Friday, November 28, 2008

I am teh stupid

While I've been reveling in my Ubuntu geek-cred (remember, all the cool kids are doing it), my iPod was not a happy camper. I ripped some CDs with Banshee, which then stuffed them down on my iPod.

The iPod just blinked back at me. It saw the songs, but couldn't play them. Any of them.

I was describing this to #1 Son in the car this morning, and he had an observation that was pretty stunning in its simplicity: the iPod only understands a few file formats - m4a, m4v, MP3.

Hmmm. I wonder what Ubuntu is using? A quick check when we got home gives the answer: Ogg Vorbis.

Now Ogg may be the shizzleFlippity Floppity Floop when it comes to free-as-in-beer music ripping, but to the iPod it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing.

Worse, Ubuntu doesn't install MP3 support. Oh bother.

But want to know what's cool? An instant of Google-fu led me to a link at Ubuntu that had what I needed. Even more impressive, rather than the usual Linux now what the heck are the command-line switches/oops I forgot to sudo/dependencies aarrrghh! experience, it was a "click here to download and install from Ubuntu." One click, and it needs your password to install (from a security perspective, this isn't just A Good Thing, it's The Right Thing).

And extra credit to you for pointing out that I keep telling you not to download stuff from the Internet, especially if it's a codec. Yes, yes, "free Internet download" is high tech jargon for "open your mouth and close your eyes."

What's different is that I know who I'm downloading from, and I trust them. Heck, I got my whole darn Operating System from them, so if they really wanted to trojan me, then all my computer are belong to them. It's like a Windows user downloading a patch from Microsoft - if you don't trust them, don't use them.

So my iPod is getting stuffed full of music that it's happy to play. Yay me!

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