liberate ipod (touch) for linux?

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
Hi, I hope this is the right place. I want so share a thought about the iPod (touch). (P.S. digg it if you think that should be supported)



I'd like to buy an iPod touch, I think it's a fabulous device. I really like it. Yes it's a bit pricey, especially the higher capacity versions, but what the heck, it's sexy, you get what you pay for.

I'm pretty sure apple wants to sell me that device, I mean, apple likes selling their products right?



However, it's not going to happen. I've got a machine (PC) I'm happy with, with an operating system (Linux) I'm also happy and comfortable with. I need neither a new machine nor a different operating system, and I'm not going to get either because of a gadget I like. And even if I did, it wouldn't be my primary computing environment in which I spend time.



I concede, I'm a minority, I'm probably unimportant in my desire. However, that is still important to me, because I matter to me.



So the problem is:
  • there's no iTunes for Linux, so I can't put my music/movies on the iPod touch, bummer!

  • the iPod touch doesn't register as a USB mass storage device (it is one, pretty sure, they purposely disabled this, shame on you apple)

  • even if it registered as a mass storage device, one would still need to code software for the proprietary binary iPod touch DB format (which is doubtlessly different from all the other iPods). Open source programs are known to work with this _if_ they can get access to the device.

  • doing unsupported hacks is not nice, I mean, you give apple money, you get support, or can I get the thing without support for cheaper?

I understand, apple is a proprietary company, they'd like to lock in the users of their products to their single platform, weather the users agree with this or not. Well, I happen not to agree, and thus I happen not to spend money on an apple product, and I think this is sad for me and apple.



Quote:

Please dear Apple, support people and their free choices, empower your users and start supporting Linux or remove obstacles that make it hard for open source to provide a viable program to deal with your hardware.



Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,195moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pyalot View Post


    [*] there's no iTunes for Linux, so I can't put my music/movies on the iPod touch, bummer!



    You can possibly run the Windows version under WINE.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pyalot View Post


    [*] the iPod touch doesn't register as a USB mass storage device (it is one, pretty sure, they purposely disabled this, shame on you apple)



    By default they are formatted as HFS+, which may not be readable by Linux. It is also an ipod, which by default does not mount in any filesystem until you enable disk mounting via itunes.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pyalot View Post


    thus I happen not to spend money on an apple product, and I think this is sad for me and apple.



    Well you're half right, Apple are only sad when their profits are down. Your one sale and the handful of other Linux users who might buy one will number so low that it won't even matter one bit compared to the relatively large number of Mac and Windows users who are buying them.
  • Reply 2 of 10
    pyalotpyalot Posts: 7member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    Well you're half right, Apple are only sad when their profits are down. Your one sale and the handful of other Linux users who might buy one will number so low that it won't even matter one bit compared to the relatively large number of Mac and Windows users who are buying them.



    True. Still, it's a little lost revenue for apple and a little sad for me. Also, I'd go with Paul Graham on this in that:



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Paul Graham


    They'll like you even better when you improve in response to their comments, because customers are used to companies ignoring them. If you're the rare exception-- a company that actually listens-- you'll generate fanatical loyalty. You won't need to advertise, because your users will do it for you.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Paul Graham


    Almost everyone's initial plan is broken. If companies stuck to their initial plans, Microsoft would be selling programming languages, and Apple would be selling printed circuit boards. In both cases their customers told them what their business should be-- and they were smart enough to listen.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Paul Graham


    There is nothing more valuable, in the early stages of a startup, than smart users. If you listen to them, they'll tell you exactly how to make a winning product. And not only will they give you this advice for free, they'll pay you.



    And while these essays and insights are aimed at startups, I can't deny that they hold a lot of truth about larger companies as well. And seeing as Apple has been growing big on our freely given advice and critisism, I think there's nothing wrong in voicing your needs and concerns.



    But you're right, like every other big company, Apple will ignore lone voices, and thus they suck like all the rest.
  • Reply 3 of 10
    pyalotpyalot Posts: 7member
    See also this article about opensource and the iphone/ipod touch and the SDK.
  • Reply 4 of 10
    vineavinea Posts: 5,585member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pyalot View Post


    See also this article about opensource and the iphone/ipod touch and the SDK.



    Awww...so you can't GPL your code with the SDK because the FSF specifically made it impossible in v3. But you CAN write Open Source code for the iPhone because you can use any of a variety of Open Source license on your code. EXCEPT for viral copyleft licenses that insist that any linkage is "derivative" and therefore not compliant.



    There's a freetard iPhone...go get a neo and openmoko. Other open source developers will be looking at the iPhone and making apps.
  • Reply 5 of 10
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by vinea View Post


    Awww...so you can't GPL your code with the SDK because the FSF specifically made it impossible in v3.



    GPLv3 is specifically impossible with the SDK, yes.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by vinea View Post


    But you CAN write Open Source code for the iPhone because you can use any of a variety of Open Source license on your code. EXCEPT for viral copyleft licenses that insist that any linkage is "derivative" and therefore not compliant.



    Even GPLv2, BSD or MIT license is impossible, for two reason.
    1. the NDA requires you not to disclose details of what you do, that's not opensource and can never be.

    2. licenses like the GPLv2 require that if you distribute something, it must be distributed in a manner to make it possible for the reciever of the distribution to build/use the application with his own modifications. As it stands that is impossible with the current iTunes shop.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by vinea View Post


    There's a freetard iPhone...go get a neo and openmoko. Other open source developers will be looking at the iPhone and making apps.



    Yes, but they will do so either illegally (i.e. with the SDK) or unsupported and messy (with JailBreak), which sucks, because it'll inhibit most Open source developers of touching it at all.



    I certainly will not put client code on that device under these conditions.
  • Reply 6 of 10
    vineavinea Posts: 5,585member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pyalot View Post


    Even GPLv2, BSD or MIT license is impossible, for two reason.
    1. the NDA requires you not to disclose details of what you do, that's not opensource and can never be.

    2. licenses like the GPLv2 require that if you distribute something, it must be distributed in a manner to make it possible for the reciever of the distribution to build/use the application with his own modifications. As it stands that is impossible with the current iTunes shop.




    The NDA is likely in effect because the SDK is still in beta. Which means publishing your own code that uses the SDK will not be affected after June.



    So Apple will not be going after folks releasing their own source code, either as teaching examples or as open software.



    Even in the very very worst case, where the NDA stays in effect and Apple doesn't release SDK info to the general public you can STILL use BSD/MIT and share your code with all other registered developers who are under the same NDA. They already have the same info directly from Apple. The only new information is your own IP.



    Under MIT/BSD you are free to release only binary on iTunes if you desire while at the same time only releasing source to other devs. It's not like Apple is making it hard to become an iPhone dev even in beta.



    So it's only the freetards that are bent out of shape and spreading FUD about the SDK because it will be incompatible with GPL v3.
  • Reply 7 of 10
    pyalotpyalot Posts: 7member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by vinea View Post


    Under MIT/BSD you are free to release only binary on iTunes if you desire while at the same time only releasing source to other devs. It's not like Apple is making it hard to become an iPhone dev even in beta.



    A *lot* of perfectly good source is released as GPL only, in fact it's one of the most popular FOSS licenses.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by vinea View Post


    So it's only the freetards that are bent out of shape and spreading FUD about the SDK because it will be incompatible with GPL v3.



    You know I love the term freetard, it seems to somehow indicate that people who like to use the GPLv3 are somehow mentally retarded. Do you think, we are mentally retarded for using the GPLv3?



    Let me tell you why I use the GPLv3:
    1. It makes provisions to make DRM systems ineffective for the end user of the software. I used to work for a company (dwsco.com, sdcdrm.ch, www.pv.com), and it wasn't until I saw it from the inside out that I _GOT_ how truely fucked up for all of us DRM stuff is. In fact, I tried to prevent legislation in switzerland to protect it.

    2. the GPLv3 revokes the right to use any GPLv3 licensed software for people who bring to bear Patents on software released under GPLv3. That is a very comforting little safety net, because as a software developer you're violating (software) patents with every line of code.

    3. finally the GPLv3 is compatible with the AGPLv3, whereas the GPLv2 isn't compatible with the AGPLv2, that ugly issue is resolved now.

  • Reply 8 of 10
    pyalotpyalot Posts: 7member
    Btw, this is not an old issue and I'm certainly not the only one who wants support for the ipod touch and linux. See this post that got 1126 diggs
  • Reply 9 of 10
    vineavinea Posts: 5,585member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pyalot View Post


    A *lot* of perfectly good source is released as GPL only, in fact it's one of the most popular FOSS licenses.



    But not the only one.



    Quote:

    You know I love the term freetard, it seems to somehow indicate that people who like to use the GPLv3 are somehow mentally retarded. Do you think, we are mentally retarded for using the GPLv3?



    Only the zealots. Linus, for example, isn't a freetard. GPL v2 was IMHO a superior license over v3 and Apache and most permissive licences better than either for many purposes.
  • Reply 10 of 10
    pyalotpyalot Posts: 7member
    All this GPL and license discussion is completely besides the point. It is a fact that on any linux desktop distribution:
    • you can't just use your iPod touch

    • using it nevertheless depends on hacks and will be unsupported and possibly voids any support or warranty, and is incompatible with iTunes and future revisions of the software.

    • you can't provide software to be iTunes compatible and doesn't depend on aforementioned hacks.

    Linux today has a market share of about 2%. About 25 Million desktops. 2% is where apple was around mid 2006 in a Desktop market half the size of today.



    In Switzerland, there's already legal inquiries about apple and anti-competitive, monopolist behavior. That apple makes it virtually impossible of providing for linux what they're not doing themselves only gives legal ammunition to lawmakers.
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