Monday, June 8, 2009

Use ITunes to manage any MP3 player

I'm a HUGE fan of ITunes.  For my money, I think it's the best music download / MP3 management application available.  I'm not a fan of Rhapsody, and I frankly hate the Napster (and others) subscription model for the same reason I hate NetFlix:  Namely, after I watch all the movies (or download all the music) I've bee looking to watch, I end up paying a monthly fee and frankly barely using the service any further.  I'm much more the type of person who would rather just pay for what I want and not feel like I have to download stuff to make it worth the subscription price.  Add that to the "Genius" feature that has found me countless hours of new music, and it's simply my personal favorite music download site.

At any rate, lots of people use ITunes, but I get the same comment from many people:  I can't use ITunes because it doesn't work with my Zune, or my Sansa, or my IPOD Touch rip-off from China...

Well, those people are wrong.  You CAN sync your non-fruit-based MP3 player using ITunes... all you need is a little software help.  CNET makes a great, and better yet free, little tool called "ITunes Agent".  You can download it here.  This great little app will add an icon in your System Tray (bottom right of your screen) when you launch ITunes.  

To sync your non-IPOD device, first connect your MP3 device to your PC, then right-click on the "ITunes Agent" icon in the system tray and click "Preferences".  Then click "New".  

BIG IMPORTANT WARNING:  Just like the first time you sync up a new IPOD to ITunes, you will get a warning that the first time you sync up your device to ITunes, all your data on your device will first be erased, then the ITunes data will be added to it.  So... ya know... keep that in mind before you do this and wipe out your MP3 player and then try to blame me.

Anyhow, I assume you're OK with this process, since you wanted to sync up your MP3 device with ITunes in the first place.  So go ahead and fill out the fields for the new device as needed, then click "save".  Once that's done, right-click on the ITunes Agent and click "Synchronise devices"... and that's it.

So, please feel free to enjoy all the wonderfulness of ITunes on your Zen or Walkman MP3 with this great little utility.

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