If you connect your iPod to more than one computer on a regular basis or if you move tracks between computers, you’ve seen the iTunes message offering to delete files from your iPod. This is theoretically Apple’s way of protecting themselves from being associated with piracy, but it’s a lousy user experience in almost every case. YamiPod provides a great alternative to the iTunes interface, running as a standalone app for managing songs on an iPod. You can even copy YamiPod to your iPod and run it from any computer. Copy songs to and from any Windows, Mac or Linux computer with YamiPod. Update and manage playlists. Play songs from your iPod through your computer speakers. Add lyrics to songs. Manage existing notes or add additional notes all from one central interface. YamiPod is a solid alternative to iTunes as an iPod interface, but you can use it in combination with iTunes so that you get the benefit of multiple computer connections as well as iTunes interfacing for paid downloads. [Windows/Mac OS X/Linux $0.00]

Put Word Documents on Your iPod

Elliot writes, “I am trying to put a word document on my iPod. I do what you say but when I use my iPod it has a couple of random letters that make no sense. Can you help?”
While you can put Word documents, Excel files and most other Microsoft Office formats on your iPod if you want to use it as a hard drive, they won’t display correctly on the screen. Files you want to view on the iPod need to be saved as .txt files. You can save a Word document as a .txt file by choosing File > Save As and picking Plain Text (*.txt) from the Save As Type menu.

Copy Songs from iPod to Zune

Bebe asks, “Is it possible to transfer music from an iPod to a Zune?”
There’s no direct way to copy files from an iPod to a Zune. Files purchased from iTunes music store will not play on a Zune, just as files purchased from Zune Marketplace won’t play on an iPod. Using one of several combinations of software, you can get any MP3 files stored on an iPod onto a Zune.

Zune and iPod Photo Comparison

I got face time with a Zune this weekend and decided to look at how the form factor compares to the 80GB iPod I picked up a few days ago. The Zune weighs considerably less than the iPod, although I didn’t have a scale on hand to get exact comparison. It felt like the Zune was more comparable to my Cingular 2125 phone, while the iPod weighs quite a bit more. The full collection of photos is on the Web.

iTunes 7 is Broken or How iTunes Store Ate My Zuma Download

I purchased the new 80GB iPod 5.5G model today because I need to do some video testing with it. Along the way I figured I’d download a movie and a game to see how the new store features work. The purchase experience and the user interface are both horrid. After buying Zuma twice, I had to enable interface features to even find the game in iTunes. I’m someone who looks at software UI every day, how are normal people dealing with this?
I started out purchasing a copy of Mulan with my card on file in the iTunes store and then proceeded to purchase Zuma. All seems good. Looking in my Purchased folder, I can see the episode of Desperate Housewives I purchased last year when Apple first announced video sales and Mulan, which is currently downloading. No Zuma.

iPod Hard Drive with no iTunes Installed

George writes, Hi, I’m a guitar teacher in Atlanta. Some of my students have iPods and want to use them to take home files. I don’t have an iPod myself, so I don’t want to burden my laptop with iTunes (oink!). Your article on [Using an iPod as a hard drive] doesn’t mention it, but I saw in another website that you need to enable the iPod to act as a hard drive, from inside iTunes. Is there another way to do this without iTunes? What exactly does this enablement do?
As long as the Enable Disk Use feature is checked in iTunes on your student’s computer at home, the iPod should automatically mount as a drive on any computer, including one without iTunes installed. With this enabled, you can browse the contents of the iPod, create a folder for your class materials, and copy files into that folder, just like you would any other hard drive connected to a Windows computer. Any of your students wanting to transfer files onto their iPod this way simply need to make sure they’ve enabled disk use at home via Edit > Preferences > iPod.