When I boot into Ubuntu, it does automatically detect my iPhone. It pops up message boxes letting me know that I have attached a device containing photos and music, and asking which application to open the content with. I just close the boxes, and there my iPhone sits on the Ubuntu desktop among the other removable storage drives. But that doesn't help me sync it, so I still need iTunes.
I went to my trusty friend Google to search for an answer. On the one hand, there seems to be an abundant supply of help and how-to articles for Linux in general, and Ubuntu specifically. Unfortunately, much of that help is dated and it is hard -- especially for a Linux novice -- to tell that the information is no longer valid, which just adds extra effort and frustration to the process.
Case in point: Google directed me to a how-to article from eHow.com. That article starts off with steps about opening the Terminal command line interface in Ubuntu and using some archaic "sudo blah-blah-blah" command to download a program called WINE that lets you run Windows software from within Ubuntu. I tried to follow the instructions, but I was rejected. I assume it is because the instructions were version-specific, and since the version is no longer correct the instructions are useless. But, I could be wrong.
I did another search just for installing WINE in Ubuntu and found some simpler instructions for adding a download repository to the Ubuntu Software Center. Then, I just clicked a link and WINE downloaded and installed. Much simpler.
With WINE installed, I jumped back to the eHow.com instructions and resumed the quest for iTunes. I went to the link provided in the eHow.com instructions to download Version 7.2 of iTunes -- the most current version of iTunes, which will work with Ubuntu according to the instructions. I installed it in WINE, but I got some error message at the end of the installation, and iTunes wouldn't run. It gave me an error about missing files.
Throwing caution to the wind, I just opened Firefox and went to iTunes.com and downloaded the current version. I installed it in WINE, and it worked -- mostly. Kind of.
Each time I start iTunes, I get some error message about something missing from the Registry, but after I click OK iTunes opens up as it should. iTunes pulled in my music files from the designated folder and seems to work at face value. However, when I play a song it works fine for about two minutes and then just stops. No more music. Nothing. I have to shut down iTunes and restart it so I can listen to two minutes of music again.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.