it’s all about the features

At home we have a D-Link DNS-323 as a file and print server. Among other things, we store all our music on it, as it runs an “iTunes Server” (actually mt-daapd, now known as Firefly).

My wife has a MacBook and an iPod, and runs iTunes. Strangely enough, this combination is missing some desirable features:

  • you can’t copy music from the iPod back onto the computer (she wanted to because the disk in her old computer died, and she had some music that was only left on the iPod).
  • although iTunes can see and play music from our server, it can’t copy it to the iPod. (You can copy it to the local machine in iTunes, and then copy it to the iPod, but that would require more spare disk space than she has).

I run Rhythmbox on Ubuntu, and we thought we would try plugging in the iPod and see what happened. Without doing any extra setup I was able to do both the tasks above. Thanks, Rhythmbox authors. No thanks, Apple.

(I’ll add that Rhythmbox is the only one of several Linux music players I’ve tried which could see and play music and Smart Playlists from the server).

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