Unique Extra features

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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"

The transfer can have a file naming format as well. Go to 'iPod Configuration', 'Transfers', 'Downloads'. Fill out the 'File Naming Scheme'. Press the ? button if you need help on the formatting.

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.

Song advanced title formating

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

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. Open your iPod inifile, see Hidden settings. Please make sure you only edit the file when Winamp is not running. Add these lines of code into the file, in the [ml_ipod] section (not at the end of 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 ***"

Drawback

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.

Audiobook chapter markings

Audiobook chapters

ml_iPod can mark chapters in your audiobooks. It is possible to set the chapter lenght in minutes under "Winamp options" -> "iPod Support" -> "Speech" -> "Audiobooks" tab.

Last.fm support

Since the introduction of version 2.02 in February 2007, ml_ipod has provided optional last.fm/Audioscrobbler support. This unofficial build of the Audioscrobbler for Winamp plugin version 1.1.11 (gen_audioscrobbler.dll) is based on the now deprecated plugin once provided officially by Audioscrobbler before it became last.fm.

To note, there are a number of older 3rd party builds of this plugin available for download and each of these reflects a slight change in the Last.fm API or Winamp architecture. Newer versions of Winamp are unable to work properly with ver. 1.1.10 and earlier. Even earlier builds designated as 1.1.11 (the most recent version number for the plugin) are now obsolete. (For example, v1.1.11 build 638, released 04/02/2006 on nunzioweb.com, is deprecated.) If an older, unrecognized Audioscrobbler plugin is installed, ml_ipod will show a grayed out checkbox for "Enable Last.fm support" under the Ipod Support->Extras->Last.fm tab. At the bottom of this tab ml_ipod may also report that the Last.fm (Audioscrobbler) plugin is not installed.

To properly enable Last.fm support on the newest versions of Winamp, make certain to have the latest build of Audioscrobbler for Winamp installed. While November 2, 2007 is the timestamp of gen_audioscrobbler.dll in the ml_ipod installer, a newer build, "Audioscrobbler 1.1.11p7 DrO Internal Test Build," has since been made available by the Winamp forum moderator and plugin contributor, DrO. This build of gen_audioscrobbler.dll, reported by DrO on July 13, 2008, corrects some problems experienced with newer versions of Winamp 5.5+. It also works well with ml_ipod (v3.08p5 with Winamp 5.551 as of April 2009). (For more information and a direct link to the plugin, look for DrO's post on the relevant forum thread at the Winamp forums.)

Please note, the Audioscrobbler for Winamp plugin will NOT work with the newest official last.fm software.



What is last.fm?

Last.fm is a social website devoted to collecting a database of songs listened to by their users. When song plays are collected, they are organized into charts for each user, showing statistics such as “Most Played Artists”, “Most Played Songs,” for varying spans of time (week, month, year). The website can also makes custom radio stations or artist recommendations based on your past listening habits. Finally, as a social site, you can talk with friends or view their listening habits as well.

How does it work with ml_ipod?

Prerequisites

  • A last.fm account (free)
  • The iPod must support time/date stamps--sorry, no shuffles.
  • You must choose to install the modified ml_audioscrobbler plugin when installing ml_ipod (you will be asked.) If you have another Winamp Audioscrobbler plugin running, maybe you should make a backup before you install this! Installation will remove all other AudioScrobbler plugins from the plugin folder!
  • Make sure your time and timezone is set properly on your iPod and your computer. The iPod does not save the time in UTC format, so we convert to UTC using the current timezone offset of your computer. If these are different, your play time will be computed improperly.

How to use

Generally speaking, there isn't a lot to do differently than normal listening. Once set up with a username and password, the audioscrobbler plugin itself does not ask you anything else or require constant attention.

The only thing that must be set is the ml_ipod setting for iPod submission of tracks to last.fm, this should be set depending on your listening habits:

Listening Habits/Situations

To work properly with ml_ipod, you must select the appropriate situation for your listening habits. This is due to the fact that songs submitted out of chronological order are rejected from last.fm because of spam protection.

  • Note: For this same reason, if you listen to the same track more than one time without syncing, it will only be submitted once (using the last play time as the timestamp). This is because the "Play Counts" file only keeps track of the last time the track was played.
Lastfmprefs.png

iPod mode

  • Immediate Submission while iPod is connected: If a song is played in Winamp and the iPod is not connected, the song submission to last.fm will be held until the iPod is reopened in Winamp, and its song plays can be retrieved. If the iPod is connected, its songs have already been submitted, so Winamp song plays are sent immediately. This mode is ideal for situations when music is played on both iPod and Winamp frequently.

Manual Modes

  • Cache everything (offline mode): Winamp holds everything played on both the iPod and Winamp in a cache until Online mode is enabled.
  • Immediate submission, even if iPod is not connected (Online mode): As the name implies, all Winamp tracks are submitted as soon as they are played through. If you want to submit tracks from Winamp and do not have/do not care about iPod tracks, this is the option to choose. This mode is ideal when you will be listening only on Winamp for some time, and may not have the iPod connected.

These modes can either be set in the ml_ipod preferences, under the last.fm tab, or they can be assigned to global hotkeys, and accessed by the keyboard.

Hotkeys
AudioScrobblerHotkeys.png

Another option for controlling submissions are three global hotkeys to switch AudioScrobbler between iPod/offline/online modes. They have to be configured in the prefs of the "Global Hotkeys" plugin. You can use any key combination you like. In pictured example, Ctrl-Alt-O is used for online, Ctrl-Alt-I for iPod mode.

The current setting is saved to the registry and reloaded when Winamp starts, so it is persistent.


Other Questions

last.fm client support

The last.fm client software is currently NOT supported. Sad, but it's simply not possible. The protocol that is set up by last.fm to communicate between player (Winamp in our case) and the client does not provide the necessary interface. It is simply not possible to submit tracks from past times. Maybe that will change in the future, but it is last.fm that has to provide better support for portable players. At the moment ml_iPod can ONLY work with the special ml_AudioScrobbler plugin, which submits directy to last.fm, not via the client.

As a side effect, even if you have installed the last.fm software, it will not show the curently playing track from Winamp. Sorry...

Spam protection

The biggest reason that iPod/Online/Offline modes of submission must be selected is because of last.fm's spam protection against submissions it deems unreasonable. If The following is taken from the last.fm site, it's here simply for easy reading...

Spam Prevention Rules: The server employs a few basic anti-spam rules to guard against broken plugins / abuse.

  • Any submissions caught by the spam filter will be silently dropped (you will receive an OK response). In such cases, an error message is usually placed on the user page for a few hours.
  • Chronological Order Rule
    • Songs must be submitted in chronological order. This means that if you were listening offline, and the plugin has cached some tracks waiting to submit when you reconnect to the internet, the plugin needs to send the cached tracks in the order they were played BEFORE it sends the track you are now listening to. Once you submit a track, anything with an earlier date is rejected.
  • UTC Only Rule
    • Your plugin must submit the time in UTC. Any submissions with a date too far ahead or behind UTC will be rejected.
  • Realtime Listening Rule
    • The server will ignore subsequent submissions if you claim to have played more tracks in one time period that you could fit in, if you listened to all of them most of the way through.

If you're offline for a day, then reconnect, the previous days' tracks are submitted with dates set to yesterday, so this would not trigger the spam filter.


Other Methods For iPod last.fm Submission

People using last.fm have found several other ways to submit their tracks played on the iPod to last.fm. Most of these ways force you to run a specific application BEFORE you run Winamp or iTunes or any other iPod management tool. Examples are audiopod+ for the last.fm client or audioPod goes iScrobbler for iTunes iScrobbler/Winamp AudioScrobbler plugins.

It should be noted again, that last.fm currently does not accept submissions not in chronological order, so if using most of these methods, one must take care to not submit a song in Winamp or iTunes before uploading iPod track plays.

Gamma Correction settings for Photos

It is possible to make Gamma corrections for photos (only for TV-out). But this feature is a so-called "hidden setting" in the Winamp ini-file. Please make sure you only edit the file when Winamp is not running. Once you open the ini-file find "photoGammaAdj" (or add the line if it is not there, see Hidden settings).

The standard value is 0.9. Lowering the value makes it the photo appear darker, a higher value makes it brighter.

Transferring Contacts to your iPod

from Outlook

This is not a feature implemented in ml_ipod but it deserves mentioning. In the iPod's 'Extras' area, Contact information is able to be displayed. To utilize this feature in the iPod, follow the instructions found here There is in fact commercial software for syncing, however, the best free software is Sync2iPod. Just make sure that you meet all the requirements. Although it states Outlook 2003 is needed, it also works with 2007 and even the iPod Classic (6G)!

A more versatile, powerful program to transfer Contacts, Calendar Events, and notes to your iPod is available here. It is called iPodSync. This solution is not free and costs $17.

from Thunderbird

To get your Thunderbird contacts and, if installed, calender events from Lightning you can install mozPod which syncs your contacts and calender automaticly when an iPod is connected.

Using ml_iPod with non-iPod USB MP3 players

ml_iPod is designed for Apple's iPod, but if you want, you can use it for any drag'n drop MP3 player (the ones that simply play songs from their filesystem, without the need for any special database. That is the majority out there).

Make sure you format it once in ml_iPod, selecting as device 'iPod, iPod Photo, iPod Mini or iPod Nano'. After some seconds a dialog comes up asking you for the iPod type. Choose "iPod with gray scale display". Then in the prefs, Transfers->Upload->Filesystem check the box at "Use custom filename formatting" and choose the style you want. That should do the trick.

It creates an iPod_control folder on your player, simply ignore that (don't touch it, it contains necessary metadata).

If you use this approach, don't delete any songs from the device outside of ml_iPod, and always use ml_iPod to transfer new songs to the player. Otherwise the internally kept database won't be in sync with the actual contents of the player.

Playlist Folders

Playlist folder.jpg

ml_iPod now supports the ability to organize your iPod's playlists into folders like a tree-structure. This is merely for organizational convienence. This feature primarily works for 6G iPod products but also has a workaround for 5G/5.5G iPods. After connecting your iPod to Winamp, create a folder by Right-Clicking on the iPod icon and selecting to create a new folder. Following, Drag and drop playlists into the folder. Disconnect your iPod and go to 'Playlists'. There should now be 'Playlist Folders' listed.

For 5G/5.5G iPods, in order to use Playlist Folders, you must first set the hidden setting "plFoldersAsNotes=1" in the iPod ini file (always remember to do this while Winamp is closed). Following that, open winamp, create your folders and disconnect your iPod. Now instead of going to Playlists on your iPod, Go to the 'Notes' section on your iPod in the 'Extras' menu. With 5G/5.5 iPod's and this feature, you WILL NOT be able to see the specific songs in a playlist. After selecting a playlist, the playlist immediately begins playing. These are the limits to getting the 5G/5.5G iPod's working with this feature.

Note: If you use the iPod notes for real notes too, set plFoldersAsNotes to 2 instead of 1 and manually delete the main.linx file from the Notes directory on the iPod, otherwise your regular notes won't show up.

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