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Media (Apple) Businesses Media Apple

Sync Your iPod on Linux 170

scatboy writes "Tex9 has software for using an iPod (yes, another iPod story) on Linux. It uses a graphical drag-and-drop interface through xtunes, their version of iTunes on Linux. They are looking for beta testers of the xpod software now. I have a dual boot box that has only gone into Windows lately to load my iPod with the betas of XPlay. I held out on making the final purchase of XPlay due to rumours of Apple coming out with their own Windows software at MacWorld New York. This is an even better reason to wait. I am very excited about a chance to measure uptime in months again!"
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Sync Your iPod on Linux

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  • Why the heck didn't Apple come out with a Windows version in the first place? They have arguably the best MP3 player in the industry - imagine how many people would have bought one if it had come supporting Windows from the outset.

    People aren't gonna buy an iMac just for an iPod. But if they buy an iPod for Windows and LOVE it, they might be better inclined to buy Apple computers in the future. Seems to me Apple went about this the wrong way...
    • "had come supporting Windows from the outset. "

      Its simple , apple do no , did not want , and will never people to use pcs....
      • So why not hook some of them on Apple hardware this way?
        • Re:why didn't... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Oculus Habent ( 562837 ) <(oculus.habent) (at) (gmail.com)> on Friday July 05, 2002 @11:18AM (#3827622) Journal

          Apple's livihhod in hinged on the phrase, "It Just Works."

          You can't make guarantees on hardware/software you can't control. Rather than producing a version (even unsupported beta) that would work for most but cause bad PR when it wasn't updated and started having issues, Apple chose to stay out of the PC market altogether.

          With the availability of Windows/Linux versions of the software, people will be able to buy the iPod and use it with a PC - which offers Apple income as well as the chance that people will sit down at a Mac with their iPod someday and see how well "It Just Works."

          --
          If I say I'm wrong, I don't have you worry about you proving it.

    • Re:why didn't... (Score:3, Flamebait)

      by Yarn ( 75 )
      Install Quicktime for windows. Look at it. Can Apple write decent windows software?

      Personally I think not. They can create great hardware, and good software for their own OS, but I don't think it's worth their while coding windows stuff.
      • Quicktime for Windows works fine for me. What's the problem with it?
      • Actually I have never had QT make my OS shit the bed. Then again I don't run win98. I run win2k. However it has a terrible UI, doesn't go full screen, likes to screw with file associations and browser settings, and worst of all loves to put up nag screens to upgrade to pro. For the record, I have the pro version too, it is no better.

        I wish someone else would license the Sorensen codec, so I could use something than quicktime.
        • The reason it "doesn't go full screen" is the same reason it "loves to put up nag screens to upgrade to pro". They want you to buy it, plain and simple.

          QuickTime does not do full screen unless it is the pro version.

          Since you mention that you have the pro version as well, I don't know why you are complaining about the lack of full screen and the nag screens.

          The only complaints you have left are "it has a terrible UI" and "likes to screw with file associations and browser settings".

          Now find me a media player for Windows that doesn't fit those qualifications. Do not reply to this and tell me Windows Media Player doesn't.

          I don't think QuickTime is great. It may even be sub-par. But that's compared to other media players that I can only describe as "suffering from multiple terminal infectious diseases" (RealOne Player) or "as ugly as Louie Anderson from the waist down" (Windows Media Player).
    • Re:why didn't... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by tbmaddux ( 145207 ) on Friday July 05, 2002 @11:12AM (#3827588) Homepage Journal
      Why the heck didn't Apple come out with a Windows version in the first place?

      Why bother dealing with the hassle of Windows software support issues when a version of XPlay [mediafour.com] was available within weeks? At the Apple retail stores I visited while thinking about an iPod, the staff knew of XPlay and mentioned it to people who asked about "Windows versions."

      I think they had the right idea. Sell the iPods and let someone else deal with the Windows issues.

    • Re:why didn't... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by larry bagina ( 561269 ) on Friday July 05, 2002 @11:15AM (#3827607) Journal
      Apple isn't in the business of selling an OS, or even hardware. They're in the business of selling a user experience, a digital lifestyle, and they can only do that if they control the OS and the hardware. Rhapsody for x86 or "windows compatable" iPod may increase sales, but it also breaks apart the apple experience into pieces.

      It might sound like marketting bullshit, but think about it... Coca Cola doesn't sell a can of carbonated sugar water, they sell an image. If you just want a soda, you could buy RC or Shasta or Kmart Cola. In Europe, you can even buy Coca Cola designer clothes.
      • Re:why didn't... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by _Sprocket_ ( 42527 )
        ...think about it... Coca Cola doesn't sell a can of carbonated sugar water, they sell an image. If you just want a soda, you could buy RC or Shasta or Kmart Cola. In Europe, you can even buy Coca Cola designer clothes.
        Sometime in the 80s, "Coca-Cola" labled clothes were fashionable in the US. I specifically remember rugby-style shirts with the trademark logo in stores. People spending money to become walking billboards show that Coke is more than sugar water with a slightly sharp taste and an effective delivery for caffeinne. Coke is an image. And to be sure - its not just Coke. Pepsi runs the same gambit. Sure, they've done "The Pepsi Challenge" which supposedly has something to do with a real product issue - taste. But slogans such as "Taste of the New Generation" and having Britney Spears jingling along that Pepsi is "for those who think young", reveals that Pepsi is competing with Coke on something that has little to do with taste - product identity.

        I like to think I'm beyond all that. I thought "Coca-Cola" shirts were silly. I buy soda according to what taste I like (or whats available). But then - I'm a bit of cynic. I marvel at the economic / marketing machine spinning around me during a family trip to Disney World. I constantly have talks with my kid over the manipulation being attempted by various TV shows and advertisements on TV - especially those targeted at kids. Meanwhile, it doesn't seem like the masses notice.

        Apple has an interesting strategy. Cool underlying technology, partly in thanks to a BSD core (first time I've actually started considering Apple hardware since Apple II days). And some really slick consumer-level design and marketing. It might actually pay off.

        But even if the strategy doesn't pay - its a marvel to watch.

    • Re:why didn't... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by foobar104 ( 206452 ) on Friday July 05, 2002 @11:34AM (#3827691) Journal
      Why the heck didn't Apple come out with a Windows version in the first place?

      There have been several replies already, but no one has yet pointed out that Apple isn't in the business of selling iPods. They sell Macs. And your assertion that people won't buy a Mac just to get an iPod is demonstrably false. I know two people who did just that. They're really into music and they love their MP3 collections. They were in the market for new laptops anyway. One chose an iBook and the other a TiBook, both solely on the existence of iPod.

      If there had been iPod software for Windows, both of those guys would have bought Windows laptops instead. Although they probably would have been as happy with them....
    • Re:why didn't... (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      It's part of the whole "full user experience" thing. The iPod will not make someone buy a mac by itself, but if someone is looking at both a Dell and an iMac, the possibility of using an iPod may tip the scales.

      You have to understand apple's strategy. The PC market is now a commodity; any one chunk of PC hardware is as good as any other chunk of PC hardware, and so if you charge lots of money (or even, these days, enough money to turn a profit) for a computer, people will just go with a cheaper competitor. After all, it's all just Windows anyway.

      Apple sees this, and they seek to escape this by selling software that is just positioned as Better. They can't do this on hardware quality alone-- even cheap computers are fast enough for most people these days-- but they can do it just based on total better user experience. They want to make the person on the street believe that, yeah, that imac may be $500 more, but it will be an easier time, you'll be able to use more interesting programs and peripherals with it, and it will just overall be worth that extra $500.

      This is their goal. Whether they succeed at this is something you can decide for yourself. However, it is definitely part of their goal to do as many little things as possible to make their platform seem Unique. The iPod, iTunes and iPhoto are really tiny, inconsequential things, but apple is betting that to the computer newbie the psychological difference will be huge.
    • by mblase ( 200735 ) on Friday July 05, 2002 @11:44AM (#3827750)
      Why the heck didn't Apple come out with a Windows version in the first place? They have arguably the best MP3 player in the industry

      Because in less than a year, Apple's seen the iPod become so successful that Windows and Linux developers are creating their own solutions--some of them complete with FireWire cards--to do Apple's job *for* them.

      Besides, fully half the reason the iPod is as big a hit with Mac users as it is is the integration with iTunes: create your MP3 playlists, organize your collection, and it will be automatically synchronized with your iPod when you request it. iTunes isn't just Apple's MP3 jukebox, its their "driver" software for iTunes. Creating a marketable Windows/Linux solution would require them to achieve the same level of integration with one or all of those platforms' MP3 packages. Why take the time to do that, when someone else is clearly willing to do the job for them?

      Personally, and somewhat pettily, I think Windows users deserve to know how it feels to have a peripheral with no built-in support for their platform for a change. For years, Mac users have had to spend extra money to read files, access networks, sync PDAs, download digital photos, scan from scanners, and print to printers designed for the other 95% of the computing world. I'm reasonably certain there's not a single other MP3 portable on the market that sports full Mac OS synchronization. If Windows users have to wait a little while to use a gadget Apple designed that they want, then I consider that poetic justice.
      • by yerricde ( 125198 ) on Friday July 05, 2002 @12:41PM (#3828033) Homepage Journal

        Apple's seen the iPod become so successful that Windows and Linux developers are creating their own solutions--some of them complete with FireWire cards--to do Apple's job *for* them.

        At least this time, Apple isn't frivolously wielding the DMCA against the makers of such software; the company has only requested that third-party software publishers not infringe Apple trademarks. Thus, "XPod" becomes "XPlay", but big whoop; development and sales continue.

        • "At least this time, Apple isn't frivolously wielding the DMCA against the makers of such software; the company has only requested that third-party software publishers not infringe Apple trademarks"

          Instead they have other methods of legal oppression they were using years before the DMCA ever was a twinkle in Big Brother's eye. From suing other companies for stealing GUI from the same source Apple stole it from to harassing companies on what their machine case looked like.

          The Apple legal department's creativity rivals the creativity of their developers.
    • Re:why didn't... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by phillymjs ( 234426 ) <slashdot AT stango DOT org> on Friday July 05, 2002 @11:45AM (#3827757) Homepage Journal
      Why the heck didn't Apple come out with a Windows version in the first place?

      Because Apple is in the business of selling Apple computers and accessories for Apple computers, and giving people compelling reasons to buy them, like ease of use and seamless integration.

      Because the iPod is expensive, and 99% of Windows users only care about cost, not quality. Anyone who paid scarcely more than $399 for their whole damn computer will not open their wallet and dump out that much for an MP3 player, even if it is the best one out there. Not to mention that Windows users would probably have the added expense of buying a FireWire card to use the iPod, since almost no PCs come with true FireWire built-in (VAIOs with i.Link don't count, either, since they don't have the larger connector that allows for power to flow across the bus and charge the iPod). Even if Apple made the iPod for Windows, the number of Windows users who would buy it would be miniscule compared to the number of Windows users btiching about the high price. Add in the costs of supporting a Windows product, and you quickly find out that supporting the Windows market is 'not economically viable'.

      For every one Windows user who bitches about the iPod not being Windows-friendly, there are hundreds of Mac users who, over the years, have wanted a Windows-only gadget or two and had their pleas for Mac support ignored by the maker. Welcome to our world.

      ~Philly
    • Desiring an iPod, I went out and bought OsX for my virtually-unused iMac. I had a version of Os 9.something that was a bit too old.
      I haven't regretted either purchase in the least - they are both top-quality products.

      Now I'm looking seriously at their servers...

      Cheers,
      Jim in Tokyo
  • I think xtunes is really too similar to iTunes. The deveopers should change the name to somethin else before Apple lawers get after them ...
    Does the beast runs on linux PPC ?
    This is one thing that bugs me in the inux world , the lack of support for non IA-32 architectures.
    Apple used to be more linux [mklinux.org] friendly (but that was way before they purchased NeXT and got a "modern" unix, do not read A/UX [faqs.org] here ...).
    On the same scale of things is there any effort to bring a quiktime player for linux ? would people use such software ?
  • by Nomad7674 ( 453223 ) on Friday July 05, 2002 @11:03AM (#3827529) Homepage Journal
    Not sure if the site has been slashdotted or is just slow, but I was unable to bring it up. For those interested, here [216.239.51.100] is the Google Cache of the xtunes page.

    Personally, I think this is a vindication of Apple's strategy to keep the iPod Apple-only for a time. It kept demand to a reasonable level, allowed them to focus on Apple-only hardware, sold a lot more Macs, and in the long-term will not keep anyone out of the iPod Revolution.

  • I'd want winamp on it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 05, 2002 @11:10AM (#3827580)
    This is really cool tech, a really cool program, and good for linux.

    But i couldn't help but notice: did you see the little thumbnail screenshot [tex9.com]? It appears that they are attempting to directly copy the iTunes interface, right down to the positioning of widgets and aqua+brushed_metal skin.

    STUPID. Apple has made it very, very clear that they consider the skins/themes to their programs "trade dressing", and that if you sell a product with the same interface and textures as one of theirs, they WILL send lawyers after you. Notice that anyone who tries to make a theme explicitly described as "aqua lookalike" gets a letter from Apple Legal. No matter whether you believe apple has the legal right to do this, you have to at least acknowledge *they do this*, and it really isn't worth the bother of risking having to deal with apple legal. Just make something DIFFERENT, and then this won't be a problem. It's just a matter of saneness and safety.

    I will agree that trying to copyright "look and feel" is bullshit, but look. Skins are images. You can copyright images. There is no reason to pretend that a skin/theme to an mp3 player is not a copyright violation just because, well, the textures may look exactly the same as they do in the interface you're knocking off, but hey, they aren't EXACTLY the same images! Um, no.

    You can also copyright layouts, like in graphics & design, leading me to think that if you create a program where every button, text field, and interface widget is in exactly the same place as in iTunes, and you got hauled into court over this, you WOULD lose.

    What is so hard about just HUMORING APPLE and DESIGNING YOUR OWN INTERFACES AND GUI SKINS? You just look stupid when you clumsily copy someone else's interface vertabrim. Yes, i get the idea is to be all like "look, you can do things on linux just the same as on mac!", but what it actually COMES ACROSS AS is "look, i am too uncreative or incompetent to design a user interface, so i just ripped off Apple's wholesale!"
    • So what is so surprising about the fact that Linux gurus are trying to copy every single detail of Mac app GUI's? They already do that with Windows apps.
    • you are doomed to repeat it. Very few people remember that in the 80s (or was it early 90s) Apple sued MS over the Windows interface, among other things, because it too closely resembled mac. Then there were the suits over the Lotus 123 interface ripping off (I think) SuperCalc.

      The courts decided back then that a UI is not something that can be copyrighted. They claimed it'd be like copyrighting the interface to a car, and thus would be bad for the industry.

      But, then again, that was eons ago.

      (I'd have to go digging to find links for this, but I'm sure there are duly motivated people who will research this and/or correct my flawed memory.)
      • My flawed memory gets in the way too, but wasn't HPs file manager/program manager replacement sued as well, for copying the Mac interface too closely? IIRC, certain interface elements, like the trash can, were deemed as copyrightable, but M$ settled such things with Apple by holding Office over their heads...

        But, I've been wrong before.
      • "The courts decided back then that a UI is not something that can be copyrighted."

        They must have changed their mind. I seem to recall that Macromedia and Adobe are currently in a sue fest regarding UI copyright infringement at the moment and both are winning their cases against each other.
  • by CokeBear ( 16811 )
    I am very excited about a chance to measure uptime in months again!

    What is it with you people and uptime? Is this just another way of comparing penis size? (My uptime is longer than your uptime, etc)

    Grow up! It won't kill you to reboot once in a while!

    • Windows users say the darnest things...

      Cheers,
      Jim in Tokyo
      (Curerently 317 days uptime so far with Linux)
    • No, no, no.. rebooting is bad for the environment. You see while it only takes a little electricity to sustain a computer, it takes quite a bit more to "reboot" it. Why almost a 1/100 of a penny more. And that's 1/100 of a penny that could be going to save the panda's foundation.

      So you see, uptime is good for pandas. ...for their foundation. ...

      yes.
    • Why is this insightful? Having a long uptime is not just a measure of penis size. Consider a program that is meant to be run 24/7, like say a sendmail daemon. Having the ability to TEST this is important. To test this means the underlying OS HAS to be MORE STABLE, LESS ERROR-PRONE, than the daemon. And so on, for the the user program that ingteract with the daemon.

      Whether you actually need to run a computer 24/7, is quite different from the QUALITY ISSUE. Morons.

    • True.

      It's not size that matters. It's how long you keep it up.
    • Nothing personal, I just felt like paraphrasing that great freedom fighter who said it.

      Look sonny, when I need to work I want to leave my computer running for 2 or 3 days without having to close all my apps and find where I was last time I was working and without waiting for the machine to come back from its nth ( n>>>>1 ) crash.

      Specialy now with broadband connection to the internet, the computer can do many things during the night or while I am at work. For that to happen the underlying OS has to be stable.

      In my office I have to reboot my Winblows machine 2 or 3 times per week because it just gets confussed when running more than one or two things (MS things, mind you).

      Similar apps in Linux can run for weeks without any problem.

      Did ya get it now?
    • Every time you reboot, God kills a kitten.
    • No, comparing penis size is another way of comparing penis size. And I like my penis just fine, thanks.

      (Uptime? I use Mac OS 9. Uptime measured in minutes.)


    • Grow up! It won't kill you to reboot once in a while!
      Here's a novel concept. When you have a stable environment, you can CHOOSE when to reboot.
  • Wasn't that the old name for XPlay (another iPod utility), which was changed at the request of Apple?

    See here [macwindows.com] ("Apple muscles Mediafour into dropping "XPod" name for Win-enabling software for iPod").

    I don't think they'll be able to use that name for very long.
  • Their xTunes software looks like a feature-for-feature clone of iTunes. I read somewhere that apple asked MediaFour no to name their software "xpod" ...

    In other words, I can see Apple attacking this company, Tex9, for tradmark infringment, as is their way...

    I see that xTunes is GPLed, and that xPod is a pluggin...it doesn't seem to be GPLed currently...Tex9 may end up making it proprietary or something...
    • Give tex9 a little bit of leeway. You've got to feed yourself somehow, so why not allow them to sell the plug-in (if there's a demand people will buy). They're giving away the main player free anyway.

      For open source to really work you need someway to make money from it. Here's one business model. Ximian does this as well with their Outlook-like product (have to pay for plug-in to access Exchange servers), so I can't see what the fuss is about.
  • Because the ipod was never really an option for me. Most people were relieved that there was a Windows product released to transfer tunes. That still did not help me. So now this will become a viable option now that it will run on an OS (linux) that I have in my house. Having a partition for Windows is kinda like a recovering alcoholic keeping a 12 pack in his fridge...
    • Having a partition for Windows is kinda like a recovering alcoholic keeping a 12 pack in his fridge...
      That is a GREAT quote. If you came up w/ it you deserve to be commended.

  • Although I can't find the facts to hand I'm wondering if the iPod is now a tad overpriced?

    When it first came out the HD was the same price as the iPod, but as far as I can tell the Toshiba hard drive has dropped in price yet the iPod hasn't.

    I wouldn't expect the iPod's price to drop at the same rate but at least something. Otherwise the markup on the product is increasing all the time and the later you leave it, the more you're essentially being ripped off.

    I'll readily admit that I don't have the facts to hand but if this is the case, then it might be better to get an Archos Jukebox and put up with the lack of functionality (but gain on massive savings).

    Or wait for the Toshiba Gigabeat.

    (Again, I could be wrong, so please correct me)

    • This game doesn't work with computers, because prices are continually dropping. But for things like the Airport Base Station, iPod, special adapters, etc, Apple really has a great strategy.

      They release it at some price with a razor thin margin (or even take a slight hit). As technology becomes cheaper, the profit margin skyrockets. When the iPod came out, Apple's profit was something rediculously small, like $20 per unit. With the dropping price of that hard drive, it looks like 40-50% of an iPod is pure profit.

      I don't think Apple has the balls to release a $699 MP3 player, so I expect that if there is a new, bigger iPod they may announce price drops. But there is almost *no* competition for the iPod (flames aside), so Apple has little motivation to drop its prices.
    • It is also still possible that Apple is selling as many iPods as they can make at the current prices. If that is the case, there is no reason to lower the prices, since they cannot increase sales.
  • Either this will get modded offtopic and vanish or I'll get some answers (i hope the latter).

    I looked at an iPod, it's nice but it's not suitable for running, i can't stick a firewire card in my work PC (where all the bandwidth is) and it's far too expensive for me.

    So, I'm looking at the Frontier Labs, Nexus II [frontierlabs.com]. Anyone bought one? Is it any good? Do you like it? Major points for me is:

    • copy to and from
    • acts like a hd
    • small, light, won't skip
    • compact flash memory

    For $200, it may not be everything iPod is, but looks a good bargain.

    Many thanks to anyone who answers!

    • I was in exactly the same position, trying to decide between an iPod and a Nex II. Advantages of the iPod:

      • sexy
      • larger capacity
      • faster transfers
      • the interface is excellent (playlist support etc.)

      On the other hand, making one work on Linux looked like being a real pain, I'd be worried about taking it running/cycling and they're expensive, so in the end, as I had a 1GB Microdrive lying around, I went for the Nex II. It arrived yesterday. Haven't had much of a chance to fiddle with it yet, but it seems good so far. It's smaller and lighter than an iPod, the screen and interface is good and (without the Microdrive) it's shock-proof. And it was very cheap... ($200 is a rip-off. Try this list of online retailers [yahoo.com] - you can one from $79).

      Furthermore, there's a great and responsive online community/mailing list for the thing here on Yahoo! Groups [yahoo.com].

      Hope this helps a bit. If you have specific questions feel free to ask...

    • What is it that makes the iPod unsuitable for your running needs? It is no bigger than a pack of cigarettes, and will fit easily in your shorts/shirt pocket. Mine has yet to skip while I run with it. It is also easy to use the interface while staying on the move.

      Just curious as to why you think it wont work for you.
      • It probably would work, but I'd just be really nervous about taking something with a spinning disk running. No doubt unfounded fears, but I can just see in my minds eye me slipping or jolting it too suddenly and the head going straight through the platter...

        The iPod has 32MB of RAM, as far as I know, which it fills with the next x songs as a cache before spinning the disk down. If it was possible to _force_ it to spin down the disk and just play from there I'd be happier. Perhaps just having a playlist 32MB would have this effect... Without trying it I can't say.
        • yes, if I fell flat on my face with my iPod in my shirt pocket, it might not fare to well. This as you mentioned, holds true for any player with a HDD rather than flash ram type media. You just have to weigh your needs. Is jogging *all* that you will use it for? Could you find use for it in your car with a cassette adapter? Could you find use for a portable 5/10 gig firewire drive? If you all you plan to use it for is music while jogging, then just get a cheap Rio or something. I do understand your concern about falling damage etc. Just try not to run into telephone poles while you jog :)
    • I bought an IRock 128MB player from RadioShack. It works pretty good with nice behind the neck earphones. The software runs on Windows.

      https://www.myirock.com/players/irock510.htm [myirock.com]

    • I bought one of these players and it rocks!
      I already had some CF cards for my digital camera so at $79, this was an awesome addition to my gadget collection. It works flawless and is inexpensive compared to the iPod.
      I have an external CF card reader so I just pop it out of the NEXII (no need to waste the batteries) and it shows up as a drive on my PC. MP3's and images from my camera happily co-exist on the card. Life is good. I whole heartedly reccomend the NexII.
  • It is my understanding that:
    1. The iPod uses HFS+ (the preferred FS of OSX)
    2. Linux can't read HFS+ at present (if you dual-boot a Mac OS and Linux, your bootstrap partition is limited to HFS)

    Can someone elaborate?
    • Linux can read HFS+ partitions. I know...I use the hfsutils on my Yellow Dog Linux System. they are easy commands hpmount, hpcopy, etc. I want to know when 1394 drivers or kernel patches will be added to the ppc kernel tree. that would make using my iPod a lot easier....
  • There is no need to bother with the iPod if you are a Windows user.

    The heart of the iPod is its small form-factor Toshiba hard drive which is also available in the GigaBeat MP3 player from Toshiba itself.

    Check it out here [dynamism.com]

    • Yes. And even the price of this Toshiba player is compatible with the ipod ($599). I prefer to wait until there is more (and even better) products to choose from. I am not going to buy any MP3 player until the price comes down to $299 (max), with a 30-40 Gb hard disk and firewire/USB2, a weight of 60 g, a 20 hour battery live, song exchangement with other user through infra-red/BlueTooth, PDA functionality, a built-in mobile phone, GPS positioning and a route-planner.
      Did I mention it must be able to make a very good expresso?
  • The iPod is a FireWire disk. Windows needs software for it because it's formatted in HFS+ (I believe). But Linux has native HFS+ support (and UFS, for that matter). You should just be able to plug it in and use something like "rsync" to synchronize your music. Other than that, iPod uses MP3 tags.
    • HFS+ is readable on linux, but not yet writable to my knowledge. Plus, the rsync trick wouldn't make it as the iPod uses an internal database to know what playlists/tracks are located on its disk.
      Of course, this is a proprietary format which is not easy to reverse engineer.

      So a special software is needed. Xplay from Mediafour looked unstable. Ephpod, ugly. If only iTunes could exist on my i386 platform, i would be so happy.

      Maybe this plugin will do it :)
  • Has anyone actually found the xtunes software useful? I tried it out a few weeks ago in my never ending search for a good Linux mp3 player. I had major problems with the latest (0.30) version. By default, xtunes wants to move all of your mp3's into its own "database", which is just ~/.xtunes/library - a real pain in the ass when you have 60 gigs of well-sorted mp3's (I did figure out how to change this though). I can create playlists, but I can not find any way to add songs to them. There is no documentation, and drag/drop does not work. Strangely, the screenshots show playlists with songs in them, how do you do it? And finally, the whole thing is rather unstable. I can't count the number of times it crashed or became unresponsive while I was trying to figure out my two previous problems.

    I've been badly wanting an ipod since they were released, but didn't feel like installing windows or buying a mac. If this ipod solution is usable I will probably buy one, but I have to question the choice of software. Why not a stand-alone application? Or a plugin for an mp3 player that actually works? I hope there are some major improvements to xtunes on the way.
  • Since their signup script seems to be croaking on their site, I wanted to see if anyone had actually been accepted for the beta? Is it posted for download anywhere?

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