Using ipods with linux

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Revision as of 12:59, 15 July 2010 by Luiz (talk | contribs)
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Most ipods should "just work" with Ubuntu. After pluggin in your ipod, the system will prompt you to open it in your media player of choice (usually rhythmbox by default). From here you can add and remove songs, and do most other functions as you would in iTunes on a windows or Mac computer. Newer iPods may need to be activated before use. This requires connecting to a windows or OS X machine with iTunes. Remember that any ipod a customer intends to use with ubuntu should be FAT32 formatted.

Ripping Music CDs for the ipod

Because the ipod does not support the OGG format that most linux applications use, it is usually necessary to setup your audio CD extractor to rip files to the MP3 format instead. To do this propery first make sure you have installed the "ubuntu-restricted-extras" package.

Open your audio cd extration program by going to Applications>Sound & Video> Audio CD Extractor.

Go to edit>preferences

Under output format select CD Quality, MP3 (MP3 Audio). Then click the close button.

Back in the main window (sound juicer) select the tracks you wish to extract and click the extract button.

Trouble shooting

  • The ipod shows up and can play songs already loaded, but will not let you add songs:
    • The ipod is likely in Macintosh (HFS+) format. This type of filesystem is READ-ONLY on linux (and doesnt work at all on windows). Currently the only way to fix this is to reformat the ipod music parition to vfat.
  • Reformatting the ipod to fat on linux:
    • To reformat an ipod on linux you will need to use mkfs.vfat and convert the second partion of the ipod (the first one is for the operating system and shouldnt be messed with). The command would be similar to: mkfs.vfat /dev/sdb2 (replace sdb2 with the correct drive).
    • Rhythmbox should automatically ask you to initialize the ipod. Select the model (should be autodetected), and give it a name.
  • Ripped songs dont play or load on the ipod
    • By default most linux music rippers use (OGG) Vorbis format to extract music. This is not compatible with the ipod so songs need to be converted first. Both Rhythmbox and Banshee should be able to convert music from ogg to MP3, but if one doesnt work try the other. Also consider changing your music ripping program to use MP3 instead of OGG.
  • The ipod doesn't mount on linux
    • Newer models require the ipod to be activated on another OS with itunes.