How to play mp3's on an iPod? (best mp3 player application?)

Discussion in 'Apple' started by fan, Apr 25, 2006.

  1. fan

    fan Guest

    My system is a WinXP computer, and my friend has a Mac system. I have
    a website and post mp3's onto a page for him, but for some reason they
    won't play on his iPod. These are just ordinary mp3's downloaded off
    the internet, and they all play fine on my PC's WinAmp player.

    Why won't my mp3's play on his ipod?

    I've read that to be able to play mp3s on an ipod, one needs to use an
    mp3 player application.

    If the solution is indeed an "mp3 player application", what are the
    best ones available?

    Thanks in advance for all suggestions.
     
    fan, Apr 25, 2006
    #1
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  2. fan

    Enough Guest

    THAT'S your problem! Get a Mac, fool!
     
    Enough, Apr 25, 2006
    #2
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  3. fan

    Adrian Guest

    There shouldn't actually be a problem. iPods play mp3 files natively ...
    no extra utility required. I'd be interested to know where you read
    otherwise.

    How are you transfering the files? Is your friend able to play your mp3
    files on his Mac (as against the iPod itself).
     
    Adrian, Apr 25, 2006
    #3
  4. fan

    Gary Guest

    I'd like to join this discussion, too. I've just been given a new
    iPod (it's currently on its way from China to the US...I'll have it
    tomorrow). I've never used an iPod before, so I have a few questions.
    I do own an Archos, which interfaces with the PC as a removable hard
    disk, and you use Windows Explorer to move files around.

    Is this the way the iPod works, also? What function does iTunes add
    to this, aside from giving you access to their library of stuff they
    want to sell to you?
     
    Gary, Apr 26, 2006
    #4
  5. fan

    Adrian Guest

    Though you can set up your iPod to act as a removeable disk drive which
    you can use to store or transfer any kind of files it does not give you
    direct manual access to your iPod's music library by that method ... you
    use iTunes for that.

    It's important to realise that the iTunes software need have nothing to
    do with Apple selling you things - that's up to you! It actually existed
    as a music management application long before it acquired the ability to
    access the iTunes Music Store. iTunes has an icon in its sidebar which
    allows you to click to get access to the music store ... it never pops
    up unwanted ... if you never click it you never see the store. (Recent
    iTunes versions have a "Ministore" section at the bottom of the main
    window which does do such things but there is a button to turn it off.)

    You use iTunes to rip CDs and keep track of your pre-existing mp3 or AAC
    files, convert formats, play videos, burn CDs, create playlists etc etc.
    iTunes shows your iPod in its sidebar when it is plugged in and allows
    you to drag music files on to it manually, or alternatively to
    automatically synchronise your entire music library.

    If you are very happy with the performance and functionality of your
    current music management application it may be a bit of a pain to have
    to use iTunes for the iPod, but it is pretty good at what it does. If
    you definitely don't want to manage you music in iTunes' then you can
    just launch it and then drag your music files from whatever folder onto
    its icon in the sidebar. (Make sure you set the iPod to "Manually Manage
    songs and Playlists" in the iTunes Preferences settings first.)
     
    Adrian, Apr 26, 2006
    #5
  6. fan

    Adrian Guest

    For clarification, though you have to use iTunes to see the iPod's
    library you don't have to copy your files to the general iTunes library
    first and then transfer. Once the iPod icon appears in the iTunes
    sidebar you can just drag files directly from any folder on your drive
    directly to the iPod. (So long as you have set to manage songs manually
    in the iTunes preferences/settings.)
     
    Adrian, Apr 26, 2006
    #6
  7. They should play without problem. I play nothing *but* MP3s on my
    iPod. If he can download and import your MP3s into his iTunes
    application and play them on his PC then then is no reason why, when
    connecting his iPod up to his PC and updating it, that the MP3s would
    not play on his iPod when disconnected.
     
    The OS/2 Guy©, Apr 26, 2006
    #7
  8. fan

    Davoud Guest

    Per Gary:
    It is worth noting explicitly that an iPod user *never* has to buy
    anything from the iTunes Music Store (ITMS) in order to use an iPod.
    I've had people tell me they would like to have an iPod, but they don't
    want to have to buy all their music from ITMS!

    The ITMS is probably the most elegant way to download /free/ podcasts,
    however, regardless of whether one has an iPod.

    I like the ITMS for its vaunted means of getting everything I want from
    some CD's for one or two dollars. I'm not into stealing music, so the
    DRM doesn't bother me in the least. I'm not even aware of it until
    someone mentions it.

    Davoud
     
    Davoud, Apr 26, 2006
    #8
  9. fan

    Adrian Guest

    Agreed. I certainly don't buy most of my music from the ITMS but I have
    bought enough to know how excellent it can be to quickly source
    particular tracks. I have also never come up against a restriction of
    what I want to do due to the Digital Rights Management side of things
    (given that you can burn copies of individual tracks as many times as
    you like, put them on as many iPods as you like, and burn 7 copies of a
    particular album directly from iTunes) In fact the CD burning limit is
    really meaningless because once you have the burned album on CD you can
    copy that as many times as you want ... you don't need to keep burning
    from the original iTunes playlist.
     
    Adrian, Apr 26, 2006
    #9
  10. fan

    Adrian Guest


    I'm pretty certain I have the answer.

    It has just dawned on me what the problem will be. As several of us have
    already said, there should be no problem but I have discovered a
    circumstance which can affect iTunes on the Mac. (However, it's not
    actually been caused by the fact that you are using XP and your friend
    is using a Mac.)

    (Skip the next paragraph if you really don't give a shxx about the Mac
    tech background, move onto the solution in the one after!)

    Mac OS X uses 2 different methods to identify file types. The file
    ending .mp3 (or whatever) is only one of them. In most circumstances
    this is "good news" becase it means that Mac applications can usually
    identify and open files properly even when they don't have a .xxx
    suffix. However, the hidden method of file identification which the Mac
    uses to achieve this little piece of magic depends on the internal file
    flag having the correct description. This flag (if that's the correct
    term) can sometimes be unhelpfully set/reset at the time of the download
    or the file's first launch on the Mac. Because it's hidden you may not
    even know this until it doesn't work as expected. I have known a
    downloaded mp3 (especially when played in the browser with the Quicktime
    plug-in and then saved rather than just direct download) to acquire a
    hidden flag which indicates that it is a movie file rather than an audio
    file. Such a file will play in iTunes (because iTunes plays movies as
    well as audio files anyway) but when attempting to transfer to an iPod
    the iPod baulks because it can't play a movie (even a video iPod) in
    this particular format ... the iPod has been fooled. I know this can
    happen ... I saw it today!

    Somehow the mp3 files have acquired a wrong (hidden) file identifier
    which is causing the iPod to think it can't play them (read above if you
    want more info). This can be changed by the Mac user using a freeware
    utility such as TypeShuffler, available from:
    http://www.versiontracker.com/macosx/
    Your friend needs to drop the mp3 file(s) in question onto Typeshuffler
    and ensure that the file type is listed as MP3 Audio File as well as the
    file extension being mp3 ... click Change ... that's it.

    If you or your friend can post detail about exactly how he is
    downloading the files I might be able to spot if the issue is actually
    being caused, inadvertently, by himself.
     
    Adrian, Apr 26, 2006
    #10
  11. fan

    42 Guest

    One major feature of itunes is that instead of manipulating files to and
    from the ipod you manipulate playlists. If you have multiple playlists
    with over-lapping songs itunes only loads the song once. Loading the
    ipod is simply a matter of selecting which play lists you want.

    (If you just want to load few particlular songs, its trivial to create a
    playlist, add the songs to it, and add the playlist).

    iTunes features smart playlists which can automatically generate and
    update playlists based on a wide range of criteria. If you go out on the
    web and look around you'll find lots of examples of people turning the
    ipod into a "custom radio station" which pulls tracks from multiple
    smart playlists into an everchanging playlist.

    For example...

    You might set it up a smart playlist to include your current favorite
    songs (stored in a playlist), and then have it pull in a random
    selection of 100 songs that you've rated 3 stars or better and have
    heard least recently (a smart playlist), and a random selection of 50
    songs that you've rated 1 star or better and haven't listened to for
    over 2 months (another smart playlist), and perhaps the 20 songs you
    most recently added to the itunes library (another smart playlist).

    The end result is a playlist that always has your favorite songs, your
    newest songs, and randomly rotates in a selection of songs that you
    like, weighted towards songs you like "more", but including a bit of a
    mix of stuff you haven't listened to in a while to keep it interesting.

    Because of the ipod itunes integration, usage metadata used by the smart
    playlists are synchronized back and forth. So your smart playlist that
    only includes songs that you haven't listened to in a couple months will
    know that you listened to the song on your ipod yesterday when you sync,
    and rotate it out of the list.

    Tracking all this metadata about your usage of the songs is one of the
    reasons why you don't just use windows explorer to load the ipod. (It
    tracks playcount, last played date, and you can also change the rating
    of a song while its on the ipod, and all this gets synced back to
    itunes.)

    Of course if you like micro-managing your playlists on a daily basis, it
    supports that too :)
    In fact, there are preferences available to turn off *all* access to the
    itunes music store entirely, if you do not want it.
    iTunes playlist and library management tends to blow the competition
    (Windows Media Player, and WinAmp) away, especially if you have a large
    library. There are only one or two minor flaws that I've ever
    encountered.
    Of if you simply hate iTunes and refuse to use it there are 3rd party
    applications available.
     
    42, Apr 26, 2006
    #11
  12. fan

    Gary Guest

    My concern about iTunes comes from the way I have organized my music
    and books. Most of them are either (1) archived onto literally
    hundreds of CDs and DVDs, (2) are located on an external hard drive,
    and a few of them are (3) on my main hard drive waiting to be
    off-loaded on to (1) or (2).

    When iTunes builds a collection, is it going to want to copy all this
    stuff onto my hard drive? I can't afford the space.
     
    Gary, Apr 26, 2006
    #12
  13. fan

    Davoud Guest

    Not if you don't want it to. Check the preferences.

    Davoud
     
    Davoud, Apr 26, 2006
    #13
  14. fan

    Gary Guest

    Thank you, Davoud and all the others that recommended iTunes and have
    shown me it's not something to be concerned about. I'll be installing
    it for my new iPod without the fears I had developed.
     
    Gary, Apr 27, 2006
    #14
  15. fan

    Adrian Guest

    The OP appears to have deserted the thread he initiated! I'm pretty sure
    I posted the most likely solution to the original problem outlined ...
    but no response.
     
    Adrian, Apr 28, 2006
    #15
  16. fan

    Gary Guest

    As the OP (I think it might mean "original poster", not "old putz"), I
    disagree with your abandonment accusation. I posted the following
    paragraph the other day. Were you looking for something else?

    Thank you, Davoud and all the others that recommended iTunes and have
    shown me it's not something to be concerned about. I'll be installing
    it for my new iPod without the fears I had developed.
     
    Gary, Apr 28, 2006
    #16
  17. fan

    Gary Guest

    I've had mp3 players for a long time. Every one I've owned allowed
    you to take the files of mp3s, heirarchically arranged, into the
    player. So I developed this structure which has worked for me for a
    long time:

    mp3s
    ---Books
    ------Author1 - Book Title 1
    ------Author2 - Book Title 2
    ---Classical
    ------Composer1 - Album Name 1
    ------Composer2 - Album Name 2
    ---Comedy
    ------Performer1 - Album Name 1
    ------Performer2 - Album Name 2
    ---Folk
    ------Performer1 - Album Name 1
    ------Performer2 - Album Name 2
    ---Popular
    ------Performer1 - Album Name 1
    ------Performer2 - Album Name 2

    and so forth.

    Withing each folder was a series of mp3s, usually starting with a two
    digit track number, giving the name of the particular track. I never
    concerned myself with tags...some files had them, others didn't.

    Now the iPod (just a few days old) presents me with a totally new
    organization. All the files will go into the same folder and will be
    grouped together by their tags. So I have to tag a huge number of
    files with Genre (Book, Classical, Comedy, Folk or Popular),
    Performer, Album Name and Track. There are programs to help do this,
    but the job is still massive. First I have to add the tags...then
    organize files into playlists.

    I think I'm suffering from shock. Yet I don't want to return the iPod
    (Video 60gb)...it's such a cool piece of hardware.

    ---

    Just an afterthought. The Windows-type organization seems more suited
    to people who think of their collection as a bunch of albums. The
    iPod-type organization seems more suited to those who think of their
    collection as a bunch of individual tracks.
     
    Gary, Apr 29, 2006
    #17
  18. fan

    Gary Guest

    Doug:

    I tried to follow your instructions, but I'm getting a "do not enter"
    symbol when I use internet explorer and try to drag folders of books
    over to the iTunes "Books" folder I created.

    Did I misunderstand your instructions?
     
    Gary, Apr 29, 2006
    #18
  19. fan

    Gary Tait Guest

    I think you can import MP3s from optical media (I did at least with some
    MPEG4 videos). iTunes will show an exclamation mark in the first column,
    for original media it cannot find.
     
    Gary Tait, Apr 29, 2006
    #19
  20. fan

    Gary Tait Guest

    Yes it is a shock, but for me, I got to enjoy my MP3 collection, including
    little corners I forgot about.

    If you want to have things play a certain wayyou need playlists.

    Go through the tags first though, before you import them. I use a program
    called mp3tag v2.35, and it works well for me.
     
    Gary Tait, Apr 29, 2006
    #20
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