itunes resistence + dual soundcard tip

ItunesI’m a longtime (8 years!) Winamp man. My brother Kevin has been steadily singing the praises of iTunes for quite a while now. I’ve resisted. While I sprung for Anapod Explorer a long time ago for my iPod, so I didn’t really need iTunes, I found I was using it for iPod loading duties anyway. Particularly because Anapod isn’t licensed for other people’s iPods.

Well, I’m starting to feel like the forces of iTunes are too great to ignore and I’m ready to start experimenting for daily usage.

But there was one thing holding me back. My home audio setup consists of an XP box with dual soundcards, one onboard and one M-Audio PCI card with digital outputs that are connected to a Art DI/O DAC and vintage Advent receiver. The default output device is the onboard audio hooked up to a set of Sony MDR-V300 headphones. Winamp is specifically set to output to SPDIF. This way only music plays through the stereo and all the beeps, website music, .wav files, videos all play through the headphones. iTunes didn’t appear to have a similar setting.

Kevin reminded me that iTunes uses Quicktime to actually play the music and that a quick trip to edit -> prefs -> quicktime prefs -> sound out allows you to set a preferred device.

One side effect of all this is now I’ll be forced to update tag information for all my music. Perhaps add album art to it too. I foresee hours of OCD tagging ahead of me.



  1. hours is a wee bit of an understatement. but yes, i *love* itunes for music management. key features include (not immediately obvious):

    the ability to drag & drop files out of the itunes window. this is much more useful than it seems. e.g. if you wanted to burn an mp3 cd (which itunes doesn’t support on its own), simply create a playlist (optional) and drag & drop the files to the nero window.

    smart playlists, useful for everything, e.g. for tagging purposes, create a playlist for tracks without artists, as you add them the list shrinks. keep these to a minimum though as these will increase memory usage.

    itunes scripting interface!

    this is great if you (or someone you know) knows how to code. simple javascript for manipulating everything in itunes. handy utility included for removing dead links from the library. i wrote one that adds the file path into the comment field (without deleting what’s already there) so when the library is consolidated you don’t lose the file system information (for tagging purposes). Also handy to proper case, convert underscores to spaces, trim trailing spaces, etc., etc.

    note that itunes also now supports quicktime movies:

    now if only they’d build a pvr and add mpg support.

  2. another handy feature is that if you’re list is sorted by album for example, typing ‘p’ takes me to radiohead’s pablo honey, but there’s a buffer, so by typing ‘pr’ i get cake’s prolonging the magic instead of getting rage against the machine …

  3. nice you love it that much but whats about all those sound issues in previous versions. winxp64 is not supported by the x64 version of itunes and you can not burn or import cds directly from drive because of driver problems. maybe i made a mistake with that program but i would absolutly agree that the file handling is absolutly lovefull.

  4. Kevin reminded me that iTunes uses Quicktime to actually play the music and that a quick trip to edit -> prefs -> quicktime prefs -> sound out allows you to set a preferred device.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

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