Favorite iPod-Ripping Applications

Posted by AfroWhitey | Computers | Monday 22 June 2009 8:20 am

iPod Ripping

We recently discussed how to sync your iTunes Library between two different computers, but what happens when your computer crashes without a backup and you lose all your precious music? Is there an easy way to get the music off your iPod and back onto your computer? Luckily, thanks to a few great programs, the answer is yes.

There are many of these iPod-ripping programs these days, but I will stick to the two that I have used the most, Senuti for the Mac, and YamiPod for the PC and the Mac. As a disclaimer, I have received no compensation whatsoever for recommending either of these products.

senuti

Senuti

Senuti is my all-time favorite iPod-ripping program. Unfortunately, it’s strictly for Mac. It’s simple and easy to use, but packed with plenty of features. The interface looks just like iTunes and works every bit as well. It will even tell you which songs on an iPod are already in your library. You can choose to automatically add any songs transferred to your library, or to add them to a playlist, which is great for importing playlists. You just select the desired playlist on your iPod, set the transfer to playlist in the preferences, and it will automatically transfer the songs both to your library and to the playlist of your choosing. Unfortunately, Senuti is no longer freeware, but it is free to try for 30 days. It’s so easy to use though, and so packed with features, that it’s well worth the $18 registration cost. Be sure to check out their preview videos that walk you through some of the basic features. I found them very helpful.

YamiPod

YamiPod

YamiPod is my go to iPod-ripping program for PC. It used to be PC only, but they have recently added support for both Mac and Linux. Best of all, it’s completely free. They have added a lot of features since I first started using it like Playlist support, duplicate track removal, and more. It’s a bit more complicated then Senuti, but still straightforward enough for beginners to figure out. You basically select the songs you want to import and click the button. As an added bonus, it always reminds me of my friend Nathan Yamashita, who has a brother they call Yami.

The most important step to using any iPod-ripping program is verification. After taking music off any iPod, you want to make sure it ended up in the right place and that all your music is in your iTunes library. If you have lost your music to a hard drive crash or something similar, you’ll be warned that your iPod will be erased when you try to sync. After verification, you are free to restore your iPod and ignore any warinings that your iPod will be erased. As long as the same music that was on your iPod is now in your library again, you have nothing to worry about.

So there you go. Those are my favorite iPod-ripping programs. Feel free to leave any of your favorites in the comments below. As always, any questions are very welcome and I will do my best to answer them promptly!

Sync Two Folders on a Mac With Aptly-Named App, SyncTwoFolders

Posted by AfroWhitey | Computers,How-to | Wednesday 3 June 2009 12:47 am

picture-5

I was looking for Mac-compatible syncing apps for the “How to Sync iTunes on Multiple Computers” post and Russell tipped me off to a great one.

I use the creatively named SyncTwoFolders for syncing on my mac.

I checked it out and it works great. I successfully synced both my iTunes folder and my wife’s (across the network) with my backup folder on an external hard drive. Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Download the Program – Go here, click “Download Now,” then select either the “Mac Intel” link , or the “Mac PPC” (Power PC, for older Macs like the Powerbook) link next to the “SyncTwoFolders” icon. After the file downloads, unzip and drag the .app file to your Applications folder.

Step 2: Set Up Your Sync – Open the program and select your “Source” folder and your “Target” folder. For an iTunes sync, the source would be your iTunes music folder on the primary computer and the target will be the secondary computer, whether across the network or on an external hard drive.

Selecting your “Synchronization Mode” can be a bit confusing because of the terms used, so I’ll break them down for you. “Reciprocal” will only look at files that are in both folders, replacing any older file with the newer one. No files will be deleted in this mode. “Source up Target” will do the same thing as “Reciprocal,” but also copy any files from the source file that are not in the target folder (i.e. if you add new songs to your library). No files will be deleted in this mode either. “Source on Target” does the same thing as “Source up Target,” but also deletes any files from the target folder that are no longer found in the source folder (i.e. if you delete any songs from your library).

picture-4

Select your preferred “Synchronization Mode” (I use “Source on Target” so I have an exact copy) and add any additional filters you want. If you hover over any of the options, a box will appear describing that option. If you want a test run to see what files will be affected without actually moving anything around, click “Simulation.” Click the right-most checkbox to see the log.

picture-3

Step 3: Run Your Sync – Make sure “Simulation” is unchecked and click “Synchronize.” Then, just sit back and watch your files fly across the magical tubes. Now run to the kitchen sink and pour yourself an ice cold glass of Mother Nature’s life juice, because you just synced two folders.

I muted my sound because it copies each file individually and my computer was chiming non-stop. My only real complaint is that you can’t schedule regular syncs, but for a free app, that’s definitely not a deal-breaker.

How to Use iTunes With Multiple Computers

Posted by AfroWhitey | Computers,How-to,Q&A | Tuesday 2 June 2009 2:29 pm

247698851_f96a7b01db

This post comes at the request of sn9500, who writes,

“I have a couple of computers and all have iTunes which won’t let me use my Ipod on there without deleting what is on my Ipod, so I only use the Ipod on one computer. So even tho I have downloads on the other computers, I have not known how to add it to my Ipod.”

This is a common problem with iTunes. iPods only allow you to sync to one iTunes library at a time, but what happens if you are adding music on multiple computers? How do you add that music to your iPod?

The quick solution is to enable “Manually manage music” in the iPod preferences and drag the music manually to your iPod. But what if you travel and want to be able to access all your music all the time, whether on your laptop or home computer? What if you have multiple computers like our friend above and don’t want to worry about remembering what computer has what music? This post will attempt to resolve this more complicated scenario.

Step 1: Locate Your iTunes Library and Music – The key to making this work is tricking your iPod into always believing its syncing to the same library, no matter the actual computer or location. To do this, we must first locate the iTunes library on your primary iTunes computer, just as we did to enable multiple users. The easiest way to do this is to look in your iTunes preferences, then click on the advanced tab.

picture-1

In the window that comes up, you’ll notice a box underneath “iTunes Music folder location.” Take note of this location. This is where both your music and library are located. Navigate to this folder and you should see all of your artists in their respective folders. Your actual library will be in a folder called iTunes, which may be in a separate folder from “iTunes Music,” usually still in your “Music” (Mac) or “My Music” (PC) folder.

picture-2

Step 2: Sync iTunes Folder Between Computers – This step involves another application. Using a file-syncing application, you will copy both your music folder (and all sub-folders) and your iTunes library file to the other computer(s) you want to use. Make sure to put the folder in the same basic place, or wherever the iTunes music folder is on that computer. Then, using the same application, you will periodically scan all locations for any changes and make those changes on any computers necessary.

Lifehacker recommends SyncToy for PCs on a local network (under the same roof/wireless network). They even have instructions for setting it up here (scroll down the page to find the appropriate section).

For syncing computers across the Internet (i.e. to a work computer), Lifehacker recommends FolderShare. Instructions are at the top of the page here.

Unfortunately, I have yet to find a good free file-syncing program for Mac. If anyone knows of one, please share in the comments. Until then, I recommend installing SyncToy on a PC on the same network as your Mac(s), then using that to sync two network folders (both the source and the source and destination folders will be your individual Macs on the network).

UPDATE (6/3/09): Russell gave me a great Mac-syncing app in the comments. Instructions here.

Step 3: Sync Your iPod and Enjoy – All that’s left is to plug your iPod into any of the computers you just synced and test out your new system. If you get the “iPod will be erased” message, something went wrong. If not, you’re good to go, just remember to sync your folders anytime you download a new song or make a change.

icarta-ipod-roll_full

I hope that helps any of you with this problem. I used this method for years to create a usable backup of my Mac’s music to my PC and it works great. As always, if you have any other questions or tips, leave them in the comments below or email me. I make house calls to the Las Vegas area!

Next Page »