Thursday, April 19, 2007

iPod + Amarok

Using your iPod with Ubuntu is disgustingly easy. As a Linux user, I was almost disappointed... no config files to edit? No dependencies to chase down? No bugs to fix? Nope, Ubuntu and the Amarok music player make everything simple. Here, I will detail how to use Amarok with your iPod on an Ubuntu system. I'm using Ubuntu Feisty Fawn 7.04 (just installed today!), a fourth-generation iPod and Amarok version 1.4.5.

First install Amarok with sudo aptitude install amarok (and with aptitude, not apt-get). If you want Amarok to be useful with most file formats (such as mp3) it would be a good idea to install proprietary codecs as well: sudo aptitude install gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg gstreamer0.10-gl gstreamer0.10-plugins-base gstreamer0.10-plugins-good gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad-multiverse gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly-multiverse libxine-extracodecs w32codecs

Now that those monster installs are finished, you can go ahead and connect your iPod. If it automatically shows up on your desktop as a little iPod icon, great! If not, check out
this thread for more detailed info. When I popped in my iPod, Amarok did me one better and recognized the device, popping up a little dialog asking me what kind of player it was. When this happens, you should select Apple iPod Media Device in the drop-down box. There are a few more options you can set regarding the device -- check out Settings->Configure Amarok->Media Devices in the Amarok toolbar menu. (If this explanation was too complicated for you, there's a guide with nice pictures here describing a slightly different way of going about things.)

To add files to the iPod, go to the Collection tab on the left and highlight whatever you want to transfer to the iPod in the left frame. Right click on it and select Transfer to Media Device. Then go to the Devices tab (with the little iPod logo) and hit Transfer at the top to transfer your files. When you're done transferring files, hit Disconnect at the top. If you're lucky, Amarok will unmount the device for you. If not, you'll have to right click on the desktop icon of the iPod and unmount it that way. I asked in the Amarok IRC channel if it was possible to sync the iPod and apparently it's not... for now, just delete everything off of the iPod and put the new stuff back on, as time consuming as that may be.

There are some other things you can do in Amarok to tweak the settings for the iPod. In the Devices tab under the (usually hidden) iPod menu you can set the model of your iPod. This is used for advanced support such as photo and video copying.

It's annoying that Rhythmbox, the default GNOME music application, launches whenever you connect your iPod. To disable this, go to Preferences->Removable Drives and Media->Multimedia->Portable Music Players and disable Play music files when connected. Just doing this will make a window open up in Nautilus every time you insert a removable drive, including an iPod. To turn this off, go to the Storage tab and uncheck Browse removable media when inserted.



OldDog said...


I am trying to install amarok on a new install of Unbutu 7.10. I can't seem to find the pkgs to install. I realize that is pretty silly, but I am stumped. Any help would be great.



Danny Colligan said...

Make sure you have universe and multiverse repositories enabled.

sudo apt-get install amarok should then do the trick...