Sunday, September 16, 2007

Using Your Apple iPod in Ubuntu

This guide works with all iPods models except iPod classics, iPod Video Nano and iPod Touch. Apple has updated it's cryptographic "checksum" in their song databases for these models. This means third-party applications are no longer able to sync your music, video & pictures to these devices. The good news is that the older iPods are fully compatible with 3rd party applications.

I love my iPod and I love Ubuntu so these guides are definitely a labor of love for me. I find that the iPod works great in Ubuntu. I use 3 programs in Ubuntu for syncing my iPod; gtkpod, GPixPod and Amarok.

gtkpod is a platform independent Graphical User Interface for Apple's iPod using GTK2. It supports the first to fifth Generation including the iPod mini, iPod Photo, iPod Shuffle, iPod nano, and iPod Video. It allows you to sync you iPod in Linux. Some of it's features include importing the existing contents of your iPod including play counts, ratings and on-the-go playlists, adding MP3, WAV, M4A, M4B, podcasts, and video files to your iPod and allowing you to view, add and modify cover art and playlists.

To get gtkpod
in a terminal type:
sudo apt-get install gtkpod-aac

GPixPod is a new PyGTK application to organize photos and photo albums on your photo capable iPod models. Its approach to modify manually the elements in the Photo Database of your iPod could be also more useful than the syncing-only method of iTunes. For Linux users gpixpod is an excellent complement to gtkpod and amarok. While these two programs do an excellent job of syncing music, album art and video to your iPod neither do pictures and I haven't been able to find another program in Linux/Ubuntu that does all four; music, video, album art and pictures.

To get gpixpod
In a terminal type:
sudo apt-get install gpixpod

Amarok a fantasic music player for Linux and Unix with an intuitive interface. Amarok not only makes playing the music you love easy, but also allows you to organize a library of music into folders according to genre, artist, and album, edit tags attached to most music formats, associate album art, attach lyrics, and automatically "score" music as you play it. It is seen as Linux's major iTunes alternative and in many people's opinions an iTunes killer. It allows you to look up album via Amazon, sync music, podcasts and audiobooks. Amarok does not do video or pictures, but it's such an amazing jukebox that I don't mind using other apps to take care of it's shortcomings.

To get Amarok, ipod support and mp3 support
In a terminal type:
sudo apt-get install amarok ipodslave libxine1-ffmpeg
edited by pHreaksYcle


Christopher said...

I would like to add that Rhythmbox, Listen, and Exaile also have iPod support and if you're looking for a full jukebox-style app (like amarok for KDE) for Gnome, rather than something specifically for iPod syncing (like gtkpod), one of these three should do nicely as well.

tim said...

I'd also like to add: I have a creative zen vision: M which in my opinion is loads better than the video ipod. Anyway, I use Gnomad which lets MTP players like Creative Zen transfer files.

Anonymous said...

Nice blog man.
I have a question but it's got nothing to do with using an Ipod on Ubuntu.
I bought an 1501 a month ago and when I run memtest86 my RAM is displayed as being DDR 199 (running @ 90mhz) instead of DDR2 533 (runs normally @ 266mhz). I would like to know if you have the same problem.

redDEAD said...


nope my ram runs at full speed, your shit is fucked.

Martyn (Guild Leader) said...

hey dude awsome blog, when can we be expecting to see the rest of your ipod user guide? really looking forward to it, i use ubuntu on my 1501 but thinking of goin full time on my desktop too after gutsy's release. You guide is invaluable even when not used for the 1501.


redDEAD said...


this weekend, i've been slacking

RHS IBer said...

Do you know of any downloaders like Limewire?

Boogha said...

Is there a tool to move you itunes libary (music, movies, podcast, etc) straight into a tool to manage you ipod on linux.. this is the only thing that is stopping me from moving over to linux permanently

JAEC said...

There's a typo in the line:

sudo apt-get install gtkpod-acc

It must be:

sudo apt-get install gtkpod-aac