Our companion sites, Macworld and MacCentral, have been
full of news
about Apple’s Boot Camp—the beta utility that allows an Intel Macintosh to run the Windows OS natively. But what does Boot Camp mean for those Mac-using iPod owners?
Potentially, more than you might think.
Granted, there’s a version of iTunes available for both computing platforms. But there are some powerful iPod utilities available to Windows users that can’t be found on the Mac. If an Intel Mac can run these utilities, your iPod becomes a more flexible device.
This $25 – $30 utility offers features that iTunes can only dream of, including extensive batch tag editing, SQL search/reports, an optional browser interface (that allows you to stream the contents of your iPod across a network or the Internet), file copying from the iPod to a computer, an AudioMorph feature that converts tracks’ format and bitrate as it copies files to the iPod, transfer logging (keeping track of which tracks were transferred when), synchronization with Outlook, and a database repair feature for fixing corrupt iPod databases.
The $15 iPodSync makes your iPod a more powerful PDA by supporting transfer of Outlook contacts, appointments, tasks, notes, and email to your iPod. It can also transfer weather forecasts and web news feeds to your iPods Notes area.
iPodSoft’s $15 PodPlus offers functionality similar to iPodSync’s—transfer of Outlook data, weather forecasts, RSS feeds, movie showtimes, driving directions, and daily horoscopes to your iPod. It can also transfer music (and playlists) from the iPod to your computer. This is an update to a program called iPod Agent.
In addition to allowing a Mac-formatted iPod to work on a Windows machine (which is essentially what you’ve got if you create a dual-boot Macintosh), Mediafour’s $30 XPlay 2 provides a simple drag and drop interface for the iPod—one where you can add files to the iPod by simply dropping the music you want onto the XPlay Music folder. Within this folder you can double-click icons to browse your music by playlist, album, artist, genre, composer, or song. XPlay 2 also lets you easily copy music from the iPod to your computer.
To use utilities other than XPlay 2 you’ll need to format your iPod for Windows. An iPod formatted this way works perfectly well with iTunes on a Macintosh running the Mac OS.
Will a Boot-Camped Mac run these utilities? I’ll soon find out. Apple’s Intel mini firmware update killed my computer, but when it’s back from the shop, among the first things I intend to do is install Windows, fill it with iPod utilities, and jack in my iPod. Stay tuned.