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Copying Songs Onto iPod

Copying from the Media Library

  • Click on "Local Media" or one of the smart views under Local Media, e.g. "Audio"
  • Select which artist(s), album(s), or song(s) will be transferred (Ctrl and Shift can be held down to select multiple items)

SendTo method

  • Right click on a highlighted item
  • Open the "Send to:" submenu
  • Click on the iPod (actual name may vary depending on how the iPod itself is named) to transfer to

Drag and Drop

As an alternative, you can simply drag artist(s), album(s), or song(s) from the ML view onto the iPod in the left hand pane. You can even drop onto a specific iPod playlist, songs are copied to the iPod and added to this playlist in one step.


Shortly after the completion of the steps to transfer items, a small window will open to show the progress of the transfer.

Copying from Playlist Editor

  • Select which items will be transferred (Ctrl and Shift can be held down to select multiple items)
  • Right click on a highlighted item
  • Expand the "Send to:" menu
  • Click on the iPod (actual name may vary depending on how the iPod itself is named) to transfer to
  • Shortly after that, a small window will open to show the progress of the transfer.

Copying from Windows Explorer

Before using Windows Explorer to transfer items, make sure the Media Library is open to the main iPod view (not one of the playlists).

  • In Explorer, open the folder which contains the files to be transferred
  • Select which files and/or folders you want to transfer
  • Drag and drop them into the iPod view of the Media Library. It is not possible to drop them on the left hand side (the tree) of the ML, you must drop them on the main iPod viewing area.
  • Shortly after that, a small window will open to show the progress of the transfer.

Note 1: When a folder is dragged into the iPod view, a playlist will be created with the name of the folder. To prevent the playlist creation, hold CTRL while dragging the folder into the iPod view. If more than one folder is dragged at a time, no playlist is created, even without the CTRL key.

Note 2: If you don't have the main iPod view open, but one of the iPod playlists, the files are simply added to that playlist. No new playlist is created.

Autofill Method

Transferring purchased audiobooks

ml_iPod contains some handling mechanisms for *.aa files. They can be added to the Winamp ML, and transferred to the iPod. They will automatically show up in the audiobooks section on the iPod.

As audible files are protected with DRM, some special values must be written to the iPod to prove that you are a legal owner of this track. This data can be extracted from an uploaded audible book. So, you must upload at least one audiobook with iTunes - once. Make sure it plays on te iPod. Then attach the iPod to Winamp/ml_ipod. ml_ipod will record the needed data in its own config file. The next timeyou upload an audible file with Winamp, the needed DRM data is written to the database.

Of course, all this only works for audiobooks bought with a single audible account. You can't listen to *.aa books from somebody else (that's the whole point of DRM).

Starting with WA 5.5, the internal handling in Winamp has changed. It is now better to NOT add the audible books to the ML at all. If they are listed there already, remove them from the ML. Then, having the iPod view active, drag and drop the files directly from explorer into the iPod view (see above). That way, the old process is used internally and the metadata is read correctly. The book gets transfered to the iPod and shown correctly. Even cover art works again.

Transferring encrypted iTunes Music store songs

In order to transfer songs purchased through the iTunes Music store, ml_iPod uses Hymn to decrypt the file(s) before transferring it. Hymn will only work if your computer is authorized to play those files (authorization is done through iTunes) or if a decrypted key can be found on your iPod. Using Hymn will not result in a loss of quality in the M4P file.

To transfer an encrypted M4P file, the "use hymn" must be enabled and its location must be entered in the Transcoding preferences.

Transferring can be done the same as other files. Please use the tranferring steps above.

Caution: Using iTunes v6 will prevent using Hymn, see this forum article. You must use iTunes v4 or v5 (and never v6!) Hymn is still not compatible with Music Store accounts with which purchases have been made using iTunes 6. If you download only a single song using iTunes 6, Apple will convert all your keys and no more iTunes5 or 4 is possible!!!

After v2.04, ml_ipod stops to support Hymn, because it doesn't work with newer iTunes purchases anyway.

Transcoding Incompatible Files

If an incompatible file is found during transfer, ml_iPod will do its best to convert the file(s) to the format chosen in the Transcoding preferences (see Configuration->Transcoding)

Make sure that you configure the transcoding engine to your personal needs.

It is also possible to transcode all files above a certain bitrate.

Features for Music

Album Art

Please see extra page on Album Art

Gapless Playback


I added some code to ml_iPod v2.01 to support gapless playback on 5.5G video iPods. Only the newer models with 30 and 80 GB can do the gapless stuff, or a 5G iPod with firmware update to 1.2 or higher. To make this work, Winamp must be able to extract some special information from the music files. For MP3 files, they must be encoded with LAME. Other encoders do not add the necessary data, and therefore the iPod will not be able to play them without these little gaps.

You can check the presence of this information in Winamp if you open the "file info" dialog for a track. There must be an entry in the lower left of this window that reads like this:

 Encoder Delay: 576, Zero Padding: 1488

Only if you have this, the gapless playback will work.

The problem is: All MP3 encoders add some silence at the end of the encoding. That is inevitable due to the MP3 spec. At time of encoding, the encoder "knows" that this is silence that does not belong to the song. If a toole tries to look at this file later, it is not possible to distinguish this "artificial gap" from intended silence at the end of a song. It might be possible that there exist tools that simply "cut off" all silence at the end and beginning, and add the corresponding gapless info to the header. That might be ok for 90% of the songs, but it might cut off silence that is intended by the artist, too....

MP3 originally had no gapless playback info in the file. The inventors of MP3 simply did not think about that issue. Only the LAME encoder enhanced the specification, they extended the Xing header with the "LAME tag" which contains the needed information. So MP3s that are not encoded with a recent version of LAME simply don't contain the necessary information.

Actually, the gapless stuff makes sense only with complete live albums or classical stuff or DJ mixes, where the songs flow in one another. For individual songs that stand for their own, it makes no difference.

See also Wikipedia:

Gapless playback and iTunes

For some tracks, iTunes does a better job of calculating the gapless data than Winamp. If you have live tracks that don't play gapless with Winamp/ml_iPod, you could try to upload them to the iPod with iTunes. If iTunes writes correct data to the iPod database, ml_iPod will extract that during the next connection. ml_iPod then keeps a repository with these gapless values (since 2.00p31. So even if you delete the track from the iPod and retransfer it with ml_iPod, it should have the gapless data then (you can test this. Eject and reconnect afterwards, and then watch the debuglog. The values should be back)

Add Missing 'gapless playback' data

If you have a lot of tracks on your iPod that you don't want to retransfer, you can update their gapless data by using this menu item in the "iPod tools" menu.

What about the 2G Nano?

The 2G Nano behaves differently, so it took some longer to implement gapless playback on this device. But now (since Version 2.03p08) it works!

After a very helpful hint by Nullsoft's Ben ("benski"), I could add support for gapless playback on iPod Nano 2G now. Furthermore, gapless should work for transcoded files, too.

Both only on 5.5G iPods and 2G Nanos (or 5G with FW update), of course.

I would be happy to hear some test reports... hopefully positive ones. So go ahead, grab v2.03p08 or above, and test it

Compilations Support

The iPod itself has support for compilation albums. If you mark a track as "part of compilation" if you have the compilation setting on for your ipod, when you transfer that track to the ipod, it will not add the artist to the list when you go to music>>artists. You can reach the song either through the Music>>Album list, through Music>>Compilation list (which lists only albums marked as compilations), but not throught the artist list, unless the ipod contains an album by that particular artist (in which case the compilation album is listed along with the other albums).

Unfortunately Winamp has no native way to specify that a track is part of a compilation, so we use a little workaround in ml_iPod: Special tags in the comment field If you want to tell your iPod that a song is part of a compilation, you have to edit the comment of the track (Ctrl-E), it must have the string "[C]" (3 characters, the square brackets around the C are required) anywhere inside. It's easy to do that in the Winamp ML for several tracks at once, just select them all and then hit Ctrl-E. It's a nasty workaround, but ml_iPod is limited to what the ML gives as information.

As a shortcut, if the album artist is set to "Various artists" or "Various", the compilation flag is set automatically, without the need to edit the comment.

Apple iTunes has added a non-standard ID3v2 tag called "TCMP" which is set to a "1" value for songs that are part of a compilation (only for MP3 files). The corresponding ID3 frame is read by ml_ipod, so if iTunes has marked the track as compilation, ml_iPod will do the same. This non-standard frame seems to be used by some tagging tools, too. mp3tag sets the TCMP frame if you specify the ITUNESCOMPILATION flag, see [1], [2], [3]

Replay Gain Support

Since v2.03p09 ml_ipod supports the Winamp Replay Gain suite. If your tracks have replay gain data, it will be converted to the iPod equivalent (called "Soundcheck" by Apple) during transfer. More information on Replay Gain in Wikipedia or in depth at

You must run it on the tracks in your ML, before transfer to the iPod:


On the "Volume" tab in the preferences you can set your personal preferences regarding Replay Gain:


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.

Song Advanced Title Formatting

General Idea

This feature will allow the user to view information about individual songs MUCH faster on their iPod. The idea here was to be able to apply the 'Advanced Title Formatting' (ATF) features of Winamp into the iPod song display. Using this, it should be easier to find out information about your songs without having to play them and click through menus on the iPod. An example of this feature will hopefully gives a further understanding.

Example Showing Outcome

While scrolling through any list of songs on your iPod you would normally see the list as Follows:

  • Speak To Me (Breathe)
  • On The Run
  • Time
  • The Great Gig In The Sky
  • Money
  • Us And Them
  • Any Colour You Like
  • Brain Damage
  • Eclipse

Using an Advanced Title Formatting option you can add information to the end of each song on the list. If I were to use a Rating and Artist format option I could have the list now displayed on the iPod like this:

  • Speak To Me (Breathe) [Pink Floyd] ***
  • On The Run [Pink Floyd] *****
  • Time [Pink Floyd] *****
  • The Great Gig In The Sky [Pink Floyd] ***
  • Money [Pink Floyd] ***
  • Us And Them [Pink Floyd] *****
  • Any Colour You Like [Pink Floyd] *****
  • Brain Damage [Pink Floyd] ***
  • Eclipse [Pink Floyd] ****

Above, the artist field is put in brackets [artist] and the rating is shown afterwards using stars ****. This is only one example of a particular formatting option that this feature can perform. Also, these changes will appear in the 'Now Playing' Screen.

How to do it

Winamp must be closed while doing this modification! Let's say your iPod is using drive letter X: then Open X:\iPod_Control\iTunes\ml_ipod.ini with notepad. Add these lines of code into the file:

  • titleFormat=200
  • titleFormatStr=(Variable, To Be filled By YOU!)

You now need to write in your own Title Formatting for the titleFormatStr entry. Below is the list of codes you can use:

  • <Title>
  • <Artist>
  • <Stars> ---Note: Stars being the **** type stuff
  • <Rating> ---Note: Rating being a number (1 through 5)
  • <Playcount>

An example of what someone might use is below:

  • titleFormatStr=<Title> [<Playcount>] <Stars>

This example would display the song 'Brain Damage' as follows:

  • Brain Damage [24] *** ---Note: 24 is the playcount and *** is the rating

Pre-made Formats

If you do not want to mess with formatting yourself, some pre-made formats have been created for use. For this, you ONLY need to add this line of text to the 'ml_ipod.ini' file:

  • titleFormat=(Variable, To Be filled by YOU!)

Here are the different codes you can put in the titleFormat entry:

  • titleFormat=101---"Brain Damage [5]"
  • titleFormat=102 ---"Brain Damage [Pink Floyd] 5"
  • titleFormat=103 ---"Brain Damage - Pink Floyd"
  • titleFormat=104 ---"Brain Damage [Pink Floyd] ***"
  • titleFormat=105 ---"Brain Damage [Pink Floyd] 3* 27" (Note: 27 is Playcount)
  • titleFormat=106 ---"Brain Damage - Pink Floyd [27]" (Note: 27 is Playcount)
  • titleFormat=107 ---"Brain Damage [Pink Floyd] 27" (Note: 27 is Playcount)
  • titleFormat=108 ---"Brain Damage - Pink Floyd [3]" (Note: 3 is Rating)
  • titleFormat=109 ---"Brain Damage [Pink Floyd] *** 27 (Note: 27 is Playcount)
  • titleFormat=110 ---"Brain Damage - Pink Floyd ***"


This feature does not support live updating. This means that if you currently have a song rated with 4 stars you change that rating to 5 stars on your iPod....the change will not be reflected until you sync your iPod again. Same applies to Playcounts as well.

Updating Album Art and MetaData on Music

When a change to Album Art or MetaData (ie Album, Genre, ect) is made to local audio files, depending on what was changed, ml_iPod may not automatically reflect that change on your iPod. If this is the case, there are two options:

1. With your iPod plugged in, select the songs in question in iPod view, right click and select "Refresh Album Art and Metadata". This feature will rescan the files and update the Album Art and Metadata of the files without the need to re-transfer the entire song. NOTE that this feature only updates the following metadata fields: comment, genre, year, composer, albumartist, replaygain/soundcheck, cd_nr and number_of_cds

2. Re-transfer the songs onto your iPod. Meaning, delete them from your iPod and put the newly modified files on.

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