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I lied about Ephpod working with the iPod Shuffle

In yesterday’s podcast, where I talked about using Ephpod to manage/transfer songs on the Shuffle, I lied. It seems to work, but doesn’t.

I tried to add a song yesterday afternoon, and got an “invalid destination directory” error. Worse, Ephpod seems to have corrupted the database/folders/something on the Shuffle, to where it wouldn’t work. Just got the rapid green/orange LED flash that says “hey, I’m screwed up”.

I plugged it in at home where I sync with iTunes, and it put everything back and got it working again, but I just wanted to clarify that Ephpod DOESN’T seem to work with the Shuffle. And given that the site has dissappeared, and the project most likely isn’t being maintained any more, Ephpod probably will never support the Shuffle.

Consider yourself warned.

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One thought on “I lied about Ephpod working with the iPod Shuffle

  1. Bruce says:

    It almost works; you can actually add/delete songs with v. 2.75; what it doesn’t do is properly set up the database.

    Following these instructions will at least let you use an iPod Shuffle on Windows without using iTunes, and avoid the “blinking orange/green” lights problem. It isn’t perfect, though, and there still seem to be a few bugs about whether the right files show up in EphPod, but you can at least get it playing again.

    I used the gnupod tools v. 0.98, which speak Shuttle. Though primarily directed at *nix machines, gnupod is written in perl and will run on windows. I didn’t figure out how to install gnupod properly, though for the simple purpose of fixing up what EphPod doesn’t do that isn’t really necessary. With 10 minutes work I set things up, and now I can run a batch file to get things working after using EphPod.

    First, download and install perl if you don’t have it installed, and then download gnupod v. 0.98 or higher, and untar/zip gnupod somewhere like c:\programs\, which will create a c:\programs\gnupod-0.98 folder. Rename the folder

    c:\programs\gnupod-0.98\src\ext

    to

    c:\programs\gnupod-0.98\src\GNUpod

    I then created a small batch file called mktunes.bat, with the following lines:

    @echo off
    c:
    cd \programs\gnupod-0.98\src\
    mktunes.pl -m e:\
    pause

    My iPod Shuffle shows up as Drive E: in Windows; change the above as necessary for your circumstances. Ignore any warning messages about not finding tunes2pod.pl or some such thing – it isn’t necessary (I think!).

    Run the batch file after you have finished with EphPod, and it should fix things on the Shuttle. I now just have the batch file sitting on my desktop, and double-click it after exiting EphPod.

    This is a real hack, and I just did this today, so I am sure there are far more elegant ways to go about this, but it seems to work.

    My motivation for figuring this out is that I use Linux (and GTKPod) at home, and Windows at work, and by design iTunes doesn’t like you using a shuttle with more than one computer – it seems it will in fact wipe clean any foreign iPod Shuttle it finds. EphPod and GTKPod are much better behaved, and let me move between several machines painlessly without trashing the music on my iPod.

    — Bruce

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