Setting up your IPod on Windows XP



Wow, what a pain this was and before all the mac advocates flame me
let me say that Apple could have done a much better job testing and
debugging ITunes + IPod on Windows XP (if they wanted to).

Okay, so I bought my wife an iPod 20GB for her birthday (I know, I'm a
great husband) because she had really taken a liking to taking my
Intel Pocket Concert to the gym with her and wanted her own player.
Aside from only having 128MB and the fact that Intel end-of-lifed it,
the Pocket Concert is one of the best engineered MP3 players ever
made. Since i'm digressing, bare with me just a minute longer. I'm
wasn't originally going to get the IPod because I have a bad feeling
about bouncing a hard drive around on the hip while its
seeking/reading. My wife was originally destined to have a Rio
Calib[?] 256MB flash player but when I took it out to set it up the
day before her birthday I plugged in my nice headphones into it,
selected one of the preloaded songs and it sounded like garbage. Not
only did it sound like crap, the sound went completely away at one
point and I realized that the 3.5mm head phone jack was substandard
and didn't like the 3.5mm plug on the Sony headphones. To Rio's
credit[?] it did sound a bit better and also didn't short out with the
headphones it came with, but noway am I paying $200 for something that
won't work well with sony headphones. Besides that, it also looked and
felt cheap for the money. I decided to step up to the IPod. Several
problems came next and, well, enough diatribe, let's get to the

Problem 1. Music Match is crap, it doesn't work well unless you let
it reorganize your files into it's retarded file scheme. It also
doesn't work well with my 9766 song collection. Solution: ITunes.
Despite a few misgivings, ITunes is a really decent piece of software
even if it's clear that porting and testing on windows were an after
fart for Apple. I've seen so many MP3 software packages choke on my
fat collection that I was shocked when ITunes was able to index it in
under 10 minutes and doesn't have the annoying pauses that Media
Player 9 does when I select the Media Library tab.

Problem 2. iTunes is not compatible with Audible Manager or Music
Match; by that I mean the IPod will only work with one of them at a
time and, well, Audible Manager and Music Match are, well, lame.
Solution: Install the software on the CD provided when you see the
installation for Audible Manager pause to prompt you for input, hit
cancel. Do the same thing for Music Match. They'll both whine and
give ominous warnings that are all bark; the important sofware, the
iPodManager and service have already been installed. Next download
and install ITunes from

Problem 3. iTunes doesn't play well in XP's multiuser/fast user
switching environment. The problem is that it loads several processes
when the first person logs on to the machine and even though that
first user closes iTunes those other processes linger and the next
users cannot see the iPod and get an error message saying to reinstall
ITunes. Solution: only 1 user desktop gets to see and load songs to
the IPod. Sounds simple but by default that is always the first
person who got on the computer. You can hunt around for that user by
going to each user's desktop (assuming you know their passwords) and
trying to run ITunes until you find the one that works. Or, if the
registry editor doesn't scare you (it should), you can fix the iPod
to one user account. Switch to the user desktop you want to always be
able to see the iPod in iTunes From Start/Run enter regedit.exe.
Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software/Microsoft/Windows/Run. Locate
the two entries named iPodManager and iTunes helper, write down (or
save) the values of these two entries. The values will be directory
paths to the respective applications. Delete the iPodManager and the
iTunesHelper entries from
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software/Microsoft/Windows/Run. Still in regedit,
navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Windows/Run (note:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER). Create a string value entry named iPodManager and
enter the previously saved value for the field in the other key.
Create a string value entry named iTunesHelper and enter the
previously save value for that field. Reboot for good measure.

Problem 4. iTunes runs when you log in and doesn't give you the
option of stopping this annoying, ridiculous, in-your-face behavior???
Maybe there is an option in there somewhere; I haven't found it yet.
If you applied the solution #3 above, only one user (the one with sole
access to the iPod) will have to deal with this. You might consider
adding a separate user account and desktop called "iPod" and
installing the iPOD and iTunes there. I suspect that iTunesHelper is
launching iTunes and I suspect that this was a lame effort to deal
with problem #3 on the part of some brillient engineer. Possible
Solution: Note "possible"; I haven't tried this but.... Remove the
iTunesHelper from the current users Run key and change the shortcuts
for iTunes everywhere to call iTunesHelper.exe instead of iTunes.exe.

Hopefully this repays some of my usenet karma I've been siphening off
over the years. Speaking of usenet karma, please be kind and not
include all of the text of this post in your reply. Just quote the
relevant part in making your point. NNTP admins everywhere will thank




bryanw said:
Wow, what a pain this was and before all the mac advocates flame me
let me say that Apple could have done a much better job testing and
debugging ITunes + IPod on Windows XP (if they wanted to).

I just configured one for a customer, and what was worse, the ipod plug-in
for MusicMatch doesn't work with 98.

Have you looked into Elphpod? It might be worth a try.




"Usenet karma"... ain't that the truth!

I also tried MMJB and iTunes, but for the last week or so I've been
using a program called Anapod Explorer.

Anapod syncs directly with my music folders, or I can load albums by
drag & dropping within the Explorer window. Using the 'Send To'
function in the csm works too. Writing the iPod's contents back (edited
tags and all) to the C: drive is easy (as it should be.) There are a
lot of other features I'm not up to speed on yet, but if you're not all
that thrilled with MMJB or iTunes, I'd recommend giving it a look.

And I STILL owe usenet!

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