Monday, April 5, 2010

RhythmBox's iPod interface has me baffled

I think I want to do something fairly simple with my little iPod shuffle and my Ubuntu desktop:

  • Subscribe to a fairly small (5-6) set of podcasts

  • About twice a week, connect my iPod shuffle to my laptop

  • Get the latest podcasts from my feeds, copy them onto my shuffle, deleting the podcasts that were previously there, and disconnect the iPod

  • Repeat the process again, a few days later

I take the iPod over to the fitness center, so I have something to listen to on the treadmill.

I used to use iTunes on Windows, and I found the interface pretty easy:

  • I could tell what podcasts I was subscribed to,

  • I could fetch the latest episodes, after scanning their descriptions to see if they sounded interesting.

  • I could copy those episodes to the iPod, and could select and delete old episodes off the iPod

But with RhythmBox, I keep tying myself in knots:

  • I think I've deleted episodes, but they are still present on the iPod even though they no longer show up in the RhythmBox display! By still present I mean: when I press the "play" button on the iPod, the podcast episode plays, even though I deleted it via RhythmBox (and responded to a confirmation prompt!)

  • I can't easily see a list of which new podcast episodes are available for download

  • RhythmBox seems to have two displays: "Music" and "Podcasts" which seem to mostly show the same thing, but not quite exactly, and neither seems quite accurate

Is there an easier-to-use Ubuntu application for fetching recent podcast episodes, keeping my podcast episode collection trimmed to a manageable size, and copying recent episodes to my iPod, overwriting the previous ones as I do so?


  1. I think the short answer is no. I've been looking for an app that does this for the past few months, and no luck.

    I guess I'll have to keep a laptop with iTunes on it.

  2. A combination of gpodder and gtkpod might do the trick.