Monday, December 31, 2007

My first iPod

I was given an iPod for Christmas. It is an 80Gb black classic iPod, and my first.

To begin, I should say that the iPod is a nice piece of hardware, and the interface is pretty cool. I've had many MP3 players in my day, and this is one of the nicest ones, for sure.

However, I have some issues (of course) with the device.

First off, the fact that it only plays mp4 movies is pretty lame, because it is a pain to transcode files to play on this device. Luckily, I found a way to do such transcoding here which works ok.

The real issue is the decision by apple to modify the iPod's internal database. This sucks because my installation of amarok on Gutsy Ubuntu would shred the database when you add a file. This resulted in the iPod not seeing any of the files it had onboard. Following these instructions I was able to add files via Amarok, but even playing files with it blows up the album artwork on the iPod. I'm going to do some experimentation with Floola, and see if that has better results.

My understanding is that iPods worked just fine under Linux, and other media managers, before apple made their changes to the databases. It sure feels like this change was done to force people to use ITunes. I can understand that - Apple wants to keep folks tied to that system - but if that is the case, they should make a version for Linux. As of now, It is going to be difficult to justify purchasing another iPod, or recommending it to anyone.

Floola works pretty damn well. It lets me manage music and videos, but not photos, which I don't need. While you can play music off the Ipod, it does not manage any other music sources. So it is not an all in one solution like Amarok, or Itunes try to be. Personally I don't care much about that, so Floola looks to be my iPod solution.

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