Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Play music on iPod through on any (Windows) Computer

I've got an ipod with lot's of my music on it, but it is synced with Mac OS X on my iMac. The problem is... Unless I duplicate or sync my iTunes music library with my Boot Camp installation on Windows, I can't play the music on that iPod through the computer - I Don't want to add another set of speakers to my desk just for the iPod as my iMac has them built in. I tried using a cable to loop the iPod through the line-in, but that didn't work either...

After much searching I discovered a program called Pod Player from iPodSoft. This is a single Windows binary which is freeware and allows playback of all the music on your iPod - including protected AAC if you install iTunes and authorise the computer!! The winner (for me) is the ability to set star ratings and it updates play counts on your iPod so when you sync it back to iTunes it updates everything.

The program is a single binary so I could conceivably drop it on the iPod, so I whenever I mount the iPod I get the program - although, my iPod's HFS (mac formatted) so I'd need MediaFour's MacDrive installed on every computer to do this...

I have to admit the interface leaves something to be desired when compared with iTunes, but aesthetics aside, it does the job perfectly. It displays all the playlists on the iPod and the "browse" album, artist, genre system works super fast and in a similar way to iTunes. Once you've chosen playlist/album/artist/genre choices or ran a search (which is reasonably quick), the results are displayed in the song list. Unfortunately I'd prefer the song track number to be more visible - it's at the end of many columns of file sizes etc - and Pod Player doesn't retain customisations of this between loads. Besides that - it's now in regular use!!

Highly recommended!!

Link to iPodSoft's Pod Player

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