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Window On Mac’s Musical World

The Age (Australia) has posted an interesting article about iTunes for Windows, not to mention, they even linked to us!

“While there [are] a couple of minor bugs in the Windows version (see the Windows forum at ilounge.com), and some annoyances - chiefly the fact that you cannot fully maximise the application - it makes the ripping and organising of music, including drag-and-drop creation of playlists and fast burning of CDs, absurdly simple.

We suspect that whether they own iPods or not, Windows users will be eager to try out a jukebox application that is not only powerful, simple and elegant, but also free. Once they experience that, they might start wondering what it would be like to have iMovie, iCal and the rest of the in-built applications you get with a Mac.”

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Comments

1

I’m not sure how much to trust these “bleeding edge” experts when I read something like this:

“we prefer to burn audio CDs at a slower setting - 4x rather than the 48x that our LiteOn burner can manage.”

Modern CDR formulations are optimized for burning at higher speeds, many underperform when stressed at slower speeds such as 1x, 2x, or 4x. Burn too slow and your BLER error rates will go right up.

These people seem to have very little clue about what they are talking about.

Posted by billabong on October 29, 2003 at 1:24 PM (CST)

2

Actually, Charles Wright, the author, is a good egg.

His articles appear in newspapers across Australia, so have to be targeted to an audience with a widely different levels of technical knowledge.  Suggesting burning at a slower speed (point taken 4x is very slow these days) would cause a lot less grief for newbies than trying to set fire to your CDR at 48x…

he says ‘we prefer’, meaning it works for him… it’s an opinion piece, not a white paper.  Have a read of some of his back issues before you paste him completely, they’re a pretty good read.

http://www.theage.com.au/technology/opinion/theedge/index.html

Sorry for being a fanboy, but this guy has offered me technical support for a problem I couldn’t nut out with setting up RAID on a motherboard he mentioned, when he must get lots of emails from readers asking all sorts of things…...... 

Cheers,
timmo

Posted by timmo on October 29, 2003 at 3:47 PM (CST)

3

I think people w/o an ipod would generally stick to a simpler and faster program.  iTunes as a media player just doesn’t cut it.  Sure it rips to AAC and has a built in music service, but that’s the only benefits you’ll get from it.

Posted by tetro on October 29, 2003 at 3:57 PM (CST)

4

Tetro, iTunes has incredibly cool organization tools and an absurdly simple interface. Other simple players don’t give you the flexability and control of iTunes and most have horrible unintuitive interfaces. If you think those are the only two benefits you get from it, I think you should look at it more closely.

Posted by Jeff on October 29, 2003 at 5:15 PM (CST)

5

“Other simple players don’t give you the flexability and control of iTunes and most have horrible unintuitive interfaces”

I see by this statement that you’ve never used J River’s Media Center—a frequent advertizer on ipodlounge!

MC is simply the last word in power, extensibility, configurability, and flexibility.

MC9’s Smartlists put those within iTunes to shame. MC9’s codec support is unparalleled. MC9’s Tagging Editor is stunning, intuitive, and intelligently adaptive. MC9’s skinning options (Maxi (ie, full screen), Mini (ie, minimized) Hairstyle (ie, jukebox mode)) are awesome.

All of the features that iTunes offers (Smartlists, streaming, integrated radio, support for DRM) Media Center has excelled at for several years, while offering greater configurability, performance, and codec support.

It’s a complex piece of software with a steeper learning curve than iTunes or MMJB, but rewards a few days of exploration. I use it to manage my 100,000+ electronica collection and stream songs across the LAN (home!) and WAN (to work!) (it has client-server protocol support). Not to mention some 3D image candy options that are simply stunning. How about taking the album art, mapping it onto a topographic terrain, then deforming the terrain in sync with the beats? That takes three clicks with MC9.

I am in no way affiliated with J River—I am just a single very satisfied user.

http://www.musicex.com/mediacenter/

Posted by MC9 on October 29, 2003 at 6:05 PM (CST)

6

I’m afraid that it’s more serious than “a couple of minor bugs.” There are, from what I’ve seen on the Apple Support boards, quite a few of us running XP that can’t download from the store, preview any clips, or access the radio. I really don’t need iTunes for managing my iPod—and, in fact, I can’t manage it using iTunes for Windows since my iPod is Mac formatted. It is, however, necessary for using the Music Store. And that part is seriously broken for many of us.

Posted by BobR on October 29, 2003 at 9:19 PM (CST)

7

I’m using iTunes and I have NO iPOD (yet…)

I find it a nicer player than RealOne, MS Media Player…those are just either too complicated or too annoying (Adverts) in the case of Real player. I’ve not tried any retail RIPing tools, and why should I, if there’s free stuff I’ll take it. I had problems with AudioCrusher not writing ID3 files properly, EAC is too complicated, iTunes works, what more can I say.

iTunes may rock, but, I won’t be trading in my PC, there ARE things that I can’t do on a Mac. I’ve been there, had one (LCII and Centris), loved them both and sadly left them both.

Yes I should be sent to the depths of Hell I know ;)

Posted by Solomalee on October 30, 2003 at 4:18 AM (CST)

8

I was an avid Mac user at one time….I now own a PC (and for the person who said those of us with WinXP can’t preview/buy stuff, I can…..don’t know (hmm..or care?) what your problem is) sadly enough.

iTunes is a great piece of software, but I don’t find it as intuitive as it should be seeing as it’s an apple product. What’s up with that?

Dan

Posted by Dan Merwin on October 30, 2003 at 5:55 AM (CST)

9

Is anyone else getting terribly sick of every single post on here becoming an advertising platform for Media Center?

Posted by JC on October 30, 2003 at 9:20 AM (CST)

10

“Is anyone else getting terribly sick of every single post on here becoming an advertising platform for Media Center?”

RESISTANCE IS FUTILE!

YOU WILL BE ASSIMILATED!!!

Posted by borg on October 30, 2003 at 9:24 AM (CST)

11

I don’t mind the advertising of Media Center when the central discussion happens to be the merrits of iTunes. I used iTunes for about a week. Its simplicity is its critical flaw. I would like to see a more intricate and less dumbed-down cataloging interface for iTunes, and the fact that it doesn’t maximize is somewhat half-assed - why make a program that does not fully adhere to the standards of the platform?! Media Center, especially 9.1 is a MUCH better alternative. It allows for flawless synchronization for the iPod - as well as countless other MP3 players, its cataloging prowess is legendary - it lets you view your music in a more sophisticated yet more natural way that iTunes. Moreover, MC also lets you design your own music catalog, the way that you would like to see it - and it incorporates the features found in other programs - such as image cataloging into one conveinient and very attractive package. It’s free to try - I suggest those people who simply jumped on the iTunes bandwagon because it was the thing to do to check out MC, you won’t regret it.

Posted by Anatoly on October 30, 2003 at 9:51 AM (CST)

12

I’ve actually dl’d MC9, but am hesitating to install it.  iTunes reorganized my music directory upon installation, and that’s ok b/c I like managing my music through iTunes rather than through Windows Explorer.  But will MC9 reorg my music files as iTunes did?  I would like to install and experiment with both, but not if they’re fighting to organize my music directory in proprietary ways.

Posted by Byron on October 30, 2003 at 6:01 PM (CST)

13

I’ve actually dl’d MC9, but am hesitating to install it. iTunes reorganized my music directory upon installation, and that’s ok b/c I like managing my music through iTunes rather than through Windows Explorer. But will MC9 reorg my music files as iTunes did? I would like to install and experiment with both, but not if they’re fighting to organize my music directory in proprietary ways.

Posted by Byron on October 30, 2003 at 6:02 PM (CST)

14

oops, sorry for the dp.

Posted by Byron on October 30, 2003 at 6:02 PM (CST)

15

“will MC9 reorg my music files as iTunes did”

No. MC9 *could* reorganize your music files (and of course, you can specify the reorg structure to a much greater degree than iTunes) but the key issue is that it won’t do anything until you ask it to.

You can ask MC9 to generate tags from filenames, rename files according to tag field, and/or move files into directories using any user-defined file structure specified from tag values. But this is all left up to you to decide.

By comparison, iTunes is rather dictatorial in the way it manipulates your files and directories, and not easily customizable.

I understand the latest iTunes patch changes the default install behavior to avoid reorg’ing directories without explicit direction.

Posted by MJ on October 30, 2003 at 6:37 PM (CST)

16

Cool, thanks for the info.

Posted by Byron on October 30, 2003 at 7:14 PM (CST)

17

I think we are forgetting a little program called WINAMP. The godsend for music lovers. Winamp has everything because anything can be made for winamp. And with the final Winamp5 being released it should be even better then ever.

Posted by Bobos on October 31, 2003 at 1:25 AM (CST)

18

Winamp 5 is pretty badass.  The streaming video player on it is pretty good for an all-in-one application.  It doesn’t have the bloat of winamp 3 and it does have winamp 2’s speed.  This kills iTunes Windows anyday. Winamp 2 and 5 take up a fraction of the resources iTunes needs.  Only thing it could use is a plugin that can let you transfer songs to the iPod and a compatible AAC ripper (the builtin one in Winamp isn’t recognized by iTunes)

Posted by tetro on October 31, 2003 at 3:40 AM (CST)

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