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Automatic iPod-like detection for other devices in Banshee / Rhythmbox

If you have an Apple iPod and are using Ubuntu Linux, do you notice that whenever you plug in your iPod into the USB Banshee or Rhythmbox (and other Ubuntu Linux media players) is able to detect it automagically? You can actually setup your other devices like cell phones, external USB storage devices and other media players to be detected as well.

The only single requirement for you to be able to do this is that Ubuntu Linux should be able to detect your device (mobile phone, other media players) as a external USB storage device. The procedure is actually very simple and easy to setup. All you need to do is create a file named “.is_audio_player” in the root storage directory of the device.

Here’s the contents of the file I used on my Nokia cell phone.


The file contains three settings. audio_folder is used to specify the location of your music files relative to the root of the device storage. folder_depth is the number of subdirectories under audio_folder the actual music files are stored. This is used for setups where you have use subdirectories to organize your music files by album/author for instance. audio_formats is a list of music file formats that the Linux media player is to find in the storage of the cell phone or other devices.

After saving the file, I tested it by running Banshee and connecting my Nokia cell phone. Successful – look at the screen shot below. I also tried it with Rhythmbox and it works.


Hmmm, wonder how I can change the image from an iPod to a cellphone. Any ideas?

Gerry Ilagan

Gerry Ilagan is into mobile apps and WordPress development at @speeqs. He loves to write about electronics, the Internet of Things, mobile phones, and #crazyideas.


Hans Rödtang

The cool thing would be if Nautilus could open Banshee when these devices where plugged in. Putting these file on my external drive gave me a cool synchronizing feature.


Thanks, this works rather well! Having trouble with the audio_folder parameter though. My music is in a directory named Ogg but rhythmbox seems to be unable to understand it. So far I’ve tried
“Ogg/” and “2G Flash/Ogg” (the memory cards shows up as “2G Flash” in Nautilus). Will try other forms. Thanks again!


Thanks, this worked really well!

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