This week's book giveaway is in the OCAJP 8 forum. We're giving away four copies of OCA Java SE 8 Programmer I Study Guide and have Edward Finegan & Robert Liguori on-line! See this thread for details.
Yes, as long as you want the benefits of the iPod rather that specific features of the iTunes application program itself.
The iPod is seen by Linux as a hot-mountable disk device just like w USB thumb drive. One thing that is a little unusual (and annoying) is that when you transfer music to it, the filename of the MP3 file isn't important to it - I think it looks at the descriptive tags inside the MP3 file itself.
A number of popular Linux GUI apps support the iPod.
An IDE is no substitute for an Intelligent Developer.