Re: iPod hassles

The New guy wrote:
So I'm trying to use a 512mb iPod Shuffle (the older, longer skinnier
one) and move stuff from to 10.4.11 iTunes. You'd think it would be
easy. Just drag and drop or copy and paste or just import from HERE to
THERE. But oh no...Apple has to get its dictatorship attitudes in
there. I tried restoring all the settings, then I tried syncing, then I
made sure the library was set to the correct file location. What a
hassle. Nothing works. I wonder if its damaged?
It's usually extremely uncomplicated and straightforward; that's why
iPods are the most popular. Something probably is wrong.

What would be great would be to abolish iTunes and all the hassles that
go along with it and have the iPod work like a USB drive and just play a
mp3 or flac or ogg or any lossless thing I want. Copy and paste, drag
and drop - and BANG - it plays. Is that too much to ask? Or do I have
to buy another non-Apple player? And while I'm here, is there any way
of getting rid of the iTunes store completely in iTunes? I'd love to
have that thing wiped clean off my system.
The iTunes store is a bit big, it is on Apple's system, not yours. You
can disable it in preferences.

Of course Apple could have done it without introducing iTunes, but then
the player operation itself would have been complicated. I for one am
glad they decided to go this way, I was sick of fiddly players like
sony's mini-disk and so on.

How is it fiddly? I've never used any MP3 player besides a Shuffle and
Nano so this is all new to me.

You have a limited amount of space into which you must fit the gui. On a
nano I think there is just the button in the middle and the arrows, and
the wheel thing. Oh and the ones above and below the middle button. The
more functions the device has to perform, the more multi-functions you
have make your buttons do. This is confusing for most users.

Sony's mini-disk is a good example. Not only was it very small, so the
buttons were tiny and difficult to use, but it also had quite a lot of
functions, like recording, changing the volume, and so on. It was a real
nightmare to use.

Here's the one I used to have:
have a look at the bits about how to use it, it's hilarious.

so anyway, nobody has found a way to make a cerebral pre-emptive
interface yet so we're left with either this or fewer 'features'. With
the iPod, apple chose to remove features to make a simpler interface. A
lot of those features were transferred to a computer (hence the need for
iTunes) instead of being dumped entirely. this proved popular and is why
the iPod did so well. Apple also dumped all the DRM crap the record
industry has forced on us onto the computer.

What I would hope for is when I copy and paste an mp3 or flac or
whatever file into the iPod in Finder it just plays it. I wonder if
there is any 3rd party app that facilitates that? I realize the Nano
has organizational ability that the Shuffle lacks and even in iTunes its
nice to be able to sort by different methods. Sort of like tags I guess
in iPhoto or on some websites like Flickr. I value that kind of
searching but just wish it would do simple stuff like just play a file
when its pasted in it. If it behaved more like a thumb drive that would
be wonderful.

There must be players like that, but then they either just play in the
order you put them there, or you need an interface to sort them into
playlists. It's a trade-off and most seem to have gone with simplicity
(surprise surprise!).
You may not like the way things are, but a
lot of people do and so there is no reason for Apple to change things.
All the organization of playlists etc is done by iTunes, making
operation of the player simple and uncomplicated. It's an idea that is
far more popular than the other way you are suggesting.

Yeah, I'm getting the hang of it more and more. I'm used to doing
everything myself which is fine except for when you're searching for
stuff. Then it has its disadvantages.

Both would be nice and perhaps with the touch interface it will be
possible, but probably not from apple now that they have pretty much
sewn themselves into this way. And in any case, even if we do get rid of
the record industry, the movie industry won't let go of its DRM crap.
Understandably, considering that they really do have 'piracy' concerns
at the heart of their DRM, unlike the music industry, which was always
only about milking customers via controlling their use of media.

I was stupid enough to be suckered into getting a car stereo with "|ipod
compatibility". It actually takes over the iPod and disables the
controls, and lands me in the horrible Alpine interface. Mad. All I
really wanted was an audio in socket on the front. No access to the
playlists etc. Oh well. Maybe I can butcher the lead. Anyone know which
contacts are the audio ones?

I heard that the larger iPods sound better. Plus they have the larger
storage needed capacity for lossless that the smaller ones don't.
Apparently the best players aren't even made by Apple but I forgot where
the survey was online that was comparing them. I'm using top of the
line Sennheiser HD650 headphones and the sound is wonderful so I'd like
to convert to lossless completely if possible or as much as possible.
Once you use good headphones, deficiencies are really obvious. And its
eerie walking around untethered with such realism swirling around your
head. :) (I'm new to the that portable iPod world, but glad I've
finally arrived.)

There is a reason why the gear that audiophiles use (costing many
thousands of dollars, often just that much for the pre-amp) is bigger
than an iPod. You could always get a big rucksack and adapt it to run
off a motorbike battery, if the compromise is too big. It's probably not
worth it though, even though you'd save a lot of weight by not needing a
power amp.

Actually just running lossless, with top quality earbuds (granted they
cost several hundred dollars) and a non-micro style iPod may be a great
road to top quality portable sound using minimum space.

Should be as good as most CD players, anyway. Noise-canceling ones seem
to be getting more affordable now too. They are on my list. Re: space, I
got a 2GB nano for about 50% of the price from apple's refurb thing a
while back. I thought it might be a pain, compared to the bigger ones,
having to change it so often, but it has worked out fine. Try a
listening test with something you're very familiar with, as a lossless
and also in AAC at the highest bitrate. Get someone else to load them up
for you so you don't know which is which, and then see if it really is
audible to you. Only lost a bit of time if it is.