Lazy web: iPod Shuffle

My iRiver T60 has died after only 6 months of occasional use. This sucks. But since this is my 3rd MP3 player in ~ 2 years I feel i’m somewhat cursed in my ability to lose/break them. So my question is this: If I go into John Lewis (because it’s easy to take back if when it stops working) on Saturday and buy a shiny shiny iPod shuffle and turn myself into a complete sell-out will it *just* work with Rhythmbox 0.11.5? Will it just work or will I need to find a Mac to activate it or something painful like that?

14 thoughts on “Lazy web: iPod Shuffle

  1. jani mikkonen

    I havent been keeping myself up2date with rhythmbox updates but last time i checked – it didnt have support for copying music to the ipod – or atleast with my ipod nano and 1st gen. shuffle – thats why i’ve been using Gtkpod and yamipod (which i have copied over to the filesystem of my name as mac/linux/win binaries for those occasions that i need to load tunes to it when im not on my own computer)

    But your question was more aimed towards will it work without any activications or something like that ? Question is yes, it will work straight out of the box. Some ipods might come with mac filesystem (what ever that is) but im quite sure shuffle’s arent like that..

  2. pdr

    I used to have a shuffle. I used it with the rebuild_db script, never tried Rhythmbox.

    The shuffle needs to have an iTunes database on it, but it doesn’t use it for anything, it just checks for its presence (the shuffle uses a separate, simpler data structure). So you can just download the dump from the rebuild_db web site.

  3. Christophe Fergeau

    Rob, rhythmbox should work nicely with an ipod shuffle, if it doesn’t, feel free to complain on #rhythmbox or on bugzilla since this would be a bug. Fwiw, I filled a brand new ipod classic with music using only linux tools (gtkpod to initialize the ipod the 1st time it was plugged in, and rhythmbox to add content to it), so I don’t expect the ipod shuffle to be significantly different.

    Jani, rhythmbox has been able to write to ipods for years now, though that can be disabled at compile time if some required dependecies are missing

  4. jani mikkonen

    Thanks for notifying, had to test it and yes, it works 😉

    PS. There seems to be bug in the blog software ?

    Page says: “Welcome back jani mikkonen” but when hitting submit, i get Error: please fill the required fields (name, email).

  5. Paul Drain

    Hi Rob,

    If you use 0.11.6, with teuf’s patch from GNOME bugzilla #358029 — your shuffle can be initialized and run automatically without the need for GTKPod, Yamipod, Floola or iTunes.

    There’s some patches since 0.11.5 that are needed to get that patch working properly, so if your distro doesn’t ship it — you might need to compile it yourself.

  6. Vax

    I’m running Ubuntu’s Rhythmbox 11.5 and sold out about a month ago. Last time I checked, I can play music from my new shuffle, but copying to it works like USB storage and doesn’t work with the shuffle’s database. I have fallen back to using gtkpod. I really wish this worked, since this is really the only Apple product I really like and I’d like to give one to my family members that I have using linux.

    I’ll check again and post if I get new behavior from Rhythmbox

  7. Derek Buranen

    The Creative Zen Micro is so much better than the iPod shuffle and it works with Rhythmbox or any software. It’s just a USB mass storage device with no DRM and it has a screen where you can see the track name and other info.

    Don’t support the freedom haters!

  8. Eric

    I’d recommend against it. I’ve had nothing but problems using my 5.5G Nano with Linux. My biggest gripe is I have to keep everything in MP3 format, which my songs are not currently. Secondly, rythmbox is imperfect and will happily put a .ogg or .flac file on the ipod which makes it freeze when playing. As a matter of fact the iPod likes to freeze with some of my MP3’s as well. I suspect iTunes would sanitize things somewhat (never used it) in a way Rythmbox doesn’t. All in all, my iPod doesn’t get used much just because it doesn’t work so smoothly with my collection based on Linux.

  9. Mats Taraldsvik


    Consider the SanDisk Sansa Clip. It even supports .ogg in a recent firmware update.

    It is tinier than the shuffle, has a screen, and is either a mass storage device or MTP-device (you choose).

    Also, it is very cheap.

  10. treb0r

    Hey Rob,

    After years of ipod slavery I got sick enough of Apple to look for an alternative, and boy have I found one.

    The Cowon iAudio 7 has the best sound I’ve ever experienced from an mp3 player – blows the ipod away, especially with decent headphones (the included ear buds are pretty rubbish)

    And it support Linux out of the box, and works really nicely with rythmbox…


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *