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Linux Multimedia Hacks by Kyle Rankin

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Hack #44. Use Other Portable Audio Players

Access other USB storage device audio players under Linux and automatically sync them when you plug them in.

It's easy to feel left out if you have a portable audio player that isn't an iPod. It seems that most of the development efforts on all platforms are geared toward iPod compatibility before any other devices. Since most vendors only ship Windows and Mac integration software, that leaves us Linux users to fend for ourselves. Luckily most non-iPod portable audio players can be used not only as a USB storage device, they can also have music files added to them, just by copying the tracks to a particular directory on the drive. In this hack, I cover how to access these devices and how to leverage their USB storage device compatibility with hotplug and rsync to automatically synchronize your files the moment you plug your device in.

To access your media player, plug it into a USB port in your computer. Most modern Linux distributions have all of the USB drivers you need to access USB storage devices, and most are configured to automatically set up new devices you might plug in. After the device is plugged in, check /var/log/messages for information about your device. Here's a section from my file when I plugged in my media player:

	Jul 23 15:29:17 moses kernel: usb 4-1: new high speed USB device using ehci_ hcd and address 9 Jul 23 15:29:17 moses kernel: scsi1 : SCSI emulation for USB Mass Storage device s Jul 23 15:29:18 moses usb.agent[2175]: ...

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