Using an Apple iPod with Windows Media Player 11

You can’t use an iPod natively because Microsoft knows that if it did the engineering work to make it happen, Apple would simply launch an antitrust lawsuit. Given this limitation, you might think that getting an iPod to work with Windows Media Player 11 is a non-starter, but as it turns out, an enterprising third-party company, Mediafour (www.mediafour.com/), makes an excellent solution called XPlay that adds iPod compatibility to Windows Media Player. XPlay makes the iPod work just like any other portable music device in Windows Media Player.

What about content purchased from Apple’s online store, the iTunes Store? After all, Apple offers an unparalleled number of digital songs and albums, TV shows, movies, audio books, music videos, and other content from the iTunes Store. Unfortunately, because most of this content is protected in some manner with Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology and encoded in Media Player–unfriendly formats, there’s no easy answer; indeed, to date, no one has provided a way to deprotect video content sold via iTunes. But music is a bit simpler. Apple offers some music in nonprotected AAC format. This music won’t work in Windows Media Player, but you can use Apple’s desktop-based iTunes software to convert it to MP3 format, which works fine. The protected songs, also sold in AAC format, are a bit more problematic: You’ll have to burn the songs to CD and then manually re-rip them back to the PC in MP3 format. Aside from the sheer effort involved, this method isn’t particularly elegant because Apple’s low-quality 128 Kbps AAC tracks aren’t great source material: The resulting MP3 files will likely be hissy, tinny, or otherwise thin sounding. My advice is to avoid purchasing music from iTunes and choose a better solution, such as the Amazon MP3 store.

Source of Information : Linux Journal 185 September 2009

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