Portable Music Players & Linux

Updated 26-Jul-2021

This article briefly describes some issues with managing portable music players on Linux, particularly the Apple Ipod Shuffle and the Sandisk Clip Jam (it's replacement).

I hope to update this with a better hardware replacement at some point (more are becoming available), such as the Wiwoo.

Quod Libet

Quod Libet is absolutely zero help with managing portable music players (with a single exception, the generation of playlist.m3u files). This is a big regret since it has much of what I need in a music manager, including:

  • Low resource utilization
  • Relatively fast and stable when indexing large collections
  • Ability to edit metadata on individual and groups of files
  • Dark theme

Therefore, I have to look outside of QL in order to manage portable music players.

Playlists in Quod Libet

Based on my workflow and media organization in Quod Libet, what I generally do for a playlist is clean up a set of albums/tracks from one or more artists and one or more albums, then create a playlist out of that. This generally means the complete contents of one or more albums organized under one or more artists.

This allows me to use the Export as Playlist plugin which generates an *.m3u file with some pathing that needs to be cleaned up.

Quod Libet Configuration

Here are a few configuration settings and issues on Debian 9.12 / Mate 1.20.4

Enabled plugins

  • Equalizer
  • Export Playlist to Folder
  • Export as Playlist
  • MPRIS D-Bus Support (need to enable volume media keys on keyboard)
  • Screensaver Pause
  • Tray Icon
  • Update Tags in Files

Sandisk Clip Jam and Linux

The SanDisk Clip Jam is an ipod shuffle replacement (moment of silence for our fallen comrade). Follow the link for instructions on creating playlists and otherwise managing the device.

GTKpod for Ipod Audio Management

GTKpod is one of the last relatively decent and straightforward Ipod (only) managers. Capable of drag-and-drop audio and creating/editing playlists. Installation is available from the Gnome Software Manager and elsewhere. This is one for the ages since Crapple no longer makes the venerable ipod shuffle. Sigh.