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  #1  
Old 05-14-2014, 04:12 PM
millkane millkane is offline
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Default How to Create Playlists in MSC and MTP Modes on an iAudio 9

Hello:
I have found ways to get playlists to work on an iAudio 9, in both MSC and MTP modes.

First, for both, I use MusicBee for music management and playlist creation. Please note that in MSC mode, Oddgravity's Playlist Creator also worked.

MSC
MusicBee
The iAudio9 is plugged in and visible as a drive on MusicBee.

Settings
Make sure that these are the settings for the device (accessible by Edit > Preferences > Devices > (iAudio 9 selected).

playlists path: [drive letter:]\Playlists\

save as format: M3U(#EXT)

Apply and save these settings.


Creating Playlists
Right-click on iAudio 9 and select New Playlist.

Go to the iAudio 9 Music section. (This is very important--I am only able to create a playlist from music that is already on the device, so if you want a song in a playlist, make sure that it is on the i9 first.)

Drag the songs from the iAudio 9 Music listings onto the playlist you created.

Once you're done adding songs, you're all set, with this one caveat: the playlist location on the i9 is a little bit deceiving.


Finding Playlists on the i9
To find the playlist you created, go to Library > Playlists. Basically "back out" all the way until you see Library at the top of the i9 screen. The Library Playlists folder is where the playlists reside. (Don't ask me why.)


MSC
Oddgravity's Playlist Creator

Basically the same deal as MusicBee: music for the playlist can only come from the i9. I just opened a regular Windows Explorer window showing the i9 and dragged over the music files I wanted on the playlist.

Again, the Save location [drive letter:]\Playlists\ and the playlist type needs to be M3U.


MTP
MusicBee

Settings
Make sure that these are the settings for the device (accessible by Edit > Preferences > Devices.

Check the box labeled detect MTP devices.

Select iAudio 9 as the device.

playlists path: [drive letter:]\Playlists\

save as format: M3U(#EXT)

Apply and save these settings.


Creation of playlists is basically identical to MSC (as far as MusicBee goes), with an editorial I will post at the end


Creating Playlists
Right-click on iAudio 9 and select New Playlist.

Go to the iAudio 9 Music section. (This is very important--I am only able to create a playlist from music that is already on the device, so if you want a song in a playlist, make sure that it is on the i9 first.)

Drag the songs from the iAudio 9 Music listings onto the playlist you created.

Once you're done adding songs, you're all set, with this one caveat: the playlist location on the i9 is a little bit deceiving.


Finding Playlists on the i9
To find the playlist you created, go to Library > Playlists. Basically "back out" all the way until you see Library at the top of the i9 screen. The Library Playlists folder is where the playlists reside. (Don't ask me why.)


Editorial
I am adding this because I have found other people's considered opinions useful. I often have the question, "Sure, there are X number of ways to do something, which way works best?" or at least, "Which way has scratched someone else's itch?"

So, I give you my opinion as to what I find the best way to use my iAudio 9. In short: MSC mode with MusicBee. Why? I turned away from iPods because I was locked into a particular way of using them, especially being required to use iTunes. I like MSC because it recognizes that the music file is just a file: copy, paste, delete, do as you like. I have come to like MusicBee because it works well for my purposes. I used MediaMonkey for a while, but I didn't care for its handling of podcasts and that it limited MP3 ripping after a certain time. (Editor's note to self: send MusicBee some money for not restricting its use.) MusicBee organises my music files and podcasts in a way I like, handles Ogg files, etc. I use the programmable hotkeys every time I use MB. Basically, it does all the things I want and doesn't get in my way.

Parting shot: hope this is all of use. If it's not or you don't agree with me, save your time and effort and howling. I am posting this to boards that have helped me in the past, in gratitude to other helpful posters. I don't check or frequent boards unless I need help with something specific, so I will not likely see any response, positive or negative.

Peace to you all.
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  #2  
Old 05-15-2014, 08:41 AM
skip252 skip252 is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Chicago
Posts: 5,356
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Welcome to ABi

While I appreciate you sharing your experience what you've posted is incomplete in ways that might frustrate someone seeing it in the future. I'll add a few things I've learned using both Musicbee and a i9 to while making playlists to help someone that might find this later.

Whiles it's true that playlists must be made from files that exist on the player there's no need for them to be on the player as you start. Musicbee has the ability to move files from other locations if they don't exist on the player if it's set up properly.

If you right click and create a playlist on the i9 you can then drag files into that playlist and Musicbee will copy the files needed to properly create the playlist from anywhere it can access. It copies the files to the folder structure you set in the Device Settings. I find the default structure works nicely so I don't change that.

If you set it to it can encode the files to your preferred codec as it copies them. If the codec it's converting to is MP3 or AAC it can level the volume as it encodes the files. That can be very useful as the i9 doesn't make use of Replaygain tags.

If you prefer Musicbee can also either copy the album art files according to a naming pattern of your choice as it copies the files. I use cover.jpg as it displays reliably with every codec I've used on the i9. If you don't mind losing a bit of space you can have it embed the album art into the files. I find that doesn't always work so I have the AA copied. There's even a setting to resize the AA images as they're transferred.

There's no absolute need to place the playlists created in the Playlists folder. I you set the path prefix for tracks as
Code:
..\
the paths are relative, not absolute. You can then use most places in the directory structure to save playlists. The i9 finds them during the refresh and can translate the relative paths so the playlists work properly.

I'm not sure that saving playlists created in MTP as .m3u is the best way to deal with those. PLA is the default and should be compatible with any Windows based OS that has MTP support. If there's ever a need to edit .m3u playlist son another machine or with different software I'm not sure how well it would work.

I'm gonna knock it off now. I could go on for a quite a while about what I've discovered about Musicbee and it's playlist capabilities. However that's not the purpose of my reply. It's more on the level of letting others know while you've found a method that works for you that doesn't mean your method is the only way that works.

It's like using that "gravity" playlist maker. I detest it and avoid it with a vengeance. It's overly complex and does things without telling you that aren't obvious. Last time I tried it wouldn't work properly when denied 'net access. Writing what's essentially a text file shouldn't require access that type of access imo.

I've MP3Tag to be a very good playlist maker for the i9 and a number of other DAPs. I also use XMPlay, foobar2000 with the EXTM3U plugin installed. Just about any software that can save .m3u playlists using relative paths works. Even Windows Media Player in a pinch.

Please understand I'm not knocking your method and appreciate your willingness to share your results here. It's that if someone sees it later I'd like them to see that while your method works there are several other ways that may work for them just as well if not better.
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