Which program do you use to manage music and podcasts on your computer and iPod?
July 14, 2007 10:41 AM   Subscribe

I think we're due for a new discussion about alternatives to iTunes for both iPod management and listening to music.

We've had this discussion before, but unless I'm missing something, it's been about a year, maybe more like two for a direct question on this topic. Or maybe it happened again last week and I'm using lousy search terms.

I just got a music-less, Vista PC, and want to use it with my iPod (already put the music onto the comp, thanks, using Sharepod) and I now want to choose a program to listen to music and manage my iPod.

iTunes was a bit large and didn't strike me as being the most user-friendly program ever. I used to like Winamp, about 5 years ago, due to its collapsible grouping of songs by artist. I liked the podcasts feature of iTunes when I had it on my old comp; do other programs allow for browsing podcasts like iTunes does?

This list suggests that Floola might be a good thing; any experience with that one?

Thanks for your suggestions.
posted by ibmcginty to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I'll reiterate my previous suggestion, though I think I incorrectly characterized Rockbox as "firmware" when it's really just an alternative OS for the iPod.

I like to take direct control of my music so I don't use any program to sort my music, just folders that each contain one album.
posted by rxrfrx at 10:54 AM on July 14, 2007

iPod + WinAmp

Lucky for you, WinAmp can be used with the iPod now!
posted by Loto at 11:32 AM on July 14, 2007

I mostly use winamp, but occasionally I have fiddled with Ephpod. I like Ephpod's ability to generate playlists based on recently added media.
posted by ktrey at 11:44 AM on July 14, 2007

i would love to be able to control podcast settings PER podcast.

right now, itunes makes you decide global criteria for which episodes to keep (keep the last 3 episodes).

i would like to be able to say: for podcast A with long episodes (i.e. big files), keep 1. for podcast B with tiny episodes, keep 8.

i've tried many a few months ago, but came crawling back to itunes.
posted by k7lim at 12:37 PM on July 14, 2007

I like Media Monkey for music and I use Juice for podcasts. By "browsing podcasts" do you mean the podcasts listed in the iTunes Music Store? Only iTunes can connect to iTMS.
posted by winston at 12:51 PM on July 14, 2007

ktrey, I used to use ephpod for the exact same reason, until I realized that you can do that in iTunes too - you can create a smart playlist in iTunes on your ipod, and set up the criteria for "Date Added is in the last x days/weeks".
posted by ilovebicuspids at 1:09 PM on July 14, 2007

10 iTunes Alternatives ... it seems like YamiPod and SharePod both share the interesting feature that they are loaded onto your iPod and run from there, rather than installed locally. Thus you can simply plug your iPod into any computer and transfer songs/files both to and from your iPod.
posted by jckll at 6:37 PM on July 14, 2007 [3 favorites]

For the bleeding edge in music management you might try Songbird. It's the latest project from the creators of winamp.

There's already an add-on for iPod support. Songbird is based on the mozilla platform, so add-ons are just as easy to use as in firefox.
posted by FissionChips at 10:28 PM on July 14, 2007

Foobar2k is, in my opinion, the best music player on any platform. I wish it were Mac compatible. MediaMonkey for organizing and iPod management.

Although Rockbox certainly sounds interesting..
posted by theiconoclast31 at 3:00 AM on July 15, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks for all the advice! Lots of good answers here, I won't mark any as best because every one is helpful.

It doesn't seem like there's any real consensus, so maybe it's just what you happen to like.

I'm poking around with Winamp, Media Monkey, and Songbird right now to listen to music on the comp-- haven't tried iPod management yet. If those ones can handle the iPod all right, I probably won't get Rockbox.

Media Monkey's organization is really good. I said in the OP that I used to like Winamp, but I was wrong; it was actually MusicMatch I used to use. Sorry for that. Media Monkey reminds me of MusicMatch. Its playlists and organization seem pretty intuitive. I don't find Winamp as easy to use as Media Monkey.

I'm liking Songbird's ability to poke around on mp3 blogs. I somehow managed to play two tracks from my library at once, which is sort of annoying. As it turns out, though, Allen Iverson's "We talkin' about practice" press conference playing over the first song from the new Wilco album is a surprisingly good unintentional mashup.

rxrfrx, I don't think I understand your comment. Wouldn't "taking direct control" over your music allow for more than just grouping by album? I think I'm missing something.

winston, you're right, I meant to refer to the iTunes music store's podcasts. I'll try Juice for podcasts.
posted by ibmcginty at 10:16 AM on July 15, 2007

I like Media Monkey solely for the ability to browse through folders and update my iPod that way. Anapod has an even better layout for this, because with Media Monkey you have to maintain the library to keep it up to date, whereas with Anapod it uses a Windows Explorer window.
posted by Menomena at 8:15 AM on July 16, 2007

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