When I bought an iPod shuffle, I presumed that it would be like any consumer electronics device. Charge the device, copy the MP3s, start listening. Didn't know that the iPod needs to be "initialized" using iTunes software and iTunes is needed even to transfer MP3s to the device. It seemed that the device wouldn't even charge before the initialization. Pathetic!
The bigger problem is that there is NO version of iTunes for Linux. Running iTunes on probably Linux requires Wine or CrossOver Office.
Also, iTunes seems to multiplex songs before copying them to the iPod. Files copied through Windows Explorer are just files. Occupying space on it. This was another thing I didn't like.
DEATH TO PROPRIETARY INTERFACES!!!
Interesting, I haven't seen any 'open source' efforts to engineer an MP3 player. Well... such a player must also support Ogg Vorbis, maybe FLAC too. I am waiting. :-)