Tag Archives: floola

iPod won’t update from iTunes; Floola rescues then breaks iPod – cue FooBar2000

iPodThe title of the post is pretty descriptive in itself, but here’s the low-down on what happened and how i fixed it.

Adding music to iTunes does not update iPod

Dragging mp3s to my iTunes library would not sync up to the iPod – No error, no clues, no indication why this was happening. Mr Google says that the only way to resolve was either to upgrade to the latest version of iTunes and firmware (already done) and failing that, do a factory reset. Ugh.

Floola to the rescue – sort of…

Floola is a great little application which lets you maintain your iTunes library without the need for iTunes. It’s damn useful when you’re in a spot – no need to install the app, just double-click; no need to register the iPod, it just works.

So Floola let me add files and then re-writes the iTunes library – but what it also does is change the sort algorithm. What this means is that any band starting with “The” will be put in the “T” section – e.g. The Mission used to be in the “M”s by iTunes. Niggle, but nothing to worry about.

However Floola (at least the version I ran) has bugs which means I would strongly recommend NOT using until the dev team fix them – namely:

  • Version 2.8 and lower could and would mix up your album art – so you’d end up with artwork for one artists being assigned to a different artists’ song – Version 2.9 and above apparently fixes this
  • Sometimes the Floola written iTunes Library file would corrupt and you’d lose all access your songs – but they’d still be on the iPod. – This is discussed here: – http://www.floola.com/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=570&forum=2

I got hit by both bugs – the last bug happened twice, with the first being recovered by connecting the iPod to iTunes; the second completely hosed the iPod so that no songs appeared and iTunes said the library was corrupt.

Extract using foobar2000

Because I don’t keep my songs in one location (i.e. not have my iTunes library stored on the same PC that I have iTunes installed on), iI decided to rip all the content off the iPod. To do this, I installed foobar2000, shut down both the iTunes and AppleMobileDevice services (go to Task Manager > Processes in Windows), connect my iPod and then point foobar to the drive letter that the iPod is attached to (click on File > Add Directory > (iPod Drive e.g. G:)/iPod Control/Music).

Once foobar has retrieved the music list, you can drag and drop those files to another location (e.g. your C:\ drive).  Once I did this I reset the iPod to factory settings (from iTunes) then dragged the files back to my iTunes library – Hey presto! iTunes works, iPod works, updates work!

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Floola, the iTunes Alternative; DoubleTwist removes DRM

I was looking for an alternative to iTunes the other day as a friend was having issues with theirs. In doing so I came across a great little app called “Floola

To quote from their website : “Floola is a freeware application to efficiently manage your iPod or your Motorola mobile phone (any model supporting iTunes). It’s a standalone application that can be run directly from your iPod and needs no installation under Linux, Mac OS X and Windows

Sounds great eh? The bonus is that it’s lightweight and not resource hungry! You could pop it on a memory stick (the app weighs in at 17.6mb for the Win32 version I am using) and manage your tunes on any compatible computer.

How to run Floola on Windows when you have iTunes already installed

  • taskmgr.jpgFirst, kill the iTunes applications running in the background – to do this, go to the Task Manager and end the AppleMobileDeviceService and iPodService tasks (click the image for details)
  • Plug in your iPod and then run the floola application
  • It will prompt you to select your version of iPod if this is the first time you’ve run this combination of iPod and install
  • It may also say that your iPod is not setup correctly and offer to do this automatically – I said “yes” to this
  • Result! You now have your Floola application configured.

floola.jpg

You can still manage your music, podcasts, etc. The interface is compact so it might seem quirky at first, but I think this is a great solution / alternative to iTunes. You can download Floola from here.

How to remove DRM through DoubleTwist

I’ve also found a great application that removes the DRM from any of your iTunes files – again freeware and spyware free – called DoubleTwist. According to their FAQ “Our mission is to enable consumers to enjoy their digital media on the widest possible range of devices and help them share what they’ve created with friends.

Also from their site : “doubleTwist can automatically convert music you have purchased from the iTunes store to MP3, a universal format supported by all devices that play digital music. doubleTwist does not delete or move the original files. You can only convert files that you have legally purchased and are authorized to play with iTunes.

Aside from the whole argument for and against DRM, those of us who have bought legal songs and want them not just on our iPod, this seems like a great way to be able to listen to them on other devices.