One of the laptops in my house is running Ubuntu Hardy Heron. For those who don’t know this is a Linux Operating System that is one of the most user friendly alternatives to Microsoft Windows. The amount of support in the form of opensource applications and freeware is staggering.
You get even more support by a program called Wine, which runs windows emulation and many windows programs will work either flawlessly or with a few minor bugs under Wine. iPOD Nano management on an Ubuntu Hardy Heron machine is still a very tedious and annoying task, I wish Apple would just opensource iTunes, or at least make a debian binary so we can use it on Hardy Heron. iTunes works under WINE, however there is no USB support, so you can use it as a player only pretty much, no way to sync to your iPOD.
The only real solution is to use one of the Ubuntu’s supported music players “Amarok” being a very popular one. You can find music player’s by typing the following at the command terminal: apt-cache search mp3 | grep -i player Personally I wish WinAmp had a Ubuntu Hardy Heron version that supported iPOD, but alas it doesn’t support it. So we have to find a creative alternative to manage mp3’s and iPOD content. Open Source Program called Songbird is the best answer I have found so far, this program is very much an iTunes clone, it searches media and organizes it by ID3 meta tags, and it can sync playlists, albums and songs to your iPOD with drag and drop ease.
The one major problem is I can’t get video to work MP4 video can’t drag and drop to the iPOD, and SongBird is unable to delete and remove video content from the iPod itself. It acts like it deletes the content, but then when you refresh or re-plug back in your iPOD it shows the same video’s are still there. If Songbird would support Video and Video Categories, as well as maybe leveraging ffmpeg to convert any video to iPOD format, this program would be a serious rival to iTunes on any platform. I have heard that this is one of their planned features in a future release so I look forward to testing it. Currently I have not actually found a good method to port movies over to my iPOD Nano, but Songbird works perfectly for mp3 files.
So for anyone who has jumped off of the Microsoft Ship and hasn’t gone to Apple, Ubuntu Hardy Heron is a very good choice. It has many supported applications and features, and now Mozilla Songbird does a very nice job of managing most audio media and syncing to your iPOD Nano. PS: Songbird will not be found with apt-cache search, or in the Debian repositories, you must go to Songbirds Web Site and download it. Get Songbird and start managing your mp3’s for your iPOD on Ubuntu.