Most personal music/media players can plug into a PC via USB and show up as a simple storage device. Then you can just use any standard system utilities to copy files to and from it. This even works with Appleâ€™s earlier Ipod devices. But not the Ipod Touch. This uses some proprietary communication protocol. But of course the intrepid open-sourcers have managed to reverse-engineer this, and implement a tool called â€œifuseâ€. This uses the Linux FUSE system for implementing custom filesystems without having to load code into the kernel. So the end result is that you can use standard system utilities to copy files to and from the Ipod. Just like a USB storage device. And all the associated database management (track metadata, playlists etc) is done by reading/writing files in the filesystem on the device. So what was the point of the custom protocol, again? Oh, by the way, I understand Appleâ€™s Itunes software (which I donâ€™t use) only allows you to copy media _to_ the Ipod, not _from_ it. Apple always want to be in control of you, donâ€™t they?