Up till now Linux users were able to manage the content on their iPods using tools like gtkpod and Rhythmbox. The iTunes lock gave them no choice at first: they could either switch to Windows or give up the device and start looking for another MP3 player.

Also, the move proved to be very unpopular with Windows users who preferred to use Winamp instead of iTunes.

Then again, the open source community came up with its own response, which basically says “We got over it”:

Thanks to some inspired work by a few heroes, we’ve managed to work out how to get everything working again. This is what we’ve found out: the hash at 0x58 is the one that matters. And we know how to generate it.

It’s a cryptographic signature combining data from the iTunesDB and a device specific identifier (called the firewireid) and some (formerly) secret numbers.”

Instructions for Linux users on how to fix their iTunesDB files have already been posted, with Windows users scheduled to get their fix too in the near future.