How to use Amarok to manage your iPod in Ubuntu

Now that you’ve installed Amarok in Ubuntu, you’ll want to use it manage your iPod. This tutorial will take you through the steps to do just that, and it will also show you how to make Amarok the default program that launches when your iPod is connected.
Note: this post is part of the 10 Alternatives to iTunes for managing your iPod overview.

  1. When you plug your iPod into your computer, Rhythmbox will launch by default. Close it down, and open Amarok. Select Settings from the top menu and then Configure Amarok… from the drop-down list.
  2. amarok  ipod
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  3. Select Media Devices from the left column. In the Media Devices: section select Apple iPod Media Device from the Plugin: drop-down. Click Apply and then OK.
  4. amarok  ipod
    click to enlarge

  5. Back in Amarok click the Devices tab from the left column (if it isn’t already displayed).
  6. amarok  ipod
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  7. To add files to your iPod, drag some from your collection to the iPod list. They’ll appear in a Transfer Queue window.
  8. amarok  ipod
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  9. Click the Transfer button from the top menu and the files will be loaded onto your iPod.
  10. amarok  ipod
    click to enlarge

How to make Amarok the default software for your iPod

  1. Select System -> Preferences -> Removable Drives and Media.
  2. amarok ipod
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  3. Select the Multimedia tab and then click the Browse… button in the Portable Music Players section.
  4. amarok ipod
    click to enlarge

  5. Assuming you installed Amarok in the default location, select File System from the Places column, then the usr folder and finally the bin folder. Scroll down to amarok, select it and then click the Open button.
  6. amarok ipod
    click to enlarge

  7. Back at the Removable Devices and Media Preferences window, click the Close button.
  8. amarok ipod
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  9. The next time you plug in your iPod, Amarok will launch.
  10. amarok ipod
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{ 58 comments… add one }
  • eBooksDB July 4, 2007, 4:05 pm

    Another great tutorial, Thanks.

  • El Cerrajero July 4, 2007, 4:45 pm

    Nice how-to but it’s pretty ugly that brown and blue colour combination, it isn’t?

  • Ross McKillop July 4, 2007, 4:56 pm

    El Cerrajero –

    Hahah yeah it is kinda ugly. For the sake of tutorials/overviews I leave all the defaults – the brown is Ubuntu’s default theme. The blue is Amarok’s default theme. When I’m not using Ubuntu for screenshots etc, I actually have Compiz enabled with a different theme.

  • Dapilot1 July 4, 2007, 8:20 pm

    Thanks for the help, but what about if you have an iPod Video. How do you get videos and photos on to it?

  • Bios July 4, 2007, 8:55 pm

    I always love the tips and tutorials I can find on this site, no wonder i’m a RSS subscriber and I think many more people should be too. Thanks for posting this and your other useful posts.

  • Jordan Meeter July 4, 2007, 9:08 pm

    Thanks for the great guide, I would like to see more articles like this!

  • Robvdl July 4, 2007, 9:15 pm

    Does it handle OGG? I mean the iPod itself doesn’t handle OGG – I know that, but a friend of mine has a music collection where more than half of it is on OGG. I have not yet found a Linux program that can convert OGG files on the fly when you transfer them, and converting them by hand is not really a good option.

    I will have to try it out. If it can convert OGG’s on the fly, that would be awesome.

  • Mike July 4, 2007, 10:14 pm

    “Thanks for the help, but what about if you have an iPod Video. How do you get videos and photos on to it?”

    Then you can use gtkpod.

  • Ross McKillop July 4, 2007, 10:38 pm

    Dapilot1 – what Mike said (thanks Mike!)

    Jordan – Songbird is up next, then yamipod, then gtkpod then a few others. Eventually I’ll be doing a “x alternatives to using iTunes to manage your iPod” type of post, with summaries of all the alternatives (the free/open source ones anyway). And thanks for the compliment!

    Bios – assuming you’re not a spam bot, thanks!

  • kris July 5, 2007, 6:38 am

    What do you use to manage your music?

  • tim July 5, 2007, 7:14 am

    this is great, however, do you know of any plug-ins or adaptations that allow for mainstream music mp3 purchases… such as iTMS?


  • David Corona July 10, 2007, 9:58 pm

    THANKS!!! My Ipod was a rejected from Itunes. Simply no comunication between them in windows. I was about to send it to service, and since Apple has no store in my town, there was about 30 dolars delivery and a 15 days waiting period. But now Amarok made it sound perfectly!

    Thaks to the one that wrote the tutorail.

    David Corona, from Chetumal, Mexico

  • rand0mwalker July 18, 2007, 8:13 pm

    Nice Tutorial! Infact I use Amarok for music transfer to my Video iPod. However, the feature in iTunes which I love and which Amarok doesn’t seem to have, is that you can create playlists. Is there a way to do that , in amarok?

  • Pensax October 17, 2007, 10:56 am

    Are there any solution to load mp4 in ipod using amarok?

  • Nahuel Castro December 21, 2007, 3:21 pm

    When I connect ipod in my ubuntu is recognized as a digital camera and I can not connect to the ipod folder, can anybody help me?

  • lostondialup March 22, 2008, 8:28 am

    Great tutorial. It is sites like this that making the transition to Linux from Windows worth it. Thanks.

  • Ted May 7, 2008, 2:35 pm

    Sup-erb tutorial – read several ‘HOW TO’s’ and this is the best – simple and clear with great screenshots.

  • joe May 8, 2008, 7:28 pm

    It seems like in Hardy Heron the System Preferences->Removable Devices and Media doesn’t have a multimedia tab any longer.

  • Ross McKillop May 8, 2008, 7:42 pm


    I’ll scare up my old iPod and give it a run in Hardy

  • joe May 8, 2008, 7:56 pm

    I found two possible places where it could be set in Hardy:

    1. System Preferences -> Preferred Applications -> Multimedia where you can choose a Custom Multimedia Player, I set this to amarok, but it still launches Rhythmbox on insert

    2. Nautalus edit->Preferences->Media has a bunch of options for opening Rhythmbox for music player, but doesn’t let you specify an alternative!

  • joe May 8, 2008, 8:29 pm

    Maybe I didn’t make it clear in my previous comment, both of those places *do not work*

  • PICCORO May 16, 2008, 10:13 am

    no es necesario el amarok tan nuevo, con el 1.4.6 es mas que suficiente..

    sobre la gestion de caratulas, amarok 1.4.8 ya configura las caratuals tranquilamente

    sobre actualizar el ipod cuando se pierde la lista no hay que hacer tanto alboroto con sysinfo, la libreria nueva 0.6.0 y 0.6.1(cvs) ofrecen un simple comando que solo se debe ejecutar una vez llamado readsysinfo..

    aqui estan lospaquetes mas actualizados tanto de amarok como de libgpod, y tambien como instalarlos
    paquetes y comandos ipod debian correctos

  • PICCORO May 16, 2008, 10:15 am

    for debian users in few days here are the packages for xandros-sarge, and etch:
    paquetes y comandos ipod debian correctos

    amarok 1.4.8 and libgpod 0.6.0

  • Jersoncito June 28, 2008, 11:34 am

    I found Rhytmbox easier to use with the ipod.
    For videos/ipod Banshee 1.0 is excelent.
    Thanks for the guide!

  • Marcus July 31, 2008, 5:01 am

    I’ve got my iPod working great on Ubuntu, but there is a nagging issue for me. In iTunes you can sync your iPod so that it deletes files that you’ve deleted from your library and add files that you’ve added. Is there any way to do this in Amarok?

  • dave July 31, 2008, 5:01 am

    Yes, it seems the multimedia tab is missing from System Preferences->Removable Devices and Media. Is there any way to get it back??

  • David Roundy August 10, 2008, 2:08 pm

    I’m also curious about this missing multimedia tab in the System Preferences->Removable Devices and Media.

    Has anyone figured out what causes this? It’s rather annoying having Rhythmbox keep popping up (and sometimes crashing).

  • Remy Carson August 14, 2008, 5:24 am

    Have found the answer to a question that a lot of you have been asking.

    David Roundy 08.10.08 at 2:08 pm

    I’m also curious about this missing multimedia tab in the System Preferences->Removable Devices and Media.

    It has move to: System Preferences->Preferred Applications

    Click the multimedia tab, scroll down to Custom player

    then add: /urs/bin/amarok

    It should now open amarok as your default player.

    Cheers RC.

  • techtastic August 14, 2008, 2:16 pm

    as stated above my Joe, the System Preferences -> Preferred Applications -> Custom Multimedia option doesnt open amarok by default, im still getting rhythmbox to launch automatically even though i have amarok set as the preferred app.
    im guessing its coded somewhere else or that an ipod isnt considered a “multimedia player” by hardy.
    it wont be long till i nuke gnome anyways, but if i find a solution in the mean-time, ill be sure to post it.

    oh, and excellent tutorial, cheers m8

  • Sean September 7, 2008, 9:01 am

    Have the same issue with Hardy and Rhythmbox, any answers?

  • david tutton October 7, 2008, 2:16 am

    Hi I have a problem with the new Ipod Touch 8GB. It is not recognised in either Ubuntu 8.04 or SUSE 11. When I go into amarok settings configure media devices it is not recognised. I run dccop kded mediamanager fullList and it is not seen. It is not seen by fdisk -l. Any ideas?

  • Brett August 26, 2009, 9:49 pm

    Hi, I was trying to follow the steps to make amarok the default media player for music, however when I get into System>>Preferences>>Removable Drive and Media I don’t see the multimedia tab that you’re using to default iPods opening in Amarok.

  • Justina September 17, 2009, 5:04 am

    bueno, me pasa algo de lo mas raro que no me deja avanzar
    sencillamente no tengo la opcion de media devices en mi settings panel.
    no se como continuar….
    por favor, una ayudita vendria muy bien

  • Valorie Zimmerman January 4, 2010, 5:30 pm

    While this will work for those who have the outdated Amarok 1.4x, iPod handling is much simpler in Amarok 2.2x. You just see your device in the collection once it’s mounted. You can move files from your HD to your device and back in MTP mode.

  • nick February 15, 2010, 4:16 pm

    this doesnt work for me. when i go into settings it doesnt have that option, it ends at database

  • Martin June 4, 2010, 7:31 pm

    I have Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic and I need help on the Removable Drives and Media part.

  • Valorie Zimmerman February 6, 2011, 8:33 pm

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