Posted by & filed under ipod last fm last.fm music media library songbird amarok ubuntu linux banshee rhythmbox gtkpod sync synchronize pro con pros cons winner the bottom line.

I have been struggling to get my ipod to work properly in ubuntu for the past couple of weeks… here are some useful applications, with their pros and cons.

Songbird
Pro: Full ipod sync including entire media library and all playlists with two clicks click (right click on ipod, click update ipod)
Con: Buggy program, still under high development. Takes up high amounts of memory. Does not work with gnome sound keyboard shortcuts.
The Bottom Line: Songbird is good for the full sync of my ipod.. but not stable enough to be my desktop media player yet.

Rhythmbox
Pro: Simple, lightweight media player. Can sync individual songs to ipod. new! can now sync ipod to last.fm!
Con: Sync only what songs you drag onto ipod, no option to just sync the whole library.
The Bottom Line: Before I got an ipod, rhythmbox was great for my desktop media player. Now that I need synchronization with an ipod, I have to look for a more advanced program.

Amarok
Pro: Can sync entire library and playlists, but each has to be set up individually. Good Player in general. Apparently sync’s ipod’s play counts to last.fm. (I will have to test this later). Searches and Finds Album Art! I forgot the ipod could display album art until now! Woo! This is the only media player I have found that easily finds your album art, and sync’s it all to the ipod for every album.
Con: Not a light program like rhythmbox. A little tricky to set up mp3 playback, had to search the forums and then run

sudo apt-get install libxine1-ffmpeg libxine-extracodecs

–a little tricky to set up the ipod and ipod sync, and a few bugs in the program in general. (I had to force quit a few times)
The Bottom Line: Amarok seems to be the perfect balance for me, and that is why it is my media player of choice at the moment. It scrobbles to last.fm, manages my music library, and sync’s it all to my ipod video.

Gtkpod
Pro: Made just for the ipod. If installed with automatix, can transfer video to the ipod as well. Checks checksum as well, and cleans up the ipod in general.
Con: Not integrated with a media player, so playlist creation is a chore.
The Bottom Line: Solid for use with just the ipod, and as far as I know necessary to sync videos, but not a media player I can use.

Banshee
Pro: Pretty easy to use and would sync my ipod.
Con: Would not sync playlists to ipod.
The Bottom Line: Good as a media player and good as an ipod sync tool, but nothing special.

The Winner
The player that works best for me is amarok! With a little tweaking, I got the ipod sync results I wanted, along with a nice media player. Look how pretty it is!