iPod Tip #1: Ditch iTunes and get Floola

Have an iPod but wish you weren’t stuck with iTunes? Me too. Before Igot an iPod, I had all my music organized into folders, and I likedbeing able to use whatever media player I had handy to play it. Ididn’t want iTunes or anything else organizing my music for me.

But I tolerated it because it seemed like I was stuck with iTunes touse my 3rd generation Nano. I looked into hacking the iPod with Rockbox, which is a Linux operatingsystem to run on the iPod itself, but until somebody hacks the 3rd GenNano, they can’t run an alternative OS.

So when my computer died at the beginning of January and I moved all myfiles over to a 16Gb usb stick, one of the biggest challenges was whatto do about my iTunes library. I use my iPod all the time, but I reallydidn’t want it tied to a particular computer, especially a loaner.

Long story short, I found Floola,a small program that runs from my iPod itself. Now I have my iPod setto show up as a drive and not to launch iTunes automatically, so I canplug it into any PC and run it without installing anything. Floola isavailable for Windows, Mac and Linux. It looks kind of like iTunes andit reads the iPod file database without changing anything. In fact, youcan run Floola when you’re away from your iTunes computer and stillseamlessly use iTunes when you get back to it.

One major advantage of this arrangement for anybody who listens topodcasts is that you can download podcast updates when you don’t haveyour computer with iTunes with you. Sometimes when I travel, I had todecide whether to bring my laptop along so I could update podcasts forthe car trip home. Now I just need my usb cable and I can update mypodcasts from any computer.

Check it out!

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