Apr 27 2009
I couldn’t believe that in the history of Freeloader Friday we’ve only covered iPod freeware twice. It’s time to set the record straight with free essential software for your Mac’s best friend.
This week’s I’ve chosen quality over quantity. All of these picks have found their way to daily use on my Mac, and I think they will on yours.
Yamipod iPod manager
This (Yet Another) Manager for your iPod is the only one you’ll need outside iTunes. Despite the dull name, this free app digs into your iPod’s hidden music database (which is also home to your videos, if you’re that fortunate) and allows you to copy music from the iPod to your Mac. It also allows you to import, create and manage playlists, import and export songs and add and edit lyrics.
As if that wasn’t enough, Yami also copies RSS feeds and other notes to your notes folder. For those of you who aren’t real excited about using unsupported software with your iPod, you’ll be happy to know that Yamipod isn’t as careless as some. It records a backup of your music database (one of the most vulnerable parts of your iPod) on every launch. So, its easy to revert if something goes wrong.
iSquint iPod video encoder
This one will only be on interest to iPod with video owners. But if you have one, you want this. There are a million lame iPod video encoding apps out there, and most share one big problem: encoding time. Even iTunes suffers from long encoding times. Enter iSquint.
In my experience, iSquint is about twice as fast as EyeTV or iTunes. The author has built in easy presets that create great looking movies. iSquint gives you control over file sizes and format. You can optimize your video for iPod only viewing or TV via iPod viewing. The software queues encodings and is regularly updated for performance.
Fetch Art album art importer
You can rip your entire Pink Floyd collection, and iTunes will give you track names. But when you load them on your beautiful new 60 gig and they just look naked in the “Now Playing” display. Don’t let your ripped or otherwise acquired music play second fiddle to iTunes Music Store purchases.
Get artwork not only gets album art for your songs, it automates the process. Highlight the song, choose Fetch Art from the script menu in iTunes and the AppleScript application finds the image on Amazon. Highlight multiple, or all, and the application will return art for the list, letting you select which to import.
Adding video, art and newsfeeds is easy. And the search for an alternate iPod manager is done. Rock on.