Rhythmbox

Filed under:Uncategorized — posted by admin on July 26, 2010 @ 8:09 pm

I was going to write a pretty long response to the G20 bullshit that happened a month ago, but that’s kind of fallen by the wayside. Cops are jerks, some people who call themselves anarchists are fooling themselves, some protest organizers are fooling themselves, politicians are scum. Two controversial opinions (for a self-described anarchist to have, at least) wedged between two acceptable opinions. I guess I can leave it there. On to other things.

I have this iPod. It’s a 6g “classic” model, 80gigs. I had set it up with my old iBook G4, just because I had a lot of music on it then, and my only other computer at the time was my Eee PC (if I’m remembering properly) which didn’t exactly hold much music (it only has 4 gigs of storage, at least half of which is taken up by an operating system. Over the years that has included Xandros, Mandriva, Xubuntu, Ubuntu, Fedora, Arch, Debian, and back to Fedora). I eventually got a cheap barebones desktop type computer that has also served as a file server running Ubuntu, as well as another cheap barebones computer that is a file and print server running Debian. But by this time, my iPod was already formatted for OSX. Rhythmbox could read the iPod, but not write to it, because the OSX formatting includes an “HFS+” journaling filesystem that Linux can’t write to. It seemed I would have had to format the thing on a Windows computer, and then transfer all my music back from the iBook, and it would have all been a colossal pain in the ass. And then I would have had to do something to get past Apple’s dick filesystem encryption to prevent non-iTunes applications from writing to the later generation iPod Classics. I had once helped a guy do this with his Windows-formatted iPod Classic (once you add music, the iPod reports having no music, just unreadable data, until you fuck around with GTKPod. Or something like that. I forget exactly what we did or how it worked, but it did work. I just wanted to point out what dicks Apple are), so I was mostly just concerned with having to transfer all my music around.

Today I was once again thinking about having a go at fixing my situation, where my iPod has a bigger hard drive than the frigging laptop it is tied to and I can’t just transfer all my music to it without a lot of pain in the ass backing up and deleting things from the iBook to make room to add new things. I came across the following command to run in the OSX terminal:

sudo diskutil disableJournal theIpodVolumeName

It pretty much instantly disabled the journaling, and so I tried plugging it into my Ubuntu-running Thinkpad. It now actually transferred files to the iPod. I ejected the iPod, and the music was still there! No mysterious disappearance of everything. Hot dog.

I only have a little bit of music on my Thinkpad, since most of it is on my two file servers. I thought back to a while ago, when I was magically able to transfer files to an old iPod Shuffle through Rhythmbox’s DAAP sharing, taking stuff off of my server and putting it onto my Shuffle via the EeePC. It seemed almost magical, but then it stopped working one day, for reasons that are unclear to me. Today, however, I was able to start filling up my iPod, plugged into my Thinkpad, through DAAP shares from two different file servers. Even though DAAP is an Apple protocol, they definitely don’t let you transfer shared music onto an iPod in iTunes (well, I think they now have some sort of DRM-lite, where you can synch your music on a set number of computers, but it’s really not the same thing).

Also, my iPod had a bunch of albums it wouldn’t play (like, a bunch of songs off of the Reagan Youth collection CD, which for some reason would play just fine on the Shuffle, my computer, and a Sansa Clip+), and a bunch of albums where it won’t play the songs in the correct order (Discharge: Hear Nothing, See Nothing, Say Nothing comes to mind first). So, I deleted the songs and then put them back on the iPod with Rhythmbox, and lo and behold, it plays them just now. For several years, I have had an 80gig iPod where I could only put about 9 gigs of music on, and which was severely limited, and now, thanks to Linux, it could be pretty awesome.

Basically, I love that Rhythmbox and Ubuntu, which are obviously not supposed to work with the iPod, are able to do a better job and give me more functionality than fucking iTunes. Fuck you Apple.



image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace