Matthew Caron (mattcaron) wrote in linux,
Matthew Caron

The sorry state of software

Why is it that no one can make a music management application which can correctly sync with mass storage type players? This is not exactly rocket surgery.

  1. (And I realize that this is actually an Ubuntu bug) – I plug in my iPod3G running Rockbox via Firewire, which kicks it into disk mode and causes it to charge, and it automounts. However, the hal doesn’t see it as an audio player, so the various apps which use the hal (Rockbox, banshee, etc.) don’t see it. Of course, I can plug it in via USB and it works, but won’t charge, and I have to manually kick it into disk mode.

  2. Most of the apps allow you to drag and drop the playlists on to the player, and it will copy all the files there, but in most cases it will not do what it should and copy the playlist too. This would be ideal – drag and drop a pile of playlists, all the songs get populated and the playlists get stuck in the right spot on the device, and re-homed to work correctly with the relative pathnames of said device.

  3. Some apps (most notably banshee) actually support some semblance of sync. However, it only seems to handle syncing the whole library (which is too large) or a single playlist (which is too limited).

That said, this falls into the “put up or shut up” file, so I’ve written a perl script which takes a list of .m3u files and does the right thing. I plan to put it up on my website – however. after I wrote it, I realized I could extend it to have more functionality. Specifically:
  • sync – well, it does this already

  • rm – remove files in the playlist from the target (note, you’ll want to do an rm, then a sync to ensure that any files deleted by the rm get put back by the sync)

  • du – disk usage of each playlist and aggregate usage of all of them (with appropriate accounting for the same file in multiple playlists, of course).. Might need to extend this to also account for the ones already on disk.

Edit: Uploaded initial version of the script to github
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