Sunday, August 09, 2009

Using iPod Nano (3Gen) with Ubuntu

Couple of years ago, using Apple iPods with GNU/Linux was not an entertaining experience for most of people. But now the FOSS world is more promising on that and also in many other apps on cross platform interoperability. Earlier, My wife asks me and I used to sync the movies, music vids, mp3 to her iPod using gtkpod. I had to do it because i used ffmpeg to convert the videos to MOV format and then sync them to the iPod via gtkpod. But here after she's going to do it by her own. So I had to find some "click and go" way to covert the files and had to teach her on using gtkpod.

YouTube and google video are the main search repositories for music videos. The best tool I found for this was DownloadHelper extension for Firefox. The version I'm using here is 4.3. It can download videos and convert them to many formats as single files or as a batch. And the extension is actively developed and updates are released frequently.

After converting the downloaded video you can put them to the iPod using gtkpod. Using gtkpod is not a big deal. It's simple and any one can catch the features within a half and hours time.


Click "Save Changes" to write the changes to the iPod. And you can use Sync Directories or files options in the File menu of gtkpod. In order to perform the tasks smoothly you need to have some software pre-installed in your GNU/Linux system.

  • ffmpeg
  • libmp4v2-0
  • All other multimedia codecs
If you have a movie file (avi, wmv, or any other type) you can use ffmpeg to convert them easily to MOV and can be used with your iPod Nano. Haven't try it with iPhones and iPod classics, cos I don't have those with me yet. ;-).

This is the basic way to use the iPod with gtkpod. You can try out other stuff like online music syncing when you have time. :)

Cheers!