In the recently posted “10 Alternatives to iTunes for managing your iPod” Ross McKillop (the author) brings forward 10 programs to manage your iPod in Windows/Linux/OSX. Great list in my opinion, yet on Windows there’s this one killer app to manage your iPod which he did not mention: XPlay. Reason he didn’t mention it, is that Xplay is not free (the apps mentioned in his article all are free), yet a mere $ 29.95 really is considered (more than) “worth its money” when seeing the app in action.
XPlay (one big huzzah for not naming it iPlay!), created by MediaFour who also created MacDrive, differs itself from the crowd by not being a separate program, but by being a shell extension. That’s right: XPlay nicely integrates itself into Windows Explorer!
After having installed XPlay it creates a (virtual) Xplay music folder on your iPod. From there on, one can explore the iPod just as if it were a regular folder and start clicking away just as one is used to browsing a hard drive.
Adding of songs is easy: a simple drag and drop does the job (again, as one is used to in Windows Explorer).
When right clicking on a listed song, you can send it to a playlist or change the properties (and yes, the good old ALT+ENTER works here!)
The reason I like XPlay is that it takes no effort to learn how to use it as one already is used to working with Windows Explorer. This makes using Xplay a real walk in the park, even for non-tech users (it’s all about “Habit” and “Expected Behavior” in UX, not?). Above that it’s not “yet another program that tries to manage your song library”, but the essence of it all: managing your iPod without any hassle (although a synchronization option is available, I’m not using this as I like to manually control everything).
Now, my trial (15 days) nearly is expired … time to buy, not?
One happy (soon to be) customer!