IT Excuse Generator

Feeds
Add to Google
RSS FEED


November 11, 2003

iTunes Second Look and a First Look at the iPod

After using iTunes for Windows awhile I've found a few things about it that can be very annoying.

The biggest pain is that it doesn't automatically remove files from the library if you deleted them through Windows Explorer or other MP3 software. You can't even select all the broken links in some automatic manner. The only way to remove them from the library is to manually highlight each broken link and then hit delete. You have to do this for each one! I've heard there are Apple scripts that can automate this process but as far as I know they don't run on Windows.

Another pet peeve is you can't automatically tag single files using CDDB (or an equivalent) as easily as you can with MusicMatch. With MM you can highlight any single file (or a group of unrelated files) and click on Super Tag. MM will then bring up a preview of possible matches and more often than not its correct. In my opinion that alone makes MM worth keeping.

There is another feature that also makes MM a little neater. You can collapse your collection by each Artist and only show each artist's songs if you manually expand it. This makes scrolling through your library much much quicker.

On the other hand iTunes' search feature and Smart Playlists feature kicks MM's butt in the worst way. Why didn't Apple think out all the other features as well?

In related news, UPS delivered my 40GB iPod today. I'm really liking its firewire sync and that you can rate songs within the player. Its also great that it transfers over the last played info to and from the device.

The only detraction I've found so far is that it can't charge or operate on AC while its connected to a PC. This was a HUGE mistake. Apple should at least offer an optional dock for PCs that is AC powered. To have to unplug its firewire cable from the computer and then plug that same cable into the wall adapter is ridiculous and extremely non-intuitive.

Posted in Podcasts & iPods by usrbingeek at 2003-11-11 16:50 ET (GMT-5) | 12 Comments | Permalink



Comments

You can use the Browser (Edit>Show Browser) Ctrl+B
to collapse your collection by each Artist and only show each artist's songs.

Posted by: freddy at November 12, 2003 10:47 AM

BUY A 6 PIN FIREWIRE CARD! it is not apple's fault that pc firewire is 4 pin by default. if you spend 50 bucks on a 6 pin add-in card, or a couple thousand on a new mac, you can charge the iPod through your computer without having to use the AC adaptor. I'll try to find a low cost providor and post a link later today.

Posted by: SOME GOOD ADVICE at November 12, 2003 10:55 AM

what he said ^^^

Posted by: Steve at November 12, 2003 10:57 AM

If you have a field (like BPM) that you're not using, there's a fairly easy way to find all of your tracks with broken links:

1. In "Source", select your Library.
2. Select all tracks and do a "Get Info".
3. Set BPM to any arbitrary value, e.g. 100.
4. Create a smart playlist to match the single condition, "BPM is not 100".

All of your dead links will be in the new playlist and you can delete them easily. It takes longer to describe than it does to do.


Posted by: lgp at November 12, 2003 12:25 PM

"The biggest pain is that it doesn't automatically remove files from the library if you deleted them through Windows Explorer or other MP3 software."

It's a lot easier if you just let iTunes manage your music for you. Instead of deleting the files through Windows Explorer, just go into iTunes, click on the file in your library, and press delete. iTunes will then delete the file from your library, and ask you if you want the (physical) file trashed as well.

iTunes works best when you trust it to manage your music collection for you; if you insist on organizing your files yourself (and what's the fun in that?), then this kind of MP3 file management is one of those burdens you have to shoulder.

Posted by: Robert Jung at November 12, 2003 12:37 PM

Yeah, why would you criticize Apple when it's your computer that uses an inferior 4-pin firewire port? There are wintel PCs out there that use 6-in firewire and the ipod will charge from those PCs just fine.

On ther other hand, Apple does make a split USB2/firewire cable for charging and syncing separately; if a lot of PC users are in your situation It won't be long before Belkin or some other company makes a 2-to-1 firewire splitter cable to solve your problem.

Posted by: milo at November 12, 2003 01:49 PM

If you like iTunes and iPod, instead of spending money on more PC cards etc, buy an eMac or an iBook. The eMac is 799 and less with an educational discount and you'll get the entire iLife suite which works wonders with your digital camera and DVCam.

Posted by: stingerman at November 12, 2003 01:51 PM

My iPod charges off AC power whenever it is in it's cradle, whether it is attached to my laptop computer or not.

How? Via a powered firewire hub.

Thus my iPod is running on AC power and connected to my home stereo system 24/7, and is fully charged whenever I want to take it on the road.

Posted by: MGH at November 12, 2003 01:57 PM

freddy,
Thats similar but different. I guess I just prefers MM's way of listing files.

Some good advice, Stingerman, and milo,
I have a couple 6 pin firewire cards from different makers on several different computers. I've checked all of them, none provide power. I've also called a few PC firewire card makers and confirmed that more often than not 6 pin firewire ports are still NOT powered on PCs. To make it perfectly clear I am not talking about 4 PIN ports; I'm well aware they're never powered!

As far as buying a Mac just so I could use an iPod, that's simply ridiculous. Until Apple software and hardware prices become competitive and more software is developed for the platform it will never be a viable option for *me.* If people want to use Mac and are happy with it, more power to them. Its not an option for me; please don't try to convert me.

MGH,
Thank you! Using a powered firewire hub is a GREAT IDEA and I will look in to that.

lgp,
Thanks I'll try that out. But, I still believe Apple should have automated this on their own.

Robert Jung,
Thats all fine and dandy when you have a few hundred MP3s. If you have over 60GB worth and you're hunting for duplicates its much easier in most cases to manage your files through the Windows Explorer. Many people use other players for DJing or players that use very little resources (like foobar2000) and will sometimes delete songs through them. Apple needs to realize that not everyone will be willing to use iTunes for everything. It should be smarter on its own to update its library automatically or at least by request.

Posted by: #!/usr/bin/geek at November 12, 2003 02:10 PM

"As far as buying a Mac just so I could use an iPod, that's simply ridiculous. Until Apple software and hardware prices become competitive and more software is developed for the platform it will never be a viable option for *me.* If people want to use Mac and are happy with it, more power to them. Its not an option for me; please don't try to convert me."

OK, I won't. But I always hear this argument, and it doesn't hold water. A) Unless you want to buy the top of the line dual-G5, if you compare the features and things built in, Macs are competitively priced. When was the last time you actually *looked* at Mac prices.? B) I've never had an issue with software for the Mac. You're locked into specific *brand names*. Anything you can do on your PC, I can do on my Mac. More often than not, the program is just called something else. See www.versiontracker.com/macosx/. There's a whole world of software out there for Mac.

If you prefer a PC, fine. I can't argue with that. I like my Mac not only for ease of use, but also for the overall experience. You can't convince someone to change their tastes. But hearing the same-old tired arguments I've been hearing since the Mac OS 9 days (which are *long-gone* :-)), especially when they're not relevant anymore, is really getting old.

No disrespect meant, of course, just engaging in discourse.

Cheers.

Posted by: Steve Sobek at November 12, 2003 06:45 PM

Milo is right, get the split USB/FW cable at the Apple Store online. The PC USB line provides the power, the FW cable provides the usual connectivity.

Posted by: Charles at November 13, 2003 12:59 AM

Steve Sobek,

I'm not one of those Mac hate mongers that goes around saying, "Macs suck...Windows was a gift from god...or Mac users are two stupid for computers."

My first 3 computers were Apples and I've always owned one (or at least used a Mac) up until a few years ago. If anything I'm a little bitter with Apple now because they're always priced out of my budget. Each time it was at least $400-800 more when you factor in the higher system costs and new accessories. Then when you start to calculate in all the software for it, it was thousands more.

I also stand by my statement that not enough software is currently being developed for the platform. I've put together a list of applications I'd have to replace before I bought my last laptop and was unable to find Mac programs that were viable replacements. Lets not even get into the whole gaming debate.

Does this mean I'll never buy another Mac? I hope not. I would love a 17" PowerBook but until they're more competitively priced with PCs it just doesn't make sense.

If people find they can switch platforms, afford it, and can do their work with it I couldn't be happier for them. As I said earlier I have nothing against Macs, its just not a viable option for *me.*

Charles,
I didn't catch that from milo's post and I've already ordered a powered firewire hub. :(

Posted by: #!/usr/bin/geek at November 13, 2003 04:24 PM










This web site is provided "as is" with no representations or warranties, and confer no rights. We are not liable for omissions or typographical errors contained in the content. Use at your sole risk.
The opinions expressed here do not necessarily represent any other entity or party we may have a connection or affiliation with.
usrbingeek, usr bin geek, usrbingeek.com, #!/usr/bin/geek are trademarks of usrbingeek LLC. All other trademarks and tradenames are property of their respective owners.