I have a few questions about using my Life Drive as a Music Player. I have loaded some MP3 files on the device and played them using the built in pTunes software. Although this seems to work OK, there is some noise and distortion between the tracks, and then for the first few seconds of the track itself. I gather from reading some of the other posts on this forum that this is a problem for other users too. Is there anyway to get around this problem? Do all Life Drives have this issue, or are some worse than others? I use iTunes to organise my music on my computer. I know that I won’t be able to play any music downloaded from the Music Store on the Life Drive, but I would like to be able to play the AAC files I’ve encoded from my CDs. I have downloaded and installed TCPMP, but this doesn’t seem to support AAC playback with the current release. Moreover, it doesn’t seem to work when using other application on the Life Drive like pTunes does. Is there some software available that will play AAC files and let me use other applications at the same time? At the moment, I am not doing anything about putting DVDs on the Life Drive, as I want to get it working with music first. Having said that, I do plan to use the device for movie playback, so any software that can play AAC files and video files would be ideal.
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.
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