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Using the same music library

Question : Can I use both Windows Media Player and Tunes with the same music collection? I have an iPod, but I can't use iTunes in my PC's Media Centre interface.

Answer : The easiest way to do this is to keep an MP3-only music collection. Both iTunes and Windows Media Player can read that file format, and both programs store songs in the same standard music folders.

But you'll have to change the defaults in Windows Media Player and iTunes to have them rip audio CDs in MP3 format.

In Windows Media Player, click on the "Rip" heading and select the "Format" submenu. In iTunes, go to the Edit menu, select Preferences, click on the Advanced tab and then click on the "Importing" tab. (in each program, picking a higher bit rate than the usual 128Kbps can yield better sound quality.)

If you have some Windows Media Audio files in your collection, iTunes can convert them to MP3 files automatically when you first run it. If, however, your iTunes library includes songs in AAC format, you'll need extra help.

Try MCE Tunes (www.mce-tunes.com); its US$15 version can merge regular AAC files into Windows Media Player's library.


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