Exporting Playlists to an Ipod Classic (without iTunes)

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Max Dread

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Hi all

I plan to use Foobar2000 as my iPod Manager. Haven't actually bought the iPod yet, but will soon be getting a Classic 160gb and am doing a bit of research now....

What I would like to know is whether you can export playlists made in Foobar directly to an iPod (Classic 160gb), using the Foobar Ipod Manager?

Would also be good to have a brief explanation of the three different file formats for playlists in Foobar: FPL, m3u, and m3u8.

Many thanks

Max
 

kornchild2002

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Yes, you can sync playlists to an iPod using foobar2000. You can use Google to determine the differences between the different playlist file formats. Just know that m3u is the old tried and true playlist file system, m3u8 is the same as m3u but it forces an older 8-bit format, and FPL is foobar's proprietary playlist file. It doesn't matter if you use m3u or FPL (don't use m3u8), the playlist will be synced to the iPod in a completely different format that the iPod can read.
 

Max Dread

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Thanks kornchild. That's great news.

So, is it a case of Foobar converting the playlist as it sends it to the iPod??? I've been looking into Replaygain as well and understand that when Foobar transfers files, it converts Replagain to Soundcheck. Is it a similar process with playlists? If so, what is the final file format for the playlist on the iPod?

Cheers
 

kornchild2002

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Yes, foobar converts the playlist to a compatible format. What it actually does is a bit complex. Foobar will sync the songs over to the iPod fitting it's standard (the songs will all be renamed to something with four random numbers and letters and placed in a series of random folders starting with A01) and then your playlist will be transformed to a database file. This database file instructs the iPod as to what music is on it's hard drive, where it's located, the file includes ratings for songs, non-embedded album art, soundcheck information, and a couple other aspects. The database file also houses your playlists. It's not a matter of foobar taking an *.m3u playlist, changing it to something else (like *.ipod or whatever), and copying it over. That's not how iPods work, they've never worked that way dating back to their introduction in 2001.

They have always used a weird setup where content is synced over to them along with a database that houses most information.
 

Max Dread

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Thanks for explaining. That's really helpful.

But just to be clear, I can add and remove playlists at will from the iPod using Foobar iPod Manager?

On another note, does Foobar have an equivalent of Smart Playlists and if so what is your experience with it?

Thanks again.
 

kornchild2002

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Yes, foobar2000 can sync and remove playlists from an iPod just fine. The iPod handles things differently but the foobar iPod manager can work with an iPod classic just fine.

foobar2000 does have an alternative to Smart Playlists called Autoplaylists. Your iPod will view them as Smart Playlists and can update content on-the-fly. For example, in foobar2000, if you create an Autoplaylist for every song with a 3 star rating, that will be synced over to your iPod. Then, if you're playing a song on your iPod without a rating and give it 3 stars, the iPod will automatically add the song to your 3 star Autoplaylist and the playlist in foobar2000 will be updated the next time you sync your iPod.

You will need to Google more information about foobar2000's Autoplaylists though. I haven't used foobar2000 in at least 7 years so I can't really help you get things up and going. However, there are several Wiki entries (especially the Hydrogenaudio Wiki page) to help you get started. Back when I stuck with Windows, I would rely on foobar2000 for batch converting files and things like that but never to manage my library or sync my iPod. I then switched to Mac OS X as I was tired of Windows. I had a little peak as to what MS was doing with Windows 8 and I didn't agree with the direction they are going. I thought Windows 8.1 might change things but nope, I'm still using OS X. So even now I can't use foobar2000 if I wanted to install it and help you.

You're on your own after this. Like I said, there is a nice Hydrogenaudio Wiki page that should cover what you need to get foobar2000 up and running with Autoplaylists and syncing to an iPod.
 

Max Dread

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Very very grateful for your time. Huge thanks....
 
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