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Old 10-07-2004, 12:39 AM
El Guapo
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Philadelphia, PA, USA
Posts: 490

I'll answer my own questions after doing some more research and getting to play with a friend's 3G device.

No, you don't need anything installed to access files other than music that you store on your iPod. It shows up as a USB mass storage device in Windows 2000/XP. You can install a driver for 98 or ME.

However, you can't copy your music files that the device will play using the USB Mass Storage connection. Grr...

You CAN transfer MP3 files using the iPod as an external hard drive, but the player won't read them unless loaded into its database using iTunes or another application like the Winamp plug-in (which works well), Anapod (which I haven't tried yet) or other things. However, Windows Media Player, Real Player, or Musicmatch won't work to load it (not natively at least - there may be plug-ins or hacks).

Anyway, the best thing to do it seems if you want to transfer AND play music using your iPod is to use SharePod, an application that doesn't require installation that you can put in your iPod and travel with. That way you can play music loaded with iTunes or Winamp, and then run SharePod on another PC without having to install ANYTHING to transfer your files over.

There's another application that will allow you to play music from your iPod in Windows without having to copy the files over to the HD first, but it's not free. I'm still looking for a freeware player that I can put on the iPod and run on a host PC sans installation.

The best thing about iPod that I can see is that there is a HUGE user base, which means LOTS of after-market items, software, a huge development community, etc.

I'm very much impressed with the quality of this thing so far. Can't wait to get one of my own!
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