Friday, April 01, 2005

Ipod therfore I am?

By: Ed

Well, I just bought an Ipod. I thought it would be a nice change from my Samsung Yepp (some number) that I havn't used in ages and only held about 40 songs. I was worried at first, and for good reason, becuase most of my audio files were WMA. After assurances from salesmen and friends alike that Itunes converted WMA files though (I never trust JUST the salesmen) I decided to take the plunge.

I bought the 20 GB Ipod (5,000 songs is more than enough) and in eager anticipation ran upstairs to start setting it all up. That was at about 3 in the afternoon. I got to listen to my new mp3 player though only after hours of troubleshooting, wasting several CDWRs, and fits of anger that my 370 dollar (320 without extra warranty) toy was refusing to cooperate. That placed me at about 11 o'clock. Let me explain what happened...

Apparently, what everyone conveniently left out was that protected WMA files are unable to convert, thus my ENTIRE library of music was s.o.l. for Ipod. Windows Media Player apperently protects everything regardless and since EVERYTHING was in WMP I was in a pickle. I found, after some time, a solution online. Burn your whole library to CDWRs, then upload directly to Itunes. It seemed simple enough. Sure, I was po'ed, but if it only took a couple CDWR's and a little more time I could take it. So I thought...

After burning my entire library (quite a few CDs) I put the finished disks into the disk drive. Whats that? You think that solves everything? No no no... Its ok though, because I thought that too at first.

I heard the sound of the drive starting to move, then I heard it reach full speed. Then I heard it slow and stop, but without opening in Itunes. "Thats ok" I said, still optimisticly hoping I hadn't bought a 300 dollar paperweight, "I'll try it again".

*Drive hums*, *Drive gets louder*, *Drive stops*

Now I am upset. I set Itunes as the default media player during installation, but it did nothing. I poured over solutions and troubleshooting guides online and found what might have been the problem. I began burning my library after setting Itunes as my default player. To burn the CD's though, I needed to use WMP to access the files. Apperently, this caused some sort of conflict when new media is introduced because WMP likes to be the default player too.

So, I did a system restore and (just in case) erased and reinstalled Itunes afterward, careful not to go near WMP. Then my CD's went to autoplay in Itunes just fine. But wait, I have forgotten something, WMP doesn't write any fu*king song, band, genre or even album titles to the fu*king cd. So I spent another hour or two listening to the beggining of songs and typing their (hopefully close to real) names.

It is ok though. I am sitting here listening to my Ipod now and it works quite well. All I had to do after converting the library was sync the Ipod, let it format (without any interference from me) and download automatically the Itunes library. The sound is good and it is easy to use. I don't think I need to say though that every new song I get goes directly to Itunes.

So, all in all the Ipod is pretty good, but if you have protected WMA files in WMP I would think long and hard about it because you will spend a whole day converting songs.

One more thing, I am sure Akerman has already figured out some really easy solution that would have taken me about half an hour, but Akerman wasn't online at the time and I wanted to use the Ipod as soon as I got it.