Linux tip, Fedora tip / howto: converting an iPod from HFS+ (Mac) to FAT32 (Windows) format using Linux
converting an iPod from HFS+ (Mac) to FAT32 (Windows) format using LinuxA friend gave me a 2GB iPod Nano (2nd generation, silver, model MA477), which unfortunately had its disk in Mac HFS+ format. To get it to work with gtkpod, for example, it had to be converted to Windows FAT32 format, which can be done with iTunes running on Windows (click on "restore iPod", note this will erase all data on it). I had no Windows machine available, so had to do the conversion using Linux, which turns out to be possible!
If you first want to back up the music that's already on your iPod, connect and mount it, and back up all music files in /mnt/ipod/iPod_Control/Music/F00, F01, F02, etc. (assuming you mounted it under /mnt/ipod). The filenames will be cryptic (for example, "QRST.mp3"), but hopefully once you import them back into your iPod, it will pick up artist & song info from the tags inside the MP3 file.
I mostly followed the instructions at this very useful page on using an iPod with Linux (send me a note if this page is gone), but with the following important differences (all as root):
I installed gtkpod (yum install gtkpod) and GNUpod. Before GNUpod would compile, I had to install a few Perl packages:
I also disconnected the iPod and reset it (not sure if this was necessary): switch the hold switch to "hold" and back, then hold the "menu" and center button for about 8 seconds.
The little Asus Eee I was using auto-mounted the iPod at /media/disk. gtkpod didn't see the iPod for some reason, but did after I initialized it with GNUpod:
And from then on: gtkpod -m /media/disk