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Topic: DEAL BREAKER : Can it Play mp3s without using iTunes?

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Old 01-13-2005, 04:50 AM
#1
 
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DEAL BREAKER : Can it Play mp3s without using iTunes?

Just wondering...

Some have said that you must partition a DATA side (for USB Mass Storage capability) and an iTunes capable MUSIC side (for mp3 playback).

Couple of questions that maybe ppl who have the iPod Shuffle can answer for me:

1) Say I have some mp3s and I don't use iTunes.
Can I place those mp3s into the MUSIC partition side of the iPod Shuffle without first loading my mp3s to iTunes and still have it play in the iPod Shuffle?

2) If I am reading what others are saying correctly, if I were to put a mp3 into the DATA partition side, it will not play on the iPod Shuffle. Is that correct?

3) Also, has Apple configured the MUSIC partition side to only be able to play music from any iTunes library or just from 1 computer's library?

TIA!

Last edited by otIpod?; 01-13-2005 at 04:53 AM.
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Old 01-13-2005, 08:25 AM
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If it works like the other iPod models then you have to add music using iTunes, it won't recognize them placed on there as data. I don't have mine yet so I can't say for sure, but it's a pretty safe bet.
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Old 01-13-2005, 11:07 AM
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The iTunes data vs. music slider does NOT partition the disk... it only defines the amount of music iTunes' Autofill button puts on the iPod, allowing you to automatically reserve some free space for data.

One partition.

Now...

1) No... it will be like any other iPod, meaning you'll have to load the music with iTunes.

2) One partition.

3) Not sure yet. If the iPod Shuffle behaves like a regular iPod in "Manual" mode, then you can load music from whatever you connect to. If it behaves like a regular iPod in "Automatic" mode, you'll get a prompt asking if you'd like to wipe your iPod and load that PC's music.

If it has its own mode selection... well... than use it how you want. We'll see.
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Old 01-13-2005, 12:13 PM
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See, I understand why the HD iPods behave this way - they can run dynamic playlists and have a fast user interface. Because of this, they NEED iTunes (or similar) for loading files on to them, because a database has to be updated at the same time, to enable all of the above to work.

Since the shuffle doesn't work anything LIKE the above, there is absolutely no reason not to just have a 'Music' folder on the shuffle that you can load tracks on from anywhere, anytime. They've essentially crippled a nice element of the unit (go to a friend's house, pop a couple of tracks on there and have a listen), just for the sake of taking copyright protection to extremes. It's not as if I can't take the track home and then load it on anyway. It protects nothing but adds inconvenience. LAME!

I look forward to the day, undoubtedly very soon, that a client (one exists for regular ipods IIRC) that can run straight from the shuffle can be used to load tracks into its library. If apple wont do it, someone else will.

-J
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Old 01-13-2005, 03:36 PM
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Thanks for the all the help so far!

Maybe the word Partition was incorrectly used.
But I do think there is some sort of Music separation and Data separation going on. Perhaps a more appropriate description is Music Directory and Data Directory.

A couple of things that I still don't understand:

#1
IF the iTunes Auto-Fill slider means iTunes allots a certain amount of space for iTunes music and randomly selects music from iTunes to fill that alloted space,
AND there exists an iTunes Manual Mode (meaning iTunes lets you select which songs you want to put in to the iPod Shuffle),
THEN is it possible to have both Auto-Fill and Manual Mode in the Music Directory of the iPod Shuffle?

#2
Is the iPod Shuffle dependent on iTunes to be able to play mp3s?
Here's an example: My friend does not use iTunes. My friend's computer has mp3s that she created. I want them. I transfer them to my iPod Shuttle.
= Can I play the mp3 right away?
= Do I have to goto a comp that has iTunes to upload them to iTunes, then download them to my iPod Shuffle? Will they then play on my iPod Shuffle?
= Or do I have to got back to the computer which has the iTunes that initialized/activated my iPod Shuffle in order to make them play on my iPod Shuffle?

#3
IF there does exist a Music Directory of the iPod Shuffle, does the directory only recognize music that has been transferred to it via iTunes' Auto-Fill or Manual Mode? All other music goes into the Data Directory?

Sorry if I've confused more ppl

Last edited by otIpod?; 01-13-2005 at 03:48 PM.
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Old 01-13-2005, 05:33 PM
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It would be a complete deal breaker if you HAVE to use iTunes to upload mp3s into the shuffle. I want to quickly swap music in and out no matter if im at my computer with iTunes or not. Also that would suck if u needed clear some mp3s off to make room for data, and have to go and use iTunes to get rid of mp3s.

But since everyone seems to agree that there isnt a different music/data partition, I dont see how apple can prevent a user from having access to everything on the Shuffle when used as a thumb drive.

What im thinking is that they do sort of have a hidden "playlist" file on the Shuffle that holds the names of the mp3s on the Shuffle, and thats what iTunes sets up when it uploads music. I'd think they would have to do it this way since, it would be harder to have the shuffle scan through the flash memory and randomly select music files to play. So hopefully it just a text file that you can edit, and not some wierd binary file.

So if you were to manually upload music, you would have to also add an entry to this file.

But its all speculation until my Shuffle comes.
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Old 01-14-2005, 02:44 AM
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It's not speculation. You'll find all your answers through this link:

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=61131

Some of you were correct, some of you were wrong. Some of you will be disappointed.
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Old 01-14-2005, 03:54 AM
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polycarbon,

Thanks for the info link.

However, do those instuctions apply to the Ipod Shuffle?
Seems to me those instructions are only for the HD Ipods.

Because the Ipod Shuffle may or may not be USB Mass Storage Compliant (have not seen this mentioned anywhere), the Ipod Shuttle could be a different beast all together when transferring music/data compared to how HD Ipods transfer music/data.
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Old 01-14-2005, 04:15 AM
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whoops, I forgot to put this link as well:

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=300493

"When using iPod shuffle to transfer files, turn on disk mode first. If you don't, it will appear as if you have to make the target computer (the one that you're transferring files to) the owner of iPod shuffle; doing so will erase the contents on the iPod shuffle."

It might be too early to say that it will work the same as it's older iPod siblings in that respect, but this looks like it points to the shuffle behaving similarly.
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Old 01-14-2005, 09:07 AM
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Yes this is a deal breaker for me too. I have hundreds of mp3s on my hard disk. I don't want to install iTunes and then import them all into iTunes just to get them onto the device.

Why oh why, can't they just implement it so it is recognized as a removable hard disk in Windows Explorer so that I can just drag and drop my mp3s...?
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Old 01-14-2005, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by konaboy
Yes this is a deal breaker for me too. I have hundreds of mp3s on my hard disk. I don't want to install iTunes and then import them all into iTunes just to get them onto the device.

Why oh why, can't they just implement it so it is recognized as a removable hard disk in Windows Explorer so that I can just drag and drop my mp3s...?
Konaboy, importing an existing MP3 library into iTunes is simple and fast, even on my 867Mhz PowerBook. You just 'Add to Library', point to your directory and it's done. Just make sure that iTunes doesn't copy the songs into it's own and it will be fast.



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Old 01-14-2005, 09:50 AM
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Again, I agree that this is all speculation until somebody actually gets a shuffle and tries this, however I would personally suspect that the iPod Shuffle works in exactly the same way as all other iPods. Knowing Apple, I can't see them re-engineering their entire iTunes processing just for one new device.

In addition, Apple has a long history in the iPod world of not worrying too much about what the power user wants.... Remember that the Shuffle is being targeting at the average consumer who doesn't understand MP3 players very well and just wants to carry around a handful of CDs. I think Apple almost expects that power users will be considering other flash players (or for that matter, probably already have one).

So if this is the case, then your MP3s will live in a subdirectory structure, in the same partition. While you don't technically have to use iTunes to delete an MP3 file (since the physical file is there) deleting an MP3 file manually is sure to mess up the iPod Shuffle's music database.

However, if this is the case, then I would suspect that many of the existing third-party utilities out there for iPod music management will also work with the Shuffle (since it basically works just like a smaller iPod). This would be another good reason for Apple to stay with the same music management design.



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Old 01-14-2005, 10:49 AM
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The reason all iPods and now shuffle have the music files 'hidden' is the because the music industry would drop a brick if they at all thought people could, very easily, load up a bunch of songs from person A's computer and drop them to person B's.

That's why your not able to just download songs from the iPod. Of course people in the know know how to do this and I'm sure there will be software to do the same with shuffle but Apple is never going to build it in.
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Old 01-14-2005, 01:25 PM
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nosedive51,

hmm, I understand Apple's reasoning behnd the HD Ipods not letting us natively download music from HD Ipods.

However, this Ipod Shuffle is supposed to be a USB key drive.
And I was hoping it was USB Mass Storage ("UMS") compliant too.
Though I have not seen that mentioned by Apple.
Correct me if I am wrong, but I thought UMS allows the USB key drive to show up as a directory on any computer without the use of software or drivers (aside from Win98). This means that moving any kind of data (music, documents, etc...) can be done from computer to USB key drive and vice versa.

Now, if Apple decided you can only transfer music via iTunes, and via iTunes only, does that mean you cannot transfer music using the UMS characteristic of most USB key drives?

Of course, I don't even know if the Ipod Shuffle is UMS compliant to begin with.

The reason I bring up UMS compliant is because there are lots of flash players that have UMS capability built in. (Examples: Creative flash players, Sandisk players, Most of the Iriver players, and even the less expensive Asian derivative flash mp3 players.) If the Ipod Shuffle does not have UMS capability, it really is going to some lengths to dictate our use of a supposed USB key drive.
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Old 01-14-2005, 02:12 PM
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I'm pretty sure that the shuffle will be UMS compliant as you hope. The deal breaker will be that transferring music to the shuffle will only allow it to sit on the shuffle and not be played on the shuffle. To be able to play the music you will need iTunes or some other third party device.

This too is similar to the hard drive iPods where the iPod can be recognized on any computer it is formatted for natively and drag and drop whatever you want on it, even music files, without iTunes, however if you want to play those songs you'll have to load them onto the iPod with an appropriate program.

The shuffle should work the same, but I guess there is always a chance it won't.

The only thing you'll need iTunes for is actually playing the music on the shuffle, you can transport it easily with just drag and dropping to the drive.

Stuart




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