Music on the Life Drive
I'm positive all LifeDrive users of Pocket Tunes experience the noise distortion between tracks. This appears to be a software issue more than anything, as TCPMP doesn't give you that "static wash" sound between MP3s that Pocket Tunes so nicely provides.
So yeah, TCPMP gives a cleaner output. Haven't you noticed? The developer has worked to combat the LifeDrive's audio quirks. The most recent release also subdues similar distortion that would pop up during quiet moments of music, I've read. Honestly, I ditched Pocket Tunes the moment I noticed the crazy between-track stuff. I'm comfortable with TCPMP, and everything I've read on the TCPMP forums suggest the developer is currently working on ways to boost usability (i.e., playlists, what have you).
You can add an extra layer of audio refinement to the mix, too, if so inclined; one that allows for entirely static-free music playback on the LifeDrive running TCPMP. Pick up a Radio Shack Volume Control Headphone Extension Cord 42-2559 (http://www.radioshack.com/product.a...duct_id=42-2559).
This device acts as an attenuator. Output TCPMP at around 80% (give or take a little, especially when using the preamp) and control the volume entirely with the little "remote." It snaps securely into my LifeDrive headphone jack, adds no tangible weight to my chosen headphone cord, gives me out-of-pants-pocket volume control (great for when I'm walking or on the subway and don't want to flaunt my gear!), and only costs $6.59.
Furthermore, TCPMP *does* support AAC. The devloper simply doesn't distribute a compiled binary of the plugin anymore. He used to, but got some heat for it, I guess. Don't ditch your current version of TCPMP, though. Browse the TCPMP forums for users that have created binaries of this plugin from source for people like you to download. I've read TCPMP can use plugins from previous versions, too, but you should find what you're looking for with a little browsing.
Also, you can use JHymn on your desktop to "strip" the DRM off your iTunes Music Store AACs, for installation on the LifeDrive, etc. JHymn is a real solution for this kind of situation -- not a transcoder, for example.
So, stick with TCPMP. It'll even play Divx movies very well with no further conversion. I just hope it will support background play, playlists and stop blinking my damned HD light at some point.