Re: [orca-list] Ipods and Itunes - What are they about?

On Oct 26, 2009, at 09:17, Georgina Joyce wrote:
Could someone explain in simple terms what Itunes and Ipods are all
about? How different is it from using a standard mp3 player and putting
files into different directories?

I suppose, in actual usage terms, it's not all that different except that your files are divided up by various categories (artist, album, genre, etc) and you use iTunes to sync the files to the iPod so it mirrors the structure of your iTunes library.

Yes you can buy electronic copies of
music from itunes but will they only play on an Ipod?

No, as of mid 2008 Apple has removed all digital restrictions from iTunes music. They're standard AAC files and will play on any device that supports the m4a file type (MP4/AAC). Most devices do support this format.

Are there Ipods that are accessible now?

Indeed there are. The 4th and 5th generation iPod Nano as well as the 3rd generation iPod Shuffle all have the ability to sync pre-recorded spoken information generated by your computer's voice to the iPod. This includes artist names, song titles, and other information of this nature, allowing you to navigate most of the menus. In actual approach it's very similar to the Rockbox firmware's accessibility although much more of the menus are supported. The iPod Touch 3rd generation (the current model), as well as the iPhone 3GS, include Voiceover which is a full screen reader for these devices and does not rely on pre-generated files to make the device talk. Voiceover provides access to all the functions of the iPod Touch/iPhone as well as access to most of the 3rd party apps.

Do these linux Ipod tools make storing andchoosing music easy?

After a fashion. However they do not always work with current iPod generations and support can take a while to arrive. Also, I do not believe that any of the Linux tools support the spoken files the iPod Nano and Shuffle rely on to make it speak. There was talk about adding this functionality to Gtkpod, but I don't know if anything ever came of it.

I'm guessing Itunes and Ipods don't handle in any shape or form with vorbis ogg files?

Unfortunately, you'd be correct. They support mp3, AAC, Apple Lossless, AIFF, and Wave.

In short, how accessible is an Ipod and Itunes from the linux platform and what are the advantages over a standard mp3 player?

From the Linux platform at the moment I'd have to say not very accessible, unless support for the latest models of iPod Touch arrives in the Linux tools soon. I have an iPod Touch but I use it from the Macintosh, and I'd have to say its advantages are many as it's not so much an mp3 player as a PDA bordering on a fully capable pocket computer. However, to the best of my knowledge, you can't use this new model of iPod Touch with Linux yet. Alternatively if the Linux tools now support the spoken items on the Nano and Shuffle, those would be quite accessible from Linux as the Nano, at least, is supported by most of the Linux tools though I'm not sure if the Shuffle is.


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