Thursday, June 21, 2007

UMS, MTP, M3U, PLA, WMP......D'Oh!

Well, after flying all over the internet to try to find solutions for the MP3 player dream machine, I think I've finally come up with an equitable solution.

Using the Insignia 4GB model, we've got MTP and UMS, FM Radio, OGG support, 30FPS video, photos, line in record, and the big plus - a replaceable battery. So, this is the model we're going with - win or lose.

First off, had to find a way to get XP to see it in UMS mode. After scouring the 'net and messing around myself in the registry, I found by accident - on the official website no less - the easy way to do it right in XP. I swear they updated their website recently, cause that wasn't there the first time I looked. Either way, it's easy and works great. So, flipping back and forth is no problem.

Next step was to find a way it could sync with iTunes even though it's not an iPod. Got that solved with a 3rd party software and unit in UMS mode. Big problem though, was that there was no playlist support. I could easily send a playlist of songs from iTunes to the player, but they wound up there in nice folder structure, but no way other than Play All to go through them on the player. So technically it works, but it's not organized.

More testing came up with the realization that the only way to get playlists was to sync it with WMP10 or 11. Ugh. And it comes over in .pla files. No converter from M3U to PLA would work. Back to square one.

So, I finally hit on a piece of software that works great. Music Bridge. With a quick click or two, you can easily sync all your info (including playlists!) from iTunes to WMP. Then, I put the player in MTP mode, hooked up to WMP11, and synced a playlist. Perfect. Music AND Playlists goes over to the device.

So, it's a little chunky, but I can continue to use iTunes for all the music stuff, and whenever I want to send it to the player, I do a quick sync to WMP and then update the player with my playlists. And then quickly close WMP.

A bit of work, but it's pretty seamless now. If Insignia ever comes out with the promised firmware upgrade to support M3U files, we can cut out WMP altogether. Until then, we use the 3 point sync :)

Comments on "UMS, MTP, M3U, PLA, WMP......D'Oh!"


Anonymous originallru said ... (June 21, 2007 1:49 PM) : 

How do you switch between modes? Do you have to set something on the device, or is it a Windows switch?


Blogger Eaglewing said ... (June 21, 2007 3:20 PM) : 

It's a Windows switch in the device manager. You go through the update driver part, but don't really updated the driver. You just select USB or MTP device.

I figure it's just changing the setting in the registry, as I was able to do the same thing manually.


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