Ipods play normal mp3s, right?

just making sure. i am pretty sure the answer is yes.

my sis wants to get her husband an ipod for his birthday. they have tons of mp3s and she wants to make sure she doesn’t have to buy them again.

Yes it does.

Once the mp3s are on the player, though, their filenames are turned into random-letter gibberish and the folder structure you have for the mp3s on your hard drive is nuked (your hard drive doesn’t change, but the iPod doesn’t retain that structure). So don’t think you shouldn’t back up your mp3s anyway.

While you should always back up yo shit, I have restored my mp3 collection from my iPod before and it (ephpod, anyway) rebuilds the directory structure using the ID3 tags of the mp3s. So as long as your music directory on the PC doesn’t have some non-ID3 style categorization, I don’t see why it can’t be rebuilt.


Ah, I hadn’t heard of that program. I guess you could also copy them over from your iPod without a program, then have iTunes “manage your library” music and sort it all into folders itself. I still wouldn’t do that unless I had to, though; I’m afraid of stressing the drive on the iPod.

they play mp3’s, wav’s, and m4p’s

but not ogg (that I know of)

They do have some issues with Variable Bit Rate MP3’s; there is a fix available, though.

I wouldn’t worry about it. I use my iPod as a second hard disk as well as an mp3 player, and I’m well into my 3rd year with it.

As for backing up, if you lose your local MP3s, copy the MP3s over from the iPod (mangled filenames/directories and all) then re-import back into your iPod using iTunes, you don’t lose anything.

Really, iTunes is the best way to manage the iPod. It’s a decent piece of music software as well, though a bit heavyweight.

It only screws up your local MP3 structure if you let iTunes manage your music files. You can copy files to iTunes without letting iTunes move the music to its own folder. Do it that way and it doesn’t screw up your file structure.

Why not just let iTunes manage your files, anyway? It does a good job of nesting directories in a good way, and when your library reaches a certain size, you’re better off using iTunes as a music manager, since it’s hard to use file browsing for so many tracks.

Honestly, I know it’s not the most awesome thing on the entire planet, even though I tend to like it more than most, but I’ve come to the conclusion that nothing is better than iTunes when it comes to managing, oh, say >20GB of music.

And it’s been loads more useful since they added the podcasting support.

Why not? Because you can use the directory structure of your choice, and iTunes still does its music management in the exact same what that it does if you allow it to suck all of your files into its own directory.

Right, you’re talking about stuff that stays on the hard drive only. Once it gets on the Pod, it doesn’t stay that way.

Right – the iPod has its own mangled file structure, to deter copyright violations.

Actually, it’s more to do with filename hashing so that it’s easier to categorize MP3s to minimize disk access during playing/searching, which in turn prolongs battery life.

Really? I did not know that. Well, it also has the effect of making it more difficult to copy over a handful of “favorites” to someone else’s hard drive.

That’s the point, and also why (by default) you can’t move playable music from the iPod to a computer. You could store them as files in disk mode, but you can’t use them on the iPod that way.

Also related to how you can only sync the files from computer to iPod, and it’s a TOTAL sync.

There are ways around that, but it’s a PITA to do it. I know, because that’s how I keep my music nowadays. My laptop’s hard drive just doesn’t have the space for all the music I own.

While we’re on the topics of ipods, can someone recommend non-gaming podcasts for news, perhaps for the global/national kind and not the PowerUser kind (already subscribed to that ;))? I just started working full-time recently and the drive to work is a bit… boring.

Also, to get around not having to do the total sync, just look in your iPod preferences and turn on manual sync ;).

I don’t listen to them because it takes all my commutes to catch up on the geeky stuff, but I hear tell that NPR’s podcasts are totally sweet.

If you buy the full Anapod (a third party iPod app which rox the sox off your box… or something), you get a kind of mini-music manager app with it called “Copy Gear”. This little app allows this kind of simple file management.

The reason I bring it up is that you can simply keep the copygear.exe (?) file on your iPod (like a normal file in “disk” mode). Then when you cart your iPod to another PC, plug it in like normal, get a drive letter, and launch the copygear app off the iPod and go.

shift6: Interesting app suggestion, I’ll look out for it.

I’ve been doing it through a combination of some iTunes.app settings/tricks and some badass command-line bash$ magic.

Edit: Ugh, Windows only.

I will say that iTunes on le Mac is a different experience vs. iTunes on Windows. It’s better on the Mac.