About a month ago or so I learned how to hack my mac iPod so that I could sync it on my computer running Debian Linux. It was a pain in the ass for me to do, but I’m going to make your lives a little easier if you ever have to do this.
If you need to transfer your songs to the Linux computer because your hard drive is broken and you can’t access your iTunes or something like that, then you can do as following, if not, then skip to the next paragraph. This is a pain in the ass to do, but it’s necessary to copy the songs from your iPod and keep the same name. I don’t think you need to do this if you don’t care about the actual files having that name, because if you want to use them on Rhythmbox or Banshee or something like that, the tag should show up. In that case all you need to do is to copy the directory /media/<Your_iPod>/iPod_Control/Music to your Music directory or you can simply do the simple drag and drop the Music folder from the iPod device you will see on your desktop. If you want your songs labeled you’ll have to open Rhythmbox. After that you select your iPod and it will show you all the songs you have on it. Drag one into your Music directory, you’ll notice it has a different name made up of four capital letters. Apple does this to make it a pain in the ass to use their products on any computer except theirs. So what you need to do is to copy one into your Music folder, rename it, and then go to the next and do the same thing.
Now for the next step, you’ll need to install Banshee on your Linux operating system and a mac computer (it can be any mac that you can access as long as someone can put in the administrator password, so it can be a friends mac or someone you know who has a mac computer). OK, now that you have that, first you need to unsync your iPod with the mac computer. To do this, you need to plug in the iPod to the mac. It will ask you if you want to transfer songs or not, click no. Then, open iTunes and change the iPod settings to manage songs manually or something like that, then delete all the songs that are still on your iPod. Now this part you will need the admin password for, but remember, you can use any mac computer as long as long as there is someone who will put in the admin password. You’ll need to open an application called the “Disk Utility”. When you have your iPod plugged in, select it and do as following while holding down the option or alt key: click on file, then click on Disable Journaling, now the journaling has been disabled on you iPod.
After this you may plug the iPod into your Linux computer and start up banshee. What should happen is that banshee will detect it and tell you that it cannot read from the iPod because of the data structure of the iPod, which iTunes makes to try and prevent you from using the iPod on any other OS. What you need to do is to clink the button “rebuild data structure” or something like that. After that you should be able to sync the iPod with the “sync” button in the upper right corner. It might take a while to sync the iPod depending on how much music your putting in there. There might be some problems with the syncing and it may go slower than on iTunes, but don’t press the”Sync” or “Disconnect” buttons while it’s syncing, it could cause problems. And most of all, don’t delete any directories or files in your /media directory, there will be a file there used for the journaling options for the iPod, if you delete it, it will prevent you from writing to your iPod.
I hope this helps, I’m going to try to create a video to make it more visual, when I do I’ll update this post with it attached. If you have anything to improve this post, please state it in the comments below and I will add it in a new post.
By the way, when you have your iPod synced to Linux do not change the name, that seems to cause problems with the syncing sometimes.
Thank You! I hope this helps!