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frugal technology, simple living and guerrilla large-appliance repair
Thu, 26 Jul 2012

Device sync returns to the gPodder podcast-catching client

For quite some time now, the newest version of the gPodder podcast-catching client has not included the ability to sync podcasts with devices such as an iPod or non-Apple audio/video player.

Kind of a stopper in upgrading from the 2.x to 3.x version of gPodder, which I've been using throughout my tenure with Debian Squeeze and Wheezy, the latter of which is still shipping gPodder 2.20.1.

In a bit of very positive news for fans of the application (of which I am most definitely one), gPodder 3.2.0 has been released, and device sync has returned to the application.

Hopefully this means that Linux distributions will begin pushing the new version of gPodder into their repositories. Debian has 3.2.0 in Sid, but due to the Wheezy freeze I don't know if the update will make its way into the current Testing (and future Stable) distribution.

As far as my personal "audio device" situation, I spent a long time with an el-cheapo generic MP3 player (which also handled ogg audio), but it was too hard to effectively listen to just about anything, especially podcasts. So I returned to my 2005-era 30 GB iPod, which surprisingly still works.

Since Linux has trouble writing to (but not reading from) the HFS Plus filesystem that Macintosh computers put on iPods when the devices are initialized via iTunes on that platform. I reformatted the device via iTunes on a Windows computer in order to get a FAT filesystem on the iPod. That meant I could manage it on my Linux box. And I do.

I use Rhythmbox for music files and gPodder for podcasts, and it all works great. I know I could experiment with the Rockbox firmware, but since everything is working I'm reluctant to do that. I'd prefer the ability to play ogg audio and ogv video natively on the device, but other than that I'm happy.