Managing your iPod with Amarok

by Roc4fun

First let me say I'm not a Linux guru and I'm not even smart about Amarok, but I've learned how to manage my girlfriend's iPod using Amarok.

First the problem... This is a Windows iPod with a vfat filesystem. As received, the iPod would automount and I could see it in Konqueror and seemingly add music to it using Amarok. The problem was when unplugged the iPod didn't think it had any songs. Searching on the web led me to this procedure.

  • Connect your iPod with the usb cable.
  • Type the following as root in a terminal:
  • lsusb -v | grep -i Serial

  • Among other output you will get a line looking like 000A1234567891231. Copy this line.
  • Navigate to your_iPod/iPod_Control/Device folder and open the file called SysInfo.
  • Paste the line to the file but append FirewireGuid: so that it finally looks like:
  • FirewireGuid: 000A1234567891231

  • Save and exit.

This allowed me to send and remove songs, and album art with the iPod.

The next issue is with eject. The web is full of dire warnings about ejecting your iPod before removing it for fear of corrupting the filestructure. For me, Kde was requiring root privileges to eject the device. This was easily done from konsole but I wanted to use the configurable disconnect button in Amarok. This is what worked for me.

As root using kwrite I edited my /etc/sudoers file to include this line:

ALL    ALL= NOPASSWD: /usr/bin/eject /dev/sdb

This allows anyone to eject /dev/sdb without a password. One would have to modify the above command to reflect where their device is mounted.

So, the config of my disconnect button in Amarok is:

sudo eject /dev/sdb

Hopefully, this will help someone get their iPod working with Amarok in PCLinuxOS.

Edit: Since I posted this I have been cautioned that if one had several USB devices and plugged and unplugged them in a changing order my eject command might be not be specific to the iPod only. I've been doing more testing and though I've been told removable media devices do not use /etc/fstab for instructions this works for me.

I include this line in /etc/fstab:

/dev/sdb /media/ipod vfat rw,user,noauto 0 0

I also changed my line in /etc/sudoers to:

ALL    ALL= NOPASSWD: /usr/bin/eject /media/ipod

And finally, as you might have guessed I changed my disconnect button command to:

sudo eject /media/ipod

Testing with a USB stick and the iPod both plugged in shows this command to eject the iPod (no password) and the USB stick is still available.

Can I transfer my album art or videos?

Album art works for me. I think you need to have it in your Amarok collection before you transfer to your iPod.

  • In your collection, drill to the song. There will be an icon that looks like a jewel case. Right click and choose get album art. Pick the one you like then transfer that song to your iPod, the art will come along.
  • If you have songs with no art you may have to delete the songs from your iPod, get the art, then transfer it back to the the iPod.

I've been able to get video on and off the iPod like this.

  • First get gtkpod, ffmpeg, and winff from Synaptic.
  • Take some video from whatever source: if you're ambitious you could rip it from a DVD with DVD::rip
  • Point winff at it as the source. Choose one of the iPod choices in the 'format to convert to' drop down box.
  • Let it do it's magic, then use gtkpod to send it to the iPod.

One could use gtkpod for all iPod management, but I prefer the Amarok interface. Unfortunately, Amarok doesn't seem to be able to transfer video to the iPod.

Have Fun!