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Friday, November 21, 2008

Keeping your Zen with Linux

Creative mp3 players seemed to be a reasonable choice in the early IPod mania days, the single main problem that iv had for years with my trusty Nomad Zen Xtra is the fact that there was no Linux interoperability what so ever, the only (somewhat shaky) solution was to wait for Gnomad to mature.
Things has changed and the Zen access has worked with Gnomad, but two major issues remained:

  • No automation possible (like latest podcast copying with a matching playlist generated).

  • Ugly and limiting UI to deal with.

After a bit digging iv found mtpfs which is a FUSE file system that can mount MTP devices, installation and usage are simple as:

$ sudo aptitude install mtpfs
$ sudo mkdir /media/zen
$ sudo mtpfs -o allow_other /media/zen/ # allowing other enables non root access to zen folders
$ ls /media/zen
Music My Playlists Playlists WMPInfo.xml

The Music folder holds all the mp3 files in a flat structure and the Playlists folder hold m3u files in the following format (the player root is /):


Its quite easy to see how to automate the podcast download and copying combined with podget utility, my Zen has been restored :)

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