Work is underway on a utility that allows Apple's iPod to work with Linux systems.

Software engineer Bernard Leach has developed software to let Linux users play MP3 and Ogg files, and the developer hopes to inspire others to build Linux applications for it.

Leach is working to make Linux fully functional with the iPod, letting it play a greater variety of formats, have better features, and be compatible with external hardware such as flash-card readers.

He hopes to add new functionality to the product, he said: "Just recently I got the hardware together to test connecting a CompactFlash reader to the iPod. So far, I've only had limited success, but it's getting there. Once I get that working, I plan to write a small application that will let me copy digital images from CompactFlash cards to the iPod."

He also praises, who uncovered the iPod's built-in recording feature. "The core chip on the iPod has always supported audio input, so it's nice that they have added it," he told O'Reilly Network.