This article will be a bit off my normal routine. I usually like to try things out before I write about them, but in this case I am making an exception. Mostly because I’m not sure when I’ll have the time to try some of this stuff out, but I thought it was interesting enough that I wanted to share with everyone now. Anyway, this article will focus on popular MP3 players and open source programs that either work on them or with them.
The Apple iPod
Below are a few projects that may interest iPod owners…
First up is the iPodLinux project. The goal of this project is to port Linux to the iPod. Meaning you actually run Linux directly on your iPod. The project has been successful in porting a kernel and has developed a user interface called podzilla. It also appears a bunch on small applications have already been developed like file browsers, image viewers, games, etc. You can find details on the applications here & some screenshots here. It looks as if they have even had some success getting video to play on the iPod Photo. So what versions of the iPod work? From their site, “iPodLinux is currently safe to install on 1st, 2nd, and 3rd generation iPods. Development is currently on-going on later generations of iPod, including the fourth generation click wheel, mini, U2, Photo/Color, Nano, and Video.”
The only iPod I have is the Shuffle so I will not be trying this out for a while. When my Dell DJ breaks down and it’s time for a new player perhaps I will buy an iPod then and try it out. When that happens I’ll report my impressions of the project. However, from the outside I have to say it looks promising.
Next up….. an iTunes like application
Ok so the iPodLinux project is for putting Linux on your iPod, but what about something that lets you purchase music for your iPod like iTunes. iTunes only runs on Windows and Macs so what is a Linux user to do? Don’t fret. That’s the gap SharpMusique tries to fill. An application developed the by the man many have come to know as DVD Jon (the man who brought DVD copying to the masses).
SharpMusique, originally known as QTFairUse, can now be used on Linux systems. It bypasses Apples DRM allowing iTunes bought music to be played on Linux. The application allows users to perform the following actions with the iTunes Music Store:
- Preview songs
- Signup for an account
- Buy songs and albums
- Redownload songs that you bought with SharpMusique
- Redeem Pepsi caps
- Redeem gift certificates
You can find out more information about the project here.
Next up is something to manage your music files, sync them with your iPod, etc. That is the goal of the gtkpod project, “gtkpod is a platform independent Graphical User Interface for Apple’s iPod using GTK2. It supports the first to fourth Generation as well as the iPod mini, iPod Photo and the iPod shuffle.” Here are some good screenshots.
Next up is the Dell DJ…
Dell’s Digital Jukebox (Dell DJ)
There are several interesting projects involving the use of the Dell DJ with Linux.
First up is Gnomad2. “Gnomad is a GTK+ client program for the NOMAD Jukebox, using libnjb and libid3tag to handle the jukebox communications and ID3 tagging procedures.” Not originally written for the Dell DJ, but does work since the Dell DJ is based on the player that Gnomad was created for. This basically works like the Dell Jukebox Explorer works in Windows. Here are a few screenshots.
Gnomad2 is great for managing your music files, but it lacks the ability to sync up with your DJ. That’s where this project comes into play. DJSync allows you to sync the DJ with your local music library on Linux.
So that about wraps it up for this article. Hopefully you have found this useful. If you have any experience with, opinions about, or alternatives to these projects please post your comments.