Posted by Neil Crosby on March 11, 2006 10:45 AM
I’ve only just discovered iTunes Agent, and like most great discoveries it was made completely randomly. iTunes Agent is a little Windows application that allows you to synchronise playlists in iTunes with any MP3 player that connects to your PC as a removable drive.
This is something that I’ve been wanting for quite a while now. Until I installed iTunes Agent I had to choose the playlist that I wanted copying to my MP3 player, export it as a text file and then run it over a little Perl script that I’d written. It wasn’t the best situation in the world, but it worked. Now that I’ve got iTunes Agent installed, all I need to do is select synchronize from iTunes Agent’s little pop-up menu and I’m away. Much nicer.
The way iTunes Agent works is that it keeps a lookout for any removable drives on your system. When it sees one appear it will take a look at the drive’s directory structure to see if it matches one of the MP3 players that it know about (you’re able to add new patterns if yours isn’t already covered). If the removable drive is an MP3 player that iTunes Agent knows about, then when you ask it to synchronize the device it will grab hold of the playlist with the same name as the MP3 player and copy it across. Simple.
Because I have a lot of Smart Playlists already, I really didn’t want to have to set up a normal static playlist for the iTunes Agent to use. Instead, what I did was to delete the blank playlist that iTunes Agent created for me and then recreate it as a Smart Playlist. I then set a rule of “Playlist is blah”, where blah is the actual playlist I wanted copied across to my MP3 player. Doing this meant that I had the playlist that iTunes Agent needed, but I could change it to something else incredibly easily.
As lovely as iTunes Agent is, it is still a bit buggy. It seems as though it won’t copy across anything with a forward slash in its filename, and if it can’t find a file it’ll keep telling you about it for quite a while. Still, the application is a lot better than my previous Perl script attempt. Here’s hoping the bugs are squished soon.
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by Ben on April 26, 2006 12:13 PM
I tried to use a smart playlist but whenever I plug in the MP3 player, it removes the smart playlist from itunes and replaces it with a normal playlist that shows the contents of the MP3 player. Therefore, I cannot update the music that goes on to the player without it being plugged in at the time. What am i doing wrong?
by Neil Crosby on May 7, 2006 09:20 PM
I’m pretty sure I didn’t imagine that functionality, but it’s possible I did. I’m not actually using the software myself any more, since I’m now using my Mac Mini full time, but if the Smart Playlist bit was working it would have been using the flat playlist option.
by Rob on July 30, 2006 08:40 PM
Smartlist support is added in iTunes Agent v1.1 released June, 2006