Finally satisfied with my iPod Shuffle

Posted by reto on 14 September, 2005 22:26

iPod shuffleAfter Apple released it's very thin iPod nano, which features a screen and supports standard mp3 player like storage of mp3s, I first thought I might sell my 1GB iPod shuffle and buy me a nano.
Although the shuffle has the ideal form factor for my needs, and I don't really need a display nor more storage, I was constantly unhappy with iTunes, which I think is a clunky piece of software. Making things worse, the shuffle doesn't support copying files manually (via filesystem), it needs software that builds the proprietary database to index the files in the playlist.
I've read of a plugin for winamp before, but as I'm not using Winamp5 as a player, I wasn't too keen on trying this either. Today I thought, I should do a search on for better alternatives and bingo! I found a really small tool called iPod shuffle Database Builder. One Python script (18KB) or, alternatively one Win32 binary (8KB) is all I needed to copy over to the iPod shuffle. Every time I remove or add files I run the script or the binary once (depending on what OS I'm on). It's dead easy and beautiful in it's simplicity - couldn't fit better with my shuffle :)

Information and Links

Join the fray by commenting, tracking what others have to say, or linking to it from your blog.

Related Articles
IE7 - New Hope for Standards Compliant Webdesign
Blogging through Microsoft Word
Assembling my Media Server
Pictures from my Holidays Downunder
Back in Shape




oscar | 17/09/2005, 10:49

what trouble are you having with itunes? I mean, why don't you like it? I really love it, specially things like smart playlists (probably not so useful if you've got a small shuffle, but great when you've got an ipod with bigger capacity) and now with podcasts, I couldn't be happier :)

Re: oscar

reto | 18/09/2005, 12:56

As I've never *used* iTunes for more than loading music to the shuffle, I cannot comment on it's features. But I'm referring my dislikes to three issues: Performance, UI, concept/proprietary.

I'm working on a AMD900 w/ 512MB Ram and w2k. iTunes uses aproximately 18MB when it's not in the task list. My Winamp 2.9 needs about 1.5MB and even less when I send it to the tasklist.

The userinterface is everything but responsive on my old machine. Clicking on anything else than the menubar reacts with about 0.5 to 1 second delay.

Although I bought an iPod I'd like to be independent of any other Apple product (not that I especially dislike any of them). If I can only load music onto my shuffle when iTunes is available this makes my mp3 player much more crippled than any other mp3 player (even every other iPod can be loaded with music without iTunes).

last but not least I don't need yet another tool to manage my playlists at the moment.

Re: Finally satisfied with my iPod Shuffle

oscar | 18/09/2005, 12:57

All ipods need itunes in order to load music into them... It's the same story that you already know with the music database. All the ipods can work as external drives, but you cannot just drop mp3 in there and expect the ipod to find it. You have to either use itunes or one of the tools that allow you to play with the itunes/ipod db.

I also used to manage my own playlists with winamp/xmms in my linux days but I gave up when I moved to OS X. 30-ish Gb of music is just way too much to manage!


reto | 18/09/2005, 13:04

Oh, my bad. Didn't know all the iPods are cripled... sort of disapointing, this is.

And to be honest, I wouldn't say I'm *managing* my music, most of it is packed, unsorted and scattered all over my hardrives. But I'm working on it. ;)


Keith Van | 31/01/2008, 23:07

Ipod and Itunes sucks because you cannot load music on the ipod from any other program. I don't like that!!! If I want to use RealPlayer to load music on my music player then I want that to be MY CHOICE!!! Not Apple's. I will be buying an MP3 player soon, and my ipod shuffle will be taken apart very carefully, and each piece will be burned or mutilated beyond recongnition. Worst 80.00 I have ever spent, all becuase I can only use Itunes to load my music.