This overview details the features (with screenshots) of 10 different programs other than iTunes to manage your iPod. Tutorials are included for every program, and they’re all either free or Open Source.
About: Amarok includes the following features: Album cover detection and downloads, lyrics support, wikipedia integration, contextual information (a quick view on your currently played music, and suggest similar track which you might like), statistics, Last.fm integration, multiple media devices support (Apple iPod, iRiver iFP and T players, Creative Zen and Nomad players, Generic USB players, Generic MTP players). Amarok is available as a pre-compiled binary for many Linux distributions, and its source is available for those of you who prefer compile your own programs.
Tutorials: How to use Amarok to manage your iPod in Ubuntu
How to install Amarok in Ubuntu (and get it to play MP3s)
iPod contents list
transfer to iPod
About: Banshee includes the following features: Rips music, burn CDs, share your music, displays cover art, tons of plugins, controllable via keyboard shortcuts, smart playlists and the ability to rate your music. Banshee is available as a pre-compiled binary for many Linux distributions, and its source is available for those of you who prefer compile your own programs.
Tutorial: How to use Banshee to manage your iPod in Ubuntu
main Banshee window
sync to iPod
sync in progress
About: Floola includes the following features: Cross platform (works on any Windows (98 and above), any Mac and any linux distribution with GTK installed), Portable (put the application on iPod and launch it on any PC), add and extract songs to and from your iPod, integrated with Last.fm, add artwork to your songs easily, lyric support even on older iPods (3G and above), Videos can be added to iPod, Growl support (Mac only).
Notes: Floola was the only of the 10 iTunes alternatives that I couldn’t personally test. Floola (at this time) requires that iTunes 7.3 has never touched your iPod (works with iTunes 7.2 and lower), and sadly 7.3 is the version of iTunes that’s on all of my computers. Update: floola now works w/ iTunes 7.3.1. But I can’t test it right away as I no longer have direct access to an iPod. But when I do, I’ll update this post accordingly.
About: gtkpod is a platform independent Graphical User Interface for Apple’s iPod using GTK2. It supports the first to fifth Generation including the iPod mini, iPod Photo, iPod Shuffle, iPod nano, and iPod Video. gtkpod includes the following features: Read your existing iTunesDB, add MP3, WAV, M4A (non-protected AAC), M4B (audio book), podcasts, and various video files, view, add and modify cover art, sync directories, detect duplicates when adding songs, and much more.
Tutorial: How to use gtkpod to manage your iPod in Ubuntu
main gtkpod window
adding files with gtkpod
About: MediaMonkey (free version) includes the following features: Party Mode/Auto-DJ, CD Ripper, audio converter, auto-renamer, album-art lookup, reports and statistics, iPod and MP3 Player support.
Tutorial: How to use MediaMonkey to manage your iPod
MediaMonkey artist view
transferring to iPod
tracks on iPod
safely eject iPod
About: Rhythmbox is an integrated music management application, originally inspired by Apple’s iTunes. It is free software, designed to work well under the GNOME Desktop, and based on the powerful GStreamer media framework. Rhythmbox includes the following features: an easy to use music browser, searching and sorting, comprehensive audio format support through GStreamer, Internet Radio support and Playlists.
iPod library in Rhythmbox
About: Sharepod has changed significantly since this guide was created. The screenshots and overview are no longer valid, and have been removed. However, it is still an iTunes alternative – so I’m leaving it in this list.
Unfortunately Songbird no longer exists.
About: Winamp includes the following features: frankly there are too many to list, so visit their features page. It does pretty much anything you can think of. But I don’t think Winamp supports cover-art – unless there’s a plugin for it, which there probably is. Winamp has been my default media player in Windows since 1997 (it finally replaced Winplay3). As a completely unrelated but ‘fun’ side note, the very first version of ICY for Linux (now known as SHOUTcast, the streaming audio software) was compiled on my computer because Justin didn’t have a Linux machine at the time.
Tutorial: How to use Winamp to manage your iPod
portable MP3 players in Winamp
send files to iPod in Winamp
About: YamiPod is a freeware application to efficiently manage your iPod under Mac OS X, Windows and Linux. It can be run directly from your iPod and needs no installation. YamiPod includes the following features: works with iTunes 7.3 (if you use the beta version of YamiPod), it’s stand alone program – no installation is required, your iPod is automatically recognized, mp3 and AAC files can be copied to/from iPod, playlist support, auto-download new versions, built in music player, News RSS and podcasts to iPod upload, multiple iPods support
and Last.fm support.
Tutorial: How to use YamiPod to update your iPod in OS X or Windows
main YamiPod window
YamiPod with more tracks