[ Music ]
>> Apple makes it dead simple of using iPod on a Mac. Just plug it in and iTunes will automatically launch and give you all kinds of options for syncing your media. But if you're going to use a Mac with one of the hundreds of non-iPod MP3 players out there, it can be a little confusing. The first thing you'll want to figure out is what kind of MP3 player you're dealing with. Connect the MP3 player to your Mac, I see a little hard drive icon on the desktop, and you've probably got a player that connects using a USB protocol called UMS or MSC which is basically a generic USB storage mode used by thumb drives and digital cameras. This is a good thing since all you have to do is find the device in the music folder, and drag and drop your computer's music files over to the drive. Just make sure the files you're copying are compatible with the player. If you've been ripping your CD's in iTunes, they may be in an AAC format that not all MP3 player's support. If you connect the player and nothing happens or the MP3 files you copy over don't take, then you've probably got an MP3 player that uses MTP. MTP is a USB standard developed for Windows that isn't very friendly with Mac. Fortunately, a lot of MP3 players have settings that can be switched from UMS or MTP. You can check this by diving into the player's settings menu and looking for a USB mode option. For something like this Sansa clip here, you may need to go to SanDisk website and grab the new firmware to get this menu option. Some players though will only work in MTP. The Creative Zen series is one example. To get files on here with a Mac you need to download a free app called XNJB. It's not the prettiest thing in the world, but it will let you transfer your music, playlist and other data to most popular MTP devices. To set the program up with your iTunes library, go into the applications preferences, check the iTunes integration option and restart the program. XNJB has some quirks but it's one of the only games in town for seeking MTP devices on a Mac. Finally, there's the Zune. Microsoft's special mojo makes the thing impossible to sync with a Mac; using a special variation of the MPP protocol called MTPZ that requires Zune's own software to unlock the device. Until they come out with a Zune client for the Mac, the Zune is unfortunately a PC only device. So there you go. Those are some tips on how to get a non-iPod MP3 player to work on a Mac. For cnet.com I'm Donald Bell.
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