This week I’ve
typed the “Z” word more times than I care to recount so let’s give Microsoft’s ill-fated music player a rest for today. Without invoking That Word, allow me to remind you that in the last installment of the iPodBlog I wrote about how You Know What
ran on a Mac running Windows. It seems only fair that I also talk about how an iPod fares under the same conditions.
Turns out that the iPod has exactly the same problems as that brown thing I’ve been playing with. Plugging a Mac-formatted iPod into a Mac running
Parallels Desktop For Mac is a good way to crash Windows XP in a hurry—sometimes it’s a blue screen of death, other times Windows spontaneously restarts, and yet other times the whole works just locks up (and yes, this is with both the current release version of Paralles and the recent beta). Installing MediaFour’s
XPlay 2 —a tool for using Mac-formatted iPods on a Windows PC—is no help. Before XPlay can make the iPod ready for use, BLAMMO!
And, just as with Microsoft’s Big Brown Surprise, an iPod behaves itself nicely when you boot into Windows on a Mac running Boot Camp. When I did so, iTunes offered to reformat the iPod as a Windows device. I gave it my okay and it restored perfectly and synced to the music collection that resided on my Boot Camped Mac.
Hang on, I see your cursor lingering over the Comments link. I’ll answer the obvious question: Why would you want to run an iPod under Boot Camp when the player functions beautifully with the Mac OS?
Couple of reasons:
1. Mac users have had iTunes from the very beginning and therefore there was little reason for third-party Mac developers to create tools for it. Such was not the case for Windows users who wanted iPods but, lacking iTunes, didn’t have a way to feed them (or did have iTunes but the Windows version was more limited than the Mac version). Many of these tools still exist—Red Chair Software’s iPod manager,
Anapod Explorer, for example, and any number of Windows tools that let you synchronize data from Outlook to an iPod.
The Mac supports Windows-formatted iPods almost as well as if they were formatted for the Mac OS. If you work in a cross-platform environment, you may find it more convenient to use your iPod largely under Windows. Boot Camp provides that opportunity.
2. More obscure, but perhaps more importantly, there are times when the only way to successfully restore your iPod is to do so on the other platform. I’ve had Mac-formatted iPods that refused to cooperate after being restored on a Mac. Restoring them on a Windows machine did the trick—they worked as they should and, when reformatted as Mac iPods, behaved themselves.