Updated August 18, 2011.
If you're an iTunes user (download for Windows|Mac) whose appetite for music, movies, and podcasts is outstripping the capacity of your computer, it might be a good time to think about offloading that library to an external hard drive or a separate internal drive. If you do it right, the process is relatively simple, although the transfer time could take an hour or more, depending on the size of your media library.
I know our MP3 Insider audience could probably spot the difference between FLAC and MP3 just by using their finely-tuned ears, but for mere mortals, making sense of audio formats isn't easy. There was a time when all you had to worry about was music coming on CD, cassette, or vinyl, and telling them apart was obvious. Telling the difference between MP3, WMA, and WAV files isn't quite as clear and determining each format's advantages and limitations takes some homework, too.
If you or someone you know could use a little Audio Formats 101, I've made … Read more
It's easy to get songs on to an iPhone; it's notoriously hard to get them off. Whenever you plug someone else's iPhone or iPod into a computer, iTunes wants to erase everything on that player. Here's an easy way to get your songs and videos off your iPhone.
Thanks to Alan for sending along a link to Pod to PC. It's free software that allows you to take the files off your iPhone without messing with iTunes. You can download the software from CNET's Download.com.
Once you have it installed, launch the program. … Read more
Q: What is the best all-around Bluetooth speaker adapter if I want to connect my laptop to some good speakers that are not equipped with Bluetooth?--Tom, via e-mail
A: What you would want is a Bluetooth receiver, which can be a challenge to find; actually, we don't review them at all at this time, so I can't give you a personal opinion on any specific product of this kind. Generally, I get questions from people who are looking for a Bluetooth transmitter, which will allow you to connect a non-Bluetooth audio device with headphones or speakers that … Read more
We're kicking off a new series of How-To videos here at CNET that focuses on practical instruction for everyday technology. This is stuff that's a little too fundamental to be on an existing segment such as Insider Secrets, but requires more explanation than a Quick Tip. For my part, I thought I'd knock out a few tutorials on some basic and intermediate aspects of Apple's ubiquitous iTunes jukebox software.
Sony has a deal with Google that lets users of the Sony Reader get all kinds of public domain e-books for free. But what about the Kindle users? Not to worry. Thanks goes out to Buzz Out Loud listener Dave for sending along a tip for downloading free e-books right to the Kindle, no computer necessary. That's something that the Sony Reader can't do. Here's how to do it.First, make sure your Kindle's on and the wireless connection is active.
Press menu and select experimental.
Then select basic Web.
Press menu again and select enter … Read more
I have to confess that sometimes I get so consumed in the world of my iPod and my MP3 collection that I lose sight of the fact that songs are made by people--real people--many of whom are living, and touring and putting on outstanding shows. Sure, recorded music is convenient, cheap, and accessible, but it's live performances that really make you fall head over heels for a band. No amount of Pandora, Last.fm, or iTunes could make me want to buy a band's T-shirt--but give me a good show, and suddenly I'm putting the band's … Read more
Not everyone cares about audio quality. In fact, there's some evidence to suggest we're raising a generation that actually prefers the sound of MP3s over higher-fidelity recordings. Still, there will always be people who obsess over sound quality--just as there are always people with discerning taste in food, or an eye for fine art.
There was a time when fidelity fanatics wouldn't touch an iPod with a 10-foot pole, and clung tightly to formats like vinyl, CD, and SACD. Things have eased up over the years, though, as the devout have begrudgingly come to terms with the … Read more
Q: Wish I had known before I bought my Fuze last week that iTunes wasn't going to work, although I have to say, I'm glad to discover I'm not losing my mind when I plug it in and don't see anything on iTunes saying "put your files on your player." For now it sounds like the best I can do is to burn all my iTunes purchases onto discs and rerip them as MP3s using Windows Media Player (WMP)? I'm assuming I'll have to type in the track, album, and artist info myself, but there are always rainy days for that sort of thing...
A more immediate concern for me is downloading podcasts--I love mellowing with a little informative talk rather than trying to DJ and find "just the right song," plus the 30-mins (or so) length is perfect for my workouts. So what's the best way to get podcasts off the ether and into my ears, in your opinion? I'm looking for the simplest, fastest, least brain-damaging method. I've been using iTunes and then drag-and-dropping them in Windows Explorer, but even with a high-speed connection at home that seems extraordinarily slow (I thought these things were low bitrate so they'd be easier to move around?) as well as inelegant.--Anton, via e-mail
A: As for the first question about converting the iTunes tracks, what you mentioned is pretty much exactly it. It's definitely time consuming, but the legality is not questionable, and even with burned CDs, WMP will often recognize the album and be able to fill in ID3 tag info for you automatically. There are also programs such as NoteBurner, which converts the tracks without having to burn and re-rip. However, last I checked, this method was legally questionable, what with the fact that such software circumvents the DRM technology. However, it's still readily available, so clearly the area is gray enough.… Read more