Friday, December 29, 2006

[Linux] iTunes, iPods and podcasts

One of the biggest downsides of Linux is, in my opinion, that there's no Linux version for iTunes. Because I have an iPod, I use that program daily. But there are a couple of alternatives that cover its most important features.

Reading from and writing to iPods
Supported. Since the iPod is 'just' a removable drive with media playback capabilities (audio, pictures and in some cases video), Linux treats this as a regular removable drive.

Reading your iPod music database
Supported. Programs such as amaroK, Yamipod and gtkpod can read (and play) music, audiobooks and podcasts.

Downloading podcasts
Supported. There are plenty of Linux podcatchers available, such as Yamipod and gPodder. More information on this can be found here.

Synchronizing your iPod
Partially supported. Although amaroK, Yamipod and gtkpod can handle the music part, they cannot handle audiobooks and podcasts yet. In some cases, they just drop your podcasts between all your music instead of using the Podcasts menu like iTunes does.

Plan B: emulating iTunes on Linux. There are some free and paid programs that emulate Windows so that you can use Windows programs on Linux. Although these programs are updated regularly, not all Windows programs will work. I don't know if that's the case with iTunes, but I might try it in the future.

Contributors to Linux have filled in the "gap" that iTunes left very well. If you're looking for a tool that has basic iPod support, use Yamipod. However, it still lacks decent podcast support. If you're more concerned about the looks of the program, try amaroK.

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