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Apple Cuts Off Linux iPod Users

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the can't-stand-the-heat dept.

Media (Apple) 854

Will Fisher writes "New iPods will no longer be able to work with Linux. iTunes now writes some kind of hash (SHA1, md5?) to the iPod database which new iPods check against. If this check fails then the iPod reports that it contains 0 songs. This appears to be protection against 3rd party applications writing out their own databases. We haven't found out how to generate our own valid hashes (but we do know the hash includes the database itself, and possibly the iPod serial number), and are looking for help."

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So I guess... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20607565)

...installing linux on the new iPod is out of the question?

Re:So I guess... (5, Insightful)

Thrip (994947) | more than 7 years ago | (#20607605)

You got it exactly backwards. Apple just gave a lot of people much more incentive to install a new OS on their iPod. (Including Windows users who don't like iTunes -- not just Linux users.)

Re:So I guess... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20607819)

...time to buy some new batteries to the old creative stuff...

Re:So I guess... (5, Informative)

Leftist Troll (825839) | more than 7 years ago | (#20607933)

That is, assuming this isn't defeated.

Hop along to freenode #gtkpod if you have some serious technical expertise in this kind of thing and are able to obtain a new iPod Classic or Nano.

Have you tried Corned Beef? (4, Funny)

2names (531755) | more than 7 years ago | (#20607567)

I've heard this is the best way to make a good hash.

Inevitable comment (5, Funny)

interiot (50685) | more than 7 years ago | (#20607595)

I heard cannabis brownies were the way to go.

Re:Inevitable comment (1)

Xybre (527810) | more than 7 years ago | (#20607745)

Oh, you win good sir, I double checked my spelling.

Re:Have you tried Corned Beef? (0, Redundant)

Xybre (527810) | more than 7 years ago | (#20607643)

Have you tried cannabis? I hear that makes some good hash..

Re:Have you tried Corned Beef? (1)

Doug Neal (195160) | more than 7 years ago | (#20607941)

Plus you can cut it with rubber, plastic bags, pollen, and diesel. Yum!

Hash? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20607925)


GAIM^WPidgin developers? (3, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#20607575)

They should talk to the GAIM^WPidgin developers. I've heard that they have a wee bit of experience in reverse-engineering hashes transmitted over a network.

Old ones (4, Funny)

aedan (196243) | more than 7 years ago | (#20607579)

My old 5 gb iPod just jumped in value.

Not that I'd sell it.

But but but... (5, Funny)

Markvs (17298) | more than 7 years ago | (#20607587)

I thought Apple had embraced open source

Re:But but but... (3, Insightful)

cmowire (254489) | more than 7 years ago | (#20607617)

In order to not get in trouble with shareholders, the CEO is usually obligated to sell his own mother to slavery if it will make sufficient impact to the bottom line.

Re:But but but... (5, Insightful)

sayfawa (1099071) | more than 7 years ago | (#20607787)

And despite this, you'll still get told how good Apple is for open source in a few days in the next OSX vs Linux flame war.

Anyway, this just makes it easier to say no to them IMO. I was already pissed off enough that my 2nd gen Nano couldn't load Rockbox, but now this.

In TFA they make it clear they are going to try to get around this, and they probably will, but part of me just wants to say why bother? Fuck Apple. They don't want my money, good, they won't get it.

Re:But but but... (2, Insightful)

davetd02 (212006) | more than 7 years ago | (#20607831)

Is Apple trying to freeze-out Linux, or is Apple trying to fix a potential security hole, which hits Linux as a side-effect. The former is stupid, the latter suggests that there is hope of the condition being fixed in the future.

It sounds to me like there is a security problem in allowing any program to write to the iTunes database and have that code executed by the iPod or iPhone. If Microsoft Windows were to let just any program write into the system folder... oh, wait, they do that --- but we laugh at their utter lack of security as a result.

I highly suspect that Apple, a company that used *nix as the basis for its entire operating system, isn't trying to screw Linux users. Sounds like a security patch caused a problem and I hope that this outcry will fix it.

Re:But but but... (2, Insightful)

bkr1_2k (237627) | more than 7 years ago | (#20607943)

I'm a reasonable fan of Apple, but I wouldn't bet this was a fix for security purposes. They have long been proprietary with whatever it suits them to be proprietary with, while trying to woo the open source community on the other hand.

It's a fine line to walk for them, as a business beholden to stock holders, and they do a reasonable job of it in some aspects and a horrible job in others. This is just one of the ways they've done a horrible job. They've never tried to include any sort of support of the open source community with iTunes, and I wouldn't expect them to in the future.

Re:But but but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20607833)

They changed their proprietary interface. People had used it in the past, and it broke their code. Now they are upset that they need to update their code since the interface has changed? Seems like a non-story to me.

Re:But but but... (1)

MotorBheaded (1156281) | more than 7 years ago | (#20607843)

They have embraced open source when it comes to taking a top knotch kernel (freebsd) for free and use for their own.

How many days until someone develops a work around (5, Insightful)

Traegorn (856071) | more than 7 years ago | (#20607591)

Because I expect the Linux community to have one on my desk by Monday. Companies drive me crazy when they do this, I mean punishing someone whose a potential consumer of your product makes so much sense... yeesh. It's not like they're trying to hack the iTunes DRM - they just want to use a legitimate product they've purchased...

Re:How many days until someone develops a work aro (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20607725)

More likely, the expect this response:

"Oh well, my $250 iPod won't work with Linux. Rather than replacing it with another $250 player that will, I'll go and buy a $600, $1200 or $2500 Apple computer that will work with my iPod." (Windows intentionally ignored because a Linux user would never switch to Windows.

Re:How many days until someone develops a work aro (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20607909)

Except that you forgot the part that Linux is a free OS that works well with very cost effective computers. Unless Apple starts giving away free Macs, you're not going to see the kind of migration you're suggesting.

It will probably be more cost effective to go with another system such as Creative's Zen. (Now if only some other player would licence out or provide incentives for intercompatability with other devices such as docking with stereos, iPod wouldn't be the big thing it is now. Or do they somehow have a patent lock on what is apparently an obvious implementation?)

Re:How many days until someone develops a work aro (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20607769)

a) Because sometimes it doesn't make much sense to put in the extra resources to support an at best barely significant portion of the market?

b) Because Apple happens to be a software company, who happens to deal in operating systems?

c) Because they hate Linux and are out to destroy it.

Two of the above are plausible reasons, neither of them are c). Pick.

Re:How many days until someone develops a work aro (3, Insightful)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 7 years ago | (#20607901)

Companies drive me crazy when they do this, I mean punishing someone whose a potential consumer of your product makes so much sense... yeesh.

The thing you're missing is that Apple executives did not sit down and decide to make things hard for Linux users. Probably they sat down and looked for a way to stop MS from making WMP work with the iPod, since, MS uses similar lock in strategies against them in other markets every day. They were probably considering Sony and maybe Real. They may or may not have considered Linux at all and if they did they probably decided there were so few Linux users that the impact would not be as bad as letting MS leverage their monopolies to push Apple out of markets while not taking every effort to leverage their own near monopoly.

Normally I'd object pretty strongly to any sort of enforced tie ins like this, but when competing against MS and while it is clear the Justice department will do nothing to stop their abuses, Apple and all other companies competing with them are in a very bad spot. Two wrongs don't make a right, but anything that stops MS from becoming the sole gatekeeper for DRM and all media within the next decade sounds like something we really, really need. And make no mistake, if not for Apple's iPod and Apple leveraging it, WMP would be the format for almost all legal music on the internet and MS would be taking a cut of it and preparing to stop said music from playing on Linux and other OS's altogether

Also, I don't own an iPod and am pretty sure there will be a work around in short order.

Re:How many days until someone develops a work aro (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 7 years ago | (#20607947)

It's not like they're trying to hack the iTunes DRM - they just want to use a legitimate product they've purchased...

That's the weird thing. Exactly what incentive does Apple have to make their product less appealing to open source users?

Re:How many days until someone develops a work aro (1)

krgallagher (743575) | more than 7 years ago | (#20607957)

"Companies drive me crazy when they do this, I mean punishing someone whose a potential consumer of your product makes so much sense... yeesh."

Maybe they really don't care and this is just a distraction from something they do care about. Now where did I put my tinfoil hat...

Re:How many days until someone develops a work aro (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 7 years ago | (#20607995)

Meh, maybe, maybe not. This only affects new iPods, so at this stage I suspect most people will just buy some other MP3 player that works with GNOME et al.

I know I will. I like Apple's new iPod line-up, but nothing they're selling is so compelling that the alternatives aren't worthy of consideration. I have been thinking of replacing my old 2nd gen 10G iPod, for a variety of reasons (I don't want to upgrade the battery again, and the thing is Firewire only, which I don't have on the laptop I want to move everything to), but I guess an iPod is out of the running at this stage. I'm just glad I didn't buy much from the iTMS.

Does anyone know if 8Gb+ SD cards are coming any time soon? The Nokia N800 might make a perfect replacement in terms of what I need a portable device for.

Re:How many days until someone develops a work aro (1)

MBCook (132727) | more than 7 years ago | (#20608023)

Maybe you should buy a product that is explicitly supported on your OS of choice instead of buying one that isn't supported and them complaining when something gets changed breaking the non-supported hack you are using.

You want to complain that Apple doesn't support Linux? Fine. But don't beat up Apple because an update they issued broke something they never said would work in the first place.

Re:How many days until someone develops a work aro (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20608171)

Jesus f*ing christ.

I don't think Apple is punishing anyone, but why the fuck should they care about putting QA money into making sure a NON-SUPPORTED OS for a product works?

Last I checked, there is no where on the iPod box that says "WORKS WITH LINUX, XBOX360, PS3, YOUR CAT, Dos 5.0"

Everyone calm the fuck down, someone will have a hack/fix in a day or 2.

Question (3, Interesting)

s.bots (1099921) | more than 7 years ago | (#20607609)

Does this also mean that new iPods will only work with iTunes and not with superior media management apps?

Re:Question (1)

UbelievablyLame (962303) | more than 7 years ago | (#20607731)

iTunes lock-in is the whole intention here and the lack of Linux support stems from the fact that there is no Linux port of iTunes.

Re:Question (1)

NeilTheStupidHead (963719) | more than 7 years ago | (#20607765)

I'm sure that's the idea, but doubtless, this minor inconvenience will be rather quickly worked around. If not, well it's not as if there wasn't sufficient motivation to purchase a portable media player from another manufacturer already. ^>^

Re:Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20607899)

Do you hear that? It's as if millions of fanboi voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.

One month (2, Insightful)

Subm (79417) | more than 7 years ago | (#20607635)

I give the community one month from release to working hack or workaround. Actually, I think that may be too long.

Let's take up a pool for how long Apple's "protection" lasts. Anyone else predict something different?

Re:One month (0)

tbcpp (797625) | more than 7 years ago | (#20607743)

I don't think taking a pool is going to make Apple's "protection" last any longer or shorter. In fact, pools and electronics don't work well together. Just FYI.

Re:One month (0)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#20607817)

So that's why the kids died and my tv/360 stopped working when I tossed the 360 and the TV in the pool after they asked if I they could play video games.

It was a nice TV too...

Couldn't you have told me this earlier?

Re:One month (1)

kwerle (39371) | more than 7 years ago | (#20607951)

DAAP encryption still has not been broken.

Danger, Will Robinson! DMCA Alert (5, Interesting)

querist (97166) | more than 7 years ago | (#20607639)

First, I applaud your determination to uphold the implied freedom to do what one will (within reason, of course) with something that someone owns.

However, if you are in the USA you are running the risk of Apple invoking the DMCA.

I hope they don't. I hope you succeed. I firmly believe from a technical standpoint it can be done. My concern is the legal ramifications.

DMCA? Please. (2, Informative)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 7 years ago | (#20608129)

There is nothing that can be done to DMCA this. Please take note of the fact that you own your own product and can do whatever you want with it, and can cry DMCA all day if you want. If you go public with the crack, you'd have to prove 0 in court, but this would not be unlike the cell phone issue. There's also nothing that you are circumventing. They are just making the IPOD not display things properly. If you enable this, you'd actually be fixing things, not circumventing any form of protection whatsoever.

If they DMCA'd your site, you'd have even more against them. Especially if you publish the formula/code for the crack/cipher [wikipedia.org] , there's not a lot you can do.

A German court might not be too happy about this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20607641)

Anticompetitive? mmmmmm yeah.

*sniff* (5, Insightful)

target562 (623649) | more than 7 years ago | (#20607645)

Application is using a non-public interface to access functionality... Vendor changes said non-public interface... Community is SHOCKED! WTF?

Re:*sniff* (1, Insightful)

T-Bone-T (1048702) | more than 7 years ago | (#20607825)

I agree. That's exactly what I was thinking.

design now defective (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20607661)

so .. tell me again why I should buy an ipod? because its the hippest device on earth?

Rockbox (4, Informative)

AlexCorn (763954) | more than 7 years ago | (#20607663)

Just use Rockbox then. It's an open-source firmware replacement. Though it may not run on the newest generation of iPods yet... http://rockbox.org/ [rockbox.org]

Re:Rockbox (1, Informative)

Hatta (162192) | more than 7 years ago | (#20608015)


This affects Linux users - there's no iTunes for Linux, so popular Linux iPod management tools like gtkpod and Rockbox will not work with the new range of iPods.

I hate iTunes (3, Insightful)

wonkavader (605434) | more than 7 years ago | (#20607675)

I just hate iTunes. I know other people like it, but it seems to me that non-tech people find iTunes easy, and tech folks don't. As a tech guy, iTunes drives me insane. It doesn't do what I want, doesn't do things my way, does things I don't expect, etc.

Re:I hate iTunes (1)

Yusaku Godai (546058) | more than 7 years ago | (#20607953)

Programs not doing things my way is something I'm used to. What's annoying about iTunes (and lots of other Apple software as well) it's extremely difficult if not impossible to get it to do things my way.

Re:I hate iTunes (4, Insightful)

caerwyn (38056) | more than 7 years ago | (#20607961)

I dunno about that. I'm a tech guy and I like iTunes- but then, the three computers on my desk here are a mac and two windows/linux dual boot machines.

The trick is to let the software do its job without micromanaging it. Focus on what you want to get done rather than the detailed steps of how to get there, and you'll find that it does actually end up being easier and faster.

(Actually, that's generally the problem with open source UIs, I've found. Sure, they provide every possible way to customize every detailed step of the process... but all I want to do is accomplish X! If I want to break things down into algorithmic steps and tweak the parameters of those steps, well, that's what programming is and I do that enough in my job and my side projects. Applications should just work, they shouldn't need to be programmed.)

Re:I hate iTunes (1)

Yusaku Godai (546058) | more than 7 years ago | (#20608111)

But what if I'm pedantic (which I am) and I want my music files to be organized a particular way on the file system. iTunes does not do that, and does not let me do that. It just goes ahead and reorganizes stuff the way it wants. I know you can turn that feature off, but it would be a nice feature if I could tell it via some simple rules how I want my files organized.

In the meantime, a simple plugin I wrote for foobar2000 does just what I want.

Re:I hate iTunes (1)

cpotoso (606303) | more than 7 years ago | (#20607993)

Me too... I owned a 30GB Ipod for about 1 week (the time they allowed me to test it and return it without any issues). The totally insane way it operates drove me nuts. I wanted to be able to use the Ipod to browse the filesystem where I'd keep all my files (some MP3's, some photos, some text files). Alas, the Ipod has a dichotomy: it either works as a media player or as a storage device, the two cannot talk to each other without having to do a lot of hacking. Sorry, I'm not interested in wasting my time to make the stupid Ipod work the way it should...

Not just the new ones I guess (2, Informative)

tripwirecc (1045528) | more than 7 years ago | (#20607677)

Trying to make gtkpod work, I've borked my 2nd gen iPod nano. Starting from scratch, I could files make show up but not play. I had the brilliant idea and update to the latest firmware, hoping it was an issue with it. Now I can't make anything at all show up unless it's added with iTunes. Coincidence?

I've never understood the desire to use an Ipod (2, Insightful)

bryankwalton (872344) | more than 7 years ago | (#20607683)

There are plenty of good mp3 players that will work beautifully with linux and sources for mp3s other than Apple's Itunes.

Re:I've never understood the desire to use an Ipod (3, Insightful)

Logger (9214) | more than 7 years ago | (#20607811)

Agreed. Isn't the allure of an iPod the entire integrated experience, iPod/iTunes/iTMS? iTunes is the very heart of that, so if you don't want to use iTunes, why would you use an iPod?

Re:I've never understood the desire to use an Ipod (2, Informative)

Wooloomooloo (902011) | more than 7 years ago | (#20607917)

They're cheaper, too.

Re:I've never understood the desire to use an Ipod (1)

metamatic (202216) | more than 7 years ago | (#20607927)

Name a few. I'm currently using a 20GB iPod, but I'm entirely open to the idea of upgrading to something more open, with better battery life and better sound.

Re:I've never understood the desire to use an Ipod (1)

Synn (6288) | more than 7 years ago | (#20607931)

They only reason I'd want an iPod is because my car's stereo has an iPod connector(Toyota Scion). I don't know if other players out there have the same type of connector though. I'd definitely go with one of them over an iPod if they did.

Re:I've never understood the desire to use an Ipod (1)

Javi0084 (926402) | more than 7 years ago | (#20607975)

Cowon's iAudio X5 is a good example, they even say it on their website that Linux and Mac are no problem. I use my X5 on Ubuntu, recognized it right away. Too bad the x5 has been discontinued but I'm sure their other DAPs work well on Linux as well.

Oh boy (1, Troll)

MoOsEb0y (2177) | more than 7 years ago | (#20607693)

good thing rockbox [rockbox.org] will continue to present a normal mass storage device that's about 300x easier to perform simple file operations with than iTunes.

Re:Oh boy (1)

GweeDo (127172) | more than 7 years ago | (#20607905)

Did you not even read the summary? This won't work on the new iPod's as it won't be able to write out the needed hash and in turn the iPod will report 0 songs.

Re:Oh boy (2, Insightful)

ceswiedler (165311) | more than 7 years ago | (#20608017)

I think rockbox will overcome this, because the check for the hash is done in the default firmware, which rockbox replaces.

Re:Oh boy (3, Interesting)

cens0r (655208) | more than 7 years ago | (#20608033)

I know that the article says this affects Rockbox, but I'm unsure as to how? Rockbox replaces the iPod software with new software. It replaces the iPod song database with its own. The hash should be meaningless to it. Of course, Rockbox doesn't yet run on the new iPods, so the point is moot right now.

Dare I say it... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20607697)

...iPod Genuine Advantage?

Could Apple be sued over this? (3, Interesting)

MichaelCrawford (610140) | more than 7 years ago | (#20607737)

I remember a while back Apple got a lot of criticism from the European Community because the iTMS DRM didn't work on competing players - that's probably one reason Jobs pressed the record labels to let him offer DRM-free music.

I'd like to see some legal type make the case that Apple has a monopoly on portable music players, and that this is an illegally anticompetitive action.

Re:Could Apple be sued over this? (2, Insightful)

NiceGeek (126629) | more than 7 years ago | (#20607813)

Except that Apple doesn't have a monopoly on portable music players. You might be able to argue about the iTunes Store but there are plenty of companies churning out players.

Re:Could Apple be sued over this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20608071)

With iPod owning 72% of market share [roughlydrafted.com] you should at least qualify that "not monopoly" statement. Now what would be the advantage of stopping 3rd-party devices from interfacing the iPod? Simple--all that software would have to go through iTunes and therefore pay a nice little tax to Apple. Also would stop people from owning multiple players that can't interface with each other. Also I'm not saying that this won't be cracked but rather that it's an exercise in futility.

Re:Could Apple be sued over this? (4, Insightful)

MBCook (132727) | more than 7 years ago | (#20608075)

It's not like they sold you an iPod saying it would work with Linux and then removed it. You could sue over that. People have (the famous Intellivision keyboard for example). You bought a product for a non-supported use and are complaining that it's not working in a non-supported configuration. They didn't take Linux support away because they never gave it to you in the first place. You were using a hack, and you will in a few weeks when someone figures this out.

Spin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20607739)

So how will all the Apple fanboys spin this as a good thing from a good company?

No seriously... not a troll, I'd really like to know here, because you know it's going to happen.

I don't own an iPod or Zune, but in this article, if you replaced every instance of Apple with Microsoft, and iPod with Zune, and iTunes with whatever the Zune uses, people would already be talking about boycotting and suing and how evil the big empire is for this.

There go any future sales (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20607741)

Wow. Looks like Apple doesn't want repeat customers. Guess I won't be buying any more iPods in the future.

Linux can't use it? (2, Insightful)

realdodgeman (1113225) | more than 7 years ago | (#20607751)

Linux can't use it? Install Linux on it. Since their protection is embedded in the iPod OS, it should be easily fixed by installing Linux on the iPod itself. Suddenly your iPod can do more, and is not bound to Windows/Mac anymore. And did I mention that it is free?

Well I'll be damned (1)

Terrasque (796014) | more than 7 years ago | (#20607779)

And here I was looking on the new iPod's just a few hours ago wondering if I had the money to buy one. I was quite tempted, and since older iPod's work fine on linux, the ipod looked like a sweet upgrade to my current player (creative zen nano plus).

As I use linux quite a lot, often abandoning windows for several months (until a new game I just have to try pops out), this basically made my desicion for me. Seems like I am forced away from the ipod if I want to continue having my freedom to use the system I prefer.

Oh well, one less customer for Apple, then, I guess. I'm sure one of the other music player companies will be happy to take my cash away.

Somewhat worrysome. (1)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 7 years ago | (#20607785)

I have an 80GB ipod from last year. Does this mean that if I sync it again with iTunes that I can no longer use amarok with it? I sync with iTunes a couple times a year to update the software, but sync with amarok quite often. :-(

Just one more thing... (1)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 7 years ago | (#20607853)

I've encouraged a number of non-tech friends to convert from Windows to iMacs in the last couple years, including my dad and brother. My dad alone has bought at least $5000 in hardware in the last year (including two iMacs and an iPhone), based on my approval.

I feel violated, and suddenly wish I hadn't encouraged him.

iTunes for Linux? (1)

crustymonkey (731497) | more than 7 years ago | (#20607809)

Fscking Apple had better release a version of iTunes for Linux if they are going to pull this BS. I'm glad my rev 1 nano works excellently with Amarok (I love that player).

Re:iTunes for Linux? (1)

Floritard (1058660) | more than 7 years ago | (#20608105)

Now that I think about it, it kinda seems like the next logical step actually. Port iTunes to Linux and then they have control of iPods on all 3 major platforms. Seems more sensible than just locking Linux users out of ITMS entirely. Although iTunes is pretty bloated and who knows how much of a pain it would be to port to Linux.

For every (1)

M0bius (26596) | more than 7 years ago | (#20607815)

jerk Apple pays to come up with clever schemes to lock down their devices, there are dozens of others willing to put in all their spare time to break the scheme for free. How does that pay off in the end for anyone?

uh... (1)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 7 years ago | (#20608127)

How does that pay off in the end for anyone?

...the Apple jerk gets paid.

Apple increasingly hostile to Linux users (5, Insightful)

Pausanias (681077) | more than 7 years ago | (#20607821)

Apple is hostile to Linux, because it is beginning to compete with OS X in a much more serious way than Windows.

It all started last year when with the release of iTunes 7, Apple purposely broke DAAP [wikipedia.org] , ending the compatibility of their iTunes software with various [gnome.org] media players [gnome.org] . Now rhythmbox/amaroK/banshee users can't listen to iTunes shares, and no one has yet been able to break the hash that would allow it.

So it comes as no surprise that the iPod is being further locked down. The closer our desktops get in usability to OS X (and they are not close yet, but making progress), the more of this we'll see.

Disclaimer: I use an OS X desktop and a Linux laptop.

Re:Apple increasingly hostile to Linux users (1)

jcgf (688310) | more than 7 years ago | (#20607955)

Disclaimer: I use an OS X desktop and a Linux laptop.

Really? Most people go the other way around. What laptop/linux combo are you using and how well does it work?

You need help? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20607839)

Get an mp3 player that doesn't attempt a vendor lock-in trick that MS would be proud of. Simple as - tell jobs where to stuff it.

Not just Linux users. (1)

kebes (861706) | more than 7 years ago | (#20607841)

To clarify: the new restrictions prevent any non-iTunes application from writing the database on the iPod. So this doesn't just affect Linux users: it also affects Windows (or even Mac) users who don't want to use iTunes, preferring something else instead. TFA says:

This affects Linux users - there's no iTunes for Linux, so popular Linux iPod management tools like gtkpod and Rockbox will not work with the new range of iPods. Windows users who just plain don't like iTunes and perfer an alternative like Winamp, Ephpod or many of the other iPod management applications out there.
I understand Apple's desire to maintain control of the "entire experience" since this allows them to deliver end-to-end products that are "slick" and "user friendly." But countermeasures like this one really annoy me. It's one thing to not support users who choose to drastically depart from the carefully-controlled "entire experience." It's another to annoy those users, and effectively say "we don't want your money if you are not going to play by our rules."

I can only assume that Apple believes that they will make more money by forcing people to only use iTunes, although I don't see how that can be the case. I don't think many Linux users are going to go buy a Mac just so they can get their iPod working. Nor do they even have the option of using iTunes (with it's associated iTMS integration). So, instead, such users will just buy alternate media players.

What's Apple's angle here?

Re:Not just Linux users. (1)

sayfawa (1099071) | more than 7 years ago | (#20608157)

Sometimes, rarely actually, I get the disturbing feeling that the whole world, except for me, is crazy, stupid, or both. And it's a terrible feeling because even if I know that I'm not the crazy/stupid one, I know that everyone else will think I'm the one with the problems.

The fact that so many people seem to like iTunes gives me that feeling. Within 15 minutes of using that thing it made my top 5 list of aggravating software. And now it's supposed to be so good that Apple feels they can lock people into it and they won't mind? I just don't understand. I feel so alone. Thank god for you nerds around here.

But enough with the melodrama. Could it be (man, I hope so) that Apple just made a really stupid decision here? It's happened with bigger and better companies. Look at what Sony did with their mp3 players; forced their users to use their POS Sonicstage software for years until we all just stopped caring how sexy their players were. Maybe someone at Apple just went retarded or something.

Not surprised (0, Offtopic)

Synn (6288) | more than 7 years ago | (#20607865)

The only difference between Sun, Apple and Microsoft is that Sun and Apple want to be as big as Microsoft, but aren't. None of them give a crap about the consumer and all are completely happy to walk over anyone/anything that gets in their way.

I'd sooner trust MS than Apple, because at least everyone hates MS, is looking over their shoulder and isn't giving them any leeway the moment some stench heads out from their corporate HQ.

Worst product launch in a long time (5, Insightful)

ahbi (796025) | more than 7 years ago | (#20607887)

What is going on with Apple?
Let us count how bad this product launch is:
1) 33% price cut for the iPhone, which threw early adopters in a fit, and then the $100 "rebate".
2) iPod touch is crippled. The Bluetooth is physically there (supposedly) but not enabled. No editing calender appointments. No Notes app or the other apps from iPhone. Screen issues with the contrast & blackness versus the iPhone.
3) iPod Classic, slower less responsive UI. Old Video accessories don't work with the iClassic.
4) iPod Nano, the FatPod. Same slower UI as the Classic. No memory increase.

Seriously, in 10 days Apple seems to have found a way to piss everyone off. Now they go after the Linux community. How badly have they bungled this product launch?

1) As a non-iPhone owner or wanter, the brew-ha-ha over the $200 price cut irritates me not because of the price cut but the reaction is such that you better believe Apple won't ever make similar price cuts in the future.
Plus you know a 16GB iPhone will come out as soon as the iPhone is released in Europe.

2) Once again, the iTouch will be jailbreaked and the iPhone apps ported to the iTouch, but this type of needless product differentiation crippling cause bad will. And, this hacking may break whenever Apple releases a firmware update. For example, the Linux lock-out of this story.
Apple could have just given people the product they want in the first place. As the screams of people have shown, there is a market for a phoneless iPhone.
The screen issues are unfixable but possibly explained by manufacturing variables.

3) The iClassic is the least changed and therefore least disliked of the new products. The software (DRM) incompatibility with video accessories is unnecessary.

4) Now the FatPod is merely ugly. It is a shame about the less responsive UI. And really it was time to bump up the storage to 16gb. One wonders if the storage was capped at 8Gb in an attempt to differentiate this versus the iTouch. After all if they are needlessly crippling the iTouch why not nerf the FatPod?

Is it just hurbis that has gotten Apple's head so far up its ass, or is this just a cyclical Apple implosion? If the latter, we are in for a few more years of Apple stupidity before they re-emerge with some new wonder product.

Re:Worst product launch in a long time (1)

lpangelrob (714473) | more than 7 years ago | (#20608065)

Oh, I don't know... Out here in the real world, the iPhone price drop to $299 is making everyone go insane with low-price giddiness, and my wife has declare the iPod Nano really cute; if she didn't already have a pink shuffle, she'd get a blue nano.

Since mentalities like that tend to drive sales... it sounds like Apple has met its reality distortion goals for this quarter.

only a big deal for ITMS (4, Interesting)

Floritard (1058660) | more than 7 years ago | (#20607891)

If you're using only Linux, then you're not using iTunes, and unless you have a some separate access to a computer with iTunes you're not using ITMS. So why use the proprietary database format of iTunes at all? Just use rockbox and treat your iPod like what it is, a mass storage device. Easier manage your files that way anyway. Headline really should read Apple Cuts Off ITMS From Potential Users.

Re:only a big deal for ITMS (1)

th0mas.sixbit.org (780570) | more than 7 years ago | (#20608027)

Rockbox, last I checked, had a fraction the battery life of the ipod os, and was also not very responsive of an interface. Are you saying its better now?

Apple screws developers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20607937)

How, exactly is this news?

Apple under Jobs has a history of screwing various developers.

Apple //, Newton, RedBox are all things I cared enough to write code for to make some FRNs to pay the IRS. Gave up on Apple after getting the short brown sticky end of the stick.

What I am shocked is how shock is expressed when Apple (or Sony) does some screwing of the development community.

removing a loophole in the next generation of pod (1)

netsavior (627338) | more than 7 years ago | (#20607973)

Does not in my opinion count as "cutting off".. cutting off would be some sort of hardware flash on existing devices.

This is a new device that just happens to have the same name, that requires a different hack to work in an unsupported mode.

Hardly suprising, hardly "evil"

Does Steve Jobs Hate Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20607989)

Why else would he ban Linux? Apple Public Relations department just can't spin this one. I'm disappointed.

And just today... (1)

gillbates (106458) | more than 7 years ago | (#20608005)

I was thinking of buying a powerbook. But after this, it's apparent that both Apple and Microsoft have their interests at heart more than those of the consumer.

I'll stick with my Linux laptop instead. No reason to buy from a closed company, anyway. Why, yes, I expect to use my hardware in the way I intend to, not the way the manufacturer "lets" me. <SARCASM> How gracious of Apple to let you play music on hardware you've bought. We should all feel so lucky that Apple allows us this priveledge. </SARCASM>

One more reason... (1)

Duffy13 (1135411) | more than 7 years ago | (#20608007)

...to not buy an ipod, or any other apple product.

That blows my 'upgrade' (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 7 years ago | (#20608037)

I was actually thinking of trading in my 4Gen pod for a new color one with more space.

I guess ill have to choose another vendor. As much as i like apple, i refuse to be tied down like that. Ill have to reconsider this again when its time to upgrade to a newer mac too. They might have lost a lifetime customer. ( im still pissed about the swtich to intel CPUs... this might be the final straw )

Bye bye Apple. (1)

Glytch (4881) | more than 7 years ago | (#20608077)

I was thinking of getting a new imac with aperture and an ipod touch this fall to replace an ibook and a 1st gen nano. Between this, locking out third-party AV cables, and selling locked GSM phones at full price, they're starting to show their true colours. I doubt I'll be giving them any of my money anymore. Looks like I'll be putting the money into a Linux beige box, Bibble Pro, and something made by Archos instead. It's a shame; I like OSX and was looking forward to running leopard on a highend machine.

When will people learn? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20608107)

Companies like Apple lock their products up so that you can only use them the way they want you to and you still give them your money?

I agree. You need help.

They were this arrogant in the 1980s too (1)

athloi (1075845) | more than 7 years ago | (#20608113)

Macintosh computer, $2900
Apple laser printer, $2400 ...six months later...

Upgrade to the new Macintosh, which is now entry level
$1100 + tax

MediaMonkey Is Much Better (5, Informative)

rebmemeR (1056120) | more than 7 years ago | (#20608115)

iTunes sucks. I have an iPod 160 and my library has 11,000 songs (and there are folks out there with 50,000+). I'm on Windows XP SP2 on a fast box with 2GB memory and USB 2.0. iTunes is entirely unscalable. It is very slow to do anything with my library, even with manual sync. Adding one song to the iPod is a 5-minute process. File transfer speed is not the problem. For sure iTunes wastes time doing unnecessary work. Ejecting the iPod alone takes over a minute. Also, the iTunes MP3 player is buggy. It has trouble with MP3/VBR and generates clicking in the audio output. MediaMonkey is a much better content organizer. It is very fast. But the Apple's file format change on the iPod Classic means the current version of MM can't handle the iPod filesystem. I hope the MM developers will have the problem solved soon.

this sucks (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 7 years ago | (#20608131)

Luuucccyyy^^ AAppppllee you got some splainin' to do!!

-Oh' Ricky

Anything new here? (1)

Derek Loev (1050412) | more than 7 years ago | (#20608137)

Is this any different than what Apple has always done? They want their hardware to work with their software. Only their hardware and their software.
I can somewhat see the business aspect side of this (though not really). If Linux on iPod becomes pretty good (which last time I used it, it wasn't) it can offer free games (it already does), more music formats, etc. All of which takes away from the iTunes store.
All in all I don't think it will really matter. For some reason people REALLY want to put Linux on their iPod (don't ask me why) and eventually there will be Linux on the iPod.

My SanDisk Sansa works fine (1)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 7 years ago | (#20608167)

Mine works fine on Linux. I got tired of the weirdo preprocessed data format on my Shuffle and bought something else instead. It just took me a while to find something that was good quality. The only disadvantage is that when you add/remove files the sansa scans the entire filesystem to find all the files when it boots up, as long as you have not modified the filesystem it seems to skip that check. The microSD slot for adding more capacity is a nice touch.

Complain (1)

UltraMathMan (1139987) | more than 7 years ago | (#20608169)

Not that it will necessarily change anything, but Apple might realize they've made a mistake sooner if the Slashdot crowd starts complaining directly.
http://www.apple.com/feedback/ipod.html [apple.com]

Hehe, it would be funny the their feedback system was slashdotted over this...
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