Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 1st Mar 2010 17:01 UTC, submitted by hotice
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu Well, this is a welcome surprise for those of us waiting for Ubuntu 10.04, the Lucid Lynx. Several users are reporting that their iPod Touches and iPhones (including the 3GS) work in alpha 3 - without tweaking, without jailbreaking, without patching - with Nautilus and Rythmbox.
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All well and good but...
by cmost on Tue 2nd Mar 2010 00:20 UTC
cmost
Member since:
2006-07-16

My only reservation about this tacit support for iPods and iPhones in the upcoming Ubuntu release is how long will it last? Recent news of the tit for tat battle between Palm and Apple over iTunes compatibility for the Palm Pre shows how fickle Apple is when it comes to third party compatibility with its precious hardware or software. Obviously I'm comparing Apples to Oranges (pun absolutely intended!) but nevertheless, I doubt Apple will be satisfied with any other software managing its hardware. While I'm all for an open source replacement for iTunes, I will continue to put my support behind media players and devices that support FOSS operating systems and non-proprietary media management software directly, rather than an as an afterthought or happy coincidence.

Reply Score: 3

RE: All well and good but...
by clhodapp on Tue 2nd Mar 2010 00:39 in reply to "All well and good but..."
clhodapp Member since:
2009-12-04

Recent news of the tit for tat battle between Palm and Apple over iTunes compatibility for the Palm Pre shows how fickle Apple is when it comes to third party compatibility with its precious hardware or software.
They aren't fickle; They are consistently hostile.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: All well and good but...
by alcibiades on Tue 2nd Mar 2010 03:41 in reply to "All well and good but..."
alcibiades Member since:
2005-10-12

Customer of mine is going to offer at his public premisses a download station. Running on kiosk mode linux. So what the customer will be able to do is, copy tracks across from the download station onto his mp3 or his mobile phone.

This station is going to have a large sign on it: Not for use with Apple products.

Why? Because he is aware that he could supply Gtkpod, but what he's not prepared for is the howls of rage when it turns out Apple has sabotaged the package in the new firmware release, and some poor chap has scrambled his iPod or iPhone database.

Incidentally, he was worried about something else which I did not know the answer to. If you start up your iPod with the Mac version of iTunes, he tells me that it sets the file system to HFS+. Is this true? Then, he is worried that if he puts in Windows and iTunes on it, which he anyway is not enthused about, what happens if someone updates a Mac intitialised system from a Windows version of iTunes? Does it explode?

Reply Parent Score: 2

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

which I did not know the answer to. If you start up your iPod with the Mac version of iTunes, he tells me that it sets the file system to HFS+. Is this true?


For non iPhone OS devices it is true. If you initialize your iPod in OS X the filesystem is HFS+, if done in Windows it is FAT32. iTunes accesses these iPod devices over a protocol similar to UMS, in contrast to the iPhone OS which it communicates with via a limited Ethernet over USB protocol, the usbmux protocol. iPhone OS devices are formatted with their own filesystem, I presume it's a variant of HFS+ though I'm not 100% sure of that.

Then, he is worried that if he puts in Windows and iTunes on it, which he anyway is not enthused about, what happens if someone updates a Mac intitialised system from a Windows version of iTunes? Does it explode?


You won't be able to do it. Windows cannot read HFS+ without third party filesystem drivers, and afaik none of these work with iTunes. The reverse is not true however, OS X can obviously read and write FAT32... but, in typical Apple fashion, they've got an arbitrary limitation that will not allow you to update Windows-formatted devices in OS X. When you try, it gives you a message that you must initialize your iPod (i.e. reformat it) for use with OS X. Stupid and pointless, since OS X is fully capable of handling FAT32 to begin with. So no, it won't explode, but you might from frustration. ;)

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: All well and good but...
by darknexus on Tue 2nd Mar 2010 04:17 in reply to "All well and good but..."
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

That's a good point, and a lot of newcomers to Ubuntu won't blame Apple for their problems but will blame Ubuntu, Canonical, and Linux in general. It could really backfire on them. As for the standard protocol, it's called USB mass storage. If every player used that, then all that would need to be different based on each player's requirements is the database format. As a communication protocol though, mass storage is perfect. You could then have the music management software recognize the player and load an appropriate database plugin so it knows what to do, or do something similar to what Rockbox and Symbian phones do where, once the files are copied, you refresh the database on the player itself with a few quick selections. The music manager approach is probably best for those who want iPod-like functionality, but those of us who like to just copy files could have our cake too this way.
What portable player manufacturers are supporting open source though? Sandisk, while I wouldn't say they've supported it all that much in recent months, at least hasn't gone out of their way to thwart Rockbox for example and for a while they were rather enthusiastic about getting Rockbox working on some of their players. I personally have a Fuze with Rockbox and love it.
I think the one hurdle Linux is going to face when it comes to content delivery is online purchased content. We've got music pretty well covered with Amazon MP3, Emusic, etc but Movies are something else with the movie industry going into draconian overdrive mode. Audiobooks aren't too good of a situation either though it's somewhat better than movies. Bottom line is that people are going to want to buy content to make use of this iPod support, and not just music. Where are they going to get it? Most people aren't interested in transcoding their own DVDs just to watch them on their iPod. Crazy as it might be, no matter what I personally think of it, most would rather just buy or rent an iPod version from iTunes as it's a lot easier and quicker. So what happens when the new Linux user asks "Cool, my iPod works! Now where's iTunes?"

Reply Parent Score: 3