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Not a Mac genius

1 January, 2007

Not a Mac genius

Er. Help! I am having an incredibly difficult time understanding how iTunes interfaces with my Windows system. I’m running XP Pro (and maybe XP media on my new laptop). My “my Music” folder defaults to my external hard drive (I’ve got 90GB on a 300GB drive). One would think that iTunes would just see all this music, but no. It seems to want a folder all its own. This is annoying to me, because it seems that I need to import all my stuff into iTunes, and then that will double the amount of disc space I’m using for music (not that that’s a huge issue). I could move everything into iTunes and then delete the other folder, but lots of those files are in .wma or .ram formats, and iTunes converts them — which I think means that they can’t be played outside the realm of iTunes ever again. Also, is there some simple way of taking the songs on my iPod and transferring them to another computer? Because I can’t figure it out, and I really would like to move some of my collection to my laptop.

Yes, I know this would all be simpler if I had bought a Mac, but I couldn’t afford it, and now I’m stuck with proprietary crap. And an iPod which, if I’d bought it 6 months later, would be twice as big and have a totally cool metal casing. Can I tell you how much I hate Apple right now?

Any advice (and not the “lose the iPod and get something Windows compatible” kind) would be appreciated …

6 Comments leave one →
  1. 1 January, 2007 9:36 pm

    It doesn’t makes a difference whether you are on Mac or PC – the iPod “defaults” to using iTunes as the only way to import music and videos to it. But I don’t think the iPod will read two different sources – ie your iTunes folder and your separate Music folder that predates your iPod. Anything you want on your iPod has to go to iTunes first. That’s part of how Apple protects its monopoly and forces you to use iTunes if you are going to use your iPod. Sorry I don’t have better news – hopefully someone else will.

  2. 1 January, 2007 10:07 pm

    If you set iTunes to use mp3 as it’s default (or even aac, which is basically mp4–I think even WMP can handle that?) you should be able to use any iTunes music on other players–it’s only the music you buy from the iTunes store that would be limited. (And then, you can do the burn-and-rip method to convert them.) I don’t know a way around the folder organization issue, but at least that should be some comfort.Not being able to easily move songs off of your iPod to a new computer is part of their anti-piracy protection. The easiest way there is to use your iPod as a portable harddrive. You won’t be able to play the music stored on the iPod this way, but you can use it to pull some things over, at least. It’s a setting you should be able to select in iTunes.

  3. 2 January, 2007 5:45 pm

    There are also shareware programs out there that allow you to transfer from iPod to computer (even though that’s against Apple’s original intentions). I’ve used them and they work really well. I can’t remember how I found them, but it was something like googling “transfer music iPod to computer.” I guess I’m just glad that I’ve only ever used iTunes! (If you never use anything else, it works like a charm. :-})

  4. 2 January, 2007 9:07 pm

    Well, it’s really the fact that I have to transfer everything into iTunes that bugs.

  5. 3 January, 2007 5:59 pm

    I’m assuming that you’ve gone to Edit > Preferences > Advanced > General> and changed the iTunes Music Folder Location from the default to X:externalDrive or wherever the external hard drive is mounted. If not, do so now, and life will become a lot easier!Of course, if the files on your external drive aren’t all properly tagged (iTunes like ID3v2 if I remember correctly), you’ll be in for a loong time retagging them in iTunes, but at least you won’t have to lose 90 gig of space.Good luck and a belated Happy New Year!

  6. 20 January, 2007 12:02 am

    Rather a late comment, but I’d suggest using Mediamonkey (it’s free) rather than itunes. Uses less memory and won’t make you do annoying things to make it work.

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