iTunes Necessary for Transferring MP3?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by gvdv, Apr 17, 2007.

  1. gvdv macrumors regular

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    Feb 18, 2007
    #1
    Hi,
    I have a wonderful, small, very easy to use MP3 player (Archos Gmini XS202) which is serving me well, but I have filled its 20GB capacity and continue to rip MP3's and so am considering an iPod.

    One of the things that I really like about the XS202 is that you don't need any kind of third party software interface (such as iTunes) to use it - you just plug it into a Mac or PC USB, and it is recognized as a hard drive. You then simply drag and drop MP3's 'onto' the XS202. (I also love that it's 120 grams and is 2" x 3" x 1/2").

    So, here are my questions concerning the potential purchase of an iPod.
    1. If I buy an iPod, will I need to use iTunes or a similar interface in order to transfer my MP3's onto the iPod?
    2. Also, will I have to convert the MP3's into AIC format or something? And what about other formats such as Ogg Vorbis; will I simply be able to transfer those files to the iPod and have them play?
    3. Somebody told me that it isn't possible to transfer MP3's from the iPod straight to another computer, i.e. the other computer had to already have had a 'listing' of the MP3 through downloading from a purchase source. Is this correct? I don't want to be restricted to having my MP3's on one hard drive and on my player - sometimes I go over to friends' houses, plug my player in, and download/offload my collection for them.
    4. Are there any other issues that I should be considering in the purchase of an iPod? I know that they're a lot bigger, heavier and more bulky than my present Gmini, but there isn't anything to rival the size of the XS202, and I do like the iPod's preamp - it sounds pretty good.

    Thanks in advance for any help,

    GVDV.
     
  2. Shotgun OS macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    1. You will have to use iTunes.
    2. MP3 is a basic encording. I've never heard of AIC. iTunes and iPods support:
    You will have to right click and convert the Ogg files in iTunes. BTW, where the hell do you get Ogg files? I've never seen anywhere.
    3. No, you can't. Probably to prevent what you are doing. In order to do this, you would have to activate Disk Use in iTunes while the iPod is plugged in, then drag files to the hard drive manually. You cannot play these files on the iPod, however.
    4. Get a case. Especially if you get a Black one.
     
  3. apfhex macrumors 68030

    apfhex

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    #3
    The full size iPod is thinner, an inch taller, and roughly the same weight. Hardly qualifies as "a lot" to me. :confused:

    As for #3, unfortunately you can only have the iPod linked to one machine at a time, and if you plug it into a different one it will ask if you want to link it with that computer, which would erase the music. However, unless you have the 'Pod FULL of music, you could put whatever files onto the hard drive as regular storage (non-playable) and transfer them with your friends, I think.
     
  4. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

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    Nov 25, 2005
    #4
    iTunes is required.

    MP3 works fine. AAC has much better quality at the same bitrate. Many player manufacturers avoided AAC because they didn't want to upset Microsoft; that is going to change now that Microsoft has f***** them all with PlayForSure. Use AAC in the future. You'll have to convert Ogg Vorbis.

    There are ways to get music from on iPod onto a computer, but not using iTunes. The stuff about a "purchase source" is nonsense, most people have ripped their CDs. Now lets make one thing very very clear: Going to friends' houses and copying your music collection for them is absolutely one hundred percent illegal. Which is why iTunes doesn't let you do it.
     
  5. gvdv thread starter macrumors regular

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    Feb 18, 2007
    #5
    Hi Shotgun OS, aphex and gnasher729,
    Many thanks for your informative replies.

    Shotgun OS, there are many, free Ogg Vorbis codecs for download, for example:
    http://www.free-codecs.com/download/Vorbis_Ogg_ACM.htm

    aphex, yes, unfortunately, I have over 20GB of MP3's all (except one song) of which I have ripped myself. And in terms of size and weight, when the ipod 80g is almost a third heavier (5.5 ounces - 155 grams - vs. 120 grams for the Archos) and a lot taller when sitting in one's shirt pocket. I'd really rather avoid having to get into carrying cases or holding the unit in my hand, and have found the XS202 to be perfect for this. The only disadvantage is that they don't make a model with bigger storage capacity.

    gnasher729, I was under the impression that under North American copyright law, private (i.e. in home) performance of copied material was legal.

    Thanks once again for your messages,

    All the best,

    GVDV.
     
  6. triobot macrumors member

    triobot

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    Apr 3, 2007
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    Milton Keynes
    #6
    there are many other alternatives to iTunes which are more user based.
    There are many solutions to getting more space on a player, self upgrades, though risky, can be done...

    iTunes doesn't convert OGG, its very specific in what it does convert (converting files into and from, OGG won't play in iTunes)

    yet again many solutions to moving tracks to and from, many plugins for some software.

    Lots of software online... Google it...
     
  7. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

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    Nov 25, 2005
    #7
    Playing the music is fine. Copying is not.

    By the way: Google for "Ogg Quicktime". I think there are Quicktime plugins for Ogg developed; they should make it possible to play Ogg and convert to AAC within iTunes.
     
  8. Shotgun OS macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    Really? What other software can be used to sync an iPod?
     
  9. MacAnkka macrumors regular

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    Finland
    #9
    If you don't like to use iTunes, you could install Rockbox on the iPod. It's a 3rd party, open source firmware that supports drag&drop music transferring (no iTunes or anything like it is required) and many file formats, icluding AAC (not protected AAC, though), OGG and FLAC. It will lower your battery life a little bit, it isn't as intuitive as the original firmware and it can be a PITA to install, though.

    Also, it doesn't support the new Nanos or the 80gb iPod (yet, at least). All the other 4th and 5th gen iPods and the 1st gen Nanos are supported, though
     
  10. gvdv thread starter macrumors regular

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    Feb 18, 2007
    #10
    Hi MacAnkka, Triobot, and previous posters,
    I really appreciate your help with this.

    I'm going to investigate the various options that you mention, in the hope that I'll arrive at an informed decision about whether or not to get an iPod, and if so, how what software to use, etc..

    Many Thanks, once again,
    GVDV
     
  11. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

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    #11
    Note too that the 30 GB is only 4.8 oz and still gives you 50% more storage, and that you don't need to sync your entire library even if you have more music on your computer than your portable as 30 GB is a LOT of music.

    B
     
  12. Morris macrumors regular

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    Dec 19, 2006
    Location:
    London, Europe
    #12
    Winamp, Foobar2000, MediaMonkey, YamiPod, Anapod Explorer, Amarok, Songbird and dozens more.

    Nearly every serious media player can be used to fill an iPod, either native or by using a plugin. Anapod Explorer lets you use Windows Explorer to drag files. Endless possibilities, search and you will find ...
     
  13. triobot macrumors member

    triobot

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    #13
    Anapod by far is my favorite... for the cost, its worth it

    Very easy to use and very compatible (other programs there are issues that need to be sorted)
     
  14. theBB macrumors 68020

    theBB

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    #14
    I don't think that is a good feature. I had an MP3 player like that, but I could not make playlists very easily. If I have a folder of all of the songs from a particular album, when I want to create a "mix" that includes a few songs from that album along with many other songs, I am forced to duplicate these songs in that "mix" folder. Waste of disk space and a lot more effort that iTunes playlist method. Unless you are always listening to full albums, it is better to have a music library and have playlists.

    Yes, apparently it does not have to be iTunes, but you need some kind of program. Unless you are using Linux, I don't see why you would not use iTunes.

    You mean AAC? iPod can handle mp3 along with other lossless formats and AAC. If I were you, I would start ripping in AAC from now on, as AAC sounds better at the same bitrates. Still, you can keep your mp3 songs and keep on ripping in mp3 format if you'd like.

    It is not designed for such uses, but yes you can offload your songs from an iPod to your computer. You can go through your files just like an external harddisk, but the songs will be in hidden folders and the names will be cryptic. (You have to keep iTunes from launching when you connect your iPod. Then, on Windows, let the windows explorer display hidden files and folders.) Still you could do it if you wanted to. We've done it with my roommate's iPod once. There are some utility programs designed to make this process easier as well.
     
  15. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #15
    Just to reiterate what others have said, there are 3rd party programs out there to xfer to the iPod, but iTunes is free and works fine with MP3s. VersionTracker is a good place to start if you want an alternative. Just read the reviews first. I think there's a plugin for OGG, do a Google search for it, or convert them. iPods can't play them natively. The 30GB iPod is smaller and lighter. Unfortunately, the 80 is bigger and heavier, as was the 60, but they have more space and better battery life. Same for other's products.

    I like the iPod and all (love mine) but it's mostly for ease of use. iTunes is a big part of that. If that doesn't work for you, there are some other players out there that are ok. For most of what you want to do though, an iPod with a nice case will be pretty good. I also bought a Mack extended warranty with mine. As long as you don't drop it, it's well worth the money, and you get better coverage than Apple's warranty. Never had to use it though.
     
  16. Morris macrumors regular

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    Dec 19, 2006
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    London, Europe
    #16
    You can find the 'Ogg plugin' for QuickTime/iTunes at:
    http://xiph.org/quicktime/

    It is OS X only, I don't think you told us which OS you use...
     
  17. roland.g macrumors 603

    roland.g

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    #17
    Umm no.
    It is illegal to copy music. Can I copy the CDs I bought and give them/sell them? No, each individual who wants to have the music needs to buy it. There is no rationale for trying to convince us otherwise. You may own the CD but not the right to distribute copies of it, digitally or on a physical disc. Do we sometimes may mix CDs for our friends. Sure. And that's not even right. Because there really is no gray area on this. However, downloading collections off your MP3 player or harddrive is 100% illegal. For each CD you do that with, and for each person per CD, you are robbing the record company, recording artist, and every other part of the distribution chain of their hard earned money. You might as well go into records stores, steal CDs and give them to your friends.
     
  18. MacAnkka macrumors regular

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    Finland
    #18
    Except when stealing a CD from a store, you are not just infringing the copyright law, you are also participating in an act of theft.
     
  19. iCe Cube macrumors regular

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    #19
    LOL! if im not mistaken that was pure ownage
     
  20. gvdv thread starter macrumors regular

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    Feb 18, 2007
    #20

    Hi, the BB,
    The great thing about the Archos XS202 is that it does *not* involve dupllicating files in order to create a playlist - in fact, creating a playlist on the fly, or through using Windows Explorer (or the Mac equivalent - forget what that is becuase I've only done this once on a friend's Mac, as I'm not yet a Mac owner) is very easy and very quick.

    Regarding iTunes and all the other interfaces that people have talked about here, it's great that they're options, but I'd rather not have to use anything like that (yet another program clogging up my computer).

    Thanks for the advice on AAC; when I purchase my Mac Pro, I will experiment with that format - but I think that it's proprietary to Mac, right? That limits its use on Windows based computers. I suppose that I think that portable audio is never listened to in an environment which will allow for optimum listening - there are noises on the street, and you're using headphones rather than speakers. I don't believe in plugging portable media players into my home hi fi as it just wouldn't do it justice.

    Thanks once again,
    GVDV.

    Hi roland g.,
    I never stated, implied or otherwise purported to convince anyone that copying music wasn't illegal. I simply stated what I had previously *thought* was the case.

    You have now enlightened me, for which I'm grateful, but please don't make assumptions or statements about what I did when a simple reading of my email shows that that simply wasn't the case.

    Now, here's a question about something that you said (because I don't want to assume that I knew what you meant): when you talked about downloading collections you said "However, downloading collections off your MP3 player or hard drive is 100% illegal" right after talking about the fact that making mix CD's isn't right. You seem to be saying here that making mix CD's is illegal but not quite as bad as downloading MP3's; is that right? If so, how do you justify bemoaning one 'illegal' act in comparison to another? Isn't your point that copying falls on the wrong (i.e., illegal) side of the line? Just to be clear, I'm not justifying or disputing the illegality of these acts, just trying to get clear on where you're coming from.

    By the way, as a huge Beatles fan, I'm ultra familiar with the clear copyright violations and practices that Apple Computer have engaged in on no less than three separate occasions in (first) stealing the name and logo from The Beatles Apple Corp. company, then engaging in duplicitious practices when they lost that first lawsuit by saying that they would never include music on a computer (and losing a second lawsuit because of that). Now, they've wormed their way out the agreement that they made in that second judgement to never engage in transmission of music (I forget the exact criteria, but the main one that saved them in the recent, third lawsuit was that transmission of music by means of digital media had not been foreseen and named in the previous judgement).

    GVDV

    Hi Balamw,
    Thanks for the suggestion here; you're right that 30GB is a lot of music, but in a way, it's all relative as I'm now ripping music at higher bitrates (particularly my own!).

    Consequently, I'm thinking that the 60GB or 80GB machines are the best, and the weight issue becomes significant for me at that capacity.

    I appreciate your thoughts, though, and will bear them in mind.

    GVDV
     
  21. MacAnkka macrumors regular

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    #21
    Actually, Apple had nothing to do with the invention of the AAC format. It was created by Dolby, Sony, Nokia and some other companies. Anyone can buy the licence to use it (even Zune plays AAC files). The FairPlay DRM that Apple uses on their iTunes Music Store files is proprietary and designed by Apple, though (but you don't have to worry about it if you don't buy music from Apple).

    It's a very common misconseption.
     
  22. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #22
    Also, you can set iTunes not to duplicate files. I usually set my old ripped files (mostly MP3s and WAVs) to a different location for some files, and I hate when iTunes imports them, so I set it not to. I used to set iTunes to import CDs as MP3s as well, because no one used AACs and I didn't know if I wanted to be stuck with the relatively new (at the time) and kinda slow (at the time) program. I now use AACs and play them in QT on the Mac. I can use WinAmp on the PC, but instead just leave iTunes running to share out files to my living room Mac and my laptop. AACs sound better on my iPod and on my cell, but MP3s work just fine too.
     
  23. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #23
    The thing with drag & drop is, it's fine for ad-hoc use but if the size of your library is growing, programs like iTunes are a serious advantage in the management in loading and enjoying your library.

    A lot of your professed concerns seems to be as a result of reading the FUD generated by people who're attached to their Mass Storage players due to the theoretical advantage offered by the program-less transfer. UMS players do have a place for people whose collection is incorrectly tagged (mostly through illegal music sharing) but apart from that, the iPod + iTunes combination offers some very compelling features for people who prefer that their player don't get in their way of music enjoyment. I'd say give the combination a try, and try to actually use the features of iTunes instead of trying to bend iTunes to what you're used to with the more basic Archos.

    For example, what is not widely advertised about the iPod is it's ability to sync not only the music, but when it played what and keep that in the database. iTunes can use this information to help you create playlists. Smart Playlists in iTunes is a hugely handy feature, which allows you to generate playlists like "Get me 5Gb of Jazz tracks which I haven't listened to in the last 3 months" in a matter of seconds.

    Drag & drop seems like a good idea - but really, as a serious music listener with a large library I tend to turn to management programs like j.River Media Center (Windows only) even for USB Mass Storage devices.

    Third-party programs are available to move music off the iPod and to the host computer. These can in many cases be stored and run off the iPod itself (since it is a USB Mass Storage device as far as data is concerned).
     
  24. theBB macrumors 68020

    theBB

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    #24
    No, AAC is not limited to Macs. I am not sure if Windows Media Player can play it, but unless you buy from iTunes store, AAC files you generate from your own CDs can be played in any player software or hardware supporting AAC. You are not tied to iTunes or iPod.

    In a portable environment the quality of AAC may not matter, but still you could rip into 128kps AAC files rather than 160 or higher MP3 ones to save space.

    Anyways, you gotta try iTunes before you decide. It makes very easy to follow and logical directories for your music files, so if you ever decide to leave iTunes environment, you can just pack up the iTunes Music directory. Of course you never interface with that structure when you are using iTunes, but it is still nice to know that you don't end up with cryptically named files and folders. (It is a different story for the copies of files moved into the iPod.)

    I don't understand how you can create playlists without duplication, awkward "shortcuts" (in Windows parlance) or good amount of search to get to the songs you are interested in through Windows Explorer. "Smart Playlist" capability in iTunes is priceless. You can come up with all kinds of combinations of criteria to create new playlists.
     
  25. gvdv thread starter macrumors regular

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    Feb 18, 2007
    #25
    Hi MacAnkka,
    Thanks for enlightening me about this.

    Your comment has been very helpful to me.

    All the best,

    GVDV

    Hi the BB,
    Thanks for this.

    Sorry the confusion about creating playlists using shortcuts on the Archos XS202.

    Just to clarify, my comment about making playlists using shortcuts referred to accessing the functionality of the Archos XS202 via Windows Explorer..

    One can access this functionality (i.e. create playlists) *when computer and XS202 are connected* using Windows Explorer or one can access this directly from the XS202 when computer and XS202 are not connected. So, it's a function/feature 'within' the XS202 that one can make use of either from Windows Explorer (or the Mac) or from the unit directly.

    I think that the manual may still be online somewhere (I downloaded mine before I received my player) if you are further interested. I know that the XS202 is still featured on the Archos site, although it is no longer sold. I can't remember if you can get the manual on the Archos site or not.

    All the best,
    GVDV
     

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