Lets say that you keep your music with the best quality while still consuming very little disk space : flac (lossless audio compression).
Now that is fine for PC, but most portable players (iPods) doesn't support flac, but MP3, MP4 and other .
You could duplicate your whole collection in two formats, or transcode as needed, but that would be painful. (Even if some application like Amarok are able to transcode on the fly the music or podcast transfered on an iPod.)
A solution for me is to use mp3fs. Mp3fs takes a directory full of flac and present it as another directory full of ... MP3 ! That is very useful for FTP, NFS or Samba shares.
So your Flac music can now be copied on your ipods easily.
One caveat: unless you have a powerful PC, don't expect to listen directly the mp3: the transcoding take some time. It is fine to copy, but not to stream !
Lastly, I didn't find package for Kubuntu nor Fedora. You just have to compile, which is very simple. The only problem being to get the libraries !
There are some hints for Kubuntu. But for Fedora, the library's names are not exactly the same. After a little "yum search ...", I installed: libid3tag-devel, lame-devel, flac-devel, fuse-devel, libogg-devel.
But still, I don't see the point of having different packages, as if Linux needed to be fragmented !
Ampache is another project that can provide transcoding over the web and essentially much more, but see for yourself.
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