Using the 2GB iPod Shuffle with Linux


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I was unable to get music to play on my 2GB iPod Shuffle using both Rhythmbox 0.11.5 and Amarok on my Ubuntu 8.04 system. Although both applications successfully transferred music to the Shuffle, it wouldn't play: I'd get alternating green and amber lights and no music.

I haven't had this problem with the 1GB Shuffle.

Note: I don't remember if the Shuffle comes with an iPod_Control directory. If it does, you can skip the following section.

Build the iPod_Control directory

  1. Start up amarok.
  2. Select Settings/Configure Amarok...
  3. Select Media Devices
  4. Make sure you are using the Apple iPod Media Device Plugin: for your iPod Shuffle media device. Click Ok.
  5. Click on Devices on the left-hand side of the screen.
  6. Click Connect near the top of the screen.
  7. When prompted to Initialize iPod?, select Initialize.

You will now have an iPod_Control directory where your iPod is mounted (probably /media/IPOD).

Download rebuild_db

  • Download rebuild-db.
  • Extract the tarball, and copy rebuild_db to the root directory of your iPod. e.g.,
$ tar zxvf rebuild_db-1.0-rc1.tar.gz
$ cp rebuild_db/ /media/IPOD
  • Copy music to your iPod (you can create directories within the root directory), and run e.g.,
$ cp -r Top_100_1960 /media/IPOD
$ cd /media/IPOD
$ ./

Disconnect the Shuffle and enjoy your music!

Make sure to re-run when adding or removing songs.

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