07-15-2010, 11:03 PM
Looking for info that's as unbiased as possible. Looking to set up my music library using an external drive, probably from the desktop PC but potentially using the Mac laptop. I've used both, and the only real sticking point I'm noticing is a seeming inability of Media Player to split tracks when importing from CDs (and thus eliminating the stupidity of the "hidden track").
07-16-2010, 03:30 AM
Itunes is a very heavy program in Windows from my limited experience with my ipod touch. It locks up, it disagrees heavily with my antivirus, and even when it's running right it's still a massive draw on my resources. It does some things right that Windows Media Player does not, but I don't think any of them are what I consider to be primary things. I've never ripped albums directly through itunes though, only through WMP and other programs before it. Syncing with my ipod is a little slow, but you can't sync an ipod without it (officially).
WMP 11 is my media player of choice, it's a pretty light program, it does some things nicely, it's easy to use and simple, but it doesn't present media quite as excitingly as itunes. It rips based on the physical track listings on the disc, so if something's mastered with a cut in the wrong place, it'll carry that over, and likewise hidden tracks end up on the songs they were part of originally along with all the dead space that came with them. WMP works nicely with my Sansa MP3 player, syncing is smooth and efficient. Unlike Itunes, WMP won't ignore data from certain bands like AC/DC such as album art, Itunes has some sort of thing with AC/DC and I think Aerosmith so their albums won't automatically generate the art there (you can manually add images tho', but it's a process), while WMP just gets it done and right. Sucking up the entirely library is also much smoother on WMP than itunes, which takes a long time and wants to check out data at Apple about your albums, I don't like that, just read the damned ID3 tracks and hurry the heck up. Also, WMP can have a mini mode on the
WMP11 has a simple ID3 tag editor (on Win 7, this has been done away with, I'm told). I don't remember ever editing ID3 tags in itunes. WMP can rip in MP3 or WMA or Lossless WMA or WAV. Itunes does not support ripping or playback of WMAs, though it can convert some WMAs to other formats it can read (and WMAs can be played on PS3 and Xbox 360 while the Apple one cannot, I believe). For editing songs, I use Audacity, just chop the hidden tracks off and then I can export them as MP3s with new tags.
For library sharing, I gather itunes uses a proprietary format that uses Bonjour, and only allows other systems using itunes to share the library over the local network. According to Wikipedia, WMP does it a little less controllingly, "Media Sharing (via Windows Media Connect) allows content (Music, Pictures, Video) to be streamed to and from Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) AV enabled devices such as the PS3, Xbox 360, and Roku SoundBridge. This includes DRM protected PlaysForSure content. WMP 11 on Windows Vista can also connect to remote media libraries using this feature; this is not available on the Windows XP version."
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