How to manage your iPod using Rhythmbox in Ubuntu

This tutorial will guide you in using Rhythmbox to manage your iPod in Ubuntu. The steps are specific to Ubuntu Feisty Fawn (7.04) and Rhythmbox 0.10.0.
Note: this post is part of the 10 Alternatives to iTunes for managing your iPod overview.

  1. By default, when you connect your iPod to your computer Rhythmbox will launch. If this is the first time you’ve used Rhythmbox you’ll be taken through a quick setup. If it’s not, you can skip down to step 7.

    Click the Forward button to begin the setup.

  2. rhythmbox ipod
    click to enlarge

  3. Choose the folder you store your music files in by clicking the Browse… button.
  4. rhythmbox ipod
    click to enlarge

  5. Navigate to your music folder and click Open.
  6. rhythmbox ipod
    click to enlarge

  7. Back at the setup window make sure your music folder has been selected and then click the Forward button.
  8. rhythmbox ipod
    click to enlarge

  9. Now click Apply to finish setting up Rhythmbox.
  10. rhythmbox ipod
    click to enlarge

  11. Rhythmbox will open and your music library will be displayed.
  12. rhythmbox ipod
    click to enlarge

  13. To view the contents of your iPod, select it from the list in the left column.
  14. rhythmbox ipod
    click to enlarge

  15. From here you can remove tracks from your iPod by right-clicking (ctrl-click for single button mouse folks) a song (or group of songs) and selecting Move to Trash. To add tracks to your iPod, go back to your music library, select the songs and drag them to the iPod listed in the right column.
  16. rhythmbox ipod
    click to enlarge

  17. When you’re done updating your iPod and want to disconnect it, close down Rhythmbox, right-click the iPod icon on your desktop and select Eject. Then you can safely remove your iPod.
  18. eject your ipod

56 thoughts on “How to manage your iPod using Rhythmbox in Ubuntu”

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  3. I was getting the same error: Error while getting peer-to-peer dbus connection: The name :1.134 was not provided by any .service files” and I unplugged the ipod cord from my computer and plugged it back in and restarted rhythm box and now I’m no longer getting the error message.

  4. For some reason, the iPod is not syncing and when I try to sync with the library, there is a message that says there isn’t enough space (which can’t be true). So we just downloaded $30 worth of songs from Ubuntu One and got them into Rythmbox and now can’t get them onto the iPod–any ideas???

  5. I formatted my ipod nano 4th gen on windows XP, then I used it on my friends computer and used an application called Rhythmbox on OS Linux Ubuntu. My music played fine when we run the program but then when I discounted it My ipod says there is no music video or photos and then I check the memory and it is the same file size could someone please help me out :(

  6. I was able to click and drag all tracks but one of a CD onto my ipod using Rhythmbox. How can I add this track? I’ve tried dragging it as part of the entire cd, and as an individual song. No error message. It just never transfers.

  7. Ok guys..i tried this and it won’t work.I can put stuff in my ipod shuffle and i can see what’s in it.But after i eject it the annoying voice tells me “Please use iTunes to sync music in this ipod” please help..what must i do?.Heres my email i would really appreaciate it if you helped me..i lost my mp3 player a week ago and i bought a new ipod but i use linux-ubuntu and i just cant put music in it!!..This was way easier with my mp3 player..Anyways here’s my email..( you help me :D)

  8. My computer does read my iPod touch and plays it on Rhymthbox but when I drag the song to the iPod it shows an error message

    “Error while getting peer-to-peer dbus connection: The name :1.86 was not provided by any .service files”

    and I dont know what to do since I been trying to add music to my iTouch for a while now I also upgraded to ubuntu 10.04 but nothing how can I fix this??

  9. Using Rhythbox all worked fine with my ipod nano. Yes, it’s limited compared to sync features of iTunes, but as many point out – that’s the good thing about it. Bye, bye iTunes..


  10. J’ai essayé votre méthode
    ça marche très bien pour ce qui est d’importer la musique, mais j’ai un message d’erreur lorsque je veux ajouter des morceaux a mon ipod touche
    Erreur lors du transfert de la piste
    Error while getting peer-to-peer dbus connection: The name :1.134 was not provided by any .service files”

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  12. Everytime i do this, rythmbox says that the file is on there, but when i turn my IPOD Shuffle on, it says please use Itunes to sync music to this device. help?

  13. To Alstevens You can, trust me. I tried the first time I couldn’t but then I slowly dragged to my my Ipod and I looked down through the list and they were there. Thank you so much for this tutorial. I guess I won’t need ITUNES:)

  14. Same here, I can see my iPod in Rhythmbox, but it appears empty – while it is filled with iTunes stuff – and I cannot drag any music to it. Help!

  15. am i the only one this doesnt work for =[ idk why i plugged in my ipod and rythmbox never opened on its own… i then opened it myself and my ipod was nowhere on the list on the left =/ this is so frustrating

  16. I just got a new 16Gb Ipod nano (the one that makes movies). I can see its icon in Rythmbox, but it appears empty. That is not the case as it is full of stuff loaded via iTunes. I also tried to drag songs into the ipod icon. Nothing happens. It still looks empty in Rythmbox. Any idea why?

  17. when i dragg songs from my music collection to my ipod i get a warning saying something like this:

    warning, can’t open it ‘/media/iPod van Hilad/iPod_Control/Music/F22/Mum – Green Grass Of Tunnel.mp3’: filesystem is only reading

    how can I fix this?

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  19. Rhythmbox me dit qu’il faut avant de commencer quoi que ce soit initialiser l’Ipod, le probleme est que qd je clique sur “initialiser”, le fenetre disparait simplement et rien ne se passe… Pourriez vous m’eclairer sur la demarche a suivre?
    merci beaucoup =)

  20. I have tried GTKpod, Amarok, Banshee and Rhytmbox with my Ipod Nano 16 GB on an Ubuntu Jaunty with various success. First, I ahd to turn off the journaling of the file system of the Ipod by using a friends MAC. You have to press the alt key do be able to do this in the disk utility. I had various success with the different media-managers. GTKpod worked really well to start with but always crashed sooner or later, made a mess of things. Although an old fan of Amarok I could not move files between my hard drive and the Ipod (Was not the old version of Amarok more intuitive?) Rythmbox seems to be able to both copy, delete and make playlists (I keep my fingers crossed). Also I spend a lot of time listening to podcasts and Rythmbox can download and transfer my favorite programs OK. I believe that some of the problems I have encountered can be explained by changing between the different media-managers.

  21. Ross McKillop-
    I went to the site you mentioned, but when I try to follow the directions to download the debian files, it says “530 This FTP server does not allow anonymous logins.” What do I do?

  22. When I plug my itouch into my computer, it tries to open with f-spot photo manager. When I try to open it with Rhythmbox, it opens rhythmbox but nothing happens. Also, I don’t think my itouch is mounting properly because I do not see the ipod on my desktop.

  23. J’ai beau avoir essayé plusieur fois rien na faire les musique ne veulent pas se mettre sur mon ipod

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  27. I tried this method with my new nano 3rd generation and it trashed the database. I had to reset the ipod to factory defaults and reload the few songs I had in.

  28. Another way to eject the iPod is to right click it in the Device List on the left hand Window pane (Eject is one of the options). This has the same effect, but from within the interface.

  29. Are you sure it’s not that the files you’re downloading from the iPod are in Apple’s proprietary format (which won’t generally play elsewhere)?

  30. i just tried this – swear to god , it’s actually EASIER than running iTunes on XP.

    it literally is a case of drag’n’drop onto your ipod. amazing stuff.

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  32. This method doesn’t work : Rhythmbox doesn’t build a database on the iPod, it just reads the content on it. So, the songs you transfer with Rhythmbox are unreadable.

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  39. After I do step 9 (Right-click iPod icon -> Eject), how do I uneject without physically detaching ipod from computer and then reconnecting?

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