MP3 Player questions

I am considering getting an MP3 player for my wife. I currently use iTunes on my computer. If I don’t get an iPod brand player, am I going to have to move all of my music out of iTunes and in to a different player so I can put music on the MP3 player? I guess my question is, is iPod the only MP3 player compatible with iTunes?

Any other advice is much appreciated because I really have no clue what I am doing…

Yes, AFAIK iTunes only works with iPods. If you don’t know what you’re doing, an iPod is the easiest solution.

If your music was purchased from Apple, then you’re pretty much stuck with an iPod unless you want to convert your music from the Apple format to MP3. I’m not aware of any conversion software, but I’m sure it’s possible. The problem is the music quality will probably decrease to some degree during such a conversion.

If you ripped your music from CDs into MP3 format, you should be able to use any MP3 player to play that music.

Some players appear on your hard drive as just another drive, and you drag and drop your music into it. If your music is .mp3s and your player works this way, you can drag and drop to it regardless of if you use itunes.

My MP3 player (an Ilo 256 MB w/ SD slot) simply appears as a storage drive on my WinXP computers. I have the option of using Windows Media Player to add either MP3 or WMA (WMA are about half the size of MP3) files to the player or an SD card, or simply using Windows Explorer/My Computer to drag and drop the files like regular data files. Most of the files I use are ripped from CDs that I own (using WMA’s ripper tool), so the files are simply data files that are already on my computer.

My husband had a Rio that required the use of their MP3 software to add files, and the Rio wouldn’t see the files if they were just dropped onto the player. I also had a very early MP3 player that required me to use Windows to add files to the CF card, since there was no USB cable to connect the player directly to the computer.

Got my wife (the quintessential technophobe) an MP3 player for christmas, at Walmart, for $33.

It plays both MP3s and WMAs… holds only 128MB but I’m sure there are identical versions with more capacity.

Well we exchanged gifts today because we’re on the road for the next week or so. Plug it into the USB, it shows as a disk drive, and you drag/drop. She fell in love immediately.

Why bother with substandard proprietary formats?

p.s. this model has the FM transmitter function so she can play it through the car speakers… I think they’re almost standard now… probably costs the manufacturer another fifty cents.

Meh another triple post, I apologize, it’s my raison d’etre.

While I do understand there are subscription services which can rate cheaper in the long run for certain users, and the proprietary format is not necessarily “substandard”, I just really don’t give a flying fuck about copying a friend’s CD or downloading the shit P2P.

So sue me. I triple dog dare you.

I was all ready with my reply regarding iTunes compatible MP3 players, but then realised I was entirely incorrect. It seems that although iTunes on Mac supports any number of MP3 players other than the iPod (for non-iTunes music store tunes at least), iTunes for Windows only recognises the iPod.

As others have said, however, many MP3 players will just show up as a mass storage device on your system, to which you can just drag the tunes (providing they’re encoded in a compatible format) straight out of iTunes.


The trouble is, AFAIK, there is no way to buy songs in MP3 format from the iTunes Music store. You can burn them to a CD then rip as MP3 (very awkward), or find some software to convert them to MP3.

So if the OP has been purchasing music from iTunes, they either need an iPod or to find some way to convert to a more portable format like MP3.