Full Documentation

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Article available in : French

This is a compilation of the most important Wiki documentation pages for ml_iPod, the Winamp plugin for iPods. The latest updates and even more pages can always be found online, please visit http://mlipod.sourceforge.net/documentation.php. This is current as of March 24 2018


Installing ml_iPod

Installation is straightforward, it is documented in detail on a separate page

Opening ml_iPod

Opening ml_iPod

Copying Songs to iPod

Copying Songs to iPod

Copying Videos to iPod

Handling of video files

If you are the lucky owner of a video iPod, you can transfer your MP4 embedded videos with ml_iPod, too.

Caution: Only *.mp4 and *.m4v is handled, no other video formats (no QuickTime *.mov files!).


First thing you must make sure is that the mp4 input plugin for Winamp is installed (that is part of a full installation). Although this is an audio input plugin, it is needed for video support, because it gives Winamp the capability to read the MP4 metadata. Check this in the Winamp preferences, an entry for in_mp4.dll must be present:

In mp4.png

Next, you have to tell this MP4 plugin to handle *.m4v files, which it does not by default. Click on the "Configure" button and add M4V to the list, like this:

In mp4 ext.png

That's all, now Winamp is able to open *.mp4 and *.m4v files (but it will play only the audio, if you try it inside Winamp)

Specifying the kind of video

The iPod classifies all videos to be either Music Video, Movie, TV Show or Video Podcast. Depending on that classification, the video shows up in different menus on the iPod.

Podcasts are a special thing, they are described on the podcast page and will not be taken into consideration here.

By default, your videos will be classified as "Music Videos", which means they show upon the "Music Videos" menu on the iPod as well as in the "Music" menus (marked with a small video screen image on the right).

Winamp provides no builtin method to specify a different classification for a file, so we use two special ways to circumvent this limitation.

Special folders

In the preferences, you can designate some folder as being the top folder for all your movies, or all your TV shows. Then, whenever ml_iPod transfers a video from one of these special locations to the iPod, it will automatically be assigned the right video category. This is by far the easiest way to handle it. But it requires that you put all your videos into a special area on your HD. Well, you are an organized person anyway, aren't you?

Special tags in the comment field

The other way to have your file in one of the other video categories is to edit the comment of the video before you transfer it. It must be added to the Winamp Media Library to make this possible. Then you can select it in Winamp and press Ctrl-E. Edit the comment and close the editing window wit "Ok" (It is not necessary to select "update tags"). The comment must contain these special markers:

  • [M] = movie
  • [MV] = music video
  • [TV] = TV show
  • [MTV] = music TV show

E.g. for a movie, the comment could be something like "[M] my worst movie ever". The square brackets a required!

TV shows have an additional function: Everything following the [TV] or [MTV] is taken as the show name. If nothing is given, the artist field from the file metadata is taken as show name. If that is also empty, a default ("-no show name-") is used.

If you have such a special comment tag, it always takes precedence over the folder (the video kind specified in the tag is used, regardless of the loaction of the file)

So, where do my videos show up on the iPod?

This is kind of confusing. I try to summarize what I saw. This all depends on the iPod firmware, so maybe Apple changes it from time to time? The different kind of videos can show up in multiple menus on the iPod.

  • Movies
    • in Videos->Movies
    • in any personal playlists where they are included, under Video->Video Playlists
    • in any personal playlists where they are included, under Music->Playlists. If you play it from there, the video does not show, only the music is played
  • Music Videos
    • in Videos->Music Videos
    • in any personal playlists where they are included, under Video->Video Playlists
    • in all submenus of Music (Music->Artists, Music->Songs...). If you play it from there, the video does not show, only the music is played
    • in any personal playlists where they are included, under Music->Playlists. If you play it from there, the video does not show, only the music is played
  • TV show
    • in Videos->TV Shows, sorted under the show name (taken from the comment, see above)
    • in any personal playlists where they are included, under Video->Video Playlists
    • in any personal playlists where they are included, under Music->Playlists. If you play it from there, the video does not show, only the music is played
  • Music TV show
    • in Videos->TV Shows, sorted under the show name (taken from the comment, see above)
    • in Videos->Music Videos
    • in any personal playlists where they are included, under Video->Video Playlists
    • in all submenus of Music (Music->Artists, Music->Songs...). If you play it from there, the video does not show, only the music is played
    • in any personal playlists where they are included, under Music->Playlists. If you play it from there, the video does not show, only the music is played
  • Video Podcasts
    • in Videos->Video Podcasts
    • in Music->Podcasts. If you play it from there, the video does not show, only the audio is played

You can include videos in all regular playlists. The iPod scans all your playlists whether there is at least one video included. If so, the playlists is listed under Video->Video Playlists. The playlist may contain non-video tracks, too.

Transfer to the iPod

Transfer is exactly as with audio tracks: With Sync, Drag & Drop, SendTo menu or whatever suits you best.

Copying Photos to iPod

Copying Photos to iPod

Copying songs to hard drive

ml_iPod allows you to transfer a song from your iPod to a local hard drive. This is useful in the case that music on a local hard drive is lost and there are copies of those songs on your iPod. Settings for this feature can be found in the Transfer Settings tab in ml_iPod's preferences.

Copy to hard drive preferences

  1. Select the artist(s), album(s), or track(s) to be copied
  2. Right click on a highlighted item
  3. Click "Copy to Hard Drive"

If you get error messages about "file not found" or "path not found" during this process, make sure to run a database cleanup, see iPod Tools. Do at least a Cleanup part 1.

Managing songs on iPod

Managing songs on iPod


Playlists are lists of songs (or other items from your library, such as audiobooks) that you can create to organize your library. For example, you might want to create a list of songs to listen to while jogging. You might want to create playlists to suit specific moods or to organize songs with a certain theme.

If you have been using Winamp for a while, you probably know about playlists: Winamp uses them all the time.

Playlists on the iPod are viewable in the Media Library by expanding the iPod view. This can be done by double clicking on the iPod (under Devices) or clicking the triangle to the left of the iPod.

You can create standard playlists or a Smart Playlist. Standard playlists are created manually and are not automatically updated as your library changes (exception: songs you delete from your library are deleted from the playlists that include those songs). Smart Playlists are created based on rules you set up, and are automatically updated as your library changes.

Adding a song to a playlist does not remove it from the library; it places a pointer (or reference) to the file in the playlist. A single song can be added to any number of playlists.

Standard Playlists

iPod Playlist

The playlists on the iPod are independent of the ones in the Winamp Media Library (unless you sync them). A playlist called "My best" in the ML might not be present on your iPod - and the other way round. It is even possible to have a playlist with the same name but different songs in it on the iPod and in the ML.

To create a new standard playlist on the iPod:

  • Right click on the iPod under the Devices section
  • Click "New Playlist"
  • Name the playlist

Adding songs to a playlist via Media Library -> iPod view:

  • Select which item(s) you want to put into a playlist (Ctrl and Shift can be held to select multiple items)
  • Right click on a highlighted item
  • Expand the "Send To Playlist..." menu
  • Click the playlist to add the items to or create a new playlist by clicking "New Playlist"

Smart Playlists

Smart playlists (=SPL) are like playlists, but with more rock.

You'll see that they look a bit different to normal playlists, and thats because they are. You don't tell it what songs to put in the playlist, you tell it what kind of song you want in the playlist and it sorts out the details for you! The whole thing is rule based - you define the rules, and ml_ipod creates the resulting playlist.

For example, you could create a Smart Playlist that's no more than 4 hours long, and includes only your highest rated rock songs.

Offline versus Live Mode

There are two major modes for Smart Playlists:

  • In Offline mode, the rules are interpreted by the Winamp query engine. That means, everything that is possible for a Winamp "Smart View" is possible in the SPL query, too. The resulting playlist is written to the iPod as if it was a regular playlist. It is only updated while the iPod is connected to Winamp. Whenever you eject the iPod, all Offline SPL are updated before the new database is written to the iPod. After the iPod is disconnected, the contents of such a SPL is "frozen", it will not be changed until the iPod is reconnected to Winamp. This mode is active by default.
  • In Live mode, the rules themselves (and not the resulting list of songs) are written to the iPod and are being interpreted by the iPod firmware. The contents of such playlists can change even while the iPod is away from the computer. This is very helpful if you use dynamic data in your rules, e.g. the rating (which can be changed directly on the iPod) or the last played time.

Live mode is what is used by iTunes. In Winamp/ml_ipod it must be actived explicitely in the preferences. There are mainly historical reasons for this, Live mode was unstable in the beginning, so we made Offline mode the default. With newer ml_ipod versions (1.40 and up), Live mode is quite stable now and should be turned on. This setting affects all Smart Playlists.


Creating Smart Playlists

To create a new smart playlist:

  • Right click on the iPod under the Devices section
  • Click "New Smart Playlist"
  • Name the playlist

You'll notice a "Query" box. If you are already familiar with creating winamp views, the same type of query goes in there. To edit the query, select a smart playlist, then use the field to the right of "Query:".


If the word "query" gets you in a cold sweat, you should just hit the "Edit" button next to it, and create away! (For the edit button to work, you need Winamp 5.04 or better.) Use either the Simple View Editor or Advanced Editor to develop your query. When you're done, just press OK to get back to the playlist. WOAH, you now have a buttload of songs in your playlist.


Nothing lasts forever, so you might want your playlist to stop at some point, say, after 2 hours. To do this, just use the drop down box on the right, and change it to "Mins", then type 120 into the box next to it. Now your playlist should be around the 120 minute mark, and filled with the type of music you want. You can limit the number of songs, too.

If you have enabled Live Mode in the preferences, you will see a LIVE indicator in the lower right corner, right above the Eject button. But wait, sometimes there is no "Live" indicator? This means that you have created a query that can not be processed by the iPod firmware. Unfortunately, the iPod firmware is not as capable as the Winamp query engine, so some queries can not be performed by the iPod. In these cases ml_ipod uses the Offline Mode as a fallback for the playlist.

The most important limitations of the iPod firmware to live playlists:

  1. No mixing of AND and OR operators possible, all must be either AND or OR.
    e.G. the following will not be possible in a live SPL: genre = Rock AND rating > 3 OR playcount > 10
  2. No grouping (with brackets) allowed, any bracket in the query string will prevent the SPL from being live
    e.G. this is ok: "rating > 3 OR playcount > 10" but this is not: "( rating > 3 ) OR ( playcount > 10 )"
  3. Only the following fields may be used in the query:
    1. artist
    2. album
    3. title
    4. trackno
    5. genre
    6. year
    7. comment
    8. rating
    9. playcount
    10. lastplay
  4. The "LIKE" operator is not really supported, it is treated as "HAS"
  5. Sorting must not be one of the "smart shuffle" options, only artist, album, title, track, random or last-played may be used for sorting

If any of these preconditions is not met, the SPL will go into offline mode.


There is one quirk with the smart playlists: It doesn't query the iPods database, but the Local Media database (that is, the Media Library in Winamp). If all the songs on your iPod are also in your Media Library, then it will work just fine. However if they are not, then you may not be able to use the Smart Playlists, at least not in Offline mode. Sorry, but those are the breaks.

Don't ask to change this, it is a design decision that was necessary to be able to use the powerful Winamp query engine. Unfortunately, there is no API to tell this engine to use anything but the Winamp ML database :-( And nobody wants to code a rewrite of the query engine just for ml_iPod. Time is spent much better with some friends and a good German beer.

In Live mode the smart playlists will still be viewable on the iPod (once ejected) even if files are not in the Media Library.

Transferring a Winamp playlist to the iPod

As stated earlier, the playlists on the iPod are independent of the ones in the Winamp Media Library. But you can copy a Winamp playlist to your iPod quite easily. The Playlist section of the Media Library must be used to do that.

To transfer a ML playlist to the iPod:

  • Right click on a playlist in the Playlist section of the Media Library
  • Expand the "Send to:" menu
  • Click on the iPod you wish to transfer to

Now all the songs in that playlist are transferred to the iPod (if they are not there already), and a playlist with the same name and contents is created. If a playlist with the same name already exists on the iPod, it is updated to be an exact copy of the one in Winamp ML (songs are added, removed or reordered in the iPod playlist).

Transferring an iPod created (On-The-Go) Playlist To Winamp

With ml_ipod, you can transfer iPod made playlists (On-The-GO ones) into winamp easily. First be sure you saved the playlist on your iPod using the 'Save Playlist' button found in the 'On-To-Go' playlist at the bottom. Now plug your iPod into your PC and look for the newly saved playlist in the iPod drop down area showing all your playlists. Drag-and-Drop that playlist on top of the 'Playlist' tab in your Winamp Library. You will now be asked to name the playlist.

Sorting a playlist

Playlists can be sorted by track number, artist, album, title, last played, or randomly. There is also an option to to smart shuffle the playlist which will group or separate tracks by album, artist, or genre

  • Select a playlist on the iPod
  • Click the "Sort by..." button
  • Click which sort method you would like to use

Remember: Sorting must not be one of the "smart shuffle" options if you want to have a live smart playlist.

Re-arranging Playlist Order

As of ml_iPod v3.00p11, Playlists can now be arranged in any desired order instead of simply alphabetical order. This is done in ml_iPod via drag-n-drop method. Just drag any playlist under the iPod view to the desired position between two other playlists and sync your iPod.

To go back to alphabetic sorting, you have to reenable it in the preferences, on the "Features" tab.

Renaming a playlist

  • Right click on a playlist on the iPod
  • Click "Rename Playlist"
  • Enter the new name in the Rename Playlist window

Deleting a playlist

There are two options for deleting a playlist. The first is to "Remove Playlist Only" and the other is to "Remove Playlist and Files." "Remove Playlist Only" will only remove the playlist and not touch any of the files contained in the playlist. However, the second option WILL remove both the playlist and the files in the playlist from the iPod. Please use caution when using the second option.

To delete a playlist:

  • Right click on a playlist that is on the iPod.
  • Click either "Remove Playlist Only" or "Remove Playlist and Files"

Podcast and Audiobook support

New in version 1.41 of ml_iPod is podcasting and audiobook support (in v2.00 the podcast handling was improved and is using the special "Podcasts" menu on the iPod now).

How does a track become an audiobook or podcast?

There are two mechanisms that we use to mark a specific track as audiobook or podcast:


Audiobooks are distinguished only by genre. It's up to you to have all your audiobooks tagged with the right genres. You can edit in the preferences which genres should be regarded as audiobooks, any number of genres is possible:

Speech preferences

If you use *.m4b audiobooks, make sure that the extension is entered in the options of Winamp, as described here.


Podcast handling takes a different approach: You define a special directory in the preferences, and everything below that directory is tagged as 'Podcast' automatically at the beginning of a podcast sync. All the files have the 'Podcast' genre then. This genre name can be changed in the prefs (not recommended), but only one genre is possible for podcasts.

All tracks that are marked as audiobooks or podcasts are skipped when you use the "Shuffle Songs" feature on the iPod. Additionally they remember their playback position (this is called "bookmarkable" on the iPod). So if you come back to an audiobook after listening to some songs, you start listening exactly where you left.

Unfortunately, audiobooks will not show up in the "Audiobooks" menu on the iPod. This is due to some limitation in the iPod firmware. The iPod only puts tracks with *.aa or *.m4b extension into the "Audiobooks" menu. Even if we mark a track as "being an audiobook", it will still not show up there. Nothing we can do about that, sorry. Luckily, the menu can be remedied via Smart Playlists, see below. UPDATE: With 2.04p09, this limitation was fixed for the iPod nano. All audiobooks, even *.mp3, should show up in the Audiobooks menu now, if they are tagged with the right genre. Unfortunately this seems to work on the nano only.

Some example queries for smart playlists on the iPod

A smart playlist that shows all audiobooks (depends on your personal genres):

 genre BEGINS Speech OR genre = Audiobook OR genre BEGINS Spoken

A smart playlist that shows all unplayed podcasts that have not been rated (makes sense with LIVE updating only):

genre = Podcast AND ! playcount >= 1 and ! rating >= 1 

Tips for using podcasting support:

  • Download your podcasts to a specific directory hierarchy on your computer.
  • Setup this download folder as a watch folder in the Media Library preferences to make sure that downloaded episodes show up in Winamp automatically.
  • Tell ml_iPod about this directory on the config page (Preferences -> iPod support -> Speech tab -> Top folder for podcasts)
  • Connect your iPod and switch to the iPod page in the Media Library
  • Click on "Sync podcasts" button
    • All files in the top folder for podcasts and in any folder below that are automatically tagged with genre “Podcast” now
    • All new podcast episodes are transferred to the iPod then
  • After you have listened to an episode on the iPod, the playcount is automatically increased by the iPod (only if you listen to the end, unlike Winamp's behavior)
  • During the next Sync podcasts", this episode will be automatically removed from the iPod
    • The removal of podcasts during syncs can be disabled in ml_iPod's preferences by unchecking "Remove played podcasts from iPod during podcast sync"
  • To manually mark podcasts for removal during the next sync, you must enable "Remove podcasts with rating >= 1 from iPod during podcast sync" and then when listening to the podcast on the iPod, rate the podcast from 1-5. This is useful for those podcasts that just don't catch your attention and you want to skip over.
    • If you have enabled chapter marking for audiobooks/podcasts the rating feature on the iPod may be disabled and you will need to remove podcasts manually.

Video Podcasts

If you want to use video podcasts, there are a couple of prerequisites.

The most important one: Your video podcast must provide the videos as *.m4v or *.mp4 files. Some podcasts are delivered as QuickTime (*.mov), this is not supported with ml_iPod.

Next, make sure you have setup Winamp correctly for m4v videos.

Now, video podcasts should work exactly the same way as audio podcasts.

Podcasts and iTunes

Warning: The ml_ipod podcast handling is not compatible to what iTunes does. At the moment, it is not possible to handle podcasts in iTunes, download them to the iPod, and later manage your music on the iPod with ml_iPod. The iTunes loaded podcast lists will be destroyed in this process. Sorry, but these are the limits...

The Sync Process

Article available in : French


Syncing is the process of mirroring your Media Library onto your iPod. This includes songs, playlists, ratings, last-played times and playcounts. To start the Sync, simply click the "Sync" button in the main iPod view.


Generally, the sync feature tries to keep your whole Media Library in sync with your iPod, which means your iPod is a complete copy of your Winamp Media Library. That is only suitable for iPods that are big enough to carry all your songs. But don't worry, there are special cases for smaller iPods like Mini or Nano, see below.


Whenever you are transferring anything onto your iPod, the Transfer Status Window will appear as above showing details about your transfer.


Configure the sync process by opening Preferences (right-click on your iPod and choose iPod configuration), then open the Sync tab on the iPod Support page):

Ml iPod SyncTab.gif

Here you can configure what actions are performed when you click the Sync button.

  • "Delete songs found on the iPod which are not in the Media Library": If you have removed a song from your Winamp ML, but it is still present on the iPod, it gets deleted during the sync. This is checked by default.
  • "Update modified songs": If a song on your computer has been changed from that which is on your iPod, it is copied again. ml_iPod checks the Title, Album, Artist, song length, and Track number to detect these changes. This option is checked by default.
  • "Synchronize Media Library Playlists": All playlists that are available in Winamp (in the playlists section of the ML, not as *.m3u files on the harddisk) are replicated to the iPod. This is not checked by default. By clicking the "Select" button you can choose individual playlists for syncing, see below.
  • "Synchronize Media Library Smart Views": All Smart Views are replicated to the iPod as Smart Playlists. This is not checked by default. By clicking the "Select" button you can choose individual Smart Views for syncing, see below.
  • "SmartSync Ratings, Play Counts and Last Played Dates": Ratings, Play Counts and Last Played Dates are syncronized at the end of the sync. This is checked by default.

Comparison to iTunes

By default, when you connect an iPod to your computer, iTunes automatically copies all songs and playlists from your iTunes library to your iPod, and deletes songs from your iPod that aren't in your library. We call this a "Full Sync".

You can have the same behaviour in Winamp by clicking the Sync button, if you check all the checkboxes in the "How to sync this iPod" box.

Advanced Sync Settings

You remember the stuff about the querys for smart playlists? Well, you can do the same for your entire iPod.

The default for the "Sync" button is that ml_ipod will add and delete songs from your iPod until you have the same music on your iPod as you do in your Winamp Media Libray. In just one click. AWESOME.

However, if you have way more music on your computer than will fit on your iPod, then you'll want to limit it somewhat. You can do this by editing the general sync query in this section. If you want only songs which are rated 3 or greater to go on your iPod, you could just add "AND rating >= 3" to the query.

Simple as that.

Syncing Playlists

Selecting Playlists for Sync

You can sync all of your playlists, or choose to sync only those you have selected to sync.

In either case, the Sync proces will only modify the content of the device being synced, the Winamp Media Library will not be modified by the sync process.

Syncing all Media Library playlists

To sync all Media Library playlists, select the "Synchronize Media Library Playlists" option in the Sync Settings menu.

To start the sync process, select the device you want your Media Library to sync with and press sync.

Syncing selected playlists in the Media Library

To sync only selected Media Library playlists, select the "Synchronize Media Library Playlists" option in the Sync Settings menu and press the 'Select' button next to it. This will show the 'Select Playlists for Sync' menu.

In the 'Select Playlists for Sync' menu, do the following:

  • Select the "Sync only selected playlists" option.
  • Select the playlists that have to be synced when the sync process is started.
  • Select the "Sync only songs that are in of the marked playlists" option, if you want. This will bypass the general sync query (you remember what that was, heh?) and sync only those songs that are mentioned in one of the selected playlists.

To start the sync process, select the device you want your Media Library to sync with and press sync.

Syncing Smart Views

As with Syncing Playlists, you can choose to sync all Smart Views or only those you select to be synced.

Syncing all Media Library Smart Views

To sync all Media Library Smart Views, select the "Synchronize Media Library Smart Views" option in the Sync Settings menu.

To start the sync process, select the device you want your Media Library to sync with and press sync.

Syncing selected Media Library Smart Views

Syncing selected Media Library Smart Views only works when the "Sync only songs that are in one of the marked playlists" option in the "Select playlists for sync" menu is selected, so some steps from the previous section (Syncing Playlists)will have to be performed here.

If you don't check that option, everything still works, but the general sync query is used first. That means in this case, your selected playlists or Smart Views do not limit the songs that are transfered, they only add to what is selected by the general sync query.

In the Sync Settings menu:

  • Select "Synchronize Media Library Playlists"
  • Select "Synchronize Media Library Smart Views"

In the "Select playlists for sync" menu:

  • Select the "Sync only selected playlists" option
  • Select the "Sync only songs that are in one of the marked playlists" option.

In the "Select smart views for sync" menu:

  • Select the "Only selected Smart Views" option
  • Select the Smart Views that have to be synced.
  • Select the "Copy rules and all matching tracks to iPod during sync" option.

To start the sync process, select the device you want your Media Library to sync with and press sync.

Syncing Ratings

This will not transfer any songs, it only keeps the ratings, playcounts and last-played times up to date.

  • Go to the iPod view in the Media Library
  • Click on the "Sync Ratings" button
  • Choose how you would like ratings and playcounts to be synced (explanations below)
    • Smart Sync: Smart Sync will only sync playcounts and ratings. It will compare the playcounts and ratings of files in the iPod's database and the Media Library's database. Whichever database has the most current metadata, it will be copied to the other database. (ie. If your iPod has the most current metadata for a song then your Media Library will be updated.) This is usually used, but you can also:
    • Copy Play Counts and Ratings from iPod to Winamp: The metadata from the iPod will be transferred to the corresponding files in the Media Library.
    • Copy Play Counts and Ratings from Winamp to iPod: The metadata from the Media Library will be transferred to the corresponding file on the iPod.

Syncing Podcasts

  • Go to the iPod view in the Media Library
  • Click on the "Sync Podcasts" button

See the Podcast and Audiobook support section for more details.



Album Art

Album art (also known as Cover Art) is the cover of a album displayed by your iPod (at least color iPod).

Enabling Album Art On Your iPod

Cover Art Preferences

In the 'Options' drop down menu in Winamp, go down and open up 'Preferences' (Ctrl+P). In the Winamp Preferences menu, on the left hand side list, navigate underneath the 'General Preferences' heading and find & open 'iPod Support'. Under 'iPod Support' is a sub category named 'Audio & Video', there click on the 'Album Art' tab. In this tab, select the check box 'Enable Cover Art for this iPod' (Note: Your iPod must be connected to do so, otherwise this section will be greyed-out and uncheckable).

From this point, you have the option to add all your artwork for your media by clicking the 'Update ALL Album art now' button. Otherwise, you can select individual album art to transfer in the iPod view on the main screen

Adding Album Art to new songs

As part of the ID3tag

One way is to check the 'Look for cover art in ID3tags' box and add your cover art to the actual mp3-file.

Caution 1: This does work only for MP3 files (with ID3v2 tags), not for AAC files (*.m4a etc.) or other formats like wav!

Caution 2: This does NOT work ID3 v2.4 tags, only v2.3 is supported due to the used library. Sorry.

There are numerous programs that can add pictures to the ID3Tag. Some of them are:

  • MP3tag [1]
  • Tag & Rename [2]
  • Album Art [3]
  • Album Art Aggegrator [4]
  • TagRunner [5]
  • The GodFather[6]

Winamp does not support adding or displaying album art from the start. There is a plugin that makes it possible to display it. The plugin can be found here.

As matching jpg-file

It is also possible to make a jpg file and name it after the song or album it belongs to (e.g. for MySong.mp3 the jpg file has to be MySong.jpg. If that doesn't exist, ml_iPod looks for albumname.jpg where albumname is the name of the album the song belongs to). In order to work, the box 'look for matching jpg file' has to be checked.

As folder.jpg

The last possible way to get cover art on your iPod is to make a folder.jpg (or any name, just change it in the change the name of the file in the album art preferences) and place it in the folder where the corresponding album is. In order to work, the box 'look for a specific folder file' has to be checked.

As *.jpg (wildcard) or multiple names

If you use the option above, you can also use *.jpg instead of a folder.jpg. This is very useful if you have named the art work pictures different for each folder (like "album name".jpg)!

If you want to look for cover.jpg first, if that isn't found look for folder.jpg, and as a last option use any *.jpg, you can use a patern like this:

 cover.jpg folder.jpg *.jpg

You simply separate the different patterns with whitespace.

Image scaling

The image can be added differently. Either 'ml_iPod' maintains the aspect ratio or it stretches the image to a square. Just choose the method under the album art preferences. If all you album art images are 'almost' square, the strechting method gives nicer images on the iPod. But if some of your images aren't squares at all, use the 'preserve aspect ratio' option.

Adding or changing Album Art for already downloaded songs

If you have the same tracks on your Harddisk as your iPod

You need the same tracks on your harddisk (and in the Winamp Media Library) and on the iPod. Then you change the cover ID3 tag of the MP3 file on the HD(!), or you change or add a folder.jpg to the folder on the HD(!). Then you select the corresponding song in the iPod view in Winamp ML, and run "Refresh Album Art". ml_iPod now looks for the corresponding MP3 on the HD, takes the image from the tag or from the folder.jpg, transforms it into a format that can be used by the iPod, and transfers this to the iPod.

An easy way to refresh the album art for all your songs is to use the context menu of the iPod: iPod Tools->Refresh all album art. That is basically the same as selecting all songs first and choosing the "Refresh Album Art", except that it is faster because it can easily discard all old cover art first.

If you DO NOT have the same tracks on your Harddisk as your iPod

  • Open your iPod drive folder with MP3Tag. Let it collect all the tag data from your iPod, which might take long depending on how many mp3's you have.
  • Sort the big list of mp3's so they are grouped by album.
  • Select blocks of mp3's and drag/drop or copy/paste album art into the album art box in the left dialog. While you are in here, don't be afraid to clean-up your mp3 tags!
  • Once you are finished adding all the album artwork to your iPod, go into Winamp and add your iPod directory to your Local Media in the Media Library (as if you were adding songs into your media library from your hard drive).
  • You should now have your iPod songs loaded into the Local Media, as well as the songs displaying from your iPod. This will allow you to 'Refresh Album Art' now. Since ml_iPod searches the Local Media mp3's for album art, it will now search itself for the album art.

Lyrics and other text

Many do not know this... but you can have your iPod display text related to a song. Apple officially say this feature is used to display the lyrics for a currently playing song. But the "lyrics" text can be used to display anything on the iPod, e.g. the album review to the album the song is associated with, or your personal annotations to a song. Whatever you want to show on the iPod.

It will be shown after pressing the center buttun several time, right after the fullscreen cover art.

To sum it up: If an MP3 file has embedded 'lyrics', they will be shown on the iPod. ml_iPod detects this automatically and sets the appropriate bits in the database on the iPod.

Technical details

This works for MP3 files only with ml_ipod (at the moment).

The text must be stored in an ID3v2 frame called USLT (="unsynchronized lyrics text"). Depending on your tagging program, this is called "Unsynced lyrics", "UNSYNCLYRICS", "Non-Synchronized Lyrics" etc. You have to find out how to convince your tagging tools to write the text into the "USLT" frame.

AAC: Sorry, lyrics embedded inside *.m4a files do not work with ml_iPod, only MP3 is supported.

Tagging Tools

There is no way to write this information inside Winamp (as far as I know). You will need to use some other tool, e.g.

There are tons of other MP3 tagging tools available, see e.g. snapfiles

Ejecting iPod

Ejecting iPod

Configuring ml_iPod

Note: Device specific settings of ml_ipod are stored on the iPod itself (in \iPod_Control\iTunes\), so your settings will stay the same from computer to computer.

To access ml_iPod's preferences, simply right click on the iPod in the Devices section of the Media Library and click "iPod configuration..." or open Winamp's preferences (hotkey: CTRL P) and navigate to iPod Support. There is also a Config button on the ml_iPod interface which will open the preferences.

If serveral iPods are connected, select which iPod you want to configure from the pull down menu on the upper-right of the first screen [iPod Support].

The following is an explanation of ml_iPod's different preferences:

iPod Support

Home Tab

IPodSupport HomeTab .gif
Restore/Innitialize Menu

Having a Problem with your iPod?

In this tab, the first item deals with problems with the iPod Databases. Various option are available to Restore the databases (with of without a backup) or to initialize the database. The process of backing up the iPods database will be covered in 'iPod Tools' section.

Media Library View

The options here are:

  1/ Allow filtering tracks by Artist and/or album
  2/ Show all tracks in a single large list

Multiple user support

This item designates the access level for the selected iPod. It allows you to protect your iPod against unwanted changes on other computers. The options are:

 1/ Unrestricted [Grants write access to everyone]
 2/ Limited [Grants write access only to designated users]

To protect your iPod, select "limited" and check the box near "Grant the current user write access to this iPod". Now the iPod behaves as usual with your account on this PC, but other users or other PCs can open it in read-only mode only.

Caution: This protection does only work if all PCs are running ml_iPod 3.00 or later. It does not protect against changes made with older ml_iPod versions or with iTunes (or any other iPod management software).


 1/ Automatically perform a full sync on this iPod when connected
 2/ Automatically eject all iPods when Winamp is closed
 3/ Automatically select newly-connected iPods in the Media Library

Features Tab

Ml iPod FeaturesTab.png

Enable or disable iPod features

  • Enable live updating of smart playlists on the iPod
  • Enable podcast support for this iPod
  • Enable Cover art support for this iPod
  • Enable video support for this iPod
  • Enable the sorting of playlists alphabetically on this iPod

Note: These settings apply only to the iPod that is selected!

Sync Tab

Ml iPod SyncTab.gif

The Sync Tab is where the fun starts. This is where we begin to define the parameters to use during a sync when the sync is to be preformed.

Automatic Syncing:

  • Sync ratings, play counts, and last played times on connect: Every time an iPod is connected, the iPod and Media Library will be synced so all ratings, play counts, and last played times match.
  • Sync ratings, play counts, and last played times on disconnect: This setting does the same as the above setting when the iPod is ejected through Winamp.
  • Automatically preform a full sync on this iPod when connected

How to sync this iPod:

  • Sync query: This box lets you determine certain paramaters of the songs to be synced. The syntax is dealt with in another section.
  • Sync Media Library playlists: All is default but specific lists can be selected - see below
  • Sync Media Library smart views: All is default but specific views can be selected - see below
  • Sync only tracks that are in one or more of the selected playlists/smart views [bypasses the sync query]:
  • Sync ratings, play counts, and last played times:
  • Delete any existing tracks that would not otherwise be synced:
  • Resync tracks whose file modification time has changed: This is extremely useful when you are modifying the file, as in changing ID3 tags or using mp3gain and Replay Gain

Now we have our last two buttons on the tab:

  • Chose playlists to sync: Select which playlists are synced if the above option is checked.
  • Chose smart views to sync: Select which smart views are synced if the above option is checked.

A full explanation of playlists and smart views can be found in the Playlists section.

Autofill Tab

IPodSupport AutofillTab.gif

The Autofill feature is especially useful for iPods, such as the shuffle, where space is limited. Using defined parameters, the iPod is automatically loaded with content.


The Criteria Tab is used to define the parameters of the content to be included in the Autofill.

  • Source: You can select the entire media library or any of your playlists.
  • Query: You can setup which criteria are to be used when selection the content. Pressing the Edit button, will present you with additional criteria specifications. A full listing can be found in the section dealing with the Query.
  • CheckBox: Selecting this box combines this query with the sync query on the Sync Tab.
  • Space to fill: This slider determines the storage capacity that you wish to fill.

Distribute track ratings proportionally when autofilling this iPod

This is a very powerful and useful feature.

  • Choose ratings proportions button, permits you to select what percentage of each rating category should be included in the content transfered. The illustration should explain it best.

  • Choose sorting method button, enables you to select the sorting order, i.e. by playlist, by last played time, etc. One can also sort by Smart Shuffle, a feature unique to ml_iPod, that is described in another section.

Autofill behavior

Provides additional options to use during the Autofill process.

Advanced Tab

Ml iPod Advanced.png

The Avanced Tab is to implement special features and for debugging.

Advanced Configuration

Be careful using these options!

  • Bypass the Media Library when playing tracks on this iPod: Plays songs directly from the iPod.
  • Look for iPods on network and fixed disk drives: Tells the program to search for iPods in additional places.
  • Don't lock the Media Library while uploading tracks: Normally, the media library doesn't allow changes during a transfer. This can be overridden, but can cause damage if not properly used.
  • Show "Parsing database, please wait" while loading an iPod database: This removes the notice when an iPod is connected.

For debugging purposes only

      • Only use if instructed to do so on the Fourm!

Audio & Video

Cover Art Tab

AV CoverArt.gif

Enable or disable

You can choose if you want Cover Art content displayed on this iPod.


  • Look for cover art in ID3 tags: This option will display any cover art that is stored in the ID3 tag. Note: This only applies to the main cover art location in the tag!
  • Look for a matching JPEG file (e.g., for MySong.mp3, use MySong.jpg)
  • Look for a specific folder file: folder.jpg is the default, but you can use any name you wish. I particularly like this method as it applies one picture to all the songs in that folder, versus loading a pic into each song. I'm lazy!

Image Scaling

For non-square images:

  • Maintain aspect ratio and pad with whitespace:
  • Stretch to fit (does not preserve aspect ratio):

Use whatever you prefer.

Volume Tab

AV Volume.gif

Replay Gain

If you have used Replay Gain on your content to normalize the volume between albums or tracks, this is where you enable the transfer of this information to the iPod. You must also enable Sound Check on the iPod for it to function on the iPod.

Global volume adjustment

The Global volume adjustment feature allows for files to be played louder or softer than originally intended. Enable the checkbox below the slider to apply the Global volume adjustment to only files transferred after the checkbox is enabled.

Note: Please be responsible when using this feature. Prolonged listening at high volumes can cause hearing loss. Apple has a website setup to warn consumers about this issue: http://www.apple.com/sound/.

Folders Tab

AV Folder.gif

This is where you define where your video content is located, and what type of video content it should be considered.

Video Folders

  • Movies: This is the path to the folder where you want your movies to be stored.
  • TV shows: This is the path to the folder where you want your TV shows to be stored.
  • Music TV shows: This is the path to the folder where you want your Music TV shows to be stored.
  • Music Videos: All videos not found in one of these specified folders, will be put in the "music videos" category.

Further details on how the iPod handles these catagories can be found in another section or in various discussion threads in the Forums.


Prefs speech.png

This is described in detail under Podcast and Audiobook support

Audiobooks Tab

Use this field to enter genres which will classify audiobooks. Please put each genre on a line by itself. No empty lines are allowed.


Sets the directory in which podcasts are stored and what genre they will be tagged with.


Upload Tab

Transfers Upload.gif


  • Never confirm uploads:
  • Confirm all upload operations: I tend to use this to maintain my sanity.
  • Confirm only sync and autofill operations:


  • Transcode mp3 and m4a files with a bitrate above YOU SELECT Kbs: This lets you take large lossy files and make them smaller lossy files. Can be useful, but by degrading a degraded file may not sound as desired.
  • Transcode incompatible files (e.g., FLAC, WAV, etc.: This option lets you transcode formats that are not compatible with the iPod, to a form that is compatible.

NOTE: WAV files are compatible with the iPod, but are not typically sent due to their large sizes. For the Purists among us, refer to the section on Hidden Settings to allow the transfer of WAV files.

Transcoder Configuration Menu
  • Change transcoder settings button: This lets you define how the Transcoding is to be preformed.

Special settings

  • Don't lock the Media Library while transferring files (experimental): Choosing this option will allow use of Winamp's Media Library while the transfer is made to the iPod. This is nice during long transfers, but has not been fully tested and may have unintended consequences. Use at your own risk!

Download Tab

Enables the downloading of songs from the iPod to your hard drive.


Directory and naming scheme

  • Destination folder: Enter the directory where you would like to transfer the files from the iPod.
  • File naming scheme: Enter How you want the album/tracks named.

Directory and naming scheme

  • Overwrite existing files... : Your choice!

Logging Tab


If logging is enabled, each song/video that is transferred or erased will be written to a file called "iPod Transfer Log.txt." The file is stored in the root Winamp directory (usually C:\Program Files\Winamp\).


Photo Upload Tab

Photo Upload.gif

This is a new feature in v3. This enables ml_iPod to fully replace iTunes.

Enable or disable

Enables photo uploading for the selected iPod.


Here you enter the base folder for your photos.


Here you select weather to include subfolders and how you want ml_iPod to process portraits.

last.fm Tab

Enable or disable

Enables last.fm for the selected iPod. This option must be install to use the feature!

For songs played from the Media Library

Additional options for last.fm


About Version.gif

Version information

This tab shows the version information of ml_iPod that is installed on the system. It also lets you select weather to automatically update ml_iPod to the latest version. This only updates for full releases. Minor releases can be found at: patches

As these haven't always been fully tested, only use to solve a problem you have encountered or want to try a new feature. More information on these updates can be on the Forum.


About Support.gif

Support options

Here you are provided with convenient buttons to:

  • Visit the ml_iPod fourm to ask questions and learn more about all that ml_iPod has to offer.
  • Submit a bug report. As ml_iPod is constantly evolving.

Here is another convenient button to donate to those that make this all possible. To make sure that this works with YOUR iPod, they need to buy one for testing!

Hotkeys via the Nullsoft Global Hotkey's plugin

To enable certain functions of ml_iPod to be mapped to hotkeys, you must have Nullsoft's Global Hotkey's plugin installed, which comes with Winamp.


Instructions to set a hotkey

  • Open Winamp's preferences (CTRL P)
  • Go to Global Hotkeys and make sure it is enabled
  • Choose an action that is prefixed with "iPod:"
  • Select the Hotkey field below and enter the key(s) to be used as the hotkey
  • Click the Add button

Special Settings

Not everything can be controlled via checkboxes or other GUI stuff. There are some hidden settings, too.

iPod Tools

The Tools menu

To access the iPod tools, right click on your iPod in the Media Library and hover over "iPod Tools". The sections below assume the iPod Tools menu is open.

Rename iPod

Renaming an iPod will change the name that is displayed in the Media Library -> Devices section for that iPod. The name change will also be reflected in Windows Explorer and iTunes.

Normalize volume (mp3gain) for all songs

MP3Gain Menu

Using mp3gain, ml_iPod will normalize the volume of all songs to the same volume, by modifying the mp3 tracks directly on the iPod. mp3gain must be correctly installed on your PC for this.

This feature is superseded by Replay Gain usage now. It is here mainly for historical reasons. And there is one scenario where you still need it: If your iPod does not support the ReplayGain adjustments. As far as I know, only the shuffle suffers from this lack of capabilities. For all other iPods, don't use this option!

Remove songs not in ML

If any song is found to be on the iPod that is not in the Media Library's database, the song will be removed from the iPod.

Copy to hard drive all songs not in ML

If a song is found to be on the iPod that is not in the Media Library's database, the song will be transferred to the hard drive.

Sync all ML smart views to smart playlists

Smart views can be found under the Local Media section of the Media Library. When using this function, all of the smart views under Local Media will be mirrored onto the iPod as Smart Playlists.

Full database cleanup (part 1-3)

Instead of running the database cleanup tools separately, all three can be ran consecutively. The cleanup status (for the full and individual cleanups) can be seen at the bottom of the main interface of ml_iPod in the Media Library.

Cleanup part 1: Remove orphaned database entries

This will scan the iPod's database for track entries where the corresponding *.mp3, *.m4a or *.mp4 file is no longer on the iPod. Such entries are removed from the database.

Cleanup part 2: Database contents check

This feature will scan the database to make sure each file on the iPod still matches the data in the database (trackname, artist...) This is a lenghty process, because every file has to be opened and scanned for ID3 tags.

Cleanup part 3: Probe for lost songs

Probing for lost songs will scan through the iPod's music folders and check whether or not each file has an entry in the iPod's database. If a corresponding entry is not found, it will be added. Thus "lost songs" that are not listed in the iPod menus but are still on the device will be recovered.

Fix corrupt timestamps in ML

Older versions (v1.1..v1.32) of ml_iPod had a bug that caused wrong timestamps in the iPod database as well as in the Media Library. This feature will fix timestamps that were affected by this bug. The "Smart sync ratings" feature is dependant on correct timestamps.

Backup (To Be Modified)

This is Where Backup options can be selected

Frequently Asked Questions


What is ml_iPod?

The Winamp iPod Plugin (aka ml_ipod) is a plugin for the wonderful Winamp media player. It allows you to manage your iPod from within the Winamp media library. ml_iPod always strives to keep compatible with the latest versions of Winamp. Very old versions of Winamp may not work with ml_iPod.

Winamp comes with iPod support, how does that relate?

Starting with Winamp 5.2, the Winamp distribution contains a different iPod handling system, it is part of the generic portable music player support (pmp).

ml_iPod is much older and at the moment has more features than the pmp_* plugins. Don't confuse these two modules. If you want to use ml_iPod (which this site is dedicated to), you must not install the iPod support that comes bundled with Winamp. If you have done so already, you will get the opportunity to uninstall it during the ml_iPod installation.

For a comparison between the two plugins, see ml_iPod versus pmp_iPod

What devices are supported?


It supports all older kinds of iPods, from the old first generation iPods, to the iPod mini, photo, video, nano, classic and shuffle and everything in between. The Classic 80GB/160GB and 3g Nano iPods have support by ml_iPod since ver 3.02. 4g nanos since 3.06.

iPhones and iPod Touch is supported now in a limited way. Updates on this found on the iPhone page and in the forum thread

CAUTION1: iPhone 3G and iPod touch with FW 2.0 has problems, see the iPhone page. FW 3.x does not work with ml_iPod. We gave up on this issue.

CAUTION2: nano 5G (with the camera) is NOT supported

In addition, the Motorola smart phones SLVR and ROKR are supported since v1.42 SLVR.png

Do I have to jailbreak my iPhone or iTouch?

No, if you run firmware 1.x on the device. But if you have a jailbroken one, you can use the AfterSync app, see IPhone For the workaround on FW 2.x, the device needs to be jailbroken, see IPhone.

What is the latest version of ml_iPod?

You can see (and download) the latest official version on the Sourceforge download page. As of Apr 2010, it is 3.09

If you want to have the newest features and fixes, you can download Achim's latest development build

Do I have to have iTunes installed for this to work?

The winamp ipod plugin works with or without iTunes installed for regular iPods. It makes no difference. For iTouch and iPhone iTunes must be installed.

But you should make sure that iTunes and WinAmp are never running at the same time when your iPod is attached. Two applications that both want to access the iPod database could (and will) lead to trouble.

If I used to use iTunes, what will happen to my Ratings/Playcounts? Will they be lost in the switchover to ml_iPod?

You can preserve playcounts and ratings with the ml_impex (Import/Export) plugin for Winamp. This plugin allows the user to Import the iTunes database (including the ratings and playcounts) into the Winamp Library and vice versa. Using this plugin will prevent the loss of ratings/playcounts when you switch from iTunes to ml_ipod.

Can I use iTunes and ml_iPod in turn for one iPod ?

Yes, with limitations: As far as music is concerned, all should work well. But the podcast handling is incompatible, you must manage your podcasts with ml_iPod. Some people have reported iTunes to remove the album art that has been put on the iPod with ml_iPod, but that should not happen since v2.01.

iTunes and WinAmp must never run at the same time when your iPod is attached.

Can ml_ipod transfer to iPod in background so I could continue to enqueue transfers like in iTunes?

No, We won't do it because it would require too much work. A good deal of code would have to be rewritten to implement this, as the current code can't accomodate it. If you want that feature, switch to pmp_ipod.

How can I update/add Album art to songs already on my iPod if I DO NOT have the original songs on my Harddisk?

Album Art transfer without Original Harddisk Music

Does the ipod plugin work with ipod video?

Yes, starting with v1.40 video files (*.mp4) are handled correctly. Make sure that you meet all the prerequisites as mentioned on Copying Videos to iPod (e.g. the MP4 audio plugin must be installed in Winamp for this feature to work etc.).

Does this work with Windows 98 or Windows Me?

The iPod support plug-in has been tested on and works with Windows 98, Windows Me, Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows Vista. iTunes, however, requires Windows 2000 or higher, so if you need to use iTunes to upgrade your iPod's firmware, you will need to use either a Mac or Windows 2000, Windows XP, or Windows Vista.

The iPhone/iTouch support relies on an iTunes installation, so it does not work on Win98 or ME.

If you are running Windows 98, then this page might help you.

How can I find out which version I'm using?

Preferences dialog (click to enlarge)

Go to the Winamp preferences, into the Plugins->MediaLibrary section.

There you see an entry "Winamp iPod support vXXX". This is the actual ml_ipod version that is installed on your computer. In the example on the right it is 1.42a07.

My iPod does not support XYZ, can you build that into ml_iPod?

Usually the answer is NO, because ml_iPod can not control the iPod's behaviour. See the article on IPod firmware

What are "hidden settings?"

There are some special settings that can not be controlled in the GUI. They are for very special cases or debugging purposes. For more information, see Hidden Settings.


My iPod doesn't show up in Winamp!

Ml tree1.png

Have you have connected your iPod to the computer, but can't see its contents in Winamp? Follow this guide:

1) Are you using a version of Winamp 5 that has the Media Library?
Yes: Go to (2)
No or not sure: Get the full or pro version of Winamp at winamp.com.

2) Do you have the latest version of the Winamp iPod plug-in?
Yes: Go to (3)
No or not sure: Get the latest official release from Sourceforge or the even newer current development build.

3) Does the iPod show up as a drive letter in Windows Explorer?
Yes: Go to (5).
No: Go to (4).

4) Has Windows detected the iPod and installed drivers for it?
To check that, look in your system tray (right-hand side of the taskbar, next to the system time) and look for either a green arrow or a USB plug with a checkmark in a green circle. If you hover the mouse over it, a tooltip will come up that says Safely remove hardware. Double-click that. A window should open; check Display device components at the bottom. If somewhere under Hardware devices it says "Apple iPod USB Device" you're set. Otherwise, contact Apple Support.

Under "Apple iPod USB Device" it should also say "Generic Volume" and usually a letter in parenthesis; this is the drive letter that Windows has assigned your iPod. If there is no such letter, you need to assign a drive letter manually. To do that in Win XP choose Start->Run, type "diskmgmt.msc". Find your iPod in the window that opens now, right click on it and select "Change Drive Letter and path...", assign an unused letter. Now the iPod should show up in Windows Explorer as a drive. If all that didn't work, you need help from a professional (maybe something is broken with your Windows setup, or your USB card, or whatever)

5) Do you see anything under "Devices" in the media library?
Yes: Go to (6).
No: Double-click "Devices". See in the image on the right where the iPod is supposed to show up. If it still doesn't show, go to (6).
No Devices entry at all in media library? Go to (6).

Note: ml_iPod does not show the iPod in the "Portables" section, which is new with Winamp 5.2 and is reserved for the pmp_* plugins!

6) Has the iPod been used before and has some songs on it?
Yes - Go to (7)
No - Try using the "Format" option in the ml_iPod preferences to get it to show up:
Open up Winamp preferences, under "General Prefrences" click "iPod Support". Under the "General" tab, in the middle is "Format iPod". Hopefully you dont have any music on it because this will completely erase your ipod and return it to "out-of-box" condition but with Winamp iPod support settings instead of iTunes settings. From the drop-down box, select the drive letter of your iPod and then click "Format iPod". Bam! When it's done, open Media Library (alt-L) and "Devices" should be listed along with "iPod".

If that doesn't work, you have to "Restore" the iPod in iTunes (sorry, Apple provides no other way for this). After that, you may need to try to format the iPod again.

7) Is it an iPod shuffle that has been used with iTunes?
Yes - In iTunes set the "Enable Disk Use" option to on.
No - Go to (8)

8) Does the iPod work with iTunes?
Yes - Use iTunes to put at least one song on the iPod, then it should work.
No - Contact apple technical support, saying that it doesn't work with iTunes.

9) But I don't want to install iTunes
Very understandable. Again: Try the "Format" option in the preferences. If this doesn't work, find a PC (no Mac!) with iTunes installed. Unfortunately, Apple does not give us any other chance.

iPod classic, touch, iPhone or nano 3G/4G: The iPod says "0 songs"

The new iPod devices (classic and nano 3G/4G) need a specially formatted database. This was not implemented in ml_iPod 3.01. Version 3.02 handles it fine. So, inside the iPod view in Winamp, everything looks fine, and you can upload songs without any problems. But after you ejected your iPod, the iPod refuses to recognize the songs. If you attach it to iTunes now, iTunes tells you that you have to restore it because of a damaged database. This is not true!. Simply use the newest ml_ipod, and it should be fine.

If you still have this problem: Disconnect your iPod. Start Winamp. Now press Control and Space keys and hold them both down while you attach your iPod, until the dialog to select the iPod type comes up. In this dialog, select the correct(!) type and click 'ok'.

If that doesn't work there is a little trick with the registry and the ml_iPod.ini. The articles are Hidden_settings and Fwid.

Album Art does not work

That's often an issue with new generation iPods. Always make sure you have the latest ml_iPod version. If you have an iPod classic or nano 3G, you must use ml_iPod 3.02 or newer.

If the album art does not show up on your iPod or is messed up, more often than not ml_ipod did not guess the correct iPod type, so you've got to help.

  • Disconnect your iPod
  • Start Winamp
  • Now press Control and Space keys and hold them both down while you attach your iPod, until the dialog to select the iPod type comes up
  • In this dialog, select the correct(!) type and click 'ok'.
  • After your iPod shows in Winamp, hit the eject button
  • Wait for complete eject (The iPod says "ok to disconnect")
  • Disconnect iPod
  • Reconnect iPod
  • After iPod shows in Winamp, use the "Refresh all album art" feature in iPod tools.

Vista users: It has been reported that this Ctrl-Space hotkey does not work on Vista. Don't know why, and I have no Vista machine to test with. If that happens to you, simply remove the line starting with "modelNumStr=" in your device ini file (see below) while Winamp is not running. Save the file. Start Winamp. Now the dialog should definitely come up.

If that still does not work on Vista and you don't see the dialog, you have to edit the right device identifier into that file (I hope that is not necessary). For an iPod classic the line must be "modelNumStr=MXX01", for a nano 3g "modelNumStr=MXX02", for a nano 4g "modelNumStr=MXX06".

My iPod Shuffle does not play any song, it just flashes the LED

Symptoms: It shows your ipod nicely in winamp and you can transfer songs from the PC to the ipod with Winamp, but when you disconnect the Shuffle and remove it from PC it "says" there are no songs on it (yellow - green - yellow - green led flashing) ....

That means that ml_ipod did not recognize it correctly as a Shuffle and did not write the additional files that are needed by the Shuffle. Might be caused by an incorrect "format" in ml_iPod v1.40..v1.42 (fixed with 1.42p14).

Cure: Please look into X:\iPod_Control\Device (X: being your Shuffle). Is there a file called SysInfo? If yes, rename it to SysInfo.orig, then run Winamp and upload a song to the Shuffle. Eject it. Everything should be ok now.

'This device does not support playlists' when creating a playlist

Symptoms: You can not create any playlist although you have an iPod that supports playlists. Right-clicking the ipod and choosing 'new playlist' or 'new smart playlist' spits out this device does not support playlists

This is the inverse of the above problem, this time a regular iPod is detected as a Shuffle.

Cure: Please create an empty file X:\iPod_Control\Device\SysInfo (X: being your iPod). Then restart Winamp. Everything should be ok now.

My iPod Shuffle skips some of the songs

Symptoms: If you transfer a bunch of songs they all seem to go. If you look at the files on the ipod, they all seem there. If you look under Devices it shows all songs and you can play them. If you transfer 20 songs, you might be able to play only 15 on the Shuffle. It is always the same 15. You can delete everything and transfer the missing 5 and they will play so it doesn't seem to be a song issue.

Cure: It has been reported that this helps:

  1. From WinAmp format the Shuffle
  2. immediately close WinAmp and unplug and plug back in shuffle
  3. iTunes will open, give it a name and go to the settings
  4. check enable disk use and uncheck open iTunes
  5. unplug again (just for checking) and close iTunes
  6. plug in, open WinAmp and transfer songs

Transcoding does not work

Up to v2.01, the transcoding feature was broken. That's because it used the external "transcoder", which itself was broken for many file formats. Starting with v2.01, transcoding is fully functional again! (not for iTouch/iPhone)

Some special characters are not processed correctly

ml_ipod is not designed to work with Unicode strings. But Winamp changed part of its API to use Unicode with 5.23. So there are some conversions necessary. That may lead to problems if you have special characters like ä, ö, ƒü, ƒß etc. in your track titles or playlist names.

As a workaround, simply dont't use these characters ;-) Stick with plain ASCII, and all will be well. If that is a serious issue, try using pmp_ipod, see ml_iPod versus pmp_iPod.

Submission to last.fm is unreliable?

Winamp 5.5 broke some things in the audioscrobbler plugin. Please the one that comes with ml_iPod 3.02 or newer.

Why is only one play submitted to last.fm for a track even though I've played it more than once since I last connected my iPod?

This isn't a bug, but rather a limitation of the iPod firmware. The iPod only records the time of the most recent play in its database. last.fm submissions must include a timestamp, and because ml_iPod only has access to the time of the most recent play, it can only submit one instance of the song, regardless of how many times it's actually been played since the last submission.

I can't log into SourceForge...I use the same account information from this Wiki but it won't accept it

ml_ipod Wiki accounts are SEPARATE from SourceForge accounts. You will need to create two accounts to be able to log into both SourceForge and ml_ipod Wiki. You need the SourceForge account to enter bug reports or feature requests. Create a new SF login here.

Dealing with bugs

Winamp crashed when I did XYZ with the iPod plugin, what should I do?

First you must make sure that the problem is actually caused by ml_iPod. Sometimes other plugins cause Winamp to die, but it shows up as a general protection fault in ml_ipod. To be sure, you have to do a clean install of Winamp and ml_iPod, then reproduce the error.

If it is still there, search in the forum if somebody else has had the same problem already. Then, browse the known bugs.

If you could not find anything and are absolutely sure that it is caused by ml_ipod, read the next section and then post a new bug report.

What is necessary for a bug report?

Bugs should be reported via the bug tracker.

It should contain all the necessary information:

  • ml_ipod version (see above in the "Basics" section how to find out, don't say "the latest")
  • Winamp version (give the exact version number)
  • iPod type (5gen, Nano, Shuffle...) and size of iPod
  • Always attach an archive with the specific files for your iPod. The easiest way to do this is right-click on the iPod icon in Winamp, then choose "Help...->Create archive for bug report"
  • If that can't be done (maybe Winamp does not even show your iPod), zip all the debuglog*.txt and *.ini files from your ...\winamp\plugins\ml_ipod folder on your harddisk and attach them. If the problem is related to the transfer of songs, enable transfer logging in the preferences and attach the \Program Files\Winamp\iPod Transfer Log.txt. If possible, send the device files, too (see next FAQ entry)
  • Include an eMail address where we can contact you, or log in with your SourceForge ID.

The requested archive file may be quite big, usually too big to attach it at SourceForge. In this case, please upload it to a webserver (your own webspace, or you can upload it to stashbox.org (preferred site!), mytempdir.com, sendspace.com or another free hosting service) and add the URL to the bug report.

What are the "device files"?


The term "device files" is used for the database files that are located on your iPod device. You can find them in Windows Explorer. If your iPod is shown as drive X:, navigate to X:\ipod_control\itunes

This folder is usually hidden in Windows Explorer, you may have to enable "Show hidden files and folders" in Explorer (Folder options->View->Advanced settings)

The important files that are needed for tracking down bugs are

  • X:\ipod_control\itunes\iTunesDB
  • X:\ipod_control\itunes\ml_ipod.ini
  • X:\ipod_control\itunes\mlipodSmartPlaylists
  • X:\ipod_control\itunes\OTGPlaylistInfo* (if present)
  • X:\ipod_control\itunes\Play Counts (if present)

If you have to send the device files for debugging, please stuff all these files into a zip archive. Caution, if you have thousands of songs on your iPod, the iTunesDB may be quite big, usually too big to attach it in the forum or at SourceForge. In this case, please upload it to a webserver (your own webspace, or you can upload it to stashbox.org (preferred site!), mytempdir.com, sendspace.com or another free hosting service)

What are "main debuglog" and "device debuglog" ?

ml_ipod records some debug information while it runs, that might be helpful to find bugs. They are created in the ...\winamp\plugins\ml_ipod folder on your harddisk. The file debuglog.txt is called the main debuglog, it contains information that is not related to a specific read or write operation on the iPod.

There is another file, that has the driveletter of your iPod in its name. E.g. if your iPod is shown as F: in Windows, the filename will be debuglog_F.txt. This file is called the device debuglog. Both are important for the developers.

If they are too big to attach in the forum, you can put them on a free webspace as explained above for the device files.

What is the "iTunesDB" ?

The "iTunesDB" is a file on your iPod that acts as the main database for the iPod. It contains the names of all your songs, albums, videos..., as well as your playlists. In short, everything that he iPod needs to know to build up its menus and to play music is stored in this file. If you run iTunes, this file is written by iTunes when you eject your iPod. If you run Winamp/ml_iPod, it is written by ml_iPod.

For debugging, it might be necessary to send your iTunesDB to the development team. Please zip it, it can be quite large! You can find it at the following path (X: being the drive letter of your iPod):

  • X:\ipod_control\iTunes\iTunesDB

What are the ini-files where ml_iPod stores its configuration ?

There are two ini-files:

  • The iPod specific stuff is stored in X:\ipod_control\iTunes\ml_ipod.ini (X: being the drive letter of your iPod) We call this the device ini file
  • The global settings are stored in the general winamp.ini. It is usually found under C:\Program files\Winamp\winamp.ini. If you have enabled "seperate settings for each user" during the Winamp setup, it can be found under C:\Documents and Settings\loginname\Application Data\Winamp\Winamp.ini. We call this the global ini file or Winamp ini file

More on this see Hidden settings

What is the "SysInfo file" ?


The "SysInfo" as well is a file on your iPod. It contains information for identifying your specific iPod model. For debugging, it might be necessary to send your SysInfo to the development team. You can find it at the following path (X: being the drive letter of your iPod):

  • X:\ipod_control\Device\SysInfo
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