I’m close to my goal of being able to manage my iPod Touch completely without iTunes on Ubuntu. HandBrakeCLI (HandBrake’s command line interface) for Linux encodes excellent quality video, and although it runs in the terminal is simple to use.
Previously I was successful in converting DVDs for playback on my iPod using the HandBrakeGTK GUI, which doesn’t install in Ubuntu 8.04, has broken presets, and has now been abandoned.
I haven’t found a Ubuntu package for HandBrakeCLI, but this isn’t a problem as the program is a single executable file available from HandBrake’s downloads page. You can download and extract it yourself, or follow these instructions in the terminal: