Saturday, September 5, 2009

Music, Memory, and Madness

Well, mostly just music and memory, but I needed another M. A tweet last night from @brewern got me thinking once again about my music solution...or lack thereof. I have a brand new Windows 7 install which I can setup just like I want it, so that begs the question of what do I want and why. I have a few normal dependencies that I'm sure quite a few other do(such as needing iphone support) and a few oddball ones that might be just for me.

The Setup
As previously stated I have an iphone I would like to sync some music to. The obvious answer to this problem is just use iTunes, right. Unfortunetly, here lies one of those odd issues I have. My wife also has an iphone that is synced to this machine. Dealing with music wouldn't be a big deal, but we both also have iphone apps synced, and while possible to keep seperate it's a bit of a pain especially when itunes wants to completely remove everything from someones phone to start with... So the plan is to sync my apps with my work laptop and find some other way to get music on the phone. Also before anyone mentions the fact that you can sync just certain items from one machine(such as calendar/contacts) and other items from another machine(music/vids/etc) it turns out all app store items(music/videos/apps) are tied to one machine and can't be split up. I tried really hard. :)

So back to the issue. I need a non-itunes way to get songs on my OS 3.0 iphone. I used Media Monkey pre-3.0, not sure if they have their ipod plugin updated yet or not, but I've never really like Media Monkey. Way too much stuff going on, too many icons, etc... Dug a little bit and found some beta build of SharePod with iphone 3.0 support. It crashed on 64bit Windows 7, but I got it to run in XP Compatibility Mode and actually put some songs on the device. An extra hoop to jump through, but workable. Now I needed an easy way to get files in a folder to sync. @brewern's tweet prompted me to research Songbird some more and it turns out there was finally an Add-On to do just that. I had looked for this in the past to try and sync to my gp2x to use for my player there and it was nice to see it had been added. So I loaded it up with the plan to do the following...
  • Organize in Songbird
  • Sync to folder
  • Sync folder to iphone with SharePod.
So, I started playing with Songbird a little, unfortunatly I happened to glace at the Task Manager and saw that SongBird was taking up almost 200MB of memory. Now, I have plenty of RAM, but I just find it ridiculous for a music player to be taking that much. I know Songbird does more than just simply play music, but still... So I closed it down and from a cold start playing one song, it was using around 130MB. So it was purged, along with my hopes and dreams of my above plan. Then I remembered foobar2000 also had an ipod sync plugic.

A quick search revealed beta support for OS 3.0 also. So I installed it along with the Columns UI and ended up with what you see below. A very usable media player, that as configured is only taking up 30MB or so of RAM and syncs perfectly with my iphone. At least it did with my quick test, we'll have to see how it works out going forward. But thusfar I'm quite happy, no extra hoops to jump through and it meets my requirement exactly.

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