iPod Audio, Photo, and Video Tools for Linux

From the moment Apple first launched the iPod it has been a spectacular hit. First with a single audio only version, then adding other sizes, photo viewing, and video capability. Besides the iPod itself, iTunes software was a key component that made it easy to manage for Mac users. Eventually Windows support was added, but what about Linux?

iTunes still hasn't made it to Linux, and probably won't, however there are tools available for everything except the iTunes music store and support for DRM protected files. Tools for using an iPod with Linux can be broken up into four categories: file management, audio, photos, and video; although there is overlap between them.

Switching from Windows to Linux using VMware Player

If you didn't just recently start using a computer, chances are your first time using Linux comes after switching from Windows. For most people this involves two key challenges: getting used to a different windowing interface; and learning to use new applications. These days the first challenge is getting ever easier with the KDE and Gnome desktops continuing to improve and distros adding better hardware configuration tools. It's the second challenge, however, that still continues to confound many of us.

Years of training in Photoshop is hard to replace overnight, and even though programs like the GIMP are feature equivalent in the areas that most users will ever need, there might be that one feature that you can't live without.

Konqueror your Desktop with KIO Slaves

KIO slaves are some of the most useful features of the KDE desktop, but many users aren't aware they exist. You probably use some of them know without even realizing it. A kioslave is a protocol that provides support for individual protocols that may provide access to files, web sites, and more. Below I will outline some of the most popular and most interesting kioslaves.

This listing is far from complete. The full list of KIO slaves installed on your system can be found by running KInfoCenter and checking the Protocols section.

Model Train Design with XTrkCad

One cool program that caught my eye is XTrkCad. It won't appeal to everyone, but for any model train enthusiasts out there it might be just the thing you need to design your next track.

Drupal and Quanta: A Winning Combination

Any of you who subscribe to this blog's RSS feed will notice that there haven't been any new posts in a while. The reason is simple, and no doubt obvious when you look at the site that surrounds these words. I've been working on the new design since I realized that I could either add a lot of the features I wanted to manually, or I could switch to a Content Management System (CMS). When I first started Linux App Finder I didn't even know that CMS's even existed, but one of the benefits to creating a database of Linux applications is that I find some really interesting ones that I want to try out.

The original site design consisted entirely of custom HTML and PHP code written in Quanta. It worked well for a while, but I started to get frustrated about how much time it was taking to make a blog entry, post some news about the site, or add features like a site-wide login. I resisted the move at first because it would be a significant effort and I didn't want to rewrite everything that didn't fit in with the structure of what I already had. Fortunately I had run across Drupal in a few articles and had seen a lot of sites I liked that used it. After reading through their website a bit, I decided to give it a try. Before I continue I should state that I picked Drupal because what I saw of it appealed to me and it felt right. I never tried any of the alternatives so I can't give a direct comparison.

The New Linux App Finder

Welcome to the brand new Linux App Finder. I hope you will find it fast and easy to use. The site is now based around the Drupal content management system and features a new site-wide login. For now, the login will allow you to post to the forums and add your comments or reviews to an individual app's page. Logging in is also required before submitting a link to another site's news or reviews. Without authentication there were too many spam posts being made.

Other noteworthy feature updates have to do with navigation. A Categories menu on the left sidebar should reduce the number of clicks necessary to find the content you are looking for. There is also an Applications link in the main menu at the top right of the page that will list all apps.

In the future I hope to add some features to allow registered users to track their favorite apps and create customs RSS feeds, but I don't have a good timeline on it at the moment.

Please leave your comments on the new design and let me know what you think can be improved. I'll be on the lookout for little glitchs from the switchover, although I hope there aren't many.