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Itunes rookie needs advice


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43 replies to this topic

#1 of 44 Eric_L

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Posted December 20 2005 - 01:25 PM

Well, I got an Ipod shuffle as a gift from a vendor this year - which I promptly surrendered to my wife. I thought I'd take her MASSIVE CD collection and rip it to the computer so she could enjoy them.

I'm about 30 disks in - about 10% done. I put in the disk and Windows Media Player pops up and lets me rip it. It nicely and automatically files it by artist and album including the album art. So far so good - right?

Wrong. Apparently Ipods don't read the same files. So now I must rip the songs I've already ripped into Itunes - right?

I suppose I could just rip everything thorugh Itunes, but then the only player is itunes - if I want to use other players (I have a Muvo) I must re-rip it -since I can't find a way to convert itunes to other common formats.

I must be missing something. Do I really have to have two versions of all of my CDs on my PC? Can I not listen to my itunes songs with other devices? I must be missing something - If itunes is really this restrictive I can't see why they are so popular.

Someone please tell me if I am missing something.

Thanks

#2 of 44 DougWright

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Posted December 20 2005 - 01:45 PM

I wish I could help.
Proprietary formats is why I don't own an Ipod.
It is probably the sweetest looking player out there and I can't force myself to buy one.
I was also upset I had to download itunes as part of my last quicktime download, most uncool.

I keep hoping to find some third party software for ipods, but as of yet I have seen nothing.
Doug "Thread Killer" Wright

#3 of 44 Ted Todorov

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Posted December 20 2005 - 02:07 PM

Quote:
I wish I could help.
Proprietary formats is why I don't own an Ipod.
It is probably the sweetest looking player out there and I can't force myself to buy one.

I don't know how you got the idea the iPods only play proprietary formats -- they play MP3, AAC, AIFF, etc. -- all open formats.

As for the Muvo -- I'd have to imagine that it plays MP3s also -- just set iTunesPosted Imagereferences:Advanced:Import:Import Using: to MP3 and you should be able to play the resulting tracks on both players.

Ted
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#4 of 44 CRyan

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Posted December 20 2005 - 02:07 PM

Go into the ripping options and choose to rip as MP3. I assume you ripped as WMA in Windows Media Player. Noooooooooo. Posted Image

Itunes will convert WMA files but not MP3's! The IPod does not require a proprietary format. If you rip to MP3 all players will be good to go!

C. Ryan

#5 of 44 Michael_K_Sr

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Posted December 20 2005 - 02:27 PM

Quote:
Proprietary formats is why I don't own an Ipod.

Posted Image

Quote:
Itunes will convert WMA files but not MP3's!
I think you made a typo. iTunes can import MP3's but NOT WMA files.

#6 of 44 Ted Todorov

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Posted December 20 2005 - 02:55 PM

Quote:
I think you made a typo. iTunes can import MP3's but NOT WMA files.


Actually, the Windows version of iTunes will import unprotected WMAs as well.

Ted
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#7 of 44 Michael_K_Sr

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Posted December 20 2005 - 03:18 PM

Wasn't aware of that Ted. Thanks for the insight.

#8 of 44 Christ Reynolds

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Posted December 20 2005 - 03:43 PM

Quote:
Proprietary formats is why I don't own an Ipod.

and uninformed, closed minds are why i dont go to too many message boards.

Quote:
I keep hoping to find some third party software for ipods, but as of yet I have seen nothing.
did you even look?

ipod software for:
windows linux osx os9

apart from linux, there are dozens for each operating system.

CJ
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#9 of 44 Craig S

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Posted December 20 2005 - 06:20 PM

New iPod owner?? Check out this site:

http://www.ilounge.com

Tutorials, reviews, forums... everything you could want to know about your new toy all in one place. Great site.

Three truths about movies, as noted by Roger Ebert:

 

* It's not what a movie is about, it's how it is about it.

* No good movie is too long, and no bad movie is short enough.

* No good movie is depressing, all bad movies are depressing.


#10 of 44 Eric_L

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Posted December 20 2005 - 11:39 PM

Quote:
I don't know how you got the idea the iPods only play proprietary formats -- they play MP3, AAC, AIFF, etc. -- all open formats.
As for the Muvo -- I'd have to imagine that it plays MP3s also -- just set iTunesPosted Imagereferences:Advanced:Import:Import Using: to MP3 and you should be able to play the resulting tracks on both players.


Great info - I have hope now. What about on my PC - will itunes play mp3 or must it be converted?

Also, what about songs I buy from itunes? Can those be converted to MP3 and put onto any player?

I just bought $55 of itunes gift certificates, but I am returning them today to exchange for Napster since my son has the Muvo.

Quote:
Go into the ripping options and choose to rip as MP3. I assume you ripped as WMA in Windows Media Player. Noooooooooo.


Yes, I ripped as WMA. Itunes then converted the ones I imported to itunes. Apparently, if I understand everyone correctly, if I rip to MP3 then itunes will accept them as-is. - though I am uncertain if itunes will want me to keep them in a second location...

#11 of 44 Scott Dautel

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Posted December 20 2005 - 11:56 PM

So If we understand correctly, you ripped CD's to WMA via Windows Media Player before you installed iTunes software on your PC. Is this right?

CRyan made perhaps the most important point above ... ALL ripping software, certainly including iTunes & WMP gives you to option of setting the default format to MP3. There is NOT a player out there that can't read MP3 formatted music.

When you install iTunes, I recall the software asks 1) do you want iTunes to be the default music player software for your PC (as a self-professed novice, Best to choose YES). and 2) Do you want iTunes to search your PC for music? If you also choose YES here, it will probably find your wma-formatted files. You may have to manually convert.

Regarding proprietary formats ... the frustration comes from music purchased and downloaded from Apple's iTunes Music Store. You don't have a choice here ... it all comes down as AAC format and you cant easily convert to MP3 (Technically, you can make an audio CD from AAC, the rip the CD back to MP3 ... rather lossy) . All iPods will play AAC fine, but many other players will not.

Hope this explains the basics ... sorry for being a little redundant with some of the above posts.

#12 of 44 Ted Todorov

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Posted December 21 2005 - 12:07 AM

Quote:
Great info - I have hope now. What about on my PC - will itunes play mp3 or must it be converted?

Also, what about songs I buy from itunes? Can those be converted to MP3 and put onto any player?

Yes, iTunes and your PC will play MP3.

Yes, songs bought on iTunes can be converted to MP3, though the process isn't as straight forward (one way is to burn them to CD and then re-rip). Quality is lost. iTunes bought songs are best enjoyed in iTunes or on an iPod.

If you have mutually incompatible players (when it comes to DMRed music) I would recommend getting a gift certificate for Amazon, or DeepDiscountCD instead and just ripping the CDs to MP3...

EDIT: Scott beat me to the answer.

Ted
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#13 of 44 Scott Merryfield

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Posted December 21 2005 - 12:10 AM

Quote:
Great info - I have hope now. What about on my PC - will itunes play mp3 or must it be converted?

Yes, iTunes will completely handle all your MP3 files. It can rip in MP3 format, import MP3 files, transfer MP3 files to your iPod and play MP3 files directly from iTunes.

We own two iPods, and I have ripped all our CD's into the MP3 format for universal compatibility. If you want higher quality MP3 files than iTunes can create (it's MP3 encoder is not that good), do a google search for "Exact Audio Copy" and "LAME". It's one of the best free MP3 encoders out there for the PC.

Quote:
Also, what about songs I buy from itunes? Can those be converted to MP3 and put onto any player?

This is where things get tricky -- with copy-protected files. iTunes and the iPod use protected-AAC format, while other online music stores use protected-WMA. iTunes will not play protected-WMA, and pretty much every other portable MP3 player will not play protected-AAC. You can convert music purchased from the iTunes online music store to MP3 by first burning the AAC files to a CD, but it's cumbersome to do and you will lose some audio quality.

#14 of 44 Eric_L

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Posted December 21 2005 - 12:20 AM

Close. I have had itunes installed for a long time, but never used it. I have media player as the default. Maybe if I uninstall and reinstall it will find my library? I can't find a way to make it find it now.

As far as itunes music store - I don't think I'll be a patron if the use is so limited. THere are others out there. I think I'll look at Napster - they play on all players, right? M$, WalMart and others all sell tunes also. I'll find one that'll work...

edit - OK Scott. SO apparently I can download music for the Shuffle or I can download music for the Muvo - but I cannot download music which will work on both - $#@!

My ONLY option if I want to have music for both is to either get a CD (which are having copy-protect issues these days also), spend hours doing redundant disk burning and copying, or download illegal mp3 copies. I can see why consumers are cranky about all this! It would seem it is being driven primarily by Apple's refusal to comply to a standard. How the he!! did they become the leader in music players?

#15 of 44 Scott Dautel

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Posted December 21 2005 - 12:48 AM

Quote:
OK Scott. SO apparently I can download music for the Shuffle or I can download music for the Muvo - but I cannot download music which will work on both - $#@!

Not quite right ... ANYWHERE were you can download music in MP3 format ... it will work on all players. I pretty much use iTunes (AAC downloads) because wifey & I both have iPods and the UI is my preference. I'm sure many or most of the others sell music in MP3 format, I just don't have experience with them.

#16 of 44 Scott Merryfield

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Posted December 21 2005 - 12:55 AM

Quote:
As far as itunes music store - I don't think I'll be a patron if the use is so limited. THere are others out there. I think I'll look at Napster - they play on all players, right?

If the music service uses protected-WMA, then the content will not play on all players -- only those that support this format.

As you said, copy-protected downloads can be a pain to deal with due to incompatible formats. I have restricted my music purchases to CD's only, since I want complete control over where I can play the music I purchase (and I avoid copy-protected CD's). The only music I have "purchased" from the iTunes online store are some of the free weekly music downloads that are offered.

#17 of 44 Eric Peterson

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Posted December 21 2005 - 01:00 AM

I also recently picked up an Ipod (60 GB) version and I like it quite a bit, but I find the Itunes software to be pretty close to useless.

I have been using Musicmatch Jukebox for a number of years for controlling my music database. (I purchased the lifetime upgrade package for MusicMatch) My database is approaching 90GB and I still have upwards of 500 CDs to convert. I would really like to use Musicmatch to communicate with my Ipod, but I have not found a way of doing that. Am I missing something? I went to the Musicmatch webpage and they don't list the Ipod as being compatible, but when I search for Ipod it comes up with help that alludes to it being compatible.

I am very anal about updating my ID tags with the proper information and Itunes is horrible for doing this, so I am bouncing back and forth between two programs to control this massive database and it's a nightmare. If anyone has any guidance, it would be greatly appreciated.
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#18 of 44 Ted Todorov

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Posted December 21 2005 - 01:53 AM

Quote:
I believe that It would seem it is being driven primarily by Apple's refusal to comply to a standard. How the he!! did they become the leader in music players?


Apple became the leader in music players by being the first to release one with a good user interface, and small form factor/large music capacity. IMHO, they are still solidly in the lead -- there is nothing on the market that can touch the 60 GB iPod Video/iTunes combo. There is no flash based player that can touch the Nano either.

So far as Apple refusing to comply to a standard: what standard? WMA? -- Is WMA a standard because Microsoft makes it? Posted Image

AAC is actually an open standard, but the DRM is Apple proprietary, though I believe that there are some stores that have reverse engineered it and sell music in iPod compatible DRMed AAC (Real?).

But as I can't imagine wanting a non Apple MP3 player, the format war doesn't bother me one bit.

Ted
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#19 of 44 Al.Anderson

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Posted December 21 2005 - 08:19 AM

I love the iPods and have no complaints with iTunes - but because of the associated DRM issues I now use only mp3 ripped from (purchased) CDs.

This is because recently I reformatted my C-drive, but since I keep all my music on my D-drive I thought when I reinstalled iTunes it would just see the music that I had purchased. Not so. I EASILY reimported all the mp3 files I had ripped from CDs. But I had to jump through hoops to have my iTunes purchased tracks re-recognized by iTunes and the iPod. And I think I lost an "allowed player" in the process.

But Eric, this isn't unique with iTunes, I think all music services have DRM built-in.

By sticking with CDs/mp3's you have extreme portability, because as mentioned in other posts mp3's can be played on any player on the market.

For those that I do purchase (because I only want one song of a CD say) I do the rip a CD and re-import that was mentioned previously.

#20 of 44 Eric_L

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Posted December 21 2005 - 10:32 AM

Quote:
So far as Apple refusing to comply to a standard: what standard? WMA? -- Is WMA a standard because Microsoft makes it?


If GM sold a car that only worked with GM gas, and sold gas that only worked with GM cars - they would be non-conforming. Pretty much sums up the download music biz. The vast majority of music vendors offer music which is compatible across a broad variety of players - and a broad variety of players work with multiple vendors. Apple is non-compliant. I don't give a rip about who's standard is used - only that I have the free choice of how I listen to the music I purchase.


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