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Windows Media Connect+PC or iPod for digital music library?

by sup909 / February 13, 2006 12:21 PM PST

I was wondering if I could get some advice.
I have a Windows PC and I am going to get an Apple laptop to sort of replace it.

Thing is I have a perfectly good PC sitting here now and I was thinking of perhpas using it as a Digital Music Library. I have been looking at the Windows Media Connect features and the Roku interface seems quite nice. The price seems decent and I do like the aesthetic. This would easily allow me to use my PC as a Music hub.

On the other hand though I have not purchased an iPod yet and I am considering the option have having a portable music library with the iPod. The iPod has the obvious advantage of being portable and will easily dock and integrate into my home stereo system.

Any thoughts or opinions to sway me one way or the other?

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Don't confuse the PLAYER with your LIBRARY.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 13, 2006 8:57 PM PST

I can't count how many times members have tried to use a MP3 PLAYER (iPod, other) as a LIBRARY and become upset when the player does not allow them to retrieve their files and music.

Just commenting that a PLAYER is not a LIBRARY.


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Can you explain more what you mean?
by sup909 / February 13, 2006 9:45 PM PST

What exactly do you mean by that?

My brother has burned his entire cd and vinyl collection to his ipod and is quite happy then just connecting his iPod to his stereo when needed or bringing it where ever he goes.

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Some move their LIBRARY to their PLAYER...
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 13, 2006 10:10 PM PST

Clean up their machines or lose a machine only to discover they can't move their LIBRARY from the PLAYER back to the PC/Mac.

It's a subtle trap that I hope you avoid.


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I dont want to move it back to the PC.
by sup909 / February 14, 2006 1:50 AM PST

The point is just to have a HDD full of music that I can quickly and easily access to my home stereo, preferably via wireless. I dont see why I would want to send the music back to my computer if it is on the iPod. I can just stream the music through the dock if needed. Perhaps I am missing the point but why would I want to put the music back on my computer once it is on a mp3 player like an iPod? Isnt the point of something with such a large storage capacity to allow your to have a mobile music library that doesnt need to be on your computer?

Whether that harddrive exists on a PC or on a mp3 makes no difference to me. If anything I want to use the PC or the mp3 player to ensure that I dont have music files cluttering up my new laptop.

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"Isnt the point of something with such a large storage...
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 14, 2006 2:01 AM PST

"Isnt the point of something with such a large storage capacity to allow your to have a mobile music library that doesnt need to be on your computer?"

I'm glad you are asking such. It's a TRAP that some fall into. The perspective buyers fall for this one too often and you read about it in these forums.

At least I've told you so you can't say no one told you.

"Whether that harddrive exists on a PC or on a mp3 makes no difference to me. If anything I want to use the PC or the mp3 player to ensure that I dont have music files cluttering up my new laptop."

Then this may remove the iPod and any "plays for sure" device. The hint is that DRM of any sort will cause the one way transfer and lockup of the content. I'm sure someone may post about anapod or some other workaround but when I read your post I'm reminded of the time when a tractor trailer stalled on the railroad tracks. I went to work and we all watched the (now scheduled) train wreck.

No need for you to jump into this trap.


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Ok let me get this straight then....
by sup909 / February 14, 2006 2:48 AM PST

Ok so are you telling me if I for example purchase an iPod and then burn my cd collection to the ipod I will have copies of the music on my iPod and my computer, and that I NEED to have copies of the music on my computer as well? I dont believe I have ever heard that before and I am pretty sure my brother just ripped everything straight to his iPod without putting any files on his computer.

I dont purchase music from online music stores. I either download collections off of netlabels or just buy cds.

There is no way then to put this music only on my mp3 player (if I went that rout) and remove it from my computer? I have no desire to ever transfer it back to the computer for any reason. The purpose is to get it off to begin with. If anything I only want the 1 way transfer and I have no need or desire to transfer files back and forth between devices.

Now if i went with a device like the Roku, I would merely be streaming data from my pc to my stereo via wifi. In essance it seems moot on that regard.

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It's all your choice. Just making sure..
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 14, 2006 3:31 AM PST

You know of the one way trap door that others moan about a bit much.

Since you don't want it on your PC, you're done.


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Different view
by radieratut / February 14, 2006 11:54 AM PST

I recently bought a Mac laptop to "replace" my PC. I also have an iPod. I use my iPod as I would a walkman (e.g. I put the songs that I want to listen to on it and take off the ones I don't want to listen to). That is to say that I have some 30 GB of mp3s, and they won't all fit on my iPod, but they are nicely stored on my PC. I have some on music on my iBook, but not all.

The PC acts as an archive of my music.

The other thing mentioned was "sharing music." I use iTunes to stream music from the PC to the Mac, but if I want to copy music over, I have to use a different interface (I have space on the Mac HDD, mounted on the PC for this).

If you want to stream music to you stero, you might look into the AirPort Express. It has that type of conectivity, but I am not sure about being able to plug in a patch cable to the PC. It may be a wireless only router.

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Well I already have a wireless network.
by sup909 / February 17, 2006 11:09 AM PST
In reply to: Different view

Since I already have a wireless network something like the Roku would serve my purpose nicely.

the ipod only seems to have the added bounce that it is portable where my pc is not.

The #1 objective here is to try to create a digital music library and stream it (wireless or via dock) to my stereo.

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Digital Library
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / February 17, 2006 4:19 AM PST

You implied in your original post that you wanted to use your old PC as a Digital Library. By definition, a Library is a place where information (data) is stored. You then moved on to say that you would transfer all your music to the iPod and remove it from the PC. To get the tracks from your CD's to the iPod you need iTunes as the go-between. If, and this is not a threat, the HD on your iPod crashes ALL your music is GONE. If you deleted it from your PC, as you say you want to, it's back to the Rip and transfer.(again). Bob is merely pointing out that too many posters go down the route you are on and end up with NO music at all.

Another point worthy of mention: If, at a later date you decide to rip another CD and add it to your ipod collection, be very careful how you do it. When you connect an iPod to a computer and the tracks on the iPod to not match the tracks on the iPod, the iPod will be overwritten with the tracks from the computer. ie. 1 CD on the PC, 101 CD's on the iPod. After the sync, 1 CD on the PC, 1 CD on the iPod.

Using your old PC as a Library, with all the music tracks residing on there, and the iPod as a playing device makes more sense than your idea seems to.


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Ok, what are thoughts then on Streaming devices like Roku?
by sup909 / February 17, 2006 11:15 AM PST
In reply to: Digital Library

Well I have personally never heard of that matchup problem on the computer and iPod before. I wouldn't be ripping my cd's to my computer and then iPod. They would be going straight to my iPod. If I were to be ripping songs to the iPod it would prob be done on the Apple computer and not my PC. No music would be stored on the Mac.

I see no reason why the iPod has any more reason to have a HDD failure or get wiped then the HDD on my computer so either way I feel I am in the same position.

As I said before...The #1 objective here is to try to create a digital music library and stream it (wireless or via dock) to my stereo. The ipod is only considered because it has the added functionality of portability, yet is still bound by a dock to get to the stereo. I am trying to add digital library/media to my stereo system. There is no point in having 10,000 songs (exageration) if you are bound to headphones or computer speakers.

The discussion thus far has been focused on mp3 players when my true intentions where to compare a wireless streaming system from my pc to stereo to that of using a mobile player.

Does anyone have an opinion regarding the Roku or another wireless streaming device?

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Wireless Streaming
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / February 17, 2006 10:10 PM PST

Both Airport Express and Roku seem to be able to do what you are asking, with the Roku seeming to have the edge on functionality with iTunes.
Whichever way you go, dock or wireless, you will still need to have ALL your tracks on the PC/Mac.
1. Because using wireless streaming you will need to be playing it from somewhere (iTunes?) to send the stream.
2. In the event of a failure of the mobile player you will need to reload the tracks.
Of course the discussion focused on the external player, you didn't bring in the wireless streaming until the 7th post. It was not part of the original question.
I'm not sure how your brother ripped tracks directly to the iPod but if you say he did, I'd like the instructions. I do get the impression that you have not looked at the capabilities of iTunes nor read any of the user guides. If you check back in the this and the MP3 forum, around Christmas, you will find a number of posts from people who loaded the iPod with tracks before giving it to the recipient. Because the instructions were not followed, at the first synch the original stuff disappeared. Having not heard of it does not make it untrue.
You would normally control the iPod's contents from iTunes (Mac or PC) via a USB 2.0 connection (or firewire for the earlier models). This is NOT ripping twice. Just once to iTunes. iTunes is used as the Music Manager to organize the tracks into playlists of your choice. iTunes also moves the tracks, in the playlist order, to the iPod. iTunes also allows you to "share" your library across a wired or wireless network.
At no point was anyone suggesting that you would be "bound to headphones or computer speakers"

Good luck with the project, I look forward to the ripping instructions.


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iPod Ripping
by radieratut / February 19, 2006 4:50 AM PST
In reply to: Wireless Streaming

Mr. Mac,

I agree about the use of the iPod. I really like mine. I would, however like to be able to download load music from multiple computers. I too have a PC and a Mac, and now the iPod is only controlled by using the Mac.

Correct me if I am wrong, but one can only download to the iPod; there is no way to upload from the iPod to a computer.

As for ripping from CD to the iPod, "Doug" has an apple script to do just that:http: //

Good Posting

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