here's what I did to get those tunes onto my hard drive:

Being that you cannot drag from the ipod to hard drive, I had to copy them this time. So, I clicked on the ipod listing so the music I was looking at was from it, and then I highlighted all of the tunes, ctrl + a. Then I right-clicked on the highlighted mess and chose to copy. Next, I clicked on my library listing. Then, on the tunes listing there, I clicked, then clicked Edit from the menu in the menu bar. I clicked paste and then all those tunes were copied from my ipod to my hard drive.. Schweet. Sweeter still was....

That there were some multiple copies. But those were all highlighted after the paste was finished. All that I had to do was to right click and choose to remove. My doubles were gone.

As you'll see if you click here, there are now folders in the /tunage directory that I made for the copying.

Of course, you have no way of knowing if those were there previously or not. You're just going to have to believe me. Remember when people did that, because they could?

On Sunday, that Etch fiasco that I mentioned earlier; after I fixed Xorg enough to show this guy a desktop, I plugged in his SanDisc Sansa mp3 player. It didn't show on the desktop (but it would later) so I quickly mounted it (he he -- can I say that?). Being that you get no Rhythmbox support for mp3 players other than your ipod (ya might -- I don't know) there was no device listing for this player like the ipod. No matter. All we want to do is transfer tunes and since this peripheral is just a hard drive, really, you can treat it as such and use your file manager to do your work.

I opened Nautilus and got to the tunes that we just ripped (to show my friend Sound-Juicer). I copied the tunes and alt +tab'd to the other Nautilus window that I had open. A quick paste into the device directory, it was the Audio folder, I think. I don't know, I don't remember. There are 2 directories on the Sansa, or "sansa" device in the /. I put the copied tunes into the other one!

I unmounted the device, it fired-up and started playing one of the tunes. Friend was way impressed. I was glad, because he's really a tool.

--machiner 8 Jan 2007

The forum post

Also, see playing your DRM'd iTunes songs in Linux

Last Updated on Sunday, 07 March 2010 20:24