Use iTunes with *ANY* mp3 player

Thursday 2007-02-01

Many years ago, I bought an iBead Jens of Sweden MP-100. At the time I was a Windows/Linux user and everything was fine. Now that I’m a Mac user, syncing tracks to my trusty USB mp3 player is a bit harder. I had to copy tracks by hand, and when two tracks had the same title the copy would fail. THis was all very irritating. I am saving for an iPod nano, but until I get one I’m stuck with the USB copy tricks.

But not anymore, 5 minutes ago I discovered SyncTunes, a free Mac OSX application which can sync iTunes playlists to any drive as long as it’s available on your desktop. This means that any drive that mounts as a removable drive (USB memory sticks, PDA’s, Sony PSP’s…) can be used to sync the playlist to. The only catch is that you have to make the playlist fit onto the drive (in size). This can be easily done by creating a smart playlist in iTunes which is limited in size.

I tested syncing some of my playlists (through a size-limiting playlist) and it works like a charm. Size limiting playlists are also the thing to use if you do have an iPod, and want some control on how many space is used by pop music, and how many space is used by rock. I’m a happy camper now, and in no hurry to buy an iPod (but that 8GB red nano sure looks tempting).


Opening iTunes to other players

Thursday 2007-01-25

Today I found an article about Norway suing Apple because music bought in the iTunes store could not be played on a non-iPod music player. If Apple looses this legal attack, it would result in an even stranger digital rights management situation than we already have. Read the rest of this entry »

Tangerine BPM Analyzer

Sunday 2006-10-22

Today I discovered Tangerine, a BPM (Beats Per Minute) analyzer for use with iTunes on a mac. I downloaded it, and it works as advertised. It scans your iTunes music library, and analyzes the BPM (and intensity of the pattern) of each track. It does this in the background, and on my Mac mini Core duo I can continue wih my normal programs while Tangerine analyzes the tracks. The BPM values get saved to your iTunes library, so they will also show up in iTunes if you have the BPM column visible there. The “Intensity” will not be visible in your normal iTunes lists.

Read the rest of this entry »

Want those CD boxes back?

Sunday 2006-04-23

When I used iTunes on XP, I was jealous of the terrific plugins for iTunes running on OS X. Now that I have a Mac Mini, I was looking for a plugin to update the album art automatically. Pim showed me an even better alternative: Clutter! Not only can it search and update album art automatically for you, it also gives you the option to put your albums on your desktop. This is the best virtual alternative to having CD’s lying on your desk. A must have for iTunes users I think. Very nice.

Sidebar: My file server still runs Windows, and it has been working flawlessly for the past 5 years, being constantly “on” and storing family pictures and music. My laptop is an XP machine and works quite nicely too. So maybe it’s because I don’t need to, but for now I don’t want to install XP on my Mac. It feels like a step back, it adds a sour taste to your strawberry icecream :-). XP is nice, but not as a desktop. Too much bloatware.