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Apple kills Linux compatibility with new iPods

iPod NanoPart of what makes the iPod so popular is the way it seamless integrates with iTunes. You can rip your CD collection or download movies and music onto your PC and quickly synchronize them with your iPod for when you're on the go. But while the iPod is certainly the most popular portable media player on the market, not everyone is a huge fan of iTunes. And some folks, like say, Linux users, couldn't use the software if they wanted to.

In the past, those clever Linux developers figured out a way around this and managed to get open source software like Amarok and gtkpod to synchronize with iPods.

But it turns out that Apple has locked down the song database file on its latest generation of iPods including the iPod Nano, Classic, and touch. The change means that there's no way to transfer music between a new iPod and a Linux PC.

Given enough time, we suspect Linux developers will find a way around this limitation. But what made Apple lock down the new devices in the first place? Conspiracy theorists (who may very well be right) will surely suggest that Apple wants to lock people into using just their hardware and software. But seriously, what Linux user is going to switch to OS X or Windows just to use an iPod? Essentially Apple is just convincing open source advocates to stop buying iPods. We're betting Steve Jobs isn't that dumb, so we wonder if there might be some other advantage to adding security measures to the song database.

[via Slashdot]

Tags: amarok, gtkpod, hardware, ipod, itunes, music, opensource

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