I'm sure it's Mac OS. There are a few audio books I have on there that I want to keep, so I guess I should find a friend with a Mac to help me get these MP3s moved from a thumb drive to the iPod.
Oh, and thanks for that info in post #1000.
If there are audio books on it then it has been attached to a PC/Mac before so it does have some database, I'm just not sure if it sets up all databases at once or just as mp3/vid/ebook are copied to it.
If all get set up at once you should be able to use Rhythembox or Amarok, etc. to copy music to/from the ipod (although if you copy mp3s back from the ipod the file names will not be human friendly). THIS PAGE says that Apple re-crippled the latest versions of the iPod again (sorry).
Hardware manufactures are usually not kind in the way of drivers for Linux and it can take years for some volunteer to back-engineer one.
If yours is the latest gen. I think that what you outline above may be your only hope. Bummer.