iPod touch and third-party tools

Q: When I plug in my iPod touch, it won’t show up under the “My Computer” section in Windows Explorer. The other iPods I have used show up as an extra disc. This seems to be necessary in order to songs off the iPod into EphPod to save them.

(the iPod touch won’t show up in EphPod when it asks what iPod to use) I guess my question is, what can I do to get the computer to recognize the touch is plugged in so I can link it up with the EphPod?

– Joe

A: Unfortunately, the iPod touch (and iPhone) now use a different synchronization protocol from traditional iPod models. The iPod classic, iPod nano, and previous iPod models all used a disk-based synchronization method, whereby iTunes basically just accessed the iPod as an external hard disk to copy files onto it and update the iTunes database. This allowed third-party software to easily be created to do the same thing—any software package that could read the iPod’s database format could easily be used to manage an iPod, since it was simply a matter of accessing a file on an external hard disk.

With the iPod touch, this has now changed to a synchronization protocol that involves handing off data and instructions to the iPod device itself, and letting the embedded operating system take care of things like updating the iPod library database and storing the files. This new method renders the iPod touch incompatible with most of the third-party iPod management tools out there, including Ephpod. Essentially, for managing these devices you’re basically limited to using iTunes at the present time.