Author Topic: How to sync MB library/playlists to iPod Classic WITHOUT using iTunes  (Read 29790 times)

phred

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MB does not support direct-syncing to iDevices with iOS higher than 3.11. If you don't want to touch your firmware, you need to use either iTunes or "iPod & iPhone Driver" plugin (http://getmusicbee.com/forum/index.php?topic=10634.0) in order to sync.

This guide covers how to sync iDevices (specifically the iPod Classic) with older firmware without using iTunes. These instructions are specifically for the iPod Classic 160 gb 6th Generation, which I have been using successfully with MB since 2010.  As with all computer tricks, your mileage may vary and neither I nor the developer of MusicBee, can be held responsible if these instructions don't work for you.

Requirements
1 - You must use iTunes 9.2.1 available from http://www.oldapps.com/itunes.php.
2 - Your Classic must be at firmware 2.0.4, which is/was the original firmware for the Classic 6th Generation series.
3 - Any version of MB.

Instructions

iTunes and the Classic
1 - Uninstall your current iTunes and reinstall version 9.2.1.
2 - DO NOT allow iTunes to update or share anything. Uncheck everything in Edit > Preferences > Sharing, and Store.
3 - Connect your device. When it shows up in the navigator list, go through every tab across the top and make sure to uncheck all syncs.
4 - Go back to the Summary tab and check the software version number.  If it's greater than 2.0.4 you will need to restore it back to its original iOS, which hopefully is 2.0.4. If you're lucky enough to still have 2.0.4 on the device, jump to the "MusicBee and the Classic" section below.
5 - You may see a warning that your iPod software is out of date.  DO NOT update it.
6 - Click on Restore.  This will restore the device to its original firmware. (It's been quite a while since I had to do this, but I think it will tell you what iOS it will restore to.  If it's anything greater that 2.0.4, you're out of luck. You may as well disconnect and stop now.   If it offers to restore to 2.03 or 2.04, continue. NOTE: anything on your device at this point will be deleted. You probably should make a backup of your device if you care about what's on it.
7 - Once complete, you can name the device. Then disconnect it, exit and say goodbye to iTunes.  You shouldn't need it again unless you need to restore the device again.

MusicBee and the Classic
1 - Launch MB and then connect your Classic.
2 - In a few minutes it will show up under Devices (which is below the Computer node) in the left sidebar Navigator. Be patient. It takes mine two to three minutes to appear.
3 - Once it appears, click on the device name and you'll come to the Music window of MB.
4 - Select whether to sync music and/or playlists.
5 - For music, you can choose between syncing all your music (with or without filters) or having MB fill the device with a random selection of music.
6 - For playlists, you can choose between syncing all your playlists of only those you select.
7 - Work your way down the list below the Music node and select (or not) if you want podcasts, audiobooks, or video to be included in the sync.
8 - Click on Settings and choose from the various options in the top section, the on-the-fly conversion section, and the artwork storage section.
9 - For the Media Storage section make sure it is set as follows (which should auto-fill but you never know)
 - Storage path: \iPod_Control\Music
 - music files; F01\nnnn
 - audiobook files: \iPod_Control\iTunesPlaylists\Audiobooks
 - video files: \iPod_Control\iTunesPlaylists\Video
 - podcast files: \iPod_Control\iTunesPlaylists\Podcasts
10 - In the upper right of the sync window, you can choose to preview what is going to be copied, deleted, and/or updated with the sync.
11 - When satisfied with the preview, click on Synchronise.
12 - When sync is complete, right-click on the device name in the navigation panel and select 'safely remove.'

My 160 gb is almost full and if I were to wipe it and do a complete sync of all my music and playlists, it would take six to eight hours. Don't be alarmed if it seems to be taking a while.  Check the status bar (lower left of the MB window) to see the progress.
Last Edit: November 15, 2016, 01:49:00 AM by phred
Download the latest MusicBee v3.4 patch from here.
Unzip into your MusicBee directory and overwrite existing files.

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How to post screenshots is here.

sleepless

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Nice post. I thought maybe I was the only dinosuar still using my ipod. I just replaced the battery on mine too (yes, I do hate change). I have a 160g Classic 7th Gen.  iOS 2.0.4. Works fairly well with no plugins. There are some issues (podcasts, auto-playlists, some metadata editing glitches) but mostly syncs well. I don't know why it takes so long for yours to load. It usually takes maybe 10 seconds for mine to appear on the device list. I'm curious why you recommend iTunes 9.2.1? I have 11.4 installed which also has the restore option. Also, if I check for updates, iTunes says that 2.0.4 is the current version.

phred

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Thanks.  There are a few of us dinosaurs still hanging around. 

[off topic]
I fear the day the battery gives up the ghost on this one.  Did you do the battery change yourself, or send it out?
[/off-topic]

I recommended iTunes 9.2.1 because that's the last version with which I was able to get the iOS back to 2.0.4. So you're saying that with 11.4 you can restore/reset the Classic back to 2.0.4?  I may have to try this on the virtual machine.  But I'm a firm believer in "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." So maybe I'll just wait until the next time I need to do a reset on the Classic before trying this.

I've got about 80 playlists with about 70 of them being auto-playlists and they sync just fine. 

I wish I knew why it takes so long for the device to appear in MB.  I just tried again and this time I got a Windows warning asking if it should scan and repair the device.  It's not an AV warning, but a system warning. Maybe that has something to do with the delay.  I guess tomorrow I'll let Windows do it's thing and see where I wind up.
Download the latest MusicBee v3.4 patch from here.
Unzip into your MusicBee directory and overwrite existing files.

----------
Check out the MusicBee Wiki.
How to post screenshots is here.

boroda

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nice guide, but add a '[' at the beginning of:

2 - b]DO NOT[/b] allow iTunes to update or share anything. Uncheck everything in Edit > Preferences > Sharing, and Store.

so 'DO NOT' will be bold.

phred

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@boroda74  - Oops!  Thanks for catching that.
Download the latest MusicBee v3.4 patch from here.
Unzip into your MusicBee directory and overwrite existing files.

----------
Check out the MusicBee Wiki.
How to post screenshots is here.

sleepless

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Well, I haven't restored mine recently so I can't say for sure it'll work,  but the option is there for v11.4:


As for the auto-playlists, I can transfer them to the iPod, but they will only function as a normal playlist. If I view the iPod in itunes, the playlist doesn't display the gear icon. This really only matters for AP's based on track ratings, which can be altered in the iPod.

I'm not sure how MB generates thumbs for viewing ipod files If tracks were transferred to the ipod using itunes, MB displays the thumb as empty. Tracks transferred with MB result in thumbs from random albums from the same artist:


*off topic:
Yeah, I did the battery myself. Ordered a cheap one from ebay and works great. Just make sure to get the right one (I think there's 2 sizes for these Classics and ebay ads can be confusing). Lots of vids on youtube, but I found this to be the best one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6aQn-HkvtvM

phred

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I wish I knew why it takes so long for the device to appear in MB.  I just tried again and this time I got a Windows warning asking if it should scan and repair the device.  It's not an AV warning, but a system warning. Maybe that has something to do with the delay.  I guess tomorrow I'll let Windows do it's thing and see where I wind up.
I let Windows scan the Classic and it took over three hours.  It seems it's like chkdsk for Windows.  It's looking for bad sectors on the drive.  The end result was that it said it found nothing wrong with it. And it still takes quite a bit of time for it to show up in MB's device node.  Not a big deal really, as I know it's going to happen and once connected, I can do what I need to do with it.
Download the latest MusicBee v3.4 patch from here.
Unzip into your MusicBee directory and overwrite existing files.

----------
Check out the MusicBee Wiki.
How to post screenshots is here.

alec.tron

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Heya,
do you guys happen to know how playlists are transferred to your iPods (seeing that this works for you with iPods apparently) ?
I'm asking as I'd love to use the iTunes xml for other means, but the MusicBee playlists do not get exported to the iTunes xml file. Which in turn is (should be) where iTunes reads the playlists info from... so hearing that you guys can get your playlist from MusicBee to iPod/iTunes was a bit of a surprise as they are not part of the iTunes.xml...:
http://getmusicbee.com/forum/index.php?topic=15165.msg90562#msg90562

Cheerio.
c.

phred

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Heya,
do you guys happen to know how playlists are transferred to your iPods (seeing that this works for you with iPods apparently) ?
All I can tell you is that it works from MB to the Classic.  If you're looking for the details behind the magic, then I think Steven is the one you need to hear from.
Download the latest MusicBee v3.4 patch from here.
Unzip into your MusicBee directory and overwrite existing files.

----------
Check out the MusicBee Wiki.
How to post screenshots is here.

sleepless

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I've noticed with my classic:

when syncing any tracks which have a different value for AlbumArtist and Artist, the tracks go to "Compilations" in the ipod. This happens even though "iTunes compilation" checkbox is not checked in the settings, and no compilation tags are present. This does NOT happen with iTunes. iTunes simply places the tracks/album together with the other tracks from that same AlbumArtist regardless of what the Artist value is.

Has anyone else noticed this? Any thoughts as to why it happens?

Thanks.

phred

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Hmmm ... I never noticed this before, probably because I usually listen to playlists on the Classic, but you're correct. Everything that I have the Album Artist tagged as 'Various Artists' shows up in the Compilation folder of the Classic.  Whether or not it's marked as a compilation in MB.
Download the latest MusicBee v3.4 patch from here.
Unzip into your MusicBee directory and overwrite existing files.

----------
Check out the MusicBee Wiki.
How to post screenshots is here.

phred

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I have locked this thread. Further questions can be submitted to the Portable Devices sub-forum.
Download the latest MusicBee v3.4 patch from here.
Unzip into your MusicBee directory and overwrite existing files.

----------
Check out the MusicBee Wiki.
How to post screenshots is here.