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Linux's iPod Generation Gap

CmdrTaco posted about 8 years ago | from the we-used-to-think-we-just-needed-a-good-mail-app dept.

533

An anonymous submittor says "Today's young generation can use Linux on the desktop provided it works with their iPod. Linux on the desktop still hasn't reached that stage and has to be compatible with multimedia applications like iTunes and iPod if it has to beat Microsoft's Windows dominance on the desktop. Open source gurus at LinuxWorld discuss solutions to make Linux more consumer-friendly."

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Linux needs to get its act together (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15930428)

Linux is *not* user friendly, and until it is linux will stay with >1% marketshare.

Take installation. Linux zealots are now saying "oh installing is so easy, just do apt-get install package or emerge package": Yes, because typing in "apt-get" or "emerge" makes so much more sense to new users than double-clicking an icon that says "setup".

Linux zealots are far too forgiving when judging the difficultly of Linux configuration issues and far too harsh when judging the difficulty of Windows configuration issues. Example comments:

User: "How do I get my iPod to run in Linux?"
Zealot: "Oh that's easy! If you have Redhat, you have to download quake_3_rh_8_i686_010203_glibc.bin, then do chmod +x on the file. Then you have to su to root, make sure you type export LD_ASSUME_KERNEL=2.2.5 but ONLY if you have that latest libc6 installed. If you don't, don't set that environment variable or the installer will dump core. Before you run the installer, make sure you have the GL drivers for X installed. Get them at [some obscure web address], chmod +x the binary, then run it, but make sure you have at least 10MB free in /tmp or the installer will dump core. After the installer is done, edit /etc/X11/XF86Config and add a section called "GL" and put "driver nv" in it. Make sure you have the latest version of X and Linux kernel 2.6 or else X will segfault when you start. OK, run the iPod installer and make sure you set the proper group and setuid permissions on iPod.bin. If you want sound, look here [link to another obscure web site], which is a short HOWTO on how to get sound for your iPod. That's all there is to it!"

User: "How do I get my iPod to run in Windows?"
Zealot: "Oh God, I had to install iTunes in Windoze for some lamer friend of mine! God, what a fucking mess! I put in the CD and it took about 3 minutes to copy everything, and then I had to reboot the fucking computer! Jesus Christ! What a retarded operating system!"

So, I guess the point I'm trying to make is that what seems easy and natural to Linux geeks is definitely not what regular people consider easy and natural. Hence, the preference towards Windows.

Re:Linux needs to get its act together (0, Flamebait)

fedthedawg (993364) | about 8 years ago | (#15930452)

you dont have to complain because you are lazy.

Re:Linux needs to get its act together (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15930549)

no, I don't have to complain. I don't have to use Linux, either. Want folks to use Linux? Make it less of a hassle.

Re:Linux needs to get its act together (5, Funny)

Chosen Reject (842143) | about 8 years ago | (#15930454)

User: "How do I get my iPod to run in Linux?"
Zealot: "Oh that's easy! If you have Redhat, you have to download quake_3_rh_8_i686_010203_glibc.bin


Wait, I can access an iPod from inside Quake 3 on Linux? Sweet. Does it give you a boost? Like an extra few feet with the rocket jump?

Now all I need is an iPod.

Audible.com (1)

ISoldat53 (977164) | about 8 years ago | (#15930462)

All I need is Audible.com to work under Linux and I'll never have to touch windows again.

Re:Linux needs to get its act together (1)

Dynamus (591600) | about 8 years ago | (#15930471)

Yes, support for iPod on Linux is lousy to say the least. If iPod is really that important to get the younger generation on Linux, somebody should be doing something NOW. Even something commercial, I don't care. A substitute for iTunes or something that let you move tour songs and videos in and out EASILY. Alex

Re:Linux needs to get its act together (5, Informative)

also-rr (980579) | about 8 years ago | (#15930472)

Linux is *not* user friendly,

Well, it's not friendly to first post trolls perhaps.

In my case I plugged in my MP3 player, it showed up on the desktop, I copied over some MP3s and they worked. Some people might have said this was because I picked an MP3 player that implimented a standard (USB bulk storage) protocol rather than one from a vendor who aims to keep everything locked up tight, but personally I think that it's just trying to make you jealous.

Re:Linux needs to get its act together (5, Insightful)

mr_shifty (202071) | about 8 years ago | (#15930509)

Ditto here. I plug my Archos Gmini into my laptop, which is running Slackware, and I drag and drop music onto it, no problem.

No goofy drivers, no 3rd party software, no arcane commands. It just works.

Apple puts out a proprietary, defective-by-design consumer electronics product and won't port the required software to platforms other than Mac OS or Windows and it's somehow a Linux shortcoming?

???

I'm confused.

Re:Linux needs to get its act together (5, Informative)

also-rr (980579) | about 8 years ago | (#15930572)

Apple puts out a proprietary, defective-by-design consumer electronics product and won't port the required software to platforms other than Mac OS or Windows and it's somehow a Linux shortcoming?

And the best bit is that I (and probably you soon) got moderated down for saying it.

What do you expect Linux devs to do? Magically support every bit of hardware in existance without decent specs and no access to the closed DRM which makes the bit people are most unhappy to leave behind tick? Yes, I am aware that the actual format is open, thank you very much, but the DRM is not and so purchased large music libraries are non-trivial to convert to something that works on any platform.

And yet the iPod does [gtkpod.org] work on Linux (even the new ones). How about that for good service, and all for free I might add.

iTunes is good despite iTMS, not because of it. (5, Insightful)

Kadin2048 (468275) | about 8 years ago | (#15930881)

I don't think anyone is really asking for support for M4P (those would be the encrypted, DRMed files purchased from the iTunes Media Store) files on Linux. Everyone realizes, I think, that there's no way to do DRM with open-source software, and frankly I think this is a Good Thing.

However, people use iTunes and iPods for a lot more than DRMed music. There is this tendency here on Slashdot to assume that everyone who uses iTunes or owns an iPod has purchased lots of music for it from the iTMS. This is not true, and in fact is provably wrong. The vast majority of music on most people's portable devices and in their music libraries, comes from ripped CDs (or from peer to peer).

Linux would be doing well if it could just come up with a library management program that was as good as iTunes is, and it would be doing better than iTunes if it made it as easy to download music OFF of the iPod as it is to put it on. (That is, to do the magical and frightening-to-media-companies "reverse syncronization.")

iTunes had a large userbase long before the Music Store existed: it gained popularity (back when it was a Mac-only program) because it has a good interface for managing a lot of songs and playlists. I have yet to see (although if someone wants to point one out I'd be interested) a Linux application that is the equal of it. All the Linux programs seem to assume that the OS' file browser is the best way to manage music, and that small single-purpose tools should be used to do syncronization or updating.

I remember what managing a large MP3 collection was like before nice library management programs were developed to automatically sort files into folders by Artist/Album, and it sucked. The file browser--even a good general-purpose browser (like Konqueror)--is not the tool for this job.

While this is very true to the "UNIX way," it's not what people want. People want big, monolithic, do-everything applications. They want something that's a media player, a library manager, a file uploader, an ID3 tag editor, and a portable-device-syncronization manager. If you could build a BitTorrent client and P2P browser into that at the same time, that would be great, too.

iTunes isn't good because of the Music Store, it's good despite it. There is a huge, gaping hole that the Linux community could fill if people desired to, for a program that's BETTER than iTunes: one that works seamlessly with the iPod but also works with other music stores (non-DRMed ones: AllOfMp3.com, eMusic, etc., plus free sources), and doesn't shy away from features because it would piss off music companies (sharing/streaming of music, true bidirectional syncronization).

Apple's software is hobbled by the company's relationship with the media companies and the necessity of flogging their own music store, not strengthened by it. It means that they have to produce crippled software, which doesn't do everything that it could otherwise. The FOSS community could run circles around iTunes; heck, they could make the closest thing that Linux has to a 'killer app' for home users. Going on about DRM is just a red herring; only a very few people can afford to buy large quantities of music from iTMS anyway, the great majority wouldn't be stopped by that from moving to a clearly superior piece of software, if one existed. To my knowledge, it does not. And that's why iTunes reigns supreme.

Re:Linux needs to get its act together (2, Funny)

Funkcikle (630170) | about 8 years ago | (#15930587)

Apple puts out a proprietary, defective-by-design consumer electronics product and won't port the required software to platforms other than Mac OS or Windows and it's somehow a Linux shortcoming?


Well, yes. The strength of the OSS movement is that, technically, anything can be done. The fact that this has yet to be done points at a larger problem - the people who can, don't.

Say iPod support is created by this time next year. By then, the Next Cool Thing will be around. How long for Linux support for that? And the next one?

The goal posts move quickly. Linux needs more people to erm...kick balls.

Re:Linux needs to get its act together (5, Informative)

also-rr (980579) | about 8 years ago | (#15930686)

Well, yes. The strength of the OSS movement is that, technically, anything can be done. The fact that this has yet to be done points at a larger problem - the people who can, don't.

The people who can, have. Then they turned it into a library and now iPod support is available in
  • amaroK
  • gPodder
  • gtkpod
  • iPodDisk
  • podtool
  • and Rhythmbox
you were saying?

Re:Linux needs to get its act together (1)

fireman sam (662213) | about 8 years ago | (#15930867)

He was saying... Don't let the facts get in the way of some good ol' penguin bashing.

Re:Linux needs to get its act together (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15930843)

Good idea's but you guys are all appoaching it the wrong way; I think you guys will not be able to keep up to the hardware as it gets cheaper and more technical in the future. Which will always keep you guys as the minority.

Sorry cold hard truth.

Re:Linux needs to get its act together (2, Insightful)

coaxial (28297) | about 8 years ago | (#15930623)

Apple puts out a proprietary, defective-by-design consumer electronics product and won't port the required software to platforms other than Mac OS or Windows and it's somehow a Linux shortcoming?

It is when that's the mp3 player people want to use.

Users come first. It's just that simple.

Re:Linux needs to get its act together (2)

ameoba (173803) | about 8 years ago | (#15930677)

They're Apple's users too (and they're Apple's customers).

Re:Linux needs to get its act together (1)

NDPTAL85 (260093) | about 8 years ago | (#15930919)

Lets see.

Linux can't do something Windows and Mac OS X can do.

You got another way to define shortcoming?

Re:Linux needs to get its act together (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15930573)

And let's see how that plan works when you have 50,000 songs.

Sure, you can carefully arrange your music into folders if you've got the time, but even then you can only have each song in one "list", unless you're willing to make multiple copies of your music for navigation purposes. Any sufficiently large music player needs an playlist/organization system, or it will be almost useless. It's not a matter of being proprietary, it's a matter of acceptably fast access to large amounts of discrete data elements. It's not as if the iPod uses some fancy data interface -- it's just a USB or FireWire disk -- it's the playlist data that needs special software.

You could argue that the organizer software should all be integrated onto the device itself; that would certainly allow you to have a dumb interface to the computer. However, it would also impose significant limitations on the complexity of the organizer software, as the user interface on the device consists of (maybe) a tiny screen and a handful of buttons instead of a standard desktop GUI.

So have fun with your "standard" device. I'll stick to one that actually lets me find the music I want.

Re:Linux needs to get its act together (2)

daranz (914716) | about 8 years ago | (#15930769)

I use an iriver H10 20GB (the US version). By default, it is a Plays-for-Sure, WMP supported device, and you can only use WMP to copy songs over to it (there's also a plugin for Winamp, but it's somewhat buggy). However, I can also boot the device into "emergency mode" where it becomes a normal USB mass storage device. I can then copy everything over, and resync the device's database using easyH10, an opensource app that can synchronise an H10 with the content on its harddrive, and even convert .pls and .m3u playlists to the internal format used by the device.

Now, this way of copying files is not supported by iriver, and easyH10 was built using information gathered from reverse engineering the H10 database structure. IIRC, a similar model can be used with some of the other iriver devices out of the box. Either way, it's a perfect way of synching files - you copy them over, and then you let a program sort the music out. EasyH10 is available for a variety of platforms, and I use it with both my Windows desktop and Ubuntu laptop. Playlist/database syncing shouldn't be an excuse for using a closed syncing protocol that's bound to get some people locked out.

Re:Linux needs to get its act together (0, Offtopic)

santu (654205) | about 8 years ago | (#15930476)

Hey! I thought that kind of Troll was on the list of endangered species. I'm glad to see that all that morons complaining about that so called global warming and all that crap were sooooo wrong

Re:Linux needs to get its act together (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | about 8 years ago | (#15930494)

Wow, never knew there would be a post worse than the "Quake 3 on Linux" crapula.

Re:Linux needs to get its act together (2, Informative)

Fordiman (689627) | about 8 years ago | (#15930538)

Funny. I click to install my linux apps. You must be talking about those debian people.

And all I had to do to get my iPod running was click 'Install support for iPod'. It did all the heavy lifting, and even put in gtkPod for me.

Mind you, it doesn't work with iTunes, but lets face it, if you're considering Linux, chances are you've already rejected the DRM-encrusted mess that is iTunes.

Re:Linux needs to get its act together (2, Interesting)

Nastard (124180) | about 8 years ago | (#15930713)

DRM-encrusted mess?

I love music. I buy, on average, an album per week. Back in the day, it was CDs, then I gave up paying money for music and just grabbed what I wanted from Napster. Then it was a mess to find what I wanted on Gnutella or whatever, and I just stuck with what I already had.

Then iTunes came out for Windows, and I started buying my music that way.

My only complaint with the iTunes DRM in the couple of years I've used it is that when I sell/upgrade my computer, I forget to deauthorize it. Other than that, I haven't had a single problem with the songs I've purchased. Apple is as liberal as it can be with the DRM, and it doesn't hurt me in any way. As a consumer, I'm happy.

As a musician, I make far more money from iTunes downloads than I do from CD sales. Apple takes a very small cut, CD Baby takes an even smaller cut, and I end up with about 60 cents per song sold.

I understand the rights issues involved with DRM, and as general practice, I dislike it, but I fail to see how the iTunes DRM could even remotely be considered a mess.

Re:Linux needs to get its act together (2, Insightful)

DrDitto (962751) | about 8 years ago | (#15930542)

Why is this modded as a "Troll"? Post makes complete sense to me. I'm back to Windows XP after using Linux on the desktop for several years...heck, I first installed Linux in 1994. And yes, part of the reason is that I don't care anymore and just want to use things like my iPod without trouble.

Re:Linux needs to get its act together (1)

coaxial (28297) | about 8 years ago | (#15930660)

Same here, only I got a mac.

Re:Linux needs to get its act together (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15930683)

Why is this modded as a "Troll"? Post makes complete sense to me.

Funny, you must be really comfortable with accessing your iPod from Quake3 then.

The post is an known, old troll where the lazy AC only managed to replace Quake 3 with iPod in the 'questions.' If you really used Linux 'for several years' you'd have spotted the trollness of it easily - iPod access is easy both in KDE and Gnome, what's missing is iTunes (for store+iPod use)

Re:Linux needs to get its act together (1)

DrDitto (962751) | about 8 years ago | (#15930794)

My iPod mounts as a disk in Linux w/ Ghome. No, I have not tried copying MP3 files to my iPod's strange directory layout (and how it names files). I like iTunes. I like the occasional game. I like Photoshop CS2. Linux does nothing for me at home (but I'm typing from Linux at work right now).

Re:Linux needs to get its act together (1)

shimage (954282) | about 8 years ago | (#15930695)

What I don't understand is how it ever got modded insightful. You don't need opengl (or even X, for that matter) to get your ipod to work with linux. If it's sane, then it should mount like any other standard USB disk. My understanding was that every music player except for Rio's worked this way, but maybe I'm mistaken.

Re:Linux needs to get its act together (1)

Somnus (46089) | about 8 years ago | (#15930743)

Well, let's do an apples-to-apples comparison. If you buy a Thinkpad from EmperorLinux.com pre-installed with Ubuntu, then plug in an iPod, will it Just Work?

Frankly, I don't know. I suspect that as a portable music player things will go swimmingly, but there's not iTunes for Linux so you can't do the whole music purchase thing.

Re:Linux needs to get its act together (1, Informative)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | about 8 years ago | (#15930664)

Linux zealots are far too forgiving when judging the difficultly of Linux configuration issues and far too harsh when judging the difficulty of Windows configuration issues.


So something like:

  1. Go to "Applications -> Add/Remove..."
  2. Select and install "Banshee"
  3. Then click "Applications -> Sound and Video -> Banshee"
  4. Plug in Ipod
  5. You should see your iPod on the left panel, just like in iTunes.
Is too difficult? [ubuntu.com]

Re:Linux needs to get its act together (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15930781)

What? Get out and meet some real people. Sorry but that is cold hard truth.

Re:Linux needs to get its act together (0, Redundant)

Lord Kano (13027) | about 8 years ago | (#15930680)

Linux is *not* user friendly, and until it is linux will stay with >1% marketshare.

Yeah. And we all know how being user friendly has allowed Apple to stomp all of their competition.

LK

Re:Linux needs to get its act together (3, Informative)

thebrid (772919) | about 8 years ago | (#15930712)

Alright, I'll bite. When was the last time you used Linux? Every modern distribution has some form of package management. I'm a Ubuntu user. Here are the steps I used to install GTKPod:

  1. Start Synaptic (it's under System | Administration | Synaptic Package Manager)
  2. Find GTKPod in the list of installable applications and check a checkbox to indicate that you want to install it.
  3. Click "Apply". At this point, the programme is downloaded to the computer and installed.

Now, please remind me, how is this more difficult than Windows? The same process under Windows is longer and less secure. All packages from Ubuntu's repositories are digitally signed. Can the same be said for the random executable you just downloaded from a web site?

Re:Linux needs to get its act together (2, Insightful)

dysfunct (940221) | about 8 years ago | (#15930715)

> Linux is *not* user friendly

It actually is. It's just picky who it calls its friend, which in my opinion is a good thing.

> [...] or the installer will dump core.

I prefer this to a message box which kindly informs me that "Error -178" has happened without further details. I also once tried to get an iPod working on Windows on a friend's computer. I have very extensive Windows troubleshooting experience but after 6 hours of troubleshooting still could not figure out the problem. A reinstall mysteriously helped. Long story short, when things fail my operating system allows me to deeply trouble shoot every aspect of it. When the shit hits the fan I want to be able to open the fan to remove the mess.

Re:Linux needs to get its act together (2, Informative)

Constantine Evans (969815) | about 8 years ago | (#15930722)

At least on #ubuntu, experienced users/zealots usually tell users asking about how to install a specific software to use apt-get on the command line because, when giving instructions, it is the easiest way. For Ubuntu, there is the Add/Remove Programs app, which end users are supposed to use. But what is easier, telling a user to open a terminal from the menu and type in sudo apt-get install program, or telling the user to open Add/Remove Programs, type the name of the program, check the checkbox next to it, and click Install? While the latter might be the most intuitive, the former is far superior in a support situation, especially since there is little room for confusion, and the instructions are far easier to follow, even if it doesn't make sense.

Sharpmusique worked well for buying music off of Itunes the last time I tried it, and had a quite intuitive installation in Ubuntu (download .deb, double click, type in password, press Install).

Perhaps you are using the wrong distributions? Most major linux distributions are not like Gentoo.

Re:Linux needs to get its act together (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15930736)

hmm... interesting my latest Ubunti install went kinda like this.

1. Boot with disk in drive.
2. Wait for desktop to appear
3. Double click install
4. Confirm that I really wanna toast my HD and install Ubuntu
5. Accept all default settings (ie network dhcp? yes)
6. Wait for install to finish.
7. Click on update icon in top right corner.
8. Ready to use my fully up to date Ubuntu install.

[sarcasim]Sounds very hard to me I really with I didn't have to go through all that[/sarcasim]

From your description it sounds like you haven't tried Linux since 94

Re:Linux needs to get its act together (1)

gid13 (620803) | about 8 years ago | (#15930770)

Can't say much about the iPod, having never had one to play with, but Ubuntu is a huge improvement on the ease-of-use front. In some (note the word some before jumping on me please) ways, it is even easier than Windows. One example that shocked me is that it came with built-in drivers for my SATA controllers, whereas WinXP required me to load a driver during installation (which it would only accept on a floppy disk, mind you - annoying).

Re:Linux needs to get its act together (1)

vertinox (846076) | about 8 years ago | (#15930778)

Take installation. Linux zealots are now saying "oh installing is so easy, just do apt-get install package or emerge package": Yes, because typing in "apt-get" or "emerge" makes so much more sense to new users than double-clicking an icon that says "setup".

Well... If you use Ubuntu, you can just check off the application you want to install instead of using apt-get.

If you use Red Hat... Well... I dunno.

Personally, I use a Mac, but Ubuntu isn't that hard to use if you want to use it.

Re:Linux needs to get its act together (1)

nsayer (86181) | about 8 years ago | (#15930796)

Linux is *not* user friendly

Linux is user-friendly. It's just picky about who its friends are.

Oh God, I'm a biter. (1)

jvance (416133) | about 8 years ago | (#15930806)

I choose the "point by point rebuttal" style

Linux is *not* user friendly, and until it is linux will stay with >1% marketshare.
So when Linux becomes user friendly, its market share will drop below one percent? Careful with the pointy end of that operator.

Point two... screw it - I'm even lazier than the parent troller.

Seriously, plug in the iPod and open AmaroK.

Re:Linux needs to get its act together (1)

mclaincausey (777353) | about 8 years ago | (#15930820)

Linux is a KERNEL. It doesn't make any sense to say it isn't "user friendly." You want a kernel to be fast, stable and efficient, not "user friendly."

Ease of use is a question that centers around which distro you're talking about, and for Ubuntu, the usability gap has closed significantly.

Ubuntu Dapper does everything I need it to do. I'll freely admit to a higher level of technical know-how than most users, but I didn't have to exercise any of it to install a usable distribution that had Rhythmbox configured to launch when I plug in my iPod, and that can read the HFS+ filesystem on it to boot. It took some doing to get everything the way I wanted it, but for a typical end-user, I don't think it would. Using Synaptic is pretty trivial for a user at any level.

Mod parent down (1)

rg3 (858575) | about 8 years ago | (#15930841)

Apart from being quite trollish and unrelistic by today's Linux distributions standards, it seems the post is like a joke [slashdot.org] somebody writes each time we have a thread having to do with making Linux even more user friendly. The problem it's that it's not funny anymore.

Re:Linux needs to get its act together (1)

The_DOD_player (640135) | about 8 years ago | (#15930864)

Moderators be aware...

This is a common anti-linux troll that pops up on occation when Linux usability is in discussion. Normally the app is quake.
Please take note how the AC didnt even bother to edit the whole post before submitting:

User: "How do I get my iPod to run in Windows?"
Zealot: "Oh that's easy! If you have Redhat, you have to download quake_3_rh_8_i686_010203_glibc.bin....

Re:Linux needs to get its act together (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15930873)

I competely agree. I've worked with computers for 20 years and built them for 10 of those years and I've never gotten any version of Linux to work on a machine. The most common thing were video drivers. The problem was it refused to boot up without a driver so I didn't know how to shoehorn a new one in. Other installs didn't like other hardware configurations and other versions I haven't a clue about why they refused to install. Yes I'm sure if I put in the wrench time in and crawled through the forums I could have figured it out but that's not the point. I should be able to at least get the bloody thing to install. I never got past a command line with any version. If I find it a hassle what is the average user going to think? Until it'll install on 90% of the machines out there it won't be more than for hackers and tinkers and companies with the deep pockets to hire techs. I was originally planning to migrate to a combination of Linux and Mac but I've narrowed it to Mac since Mac is painless to set up. They are turnkey systems that just need the software installed and require little or no maintainence. I want to focas on software not the OS.

Re:Linux needs to get its act together (1)

Almahtar (991773) | about 8 years ago | (#15930884)

Same old arguments, based entirely on your personal experience or who you've chosen to listen to. In Ubuntu a user has only to click "Install new Software" from their gnome menu, click a check box or two for the programs they want (which have informative descriptions right there beside them...) and hit "ok." Free/LinSpire and PC-BSD have similar facilities.

No terminal, no hitting "next next I Agree next next ok next yes yes next finish" like in Windows, no hunting for the web site from which you can download the installer like in Windows.

You're posting old information and leveraging negative linux user stereotypes to reinforce the "validity" of your post and undermine the validity of dissenting opinions. If I had mod points, I'd label you -1 troll. Heck, your first sentence was a sweeping generalization that is just plain not true (as in the examples of Ubuntu, Free/LinSpire, and PC-BSD).

You chose to ignore facts when posting this. You chose to leverage stereotypes to grant yourself added undeserved credibility. You chose to decieve.

I use my iPod with Linux (5, Funny)

generic-man (33649) | about 8 years ago | (#15930436)

Really. It's not hard.

Just emerge gnupod and make sure you compile it with the --with-ffxk-so-opti=3 directive in autoconf. That'll hose you every time. Also I recommend that you use gnutunes out of the gnxms repository; the vanilla Gentoo repos's version is hosed.

Also, my iPod only works if I mount it as /dev/sdc6. Don't know why that is, but the dev said he'd put it on his TODO list.

Aside from that it's pretty easy!

Re:I use my iPod with Linux (1)

DJNephilim (832695) | about 8 years ago | (#15930482)

Not having a handy install of Gentoo, or any linux for that matter (at the moment), I can't try this.

How well does it work? How comparable are the features to iTunes? Does it handle podcasts or do I need separate software for that? Can it handle drag-n-drop adding of music, playlists, etc.?

Why is parent modded funny? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15930565)

... I use my iPod in Linux, and it's really not that big a deal. All you have to do is mount it and then run GNUPod.

The only thing that was hard to do was flash the stupid thing, other than that it's easy as hell. In fact, I had a harder time getting iTunes to work on a Windows PC than I did getting my iPod to work on my Slackware box.

Re:I use my iPod with Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15930601)

you *cant* be serious

Re:I use my iPod with Linux (2, Informative)

lkypnk (978898) | about 8 years ago | (#15930658)

Well, with Kubuntu (Ubuntu w/ KDE) it was simple for me. Plug my iPod in and amaroK automatically recognized it. I was actually surprised, but it works! It's still not flawless though. If you remove the device (physically) without "eject"ing it (how logical is that?) You'll lose your itunesdb and have to recreate that, which I'm sure would really throw off a newbie...

Once we work out these small flaws, it should all be smooth sailing, at least for music... Video is a whole other matter.

Re:I use my iPod with Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15930752)

I am sure you lost 99% of the users already when you said "compile":)and remaining 1% already use linux.
Last thing I want to do is compile when all I want to do is listen to music.

Re:I use my iPod with Linux (1)

Simon80 (874052) | about 8 years ago | (#15930886)

He only mentioned compile cause he's a gentoo user... if you're a newb, you don't use gentoo, problem solved.

Re:I use my iPod with Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15930760)

jwz hates you.

No one has heard of (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15930443)

Nobody has heard of gtkpod? :\

back when I was a lad.... (0, Flamebait)

madnuke (948229) | about 8 years ago | (#15930450)

We had blinking cursors and a book full of commands on how to format your 64k tape, what do todays kids want GUI's and all this ipods!

A million Monkeys (2, Funny)

thelost (808451) | about 8 years ago | (#15930455)

Does anyone ever get the feeling that the search for the mecca of desktop linux is being led by an attack-macaque that watches tirelessly over an infinitely large room with an infinite number of monkeys in it, all smooshing keyboards to design that distro that just might work.

and yet they can't. what is going on with that? I think by now, we've kinda grasped the things that make a good desktop. If no-one can bring that simple magic to linux now, they never will.

Re:A million Monkeys (1)

GigsVT (208848) | about 8 years ago | (#15930541)

They won't if hardware manufacturers don't want them to.

When I first heard of Linux back in 1997, I immediately though "what about drivers?".

Standardized hardware interfaces can solve the problem, but companies don't like standards, when they can make proprietary crap like Apple does and people slurp it up.

Re:A million Monkeys (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15930901)

The important concept to bear in mind when discussing software issues with Linux apologists is the "Linux Fault Threshold". Clever use of this concept helps you to avoid losing your temper with someone who might actually be able to render practical help, while ensuring that you give the correct dose of venom (60cc of scorpion juice, administered per anem with a rusty syringe) to the vast crowd of mindless apologists who just want you to use their pet operating system because it makes them feel good and gives them something to boast about on Slashdot. I provide this as a service to all the blind, alcoholic, incontinent grandmothers out there who appear to be installing Linux without any trouble if the Slashdot comments on any article remotely related to user interface design are to be believed.

The Linux Fault Threshold is the point in any conversation about Linux at which your interlocutor stops talking about how your problem might be solved under Linux and starts talking about how it isn't Linux's fault that your problem cannot be solved under Linux. Half the time, the LFT is reached because there is genuinely no solution (or no solution has been developed yet), while half the time, the LFT is reached because your apologist has floundered way out of his depth in offering to help you and is bullshitting far beyond his actual knowledge base. In either case, a conversation which has reached the LFT has precisely zero chance of ever generating useful advice for you; it is safe at this point to start calling the person offering the advice a fucking moron, and basically take it from there. Here's an example taken from IRC logs to help you understand the concept.

<jsm> Why won't my fucking Linux computer print?
<linuxbabe> what printer r u using?
<jsm> I don't know. It's a Hewlett Packard desktop inkjet number
<linuxbabe> hewlett r lamers. they dont open source drivers [LFT closely approached!]
<linuxbabe> but we reverse engineered them lol. check the web. or ask hewlett for linux suuport??[but avoided, he's still talking about the problem]
<jsm> Thanks. I already did that. But I can't install the drivers on my fucking computer. I've got a floppy disk from HP, but my floppy drive is a USB drive and Linux doesn't have fucking USB support.
<linuxbabe> linux DOES have USB support!!!!!!
<jsm> yeh for fucking infrared mice, and for about a thousand makes of webcam it does. Get real here. For my fucking floppy disk drive, I am telling you through bitter experience it does not. Even if someone has written the drivers in the last week
<jsm> which I sincerely doubt, how the hell am I going to install them given that my floppy drive doesnt work?????
<jsm> this ought to be in the kernel. what good is a fucking operating system that doesnt operate?
<linuxbabe> Imacs dont have floppy drives at all [useless point, but not LFT. All apologists make pointless jabs at other OSs]
<linuxbabe> so you ought to be greateful that Linux does. drivers like that shouldn't be bundled in the kernel
<linuxbabe> makes it into fucking M$ bloatware. bleh
<linuxbabe> download drivers from the web!!!! apt-get is your friend
<jsm> So everyone keeps telling me. Unfortunately the fucking modem doesn't work under Linux either, and since the Linux installation destroyed Windows, that leaves me kind of fucked.
<linuxbabe> Linux doesnt destroy windows
<jsm>mandrake installer does. It "resized" my Windows partition and now the fucker won't work
<linuxbabe> you shuold have defragmented. windows scatters data all over your hard drive so the installer cant just find a clean chunk to install into. it isn't linux fault [distinct signs of LFT being approached]
<linuxbabe> that windoze disk management blows
<jsm> so why doesn't my fucking modem work?
<linuxbabe> what computer hav u got
<jsm> A Sony Vaio PCG
<linuxbabe> that doesn't have a modem
<jsm> I assure you it fucking does. I used to use it to check my email back in the days when Windows worked.
<linuxbabe> its got a winmodem. thats not a modem [nitpicking over technical terms is a sign of impending LFT]
<jsm> what do you mean?
<linuxbabe> a winmodem isnt a proper modem. it just uses proprietary windoze apis. doesnt do the work of a modem at all.
<jsm> Very interesting. Now how do I get the fucker to work with Linux?
<linuxbabe> well the trouble is that micro$oft won't open up the drivers they just keep it proprietary and becos theyr a monopoly all the lameass manufacturers fall into line

                        LINUX FAULT THRESHOLD REACHED !!!!!

<jsm> So in other words, my fucking modem is never going to work with Linux at all?
<linuxbabe> no no no. in the first place you never had a modem you had a winmodem. in the second place its M$ fault that the drivers are closed and you can go to jail for trying to reverse engineer them like this guy dimitri skylab and the DMCA. its nothing to do with linux that M$ fills the world with its proprietary crap
<jsm> But in terms of actually getting my computer to work with Linux, I get the impression that it won't?
<linuxbabe> M$ should have to open up the drivers have you read CatB? and vaio sucks because they won't open up their standards either.
<jsm> Congratulations on wasting half an hour of my life, you fucking loser. And stop pretending to be a fucking woman. Your advice is useless. You, and the other hundred members of the so called fucking Linux community for which you stand, have broken my computer, wasted my time, patronised me senseless, revealed your lack of real knowledge, patronised me again and you *still* can't get something as simple as a fucking laptop computer to fucking work. Your so called free fucking software, like your
<jsm> so called fucking free advice, is still too fucking expensive. I cannot believe that you have so little fucking self-respect that in order to find the attention you clearly crave, you have to spend your life lying about the usability of a fucking computer operating system, purely for the joy of creating problems which you can then pretend to solve. You are worse than a fucking fireman who sets buildings on fire. I have had enough of your fucking Munchausen-by-proxy version of tech support. Now get off
<jsm> this fucking channel, hunt down someone who knows what they're fucking doing and bring them here or I will never, repeat never, use your fucking system ag ....

                        ---DISCONNECT ---

That's basically what it's like. Don't ever, ever believe anyone who tells you that you can get technical support from "the community". Because "the community" with whom a computer journalist, website operator or Open Source loudmouth interacts, is not the same community that is open to you.

jsm [adequacy.org]

Amarok!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15930469)

The latest version of Amarok whoops iTunes...love it.

http://amarok.kde.org/ (3, Interesting)

datalife (17290) | about 8 years ago | (#15930480)

There is no gap between ITunes and Amarok.

You're delusional. (1, Interesting)

mnemonic_ (164550) | about 8 years ago | (#15930669)

iTunes lets one painlessly burn, share, listen to and buy music. Many iTunes users actually use all of its features. Wake me up when a Linux app handles all of those abilities without being a bloated, buggy piece of shit.

Re:You're delusional. (2, Funny)

NamShubCMX (595740) | about 8 years ago | (#15930810)

without being a bloated, buggy piece of shit.

Like iTunes? :P

iTunes IS bloated (2, Informative)

keitosama (990483) | about 8 years ago | (#15930887)

Hey, iTunes is a bloated piece of shit! Just having the application playing in the background playing uses lots of resources on my Power Mac G4, not to mention tagging files or searching through the library (I had to give up on searching and browse instead, because the iTunes was almost like freezing after every character I typed in). I quite recently bought a laptop and installed Ubuntu on it, and now I refuse to use anything but Quod Libet for listening to music! It is the ultimate music application!

I beg to disagree... (4, Insightful)

cagle_.25 (715952) | about 8 years ago | (#15930508)

...with the article summary, which implies that Linux is going to have to "be compatible" with technology X in order to appeal to the masses. In point of fact, if Linux adopts that strategy it will *never* appeal to the masses, because it will always be catching up.

The only way to have significant appeal is to offer something that the masses want, that Windows can't. Hint: rock-solid security is not something the masses *want*. Yet.

Re:I beg to disagree... (1)

Fordiman (689627) | about 8 years ago | (#15930583)

Actually, Linux adapts and exceeds pretty quickly. It's the result of having a developer bin about ten times that of, say, Microsoft, working independantly and in teams.

Presently, Linux is:
Catching up with windows binary support
Working on MacOSX binary support
Keeping well ahead of video format support
Whooping ass at new-and-innovative native applications
Whooping ass at reinventing old-and-ubiquitous applications ...
etc, ad inf.

To those who pooh-pooh the state of linux, may I suggest: You don't keep up well, do you?

Re:I beg to disagree... (1)

LocoMan (744414) | about 8 years ago | (#15930597)

I have to agree there. The way I see it, Linux IS ready to be used by the masses (in my limited experience with ubuntu, at least), provided someone configures it and install all they need for them first, that is.

However, the ways I can see linux making way into the home desktop are by having major vendors offer linux computers like the windows ones they offer (for example, a line of linux computers that come with everything preinstalled and heavily marketed), or linux having some killer app everyone wants (enough to make them want to switch) and that they can't get anywhere else, and that they might be willing to put off with the inconveniences and differences from what they're used to.

Until then, I guess we'll keep seeing "XXXX app is what linux needs to be on the desktop" articles...

I know that at least in my household (my mother and older brother) the big killer app they'd need is a full MSN messenger software that can seamless do everything it does with other MSN users (as in, emoticons, webcams, file transfer, animations, voice chat and the like).

Or at least that's how it looks from this side of the monitor.. :)

Re:I beg to disagree... (1)

cagle_.25 (715952) | about 8 years ago | (#15930621)

Interestingly, being open source may prevent "killer app-erature." After all, if Debian released a killer app, would not MS essentially co-opt it the next day?

Re:I beg to disagree... (2, Insightful)

arose (644256) | about 8 years ago | (#15930685)

It's been years, and there is still no msi-get.

Re:I beg to disagree... (4, Insightful)

techno-vampire (666512) | about 8 years ago | (#15930866)

Until then, I guess we'll keep seeing "XXXX app is what linux needs to be on the desktop" articles...


Even more to the point, as long as there's even one app running on MS or Mac that isn't on Linux, the naysayers and fanbois will claim that Linux isn't ready for the desktop because of that one app. No matter how good Linux is, how much better its stability and security, how many apps there are for it, as long as the fanbois can point to one thing that isn't duplicated to their satisfaction, they'll continue to claim it's not ready yet.

Linux is ready for the desktop, right now. It's ready for Aunt Minnie because Aunt Minnie isn't going to be installing her own software on Linux anymore than she is on Windows. What it isn't ready for is the MS/Mac zealots, but then, it never will be because they have no desire to change, nor to admit there even is a viable alternative to their favorite OS.

Re:I beg to disagree... (5, Insightful)

kfg (145172) | about 8 years ago | (#15930668)

. . .[Linux] will always be catching up.

Ironically, this is because Windows and OSX are plots to take over the world; whereas Linux is just an operating system.

KFG

Re:I beg to disagree... (1)

Alternator (995114) | about 8 years ago | (#15930701)

This ipod feature isn't too compelling since I don't own an ipod (shocking). But what is keeping me from going Linux is the software, my computer is for playing games. At the moment windows is still king for that. But give Vista time to push me off the Win platform, I'm not in love of the idea that this OS is going to steal most of my system resources for OS features I am unlikely to care about or use.

Why does Linux even need to be on the Desktop? (1)

capaman (320085) | about 8 years ago | (#15930521)

Why is this such a big deal, I mean linux is good for many things, and it's strength is that people take it in a million different directions at once. A desktop OS to be sucessful, can really only go in one direction. If say for instance the open source community were to decide to "force" everything to go in one direction (not saying this is possible) then linux would no longer be linux, so to speak. Point is, linux is good for somethings and not others...besides we have windows and OSX for the desktop, isn't that enough?

Re:Why does Linux even need to be on the Desktop? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15930536)

Uh, Windows and OSX cost $$$... That's the point

iPod != iTunes (4, Insightful)

peter_gzowski (465076) | about 8 years ago | (#15930529)

Well, what do you want? Do you want to be able to throw your music on your iPod? You can do through a number of applications, although I find Amarok's new versions (>= 1.4.1) are the most seamless way to do that. I use my 4th generation 40GB iPod exclusively through Linux, and have had minor issues (had trouble getting rid of that "Do Not Disconnect" message in Mandriva/PCLinuxOS, that's about it), but no show-stoppers. As far as iTunes, I haven't tried to pull down music from the music store. I'm assuming it's not possible right now.

I find the summary deceiving. To pose the question, "does Linux work with my iPod?" and then answer "no, it hasn't reached that stage yet" is not giving a true picture. If someone asked me that question, I would say "yes, mostly" and then get them to clarify what they wanted to do.

Re:iPod != iTunes (2, Informative)

Constantine Evans (969815) | about 8 years ago | (#15930767)

As far as iTunes, I haven't tried to pull down music from the music store. I'm assuming it's not possible right now.
It is possible. There is SharpMusique [nanocrew.net] (by Jon Johansen). That is, unless Apple has done something recently to prevent it from working.

Ipod? That's easy! (5, Insightful)

common middle name (657525) | about 8 years ago | (#15930543)

Pretty much every media player for Linux supports the ipod. Amarok, Rhythmbox, Banshee, etc, etc. Not to mention gtkpod! AFAIK every mainstream distro compiles the proper support into the kernel for usb or firewire support as well as VFAT/HFS file system support. The ipod should be pretty much plug and play on any modern Linux distro.

At the very least the title of the article is misleading BS.

Re:Ipod? That's easy! (4, Informative)

ZakuSage (874456) | about 8 years ago | (#15930723)

In fact I find it's easier to use an iPod with Linux then with Windows. I was able to access my brother's shuffle with ease as a mass storage device, and then put songs on it by copying through Natuilus. I did all this with a stock Ubuntu Breezy installation a few months ago. With Windows you had to access it through iTunes, and couldn't do something so simple as using a file manager.

geez! (1)

wateriestfire (962915) | about 8 years ago | (#15930576)

just use SuSE 10.1, you can upload songs onto any Ipod just as easily as windows! you need banshee or Amarok but SuSE 10.1 comes with those and installs them automatically. If you want Itunes install it with Codeweavers crossover X and if you are willing to spend $500+ dollars for an Ipod you can spend $50 for this program.

Linux fussy about hardware (3, Funny)

bunions (970377) | about 8 years ago | (#15930580)

Water also wet. Further bulletins at as warranted.

Re:Linux fussy about hardware (1)

Fordiman (689627) | about 8 years ago | (#15930608)

Meanwhile, TFA's author seems... mislead to say the least.

Where's that fud tag, anyway? It's definately deserved here.

Great! (-1, Flamebait)

gatzke (2977) | about 8 years ago | (#15930636)


Just what we need, an influx of the ipod generation!

Remember when AOL users got access to the full internet, including newsgroups! Do we really want these people?

http://www.atlasmagazine.com/michael/newbies.html [atlasmagazine.com]

DRM (3, Insightful)

linguae (763922) | about 8 years ago | (#15930638)

Remember that Apple's iTunes music is encoded with its DRM. So you cannot legally play iTunes-encoded music on the iPod.

Linux will remain behind of commercial OSes in the realm of media, not because it is Linux, but becuase of DRM.

Re:DRM (1, Flamebait)

vertinox (846076) | about 8 years ago | (#15930825)

Linux will remain behind of commercial OSes in the realm of media, not because it is Linux, but becuase of DRM.

If you think that the majority of space on all the iPods in the world is filled up with music from iTunes... Well you've got another thing comming.

Besides, people don't buy iPods because they support fairplay DRM. They buy them because they play music on a fashionable easy to use device. They could care less as long as DRM is invisible and non-intrusive.

As soon as that DRM starts screwing them over, Joe six pack gets pissy and returns products to stores.

Ubuntu (1)

vinividivici (919782) | about 8 years ago | (#15930651)

Why don't these people who complain about non-user-friendlyness just use Ubuntu. I mean, it has the Synaptic package manager with great repositories. Also, Linux DOES work with iPods. GTKpod, people.

phishing with flamebait (1)

kemo_by_the_kilo (971543) | about 8 years ago | (#15930665)

http://ipod.hackaday.com/entry/1234000563068565/ [hackaday.com] if someone can get teh ipod to load an OS (with out DRM), we can connect an ipod to linux.
just get freespire.... install itunes via cedega..... stfu noob... *troll troll troll*
is that easy enough noob?

I'm sorry, but fuck the iPod. (0, Troll)

Chas (5144) | about 8 years ago | (#15930703)

I have no use for an iPod. I don't walk around, needing to hear tunes all the time. I have a CD player in my car and an FM transmitter that plays MP3s from any USB-enabled device.

My job has me sitting in front of a computer all day, and I have an entire setup at home.

Additionally, I have exactly zero desire to watch video on a postage-stamp-sized screen.

And, if for some reason I DID, there's already tools available for it.

So please, all you iPod junkies, get a fucking detox.

__

Yeah, go ahead. Classify it a troll.

Re:I'm sorry, but fuck the iPod. (4, Funny)

kfg (145172) | about 8 years ago | (#15930726)

. . .all you iPod junkies, get a fucking detox.

Does the detox support vorbis?

KFG

Re:I'm sorry, but fuck the iPod. (1)

dedazo (737510) | about 8 years ago | (#15930802)

I suppose that when your operating system is written and designed by people who have the power to say "fuck X" instead of people who are told to support X you get into the sad situation of having to organize "panel discussions" about why your OS is not doing X. And by the time you are organizing said panel discussions it's probably too late anyway.

Wireless? (1)

Facegarden (967477) | about 8 years ago | (#15930728)

I have tried to cuddle up with linux and give it a shot, but i have yet to find a distro that works with my wireless card. I'm not going to use an OS that won't get me online, so stupid things like driver support for common products should be a given. Till it is, I'll have a hard time convincing myself or others to try it. That said, i know I don't use Vista because itunes breaks the glass effect when it's open (last i tried it, which was like 2 months ago), so i guess itunes is still a pretty big deal. It makes sense too, my primary use for computers is music and web.
-Taylor

Re:Wireless? (1)

Architect_sasyr (938685) | about 8 years ago | (#15930779)

I would be rather surprised if you couldn't get your wireless card to work in Linux. Hell, I don't think I have come across hardware yet that I have had to load drivers for. Maybe I got lucky, but even my nVidia gear works straight off the bat... which is more than I can say for Micro$oft.

Re:Wireless? (1)

TheDarkSavant (459819) | about 8 years ago | (#15930859)

I have tried to cuddle up with linux and give it a shot, but i have yet to find a distro that works with my wireless card.

That's not Linux, that's the wireless card vendor. There are still hardware venders out there that will not make linux drivers or distribute the info necessary to make one.

Can't even play MP3s (-1, Flamebait)

MulluskO (305219) | about 8 years ago | (#15930788)

I installed openSUSE not too long ago and it couldn't even play MP3s.

What a joke.

Bread and games (2, Insightful)

steincastle (995168) | about 8 years ago | (#15930814)

Bring me games to Linux and Vista will go away. Unless you do that I am buying Vista and MSFT.

Make That Music Generation Gap (0, Troll)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | about 8 years ago | (#15930816)

Time to wake up. Audio on Linux is just as bad as gaming.

For starters, can you actually play the audio files everyones else takes for granted. No major distro supports mp3s by default. Just install it yourself!!!! Joy. Yeah, this is what I went to Linux for, the convienice of dependancy hell.

And if you thought mp3 support was hell, wait till you browse network shares brimloaded with the fruits of iTunes' labour. AAC and m4a files almost completely dominate collections ripped using the latest versions of iTunes. You want to install support for m4a by yourself? Word to the wise; set aside a weekend. Preferably a long one.

And as to the so called "Jukebox" apps like Amarok and Rhythmbox, dear gods trust me when I say you are better off with xmms and bash scripts. They crash. A Lot. Not only that but they rely almost completely on id3 tags, which sucks if your music collection happens to be anything other than ripped from personal CDs or very good quality rips.

You want to know what Amarok did to me? I decided to add the windows network share music folder to its collection. What did Amarok do? It found every playlist file and helpfully changed all the nice neat relative paths to absolute paths. Yes, that's right! Every single playlist files has entries that begin with /mnt. You should have been there when the rest of my family found out. Joyful memories. Thank you Amarok, you've really shown me the superiority of Linux music players!

If you want music on Linux, I'd recommend something like iTunes or Winamp over WINE or a VM, because the native apps aren't done cooking yet.

Not just ipods (5, Insightful)

Colin Smith (2679) | about 8 years ago | (#15930848)

BTW, don't they just plug in and appear as a drive? Anyway...

It's all the peripherals. Your ipod, palm, nokia, cameras etc syncing with the calendar, todo, email, files etc. The problem isn't actually with Linux, it's with closed proprietary protocols. Saying the problem is with Linux is naive, the problem is with standardisation and with peripheral manufacturers writing software which works on several platforms. Its really an economic problem rather than a technical one.

 

Newsflash (1, Interesting)

drix (4602) | about 8 years ago | (#15930885)

Mac OS X is going to beat Windows dominance on the desktop. Linux is not. (The iPod happens to work great with OS X.)

I've been visiting this site since 1997 and I'm continually amazed at how often the "Linux will someday beat Windows" trope comes round. Once in a while, desktop Linux seems to score some isolated victory, particularly amongst cash-strapped school districts and municipal governments. But I'm guessing the non-top-down adoption rate on the desktop remains pegged where it was in 1997: zero. There's just not really any instances of normal, everyday (read: non-geek) people walking into Best Buy and walking out with a copy of Linux. To me that remains the benchmark of desktop adoption. Constructing a user-friendly desktop is really hard. It takes research into HID. It takes artists. It takes focus groups to see how people take to new features. It takes scads of documentation. These are all things that Apple does insanely well. These are all things that MSFT does sortakinda well. These are all things that a loose-knit bunch of hackers from across the globe, well, suck at. Can you really look at KDE or Gnome be reminded of anything other than a so-so imitation of Windows XP? I am considered pretty much a Unix wizard by friends and associates, and I can't even take the Linux GUI most of the time. I'm writing this on a laptop running XP. (Which will very soon be a Macbook Pro, just as soon as Merom ships :)

When Leopard comes out in early 2007, and Vista is still kicking around the halls of Redmond for another year, it's going to get interesting.

iPods are the least of Linux's problems (1, Interesting)

OnoTadaki (914593) | about 8 years ago | (#15930896)

Linux is aimed at a totally different audience than Windows. With that said, it seems like everyone talking about Linux lately wants it to Windows-ize itself and be easy to to figure out and learn like Windows. Sure I'd like to see Linux turn into an open source competition for Windows, but that's just not going to happen. Once it's easy to use it loses its effeciency for the gurus and most importantly it loses its appeal to the 90% of Linux users that use it because it's 'NOT Windows' and no other reason. People enjoy sitting around in an operating system they don't understand, and pretending they do, because it makes them feel superior to the 'peons' using Windows. With that aside, Linux needs - out of the box - support for mpegs, mp3s, avis, wmvs, etc... before it's even going to come close to defeating Windows. Why would I want to kill myself trying to attach my iPod to an operating system that can't even play an mpeg file without extensive research on forums and package installing that would break a noob down into tears.

it still ain't there yet (1, Insightful)

cmbondi (974579) | about 8 years ago | (#15930925)

After beta testing Windows Vista I realized it was time to get off the sinking ship so I tried various flavors of Linux including Ubuntu which was actually the most usable linux distro I have ever played with. But I still don't consider linux a serious option for desktop users who don't want to spend a bunch of time tinkering with their systems. I've been an IT professional for over 8 years and I am not unfamiliar with unix/linux and I still found linux to be a frustrating experience, I could get it to work but it was an unecessary pain in the ass. For me I've switch to the Mac as a compromise for now. Linux is GREAT on the server side but it still has a long way to go on the desktop but the opportunity is now especially given what a piece of shit Vista is. However I think in the end it will likely be Apple that will be come out on top.....

Linux and iPod stuff (1)

martinultima (832468) | about 8 years ago | (#15930934)

I happen to like gtkpod – http://www.gtkpod.org/ [gtkpod.org] – and amaroK... I'm an iPod nano addict myself, so I've made sure it's included in Ultima Linux if anyone cares (I've also linked amaroK to libgpod, so it's got everything except a music store now... works just fine for me :-)
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