Using Rockbox on an iPod while you’re running Windows is like putting a Ferrari engine in a Geo Metro

I had what must qualify as the most bizarre experience of my life when I started experimenting with iPod editors that run on Linux. By the way, Apple, I would like to make a formal request that you write an iTunes software package that runs on Ubuntu.

So, I played around with some editors. I tried Amarok, which I didn’t fall in love with mostly because it’s native to KDE and my Linux is Gnome. I also tried Banshee which didn’t read my iPod. Ever. I was really aggravated. Then I tried Hipo. Hipo seems to like to rewrite tags on songs that have never been edited. I was unimpressed. Then I fell in love with GTKpod. It had no problem reading the files on my iPod, it let me edit tags and it allowed me to create playlists. It doesn’t have a player, but I still have rhythmbox, so my life wasn’t exactly shattered by that, and the only function I really needed it to fulfill was the tag and playlist editing.

So, either as a result of that or something else, my iPod firmware suddenly no longer recognized that I had any files on my iPod. Rhythmbox could still read all of the songs and recognized all of the playlists, so as long as I had a USB connection to my computer, I could still listen to music, but I couldn’t listen to music on the iPod itself with headphones or in my car.

Well, I got fed up with trying to figure out how to make the firmware recognize the music again, so I installed RockBox on my iPod instead. RockBox rules all. But it doesn’t recognize the format that iPod uses for it’s playlists. So with the new firmware on my iPod, I could listen to music, but not the playlists I had previously made, and I couldn’t find any tutorials that would allow me to edit or create playlists using my computer, but while I was looking, I found a playlist converter from iPod to RockBox. It is on vcardenas. I should warn you though, that the file you download is a .zip file with a .exe inside, and you have to have Microsoft NET downloaded and installed on your PC to run it. All you who love Linux, wine won’t run this at all. You have to have a virtual machine with a current enough version of windows on it to run everything which allows you to convert you iPod playlists into a format that RockBox can read. It also means you have to enable your virtual machine to see your USB connections, but that’s another blog post, entirely.

There is also a patch, which was developed for RockBox here which allows you to read the names of the files in your playlist like the tags once it’s been converted to RockBox, rather than seeing the file names that the iPod firmware assigns to songs, but it’ll work without that, and once the songs are brought up on the screen, it reads from the tags, rather than the file name. I’m hesitant to play with the patch only because it means recompiling the software, and I’ve been the biggest wuss since I messed up my iPod in the first place.

7 responses to “Using Rockbox on an iPod while you’re running Windows is like putting a Ferrari engine in a Geo Metro

  1. Pingback: Using Rockbox on an iPod while you’re running Windows is like putting a Ferrari engine in a Geo Metro

  2. Pingback: Using Rockbox on an iPod while you’re running Windows is like putting a Ferrari engine in a Geo Metro | Sesasha Says

  3. Even if rockbox would work on my Shuffle, I don’t think there would be any reason to put it there.

  4. Are you sure the playlist converter won’t work on wine? It started fine for me after ‘winetricks dotnet20’. I don’t have an iPod so I can’t tell if it works for real, though.

  5. I don’t know if the program itself would, but the installation program requires .net to be installed before it will install so if you figured out a way to get around that, I may worship your computer prowess. What did you do?

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    • I got it in an email from my uncle. I’m not sure where it originally came from, though I would love to credit the picture taker at some point. You are welcome to download and save the image on your computer and use it, as far as I am concerned. I hope I’m not trampling on the original artist’s rights though.

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