Thursday, July 23, 2009

Goodbye Apple

I've owned a lot of iPods. My wife has owned a lot of iPods.

Not anymore.

For the longest time, I could use gtkpod to seamlessly access my iPods from my Ubuntu desktop. It initially took some reverse-engineering effort to understand the iPod's data format to be able to access it from non-iTunes software, but it was possible. All of a sudden, Apple is trying everything they can to prohibit interopability.

First, they encrypted the firmware, blocking the use of third-party firmware like Rockbox and iPod Linux. This doesn't bother me much, as I always prefered the original Apple firmware anyway.

Then, in August 2007, they added a new hash to the database to block non-iTunes software. This was quicky reverse-engineered and support was added to gtkpod once again.

In November 2008, they changed the hash again. This time, Apple used code-obfuscation software on iTunes in an effort to complicate reverse-engineering a second time. When a wiki was put up to start documenting the new hash, Apple sent a takedown notice. Fortunately, some people found an ugly workaround to get gtkpod working again.

In 2009, Palm released the Palm Pre. It supported syncing with iTunes. Apple retaliated by updating iTunes specifically to block Palm Pre interopability. Unfortunately, this changed the iPod database structure, and the workaround for gtkpod no longer works.

While I can understand Apple not wanting the Palm Pre to be able to sync with iTunes, as iTunes integration is one of the main selling points for the iPod, I can't understand why they would actively block third party software from accessing the iPod.

Everyone is now selling DRM-free mp3 music, so it's not a question of protecting DRM. You'd think they would want to sell more iPods, not block a certain percentage of their market out.

My 5G iPod broke today. Dear Apple, the replacement I purchase won't be from you.

91 comments:

Troy James Sobotka said...

Cowon.

FLAC and OGG native, as well as MKV and other bubbling trends. Solid DAC too.

Even better, no vendor lock in peddled at every corner with echoes of a totalitarian distribution system.

Gee - didn't we learn from Microsoft?

Dread Knight said...

Apple can suck my big cock and balls.
They're a bunch of greedy fags.
I will never buy their shit.

Alex Wauck said...

It's obvious why Apple doesn't want you to use software other than iTunes: if you aren't using iTunes, you aren't using the iTunes Music Store. It's greed, plain and simple.

Bugs Bane said...

Cowan all the way.

Good prices. Good technology. Good Linux support. Ogg. FLAC.

Excellent.

sikon said...

Only now you realize that Apple is absolutely *hostile* to digital freedom and open standards?

I've never used an Apple product, ever. Had an iriver clix for 1.5 years, it can play MP3, Ogg Vorbis and a subset of MPEG-4 ASP videos, and is accessible as a simple USB flash drive with no need for vendor lock-in software like iTunes.

atropos said...

You have been dugg http://digg.com/d3yPYV?t I completely agree with you, I gave up on my iPod Touch, managing it on Ubuntu is anything but seamless. Its a perfectly working brick for me...

Shivan said...

Get a Sansa Fuze, it supports almost any audio format, has a big battery, is cheap, has folder browsingm and can work either with MSC or MTP.

Jonathan Hitchcock said...

So, Apple are trying to stop non-iTunes users from using their iPods. Some non-iTunes users go ahead and spend their money on Apple products *anyway*, in spite of that (so these products clearly must have *something* going for them).

But you are a non-iTunes user, and you have decided, accordingly, not to use their iPods.

And you think this is important enough to blog about?

TGM said...

I had the same problem with an Apple Classic after 6 months of use. I've had so many problems with the iPod I've now ditched it for a Sansa Fuze (8GB) and I'll be adding a 32GB SD-Mini chip when they surface. I just don't understand why they do it when companies generally make products to sell them! (Plus Cowon gives me OGG and FLAC as well as the usual suspects) :-D

Anidel said...

@Jonathan: you seem to be an Apple fun and, indeed, you seem to think like Apple.
Are you saying to Marc what to or not to blog about ?

Much like Apple said to Google how to develop their own Latitude application?

I am happy to confirm I am not alone when I say Goodbye Apple and thanks for all the fish.

Jonathan Hitchcock said...

Of course I get branded as an Apple "fan" straight away. I'm an open source user like the rest of you: http://launchpad.net/~vhata

I'm just saying, you're not their target market, and all of this wailing about how you don't want to buy something that isn't suited for you is... strange. If you don't want it, just... don't buy it?

Anidel said...

Sorry for flagging you an Apple "fan" straight away, but that was exactly the same reaction all my Apple friends add. All of them.

And yes, we don't want it and we don't buy it, but we want other people not to buy it as well if they care about interoperability and about freedom of choice. Many people get distracted by ADs and by Apple fans...

I think it's good to let the other face of the coin to speak freely as well.

Aniello

rich said...

Yeah I would recommend Cowon as well. I got an X5 in 2006 and I love it, really awesome player! Don't even feel the need to defend it against an iPod. But they not selling them in South Africa anymore :(

Harold Fowler said...

Wow, makes pretty good sense to me dude.

RT
www.online-privacy.tk

mikko said...

Because of this, I won't buy a new iPod. I think I'll have to spare money and look for a better alternative with wide support.

:D

ohad.basan said...

Apple stinks.
I used to have an Ipod. then I realized how control freaks apple are.
Too bad, because their products are good.

Japandrew said...

What I don't understand is why Apple doesn't have iTunes for linux. Are they afraid of supporting any non-Windows OS other than their own?

Jason said...

I'd be more than happy to see a linux version of iTunes...

Jason said...

I'd be more than happy to see a linux version of iTunes...

ilmickeyli said...

The pre's new firmware from last night fixed the itunes issue...

MOZ said...

they "steal" the code for their OS from open source projects like linux/unix/kde/webkit etc and then they repay the community by locking them out and alienating them, it's shocking behaviour! This kind of thing people usually attribute to Microsoft but Apple are often just as bad if not worse

mik3cap said...

You are blaming the wrong party. Apple wants to sell as much hardware as possible!! But Apple is CONSTANTLY under pressure from Big Content (record labels, movie studios, book publishers, telecom providers) to keep the system closed. Variable pricing was driven by Big Content despite Apple providing numbers to them again and again showing they'd make more money if everything was 99 cents. Encryption and obfuscation are also driven by those parties. If Apple wasn't being forced to spend money making more complex schemes in their software and firmware, don't you think they'd leave things open and sell more devices to more people?

Michael said...

Oh well, try putting linux on the iPhone instead that may be more fun.

John said...

Give me iTunes for linux and I wouldn't care, but they won't. I agree with the sentiment here, but I think the issue isn't 3rd party apps, it's 3rd player OSes. It may just be a conspiracy theory, but I think Apple is the reason Adobe has virtually nothing for *nix OSes other than Mac, despite the similarities and market potential. For iPhone and Photoshop, I continue to have my stupid Windows VM, but I don't like it one bit.

Jason Barone said...

It's sad that Apple doesn't play nicely with others because they do make really good products.

AIM said...

About apple:

http://www.thebestpageintheuniverse.net/c.cgi?u=macs_cant

Joshua said...

I brought my broken 5th gen iPod to an Apple store and after they declared it dead they pushed me to purchase the newer touch, even though I stated that I use linux. I thought it was interesting that the salesmen tried to sell me a product that I presume he knew didn't work for me. Then he tried to sell me a macbook because "Its like linux, except better and it would work with a new iPod."

I bought a Cowon D2 instead. Goodbye Apple! Let your proprietary lock-in never trouble me again!

mik3cap: I think your Big Content needs Apple as much as Apple needs Big Content. They would find a huge deficit in sales if they were to pull out of iTunes store.

E. Peterson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mr. Spontaneous said...

I recommend the Creative ZEN. It's sleek, has a beautiful screen, physical buttons (a must for me), and uses MTP (which Amarok, et al support).

E. Peterson said...

"Works with 3rd party applications" or even "Works with linux" was NEVER a selling point for iPods....

You do have a choice - so do the American thing while you still can - please buy something else.

You knew what you were buying when you bought it, right?

July 24, 2009 6:19 AM

Elderman said...

There are work-arounds, of course. I run Vista in Virtualbox just to sync my iPod classic, which I bought at the end of my 21-years as an Mac user. Now using GNU and Linux.

What Apple lock-in means to me:
- It took me months to get my iPod working after my Mac died.

- When I bought my new computer, I couldn't look at systems that came without Windows.

- I have to dedicate 20 GB on my hard disk to run Vista for my iPod.

- It takes five extra minutes to sync my iPod every day, waiting for the virtual machine to open.

On the other hand:
- The sound quality on the 120 GB Classic is very good.

- I wanted lots of storage space, and the iPod offers the most.

While I'm happy with my iPod now, unless Apple ports iTunes to Linux or unless you can use the work-arounds I use, I don't recommend getting an iPod classic. Aside from the Classic, it seems to me the other iPods have few audio or storage advantages over Cowon players.

akhomerun said...

i think i'm more of a "normal" person and less of a tech person and maybe i can explain why this hissy fitting against apple gets you nowhere.

first off, apple won't make itunes for linux because there aren't enough users who would actually use it, and this just in, developing software costs money. apple would be on the losing end of that deal.

secondly, if you are buying a music player for support of open codecs, good for you. i'm not sure what the point is considering that any company you buy a device from is still going to pay MP3 licensing fees.

i tried going back to non-ipods and it made me realize just how revolutionary the ipod is. i switched to a cowon D2, and while i noticed excellent audio quality over an ipod, the software was disorganized, constantly froze, had hard-to-read text, and to top it all off syncing left a lot to be desired (i could not figure out a way to make a playlist). and this is one of the best reviewed ipod alternatives. this was all on top of the fact that the device was thick and whoever designed the button functions was high. needless to say i ended up returning it.

FLAC and OGG support? who outside of nerdland cares? apple gives you all the codecs you need in itunes, and the means to convert them for free. if it's free to the customer, the fact that it's not open source doesn't mean jack.

if you are about open source and interoperability, you wouldn't have bought an ipod in the first place. everything mentioned here has been part of apple's strategy since day 1.

apple keeps a closed system because it benefits them and doesn't really hurt their customer base in any way. this just in, different companies cater to different people, and you may not be apple's target market. a closed, integrated system is helpful to people who aren't technology literate.

yeah, with an ipod, you don't get to use it as a USB drive anymore. who cares, most people weren't even aware that the functionality exists. my 16 GB flash drive that fits on my keychain cost $25, why would i want to use my $300 16 GB MP3 player as dumb memory?

Digimer said...

I'll recommend the Cowon as well. Had never heard of it before going out looking for an OGG compatible, DRM-free media player. Amazing audio codec from a company in California, I believe.

I've had their D2 for a couple years and I bought my b/f a D2 4GB about a year ago. Battery is still great, too. Heck, I even watched a couple sub-titled movies on it and had no trouble reading it even on the small screen.

Digi

Dennis Groves said...

I have said Goodbye Apple also. I moved country and because my correct billing address is in the incorrect country, I can no longer pay my bills nor update the software I have purchased. This is worse than DRM. I came to Apple because they 'trust' their customers - clearly a thing of the past.

theantiblog said...

You know, there is also another reason why Apple blocks 3rd party software... It's to prevent the iPod from being used with non iTunes apps that may copy all the music off of it on to your buddys pc. They may have gone DRM free but that doesn't mean they want you to give your music to everybody.

mdeslaur said...

Well, they didn't block reading music off of the iPod, they just block writing _new_ music to the iPod.

Besides, every other mp3 player lets you copy music off of it.

Justin said...

So I've never owned an ipod, and don't know how they update. I assume you would either have to download some firmware and install it manually or that it updates via itunes connection. If you download it, then there's always the option not to update. But if its done through itunes and you use linux then how does that happen?

I've been considering purchasing an older model ipod just to install rockbox on it, maybe you could try that: http://www.rockbox.org/

Lee said...

Although it is frustrating that Apple is doing this, I simply just don't want to give them up. A part of me feels like they'll wake up and change their way of thinking. Part of me wants to believe that a Linux version of iTunes is coming within the next 2 years. But that's probably not true.

I have an iPod 30gig 5.5g. It's still going pretty strong. And it works fine for me in gtkpod and Rythmbox. But once this iPod dies...I don't know what I'm going to do. :(

Kin said...

I have to agree with akhomerun's comment. I am not a fan of Apple and never used any of the apple's products. There are simply millions of people out there who knows nothing about what you all are seeing as a problem. These people just want something that plays music and look cool at the same time. An Apple iPOD delivers that. So Millions will continue to buy iPOD regardless of these problem.

stephan said...

I love my iPhone 3G. But I'm on kubuntu, so there is no way to connect them.

My PIM data is synced with google, works fine.

The second some equivalent is available which works flawlessly with linux, I'll switch.

Best wishes.

editor said...

You can probably still use gtkpod (or whatever other software used to work) unless you upgraded the firmware on the device. Just remove the iTunesDB and recreate it.

Also, people wanting to use their iPod on Linux (or any non-iTunes software) really need to stop syncing with iTunes. That way it can't change the DB structure and everything will work as it did.

Ashwin said...

I hear you.

I hate Apple specifically for this and the fact that they refuse to add an FM tuner in their iPods. Yet, I have one because my Nav system in the car was anal enough not to have any compatibility options with any other media player.

I only use Media Monkey to get my songs onto the iPod. And I have never been happier. My schadenfreude at people when they whine about iPod is juicy.

Theunis said...

Not only do they want to sell more Ipods/Iphones, they also want to sell more Macs.

Abhiroop Basu said...

I have made a guide to assist with sycning an iPod Classic in ubuntu. It is made to work with Amarok (a media player I like to use). I made it for Hardy Heron but it should work with other linux distros.

Guide is on my blog: http://ubuntuextreme.blogspot.com/2008/12/how-to-ipod-classic-6g-with-amarok-14_18.html

Good luck!

Ricky said...

Apple user since Nov 2007 and I could not be happier with my products. Everyone has their taste but their OSX is for me the single best piece of software I have ever used.

Caleb Spare said...

Something that I don't think anyone has mentioned here is that iTunes is really shitty software.

I love my ipod because of the hardware design and the slick interface. Having to use iTunes to sync it, though, would be a deal killer. Thus even if there were a Linux port of iTunes that wouldn't improve the situation that much for me because I still would refuse to use Apple's bloatware.

I feel confident in the community's ability to continue to reverse-engineer the ipod database, so I'll keep using ipods. As soon as I have no choice but to use iTunes, it'll be time for me to switch.

Ever since inception, the proprietary database format (as opposed to just using the device as mass storage, like every other player I'm aware of) was the most annoying and obnoxious thing about ipods. If Apple had a bit more respect for ipod users, they'd release a cross-platform API for accessing ipods and be done with it. You can be sure this is something they'd never even consider, though.

Adam said...

Crapple sucks.

Like many others, you bought into a hype, jumped onto a fad and now you are feeling the pain. Apple makes shitty, over-priced products. They shit on their customers with DRM and other propitiatory B.S. that make it difficult and down right burdensome to use their products.

This is exactly many Obama supporters are feeling. They bought into the hype and jumped onto the fad, now Obama's approval rating is below 50% and he has reneged on all his campaign promises.

Trendy, fad-following pansies deserve the crap they get when they realize the stupid dream or product they were following is actually a sham.

WoLF said...

I got my first iPod as a gift from my uncle-iPod shuffle 1G. When it stopped working I got another shuffle - 2G and then another shuffle for my mom.

In India, they aren't exactly cheap but the thing that hooked me was their small size and beautiful design. The iTunes store was not functional in my third-world home and you still can't purchase any songs; so I have always filled my iPod with regular mp3 songs.

I cannot sync my Sony Ericsson k530 with iTunes and when I used other softwares I realized how intuitive and easy iTunes is.

I do not use iTunes to play my songs as it does not produce the best sound. I use Foobar.
One good feature that I noticed in iTunes, among others, is that you can simply drag and drop an entire playlist form other music player like foobar and the list is not distorted, but you cannot drag drop songs from iTunes to foobar.

The ease of use is what makes people to prefer iTunes-and for that matter iPod.
I like the sleek software and hardware design of Apple's products but I do not like the locked in universe.
If I do get a better choice I have no qualms in switching and right now I am looking forward to purchasing Sony Walkman NWZ-W202.

Great post!

WoLF said...

I have one question. Can you add ogg support to iTunes?

Richard said...

Apple fantards are the dumbest motherfuckers on the planet.

WoLF said...

The good must be appreciated and the bad must be criticized!

erik9999 said...

Send me your old iPods. I'll gladly use them.

The Pride said...

You've had many iPods... and so has your wife... Are they built that poorly? Do they die all that often? I have an ancient Creative Labs unit - must be 5 or 6 years old - that I use as a backup for... well, it would take too long to explain. Anyway it's still going strong all these years later and, aside from my phone which came with a built-in MP3 player, I've never had another, nor do I feel I need another. I guess I'm not a tech-fashion snob.

John said...

Wow. So many responses. I will be interested to see what you get as I am starting to hunt around as well. I have happily had an iPod, but deliberately chosen never to update it so it will work with Amarok.

I don't hold anything serious against Apple. It's their product. "We" have reverse engineered their protocol to get things like gtkpod to work. Sure, not wanting to play ball is acting a little like a spoiled child, but that's their business. They never claimed iTunes or the protocol to communicate to it or the iPod was knowledge they were willing to share.

It does frustrate me, but they are running a business for profit -- not an open source project.

A said...

You can't understand why Apple doesn't want Palm to use its media player? Yeah, the one they've spent many man-hours creating? The one they created so iPods could sync (at least with Mac OS and Windows) their music, photos, and movies?

C'mon now. You know better.

silentcoder said...

I highly recommend the sanza fuse, it is about the same size as the smallest ipod. Recharge via USB, supports ogg with the latest firmware and the most open design I've ever seen.

Even upgrading the firmware is as simple as copying the file onto the device (mounted as a memory stick) - and then powering it off and back on again, it just loads from there by itself - meaning you can do it from GNU/Linux, and because it just mounts as a USB mass-storage device it sync's beautifully with almost every app.

scotty said...

Apple broke Rockbox? Must have gotten fixed somehow. It works/has always worked for me on several generations of iPods through 5.5 (an original Mini, a Photo, a Video).

I was an Apple nut before this sort of "total control of the experience" crap drove me nuts almost three years ago and I moved to Linux. The iPods are the only thing I kept. With Rockbox on them they are little tanks. Work great, take abuse. It's a solid, well designed piece of hardware and as much as I don't care for Apple I can't fault them for that.

Colby said...

iTunes is horrible. Why do so many people like it???? Rhapsody is 1000 times better in every conceivable way.

C.B. said...

I'm sorry to say that this has been something of a trend that I've seen with apple for a very long time. A reason why I've never bothered buying their products. IMO they're angry about microsoft and now they're doing the same thing as they are. If something doesn't appease them, whack em with the interoperability mallet. It's worked for MS. Just look how many apps have been muscled out of business by not being interoperable with Windows. But anyway, DRM always evil, no matter what anyone says. This of course, can take many forms not only the ability to play a media file on any gadget. The self defeating protectionism is going to hurt them sooner or later.

Also, I'd like to mirror the people whom have recommended Cowon. Great stuff from them. I've had a couple iRiver players up till now, sporting an iClix right now, but just bought an S9 from Cowon. Good stuff indeed!

ghindo said...

@WoLF: XiphQT should enable you to play Xiph formats (Vorbis, Theora, FLAC) in Quicktime/iTunes. Check it out:

http://www.xiph.org/quicktime/

Greg said...

I was a long user of iRiver, an H340 with Rockbox and everything OGG. When it started to die I looked at the options and could not get a comparable replacement here in Australia. The shops have just stopped selling iRiver except for a few low specced models. I have had many Creative players and even have an original Zen Jukebox that predates any iPod and still works with the original battery. Despite their lack of support for open formats I bought a 32gb SSD Creative Zen from their online store. To complement the player I added Sennheiser CX 300 II earbuds. Music is mp3 encoded from my CDs at the highest VBR quality or purchased from local DRM free retailers. I use Gnomad2 to transfer data.

The sound is superb and the battery seems to go forever and it is light, small and solid state. With the Sennheisers I had to go into the setup and turn off all the sound processing and select a jazz equalizer setup for all music.

It took me a week to re-encode all of my CDs to MP3, but I have kept the ogg copies just in case my next player is some thing different.

cheers

Mal said...

I'm very pleased for the Apple fans who enjoy using an Apple product. I'm in the "won't purchase an ipod" camp until Apple learns to stop stealing.

(That's my new term for companies who use vast amounts of open source software without giving back to the community, legitimately or not. It's based off the RIAA's rhetoric!)

Ben said...

Sure, don't use iPods. But Apple has done great stuff for Linux in general. CUPS printing - basically the standard? Apple owns it. They update and maintain it. But it's GPL, and is used by (all? most?) linux distributions to handle printers. This is just one example.

Apple share some things out to the OSS community, so perhaps your title is a little hasty. If you really feel that way, delete your printing daemon.

Sonofashoe said...

"Goodbye" is a childish rant. Palm is a for-profit company just like Apple. It's not that Pre was compatible with itunes, it's that Palm made it one of their main advertising hooks.

Who does that? If you claim compatibility - and make money by doing so, your companion ought to agree. All Apple is doing is saying "not necessarily" to Palm's ad campaign.

Terry said...

Don't let the door hit you in the ass.

Evan TC said...

I think you meant selling point of iPhone not iPod. Palm is a phone. However, Apple has made many many more mistakes then that one my friend...

ThunderChild said...

Look, Apple isn't selling individual devices, they're selling a package. The mac talk to the ipod/iphone/iwhatever and all of it looks and feels the same.

They don't want people breaking this and to be honest, it's their stuff, if they want to take their ball and make it not work with your foot... that's their choice.

If you don't like the company, it's products or similar. Don't but their products.

Personally my next machine will be a mac.

michael.davis said...

I know others have already said this, but that's precisely the reason I chose to by a Cowon. I live in Linux, and Ogg sounds so much better than mp3.

I put ogg and mp3 versions of my own music online, you can compare yourselves. Warning: it's not pop, it's weird:

Michael Davis's music

Marc said...

Cowon S9

Il said...

To the posters that pointed out Apple's owning of cups as proof of the "good things they do for open source", please reconsider. CUPS was created and maintained for years prior to Apple buying the copyrights, trademarks and hiring the main developer Michael Sweet in 2007. CUPS is not something Apple contributed to the open source community. CUPS is something that has Apple bought control of from the open source community for its own ends.

Eugenia said...

Two quick notes:

Second to the Creative ZEN, excellent experiences when a friend loaned me hers for a quarter.

If you still have an iPod that you are using, regardless of your position on the issue, I recommend Songbird for syncing. For iPod Shuffle at least, I haven't used iTunes in years. The iPod plugin took very little time to install and syncing has been flawless. It doesn't like mp4's, but that will only be an issue for you if you have lots of purchased iTunes files.

Karnblack said...

I use Yamipod on my PC and Mac to drag and drop Mp3s to and from my 120GB iPod Classic. They have a Linux version as well. What's cool is you just run the program off your iPod. It's free and I love it.

www.yamipod.com

cortesi said...

Hi,

Just a quick note to let you know that your content has been ripped off, and has subsequently made the first page on Reddit:

http://techplore.com/technology/linux-users-should-say-goodbye-apple/

http://www.reddit.com/r/linux/comments/946rc/linux_users_should_say_goodbye_apple/

Sometimes the intertubes sucks.


Aldo

Steven Robertson said...

Rather than speculate on why Apple does not support open formats, let's ask the reverse: why should they? What's in it for them, and how can the open source community make it more enticing for Apple to support FLAC and Vorbis?

Elderman said...

@ ThunderChild

I'm not comfortable with this idea that something I've bought actually belongs to Apple. The Apple salesperson told me my iPod would would work with Linux. Some internet searching seemed to bear this out. I didn't know anything about hashes or encrypted firmware.

I'm relatively happy with my iPod because there was no other device that suited me as well. That doesn't decrease my annoyance that Apple crippled the player that I bought so I couldn't use it as I see fit, only the way they want me to. That's no way to treat customers.

@ Scotty

Careful next time you're in the market for a PMP. Rockbox lists the iPod versions they support and v5.5 is the last that's compatible.

Grover Saunders said...

Wow, there is a staggering amount of misinformation in these comments on both sides of the issue.

rupertson said...

We (linux users) want to manager our iPods and iPhones from our OS of choice. They (Apple) want to maintain the lock-down control they have on the media on the device and putting eyes in front of the iTunes store. Solution: A binary blob driver (like Nvidia) that's bound into an iTunes API.... i.e. iTunes store show's up in Amarok & Banshee in order to provide iPod/iPhone support. You'd still need you iTunes account and your Linux machine would become one of your '5 authorized computers'. They could limit your ability to copy media from the device to PC, just like iTunes..... doesn't this seem to help everyone but the most devout open source zealot? Woulnd't this vastly deminish the effort to reverse engineer the iTunes DB & it's encryption scheme... I think so -Rupert

derklempner said...

> Steven Robertson said...
>
> Rather than speculate on why Apple does
> not support open formats, let's ask the
> reverse: why should they? What's in it
> for them, and how can the open source
> community make it more enticing for
> Apple to support FLAC and Vorbis

As I see the iPod/iTunes market, it works something like this: Apple makes iTunes software as a portal to use their iPod hardware. The money isn't in the software sales, as they give it away for free -- whether you own an iPod or not.

So what's in it for Apple? More iPod sales, of course. The more OS platforms they support means they are expanding their sales market for iPods. Do you think Apple would sell as many iPods as they currently do if they didn't have a version of iTunes that was compatible with Windows? If iPods and iTunes only worked with Apple products, then it's most likely there'd be a lot less sales of iPods instead of an increase in sales of Mac computers.

Chaboud said...

It's scary when you realize that Sony's players are more interoperable. They also have significantly better sound quality than iPods.

My iPod touch sounds awful. That said, it's still my on-the-train player.

moopMASTER 2000 said...

Hmm, I've been using ml_ipod for Winamp.

Never even touched iTunes.

My iPod touch works just fine w/o iTunes.

rootblock said...

Someone in the comments said: "You knew what you were buying when you bought it [an iPod], right?"

Actually, I won my iPod in some contest. So, as a Linux user, should I have sold it immediately since I "don't meet the requirements"? No! I was able to get it to sync with my linux installation using gtkpod.

And anyway, aren't Macs based on Linux? You would assume SOME respect towards interoperability with Linux AT LEAST!

F*CKKKKK Apple.

Knight said...

Apple is an evil empire. All the Apple fan boys out there are half-wits...

WoLF said...

Steven Robertson: Liked your comment. It's true. MS support was a calculated move. I remember reading somewhere Bill Gates' reaction to iPod 'they only work with mac!!?'
Apple is a very innovative company but it is as self-centric and closed as Microsoft. Sadly.

Shannon VanWagner said...

I agree... screw these companies that restrict technology!
I bought an iriver... and even though it's not a bad device - I still had to use a work computer to switch it to "disk" mode first, before using it purely with GNU/Linux at home after that. WTF - why should I need to use another OS in the first place at all?
There must be a better way...
Does anyone have a suggestion for a PURE GNU/LINUX compatible music device? If so, please reply.

JUST SAY NO to the Windows/Apple Tax!! Buy stuff that supports Interoperability!
For your music, go to the Amazon MP3 store and skip the DRM. To buy albums, you have to install their software, but guess what - they have a client for Linux/Mac/Win
FREE YOURSELF, Use GNU/LINUX! | linux.com | getgnulinux.org | ubuntuguide.org | whylinuxisbetter.net | openoffice.org | humans-enabled.com | fsf.org | ubuntu.com | distrowatch.com

POTUS31 said...

I've been an Apple user for two decades. Recently got a Blackberry and installed XP on my Intel Mac cuz' BB lied about Apple support (or Apple did the same thing they're doing to Palm). Apple continues to make the same mistake decade after decade. They innovate, overcharge, and then get copied. 4 year exclusive on the crappy ATT network? They didn't think Verizon/Blackberry would catch up in 4? Dumb.

Marc and Susie said...

Cowon!!!

cris.hackpod said...

Well said, mdeslaur.
Apple shouldn't have made this move.
Thank you for posting this article.

I've also chosen to talk about this and include a link to this post, I hope that's ok.

You can read it here:
http://www.hackpod.net/2009/07/software-news-ipod-linux-apple-says-no.html

mathew said...

Pity Cowon doesn't support MPEG-4 audio (M4A, AAC). That must really hurt their chances of winning over iPod defectors.

Neofireblaze1 said...

Hey Shannon, like a couple of posters have already said try a Sansa Fuze. It works seemlessly with Linux, and the latest firmware updates allow you to play FLAC and OGG.


To the Ankorum guy or whatever that claim he is a typical user. You are bit dismissive for your argument to really stick. So suck a left nut.

Jussi said...

I was always annoyed that I had to use iTunes (an app I don't like a lot and which is proprietary) for something as simple as putting mp3s to an mp3 player. As ex muvo user I find copying and managing them as files in usb mass storage so much easier.

Now just a few days ago with the latest iTunes 9 they changed the iTunes data files again, so that an old trick doesn't work anymore which lets you to copy files from multiple computers to the same iphone or ipod. Now I have to use either old version of iTunes or erase the contents complitely every time I want to add an mp3 from a different computer of mine, like at work or from a laptop on a trip. It's so annoying combined with other silly restrictions I'm not going to buy any ipods anymore, the days they were useful are long gone. Maybe I'll just get a new Muvo already.

Le Pipex said...

I've been having the same problems to use my nano 3G with Ubuntu, synchronizing it with banshee works, "kind of", but stuff like podcasts and videos don't work well, so in the end I'm not taking full advantage of the capabilities of the player, and I hate that.

I'm looking forward to your review of linux friendly players.