Using your iPod on Linux
The fear of “messing up” your iPod is enough to deter some users from using their iPod in Linux. On the contrary, you can use your iPod in Linux easily and without fear of “screwing anything up.” The following is a tutorial for beginners that are considering using their iPod with Linux.
The first step is to install gtkpod. Open a terminal and type the following command:
sudo apt-get install gtkpod
Update: this install command is native to Ubuntu. Go to the gtkpod homepage and install the package that is appropriate for your system if the above command does not work.
The second step is to connect your iPod (if Rhythmbox opens automatically close it). Your iPod should automatically be detected (similar to the way it would be in Windows). The quick way to make sure your iPod is mounted correctly is to go to Computer in GNOME and make sure your iPod shows up. This is shown below:
The third step is to launch gtkpod. When you launch, select iPod on the left and click the Read button (top left). You should now see a list of all the songs on your iPod (or none if the iPod is new). This is shown below:
If you would like to add any songs to your iPod, make sure the iPod is still selected in the pane on the left and go to File >> Add Files
The last step is to select the Sync button at the top right of the screen. After you sync your iPod it will be ready for use.
Note: If you did not read the contents of the iPod you will get the following message after selecting Sync (shown below), “You did not import the existing iTunesDB. This is most likely incorrect and will result in the loss of the existing database.” Do not press OK unless it is the first time you are putting songs onto your iPod otherwise your iTunesDB file will be deleted.
If your iTunesDB file does get deleted, don’t worry there is an easy fix. Close and re-open gtkpod, select your iPod in the navigation pane on the left-hand side and choose File >> Export Tracks from Database >> Selected Tab Entry. Depending on how many songs are on your iPod this may take awhile and you will get an orphaned warning for every song (shown below). Don’t worry, it’s okay.
After your iPod has been scanned, choose Synchronize iTunesDB and select OK to the warning that comes up and your iTunesDB file will be restored.