Ubuntu – Move MP3s from Ubuntu to iPhone’s iTunes


I've installed Ubuntu on someone's laptop who is a heavy itunes user (having itunes on a bunch of different Apple devices).

She has a large music collection in the form of folders that contain mp3 files. She is accustom to using iTunes (on windows Vista) to import these songs into iTunes for each of her Apple devices. We've replaced Windows Vista with Ubuntu though, at this point.

When I plug the iPhone into Ubuntu via a USB port, I can see the file system of the iPhone, and I've discovered that iTunes is placing music files at this location:
/iTunes_Control/Music/F02/NHLI.mp3 (for example)

Unlike music players that I use, iTunes practically takes ownership of the music files you import into it. It changes all the music's file-names, and then maps to them with some proprietary database.

What's crazy, is that I can actually move a folder of MP3s onto the file system of the iphone (or her iTouch), but I cannot discover a way to play the files! I can't even find an application on the device that even allows it to navigate its own file system!

Any of the music players I've ever used, always had the ability to import files located on the local file system into its music library, so you could then create playlists.

I've tried to install iTunes onto Ubuntu using playonlinux, but this didn't work for me. I've also tried installing iTunes onto a Windows XP virtualbox virtual machine, but I had great difficulty getting the iDevices to pass through to the virtual machine to utilize iTune's sync functionalities.

I don't even like either of these ideas above. What I'd like the ability to do is this:

1) Move a folder of MP3s onto the iDevice (iphone iWhatever).

2) Use an application on the iDevice itself, to import those mp3 files into iTunes.

Any suggestions are appreciated.

Best Answer

  • If the iPhone has an iTunes DB version greater than 4, then it is currently not possible to add music to the iTunes library using a Linux only solution. DB version 5 introduced an encrypted iTunes library, and the Linux community supported libraries do not currently offer support for this. It is very likely that the iPhone in question has a DB version of 5 or greater, since all phones from the iPhone 4 onward do.

    You can check the iPhone's DB version by plugging it in to the Ubuntu computer via USB and running the following command in the terminal:

    ideviceinfo -q com.apple.mobile.iTunes -k DBVersion

    Linux support for music synchronization is listed as WIP. You can check the current state of support on http://libimobiledevice.org. Scroll down to Status section and check "Music/Video Synchronization"

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