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pmooney78
September 20th, 2008, 04:46 AM
So my brother gave me his old iPod. It's a 30GB black video iPod. I'm trying to use it on a Pentium III 550MHz box running Xubuntu Linux 8.04. It's currently plugged into a working USB 2.0 port and formatted with vfat. He's previously used it successfully on a PowerPC-based box running Ubuntu 7.10 and 8.04.

I've used flash drive-like mp3 players before, but never anything that required a specific software interface. I've been having a hard time trying to figure out what I have to do to get some music on the damn thing, and haven't been able to find a good, start-to-finish guide to getting it to work under Linux. (At best, I get partial information on how to do one tiny aspect of the task: pages and pages of instructions that end with comments like "ta-dah! you've mounted your iPod!", to which I think in response, OK, now what?)

So I created a folder for the mountpoint, which is /mnt/Croissant. ("Croissant" is the drive name as it shows up in Thunar.) I made sure that I own the file, e.g. doing ls -la from /mnt gives:


patrick@liniscient:/mnt$ ls -la
total 24
drwxr-xr-x 6 root root 4096 2008-09-01 00:22 .
drwxr-xr-x 21 root root 4096 2008-08-30 15:44 ..
drwxr-xr-x 2 patrick users 4096 2008-09-01 00:22 Croissant
drwxr-xr-x 2 patrick users 4096 2008-08-30 22:07 Kodak
drwxr-xr-x 6 root root 4096 1969-12-31 16:00 Windoze-swap
drwxrwxrwx 1 root root 4096 2008-09-15 11:46 Windoze-sys
patrick@liniscient:/mnt$

And I've modified my /etc/fstab file by adding a line at the end. I reproduce the entire table in case it's relevant:


# /etc/fstab: static file system information.
#
# -- This file has been automaticly generated by ntfs-config --
# ... and modified by Patrick Mooney, most recently 17 Sept 2008.
#
# <file system> <mount point> <type> <options> <dump> <pass>
#
# First, the /proc file system ...
#
proc /proc proc defaults 0 0
#
# Now, the root file system:
#
UUID=83011f4e-23c2-48c9-8692-ae2af11d6563 / ext3 relatime,errors=remount-ro 0 1
#
# Now, other hard drives and partitions ...
#
UUID=7a8a752c-fe47-41c2-942d-dae7f14c0a72 /tmp ext2 relatime 0 2
UUID=a53c0528-f9de-4c62-8451-781500671f6d /usr ext3 relatime 0 2
UUID=84efb177-9c6b-492f-a40e-c3bb405a07b3 /var ext3 relatime 0 2
UUID=8deaa89c-1449-4920-9485-1bf1d483903f /home/patrick ext3 nodev,nosuid,relatime 0 2
UUID=4458293704CBFC7F /media/Docs ntfs-3g async,user,utf8,gid=100,auto 0 1
UUID=2E84CBB784CB8037 /media/Externa ntfs-3g async,user,utf8,gid=100,auto 0 1
UUID=7E2CD3BC2CD36E21 /media/Music ntfs-3g async,user,utf8,gid=100,auto 0 1
UUID=482A-834B /mnt/Windoze-swap auto async,user,auto 0 1
UUID=16A06B8FA06B73E1 /mnt/Windoze-sys ntfs-3g async,user,auto 0 1
#
# Swap space ...
#
UUID=b0d7f8d3-fca2-4eca-bb99-2b6b8ebe0988 none swap sw 0 0
UUID=97229019-da86-4c42-81c6-75f96706ed7d none swap sw 0 0
#
# Traditional removables ...
#
/dev/scd0 /media/cdrom0 auto user,auto,exec,utf8 0 0
/dev/fd0 /media/floppy0 auto rw,user,noauto,exec,utf8 0 0
#
# Newfangled removables ...
#
LABEL=KODAK /mnt/Kodak auto rw,user,auto 0 0
LABEL=CROISSANT /mnt/Croissant vfat async,nodev,nosuid,user,rw,auto 0 0

But still, when I plug the iPod in, I get an error box: "You are not privileged to mount the volume CROISSANT." This is also what I get when I try to click on the volume name in the navigation panels in Thunar, even if I'm using a root Thunar session (e.g., invoke the program with "gksudo thunar".) However, bringing up a terminal and typing "sudo mount /mnt/Croissant" successfully mounts the file system, and I can browse it in a file manager. Still, I'd like it to just work without me having to bring up a terminal every time.

So. I get it mounted and need to transfer music to it, right? And I figured out that I need to reformat the iPod so I can stop getting that "there are 4377 tracks on the iPod that have no corresponding track on your hard drive" message, and that seemed to work well. As I understand it, I need to use a program like gtkpod to transfer music. There's very little documentation for gtkpod ... mostly just the "how to mount your iPod" discussion ... and its interface is not really intuitive to someone who's never used, e.g., iTunes under Windows. But I figured out that I can drag files to the window and/or use Add Files .../Add Directories.../etc to add the files to the playlist. Then, if I understand correctly, I need to sync the iPod with the playlist? The instructions at http://www.gtkpod.org/README say to use the Sync button, but I can't find one, nor a menu option ... guessing that I need to use the "Save Changes" button instead, which brings up a progress dialog that goes ... nowhere, no matter how long I wait. I added four CDs' worth of music to the playlist, chose "Save Changes", went to bed, and woke up to see that the progress bar still said 0%.

"Oh well," I thought. "Amarok claims to be able to export music to the iPod. I like Amarok. I'll give it a try. Besides, gtkpod freezes and/or silently quits on my system at irregular intervals." (I've spent quite a bit of time trying to get gtkpod to work before giving up on it.) So I manually mount the iPod through a terminal emulator, go into Amarok, click "Devices" on the far left tab, and see that "iPod Video (Black) (mounted at /mnt/Croissant)" appears in the device menu. "Good," I think, and click "connect," only to see a popup window declaring "Media Device: failed to create lockfile on iPod mounted at /mnt/Croissant: Permission denied." So I quit Amarok, manually unmount the iPod, restart Amarok, and remove the iPod configuration from the "Media devices" section of the configuration dialog -- thinking that it is, after all, leftover from a previous attempt to configure the damn thing. "Perhaps if I reconfigure it from scratch?" I think. So I click "Autodetect devices," and see a popup window: "No new media devices were found. If you feel this is an error, ensure that the DBUS and HAL daemons are running and KDE was built with support for them. You can test this by running 'dcop kded mediamanager fullList' in a Konsole window." This is largely gibberish to me, but I can follow directions, so I bring up Konsole (since it was specifically requested by the error message. All I get is "call failed." I try just running "dcop" and get "ERROR: couldn't attach to DCOP server!" I try just typing "kded" and get "FATAL: DCOP communication problem! Aborted."

I realize that this indicates that something is wrong but have no idea how to diagnose it further; nor do I know whether this is a problem directly relating to the iPod itself or to the Amarok/KDE services setup. Nor do I know how to fix whatever the problem might be.

So I'm about ready to chuck the damn thing in the trash. Can anybody provide any suggestions? I'd be extremely grateful.

pmooney78
October 21st, 2008, 02:56 AM
Finally got the damn thing working by biting the bullet and installing iTunes on my fallback Windoze installation. Once I'd used iTunes once, I was able to use gtkPod from then on out with no problems.