With all new Apple i-devices moving to the lightning connector, I’ve found my alarm clock with it’s 30-pin dock connector has reverted to it’s 20th century radio-only state of use. I suppose I could use an adapter, but it seems like a great way to break something (by adding a longer lever).

Then I remembered I have a 6th generation iPod nano sitting in a drawer. You know, the one that looks like this:

Image courtesy PC Mag

But with older iPods that exist outside of the “App” and jailbreak realm, there a beast to contend with: iTunes. And I’m not the only one who wants to avoid iTunes:

itunes worst

Since I’m a Ubuntu Linux guy, I did some searching to see what the “State of the iPod” is in the Linux world. I came across several references to libhashab.so and franck78.ath.cx – some hacky shit with an unknown level of trust. Time to dig in and find out what’s really going on.

libhashab.so binary – trusted?

libhashab is a library that calculates a Unique ID hash for iPods. This enables software to talk nicely so your iPod will be able to read the files that are sent to it. Most iPods have a 20-byte ID, iPod Nano 6G has an 8-byte ID, rendering it unusable with the old libhashab.

According to danwood76 in this post the person who figured out the new hash for the Nano 6G released a binary, but wanted some cash for the source code.

So the fix is available in a binary-only form, but it’s been somewhat reverse-engineered. Danny Wood figured out that only 3 bytes of the compiled library need to be changed to make it work with the iPod Nano 6G.

It Works

Sure there’s no source code so it’s less trusted, but it’s only 3 bytes and more importantly it works.

Here’s a more trusted source than frank78.ath.cx, and the readme has a little back-story on the whole thing: https://github.com/denydias/libhashab

I installed it and used Banshee to drag and drop MP3s to my iPod Nano – works like a charm. Be warned that the computer with this ‘hacked’ library will no longer be able to talk to the other iPods that previously worked. You’ve been warned 😎

5 thoughts on “Adding music to iPod Nano 6G in Ubuntu

  1. hi it don’t work for me.

    i tried with amarok and ubuntu 14.04 … amarok copy the files, but the ipod db does not notice
    amarok looks the files but the ipod no: its look like a usb pen
    any suggestion?

    • Hi Hyero, I haven’t tried Amarok – I’m not sure if it use the same libhashab as Banshee does. Also, I know that hacked library only works for the 6th gen nano (pictured above) not any other version.

      I just drag and drop the song titles (or albums) inside Banshee over to “IPOD NANO” under Devices in the left side bar. Copying files via the USB drive that your computer sees won’t work. I just tried it in Ubuntu 15.04 using Banshee and it still works.

      • hi justin, my ipod is the 6th gen nano (also same color of the picture).
        The libgpod site says that amarok and banshee use the same library,
        amarok says that will try to use the libhashab.so library
        i use the 64b 14.04 and i tried to drag and drop in amarok
        but the ipod db don’t works
        i’ll try with another player may be the problem is in amarok


Leave a Reply