Thursday, 13 December 2012

Ubuntu And The Ghost of Crimbo's Past

Its that time of year again when I curse Ubuntu. It happens every year, I know its coming but I hope for the best but am left cursing the circle of doom after several hours of madness.

Let me take you back to the start, not the last 3 years of attempts, but just this years. My sister comes around with a pile of CD's that Santa has pre-delivered so that they are already on my niece's iPod on Crimbo morning. Of course I am happy to oblige Santa, especially as the previous years attempts are all but a distant memory...until I begin the process.

It begins painlessly, I insert CD after CD, burn them to the system but I have already made my first mistake. I copy them as FLAC files which the little iPod scoff's at. Of course I assume that my preferred media player will happily convert the files to a playable format as it does with my little Rockboxed Sansa. Yes, you sit there and shake your head at my hubris and watch my dreams burn.

Banshee crashes. In a heartbeat. Hit sync and it disappears from view. Time and time again. To the Ubuntu Software Centre I trot and reinstall Rhythmbox. I launch it and then it begins downloading podcasts from my 38 feeds. I curse myself for leaving it set to check automatically so I go to the settings to change to check manually...but I have it already set to manual download. What madness is this? I close and restart it but it is hell bent on downloading podcasts stretching back to 2011.

Once that hurdle is dealt with I proceed to try and sync the iPod. Nadda. Nothing. Zip. Crash. Grumble

Back to the Ubuntu Software Centre and I download my next best hope, gtkpod iPod Manager. It installs. I launch it. Select the appropriate iPod model and watch as it begins to write to the drive. So I wait. And wait. And wait. The writing to the drive progress bar has not moved for over 2 hours. I swallow my pride and must concede to the inevitable.

In the back of a cupboard there lies a laptop. An old Sony Vaio and on it lies a partition that holds Windows XP. I boot it up...and go make a brew as it loads. The barrage of applications demanding to be update begins a process that lasts for a couple of hours. Finally I copy over the tunes but itunes can not see them. "Oh FLAC it", I proclaim rather loudly, or something to that effect. Back to the Ubuntu Software Centre and now I install Sound Converter which works flawlessly, things are starting to look brighter.

Now the tunes can be seen by the cupertino media handler but what a little nightmare it is to use! If not for my sisters Apple ID half of it seems to be greyed out, though by now all I want to do is take this one for the team and return to friendly shores. Needless to say after an update and a sync the iPod is filled with Santa's jingles, though my crimbo spirit has taken a serious knock.

So be warned fellow Ubuntu users, be very wary of kin bearing gifts.

Peace 
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