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Apple has taken its internal community of customers into a very isolated place as the iPod and iPhone become standard among mobile users. Instead of leaving the iPhone and iPod open to any type of outside support there is an unbelievable amount of control leveled down from the unaccountable corporate center. This means not only that you are restricted to the type of mobile service carrier that you can have on your iPhone, but also filters the applications you can place on them by forcing you to tap into the iTunes' App Store Zeitgeist. Though you can add outside music and videos to your iTunes player you are still forced to plug directly into iTunes to sync up your iPhone or iPod. This is done to force you into contact with the iTunes' store, which allows them a near monopoly on the digital media trade. If you want to sync your iPod to another multimedia program you are going to go outside the regular channels and find a series of alternatives.
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Syncing the iPod to Windows Media Player
If you want to actually sync your iPod to Windows Media Player on your PC you are going to have to go directly to software that will allow you to do this. The software you will be using is designed to bypass the normal connection between the iPod and iTunes. One of the best options for achieving this is through XPlay, which is a piece of software that allows "direct access" to your iPod. This changes the iPod interpretation on your computer from a specific "iPod" to a simple external drive. This means that the normal iPod protocol will be changed and you are given the ability to use the iPod with whatever type of software that you want.
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Once you have the newest version of Xplay on your PC, which is XPlay 3, you can have a couple options. You can use Windows Explorer to simply use the "drag and drop" function to get music and video onto your iPod. To use Windows Media Player to do this by setting the "sync" tab inside that software.
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Windows Media Player Settings
You are going to have to change the settings for content going from Windows Media Player onto your iPod. Go to the Quality tab in Windows Media Player where they set the conversion checks for placing the content on an external device. Make sure that this option is not selected because it will automatically have Windows Media Player change to WMA files. These will not work on your iPod, so do not allow this conversion to take place.
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MGTEK and Your iPod
There are also other options for syncing Windows Media Player to your iPod, such as MGTEK. MGTEK is an iPod plugin for Windows Media Player that allows Windows Media Player to mimic the syncing functions of iTunes. MGTEK runs $19.95, but a thirty day trial is available if you want to try it out before you buy it.