Syncing Tracks to Portable Devices

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You can easily sync your Tracks and associated metadata (Album Art, play history, etc.) with Android devices, iPhones, iPods, iPads, and other MP3 Players, MP3-capable phones or media servers. Audio formats that aren't supported can be converted on the fly, and Track volumes leveled. In most cases, when you plug in your device for the first time, it will be automatically recognized by MediaMonkey, and you'll be given the option to configure Synchronization options before syncing.

Once a device is recognized, it appears as a node in the Tree. From this node it is possible to view/edit/delete/copy tracks on the device (depending on the device and the plug-in used), and if the device has its own database, to update the device database. Note that tracks that appear in this node are not part of the Library.

There are 2 types of Synchronization:

  • Automatic Synchronization (Auto-Sync): This is the simplest and most powerful means of device synchronization. Choosing this option syncs the entire Library or a 'Sync list', optionally deleting tracks that aren't on the Sync list.
  • Manual Synchronization (Sync-Selected): This is for one-time operations, choose this option to manually sync a selected Playlist or set of files.

Devices and Plug-ins

Device synchronization works via Device Plug-ins--one per device. Different devices and plugins have slightly different synchronization capabilities, as summarized below:

Plug-in / Device Description
iPods & iPhones These plugins are used for the iPod, iPod Nano, iPod Shuffle, iPod Video, iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, etc. including older iTunes-compatible phones such as the Motorola Rokr and Palm Pre. It syncs MP3 and AAC files and related properties including lyrics, Album Art, ratings, volume leveling information, play history, as well as Playlists. It supports bookmarking for tracks that have a Genre of 'Podcast' or 'Audiobook', and allows the user to browse and/or play tracks from the device when it is plugged in. Multiple instances of the plugin can be used, one for each iPod, but only a single iPod can be plugged in at any one time. iTunes can continue to be used to sync Apps and/or Photos.
Note: iPhones, iPod Touch, and iPad devices require that iTunes be installed (even if it isn't used) in order for MediaMonkey to connect with the device.
WMDM (MTP / Android devices)

This plug-in is suitable for Android devices and most other devices and phones including 'MTP' devices and USB Mass Storage devices (including those that have extra flash memory cards). It supports bi-directional synchronization, and allows the user to browse the device when it is plugged in, but in most cases, does not support playback of tracks on the device from MediaMonkey for Windows.This plug-in does not support Synchronization of WMA files protected by DRM 10. When syncing with Android devices that have MediaMonkey for Android (MMA) installed, it syncs all metadata supported by MMA. Otherwise it synchronizes whatever formats and metadata that are supported by the device's MTP driver often including properties including Album Art, ratings, play history, and Playlists. Multiple instances of the plugin can be used.

Generic/Portable Devices This USB Mass Storage device plug-in is suitable for any device that appears as a drive letter in Windows Explorer. Although the WMDM driver can often be used with such devices, the generic plug-in is advantageous from a performance perspective and in cases where it is desireable to browse and play tracks on the device from within MediaMonkey and sync updated Tracks from the device back to the PC. The generic plugin will synchronize Tracks with all their properties, along with Playlists, however, it will not sync play history. Multiple instances of the plugin can be created by copying the plugin and renaming the copy in Windows Explorer.
iRiver H-series This plug-in supports the H-120 and H-320 devices by iRiver. These devices are USB Mass Storage devices that could be used with the generic plug-in, however, this plug-in adds support for the iRiver database so that the database is always up to date.

Devices are configured via Tools > Options > Portable Device Sync (in MM4.x). If multiple devices are used, then multiple plugins can be configured--one for each device.

If you are repeatedly prompted to configure a device that you do not wish to synchronize, simply uncheck the device.

About Auto-Sync Lists

Creating an auto-sync list that meets your needs can take some thought, as you'll want it to:

  • Keep favorite tracks on the device
  • Add new tracks to the device
  • Maintain 'fresh' subset of other tracks on the device
  • Limit the amount of time it takes to sync

There are a few tools available to help you achieve these goals:

  1. The ability to automatically delete files and playlists that aren't on the sync list ('Delete other files and playlists').  This is disabled by default, but should be enabled in most cases so that the content on the device doesn't continue to grow infinitely.
  2. The ability to sync a random subset of the selected files.  This functionality is useful if you're Library is e.g. 1.5x the size of the space available for media on your device.  But if it's much larger, it can result in huge amounts of data being transferred on each sync operation.
  3. The ability to use auto-playlists to sync selected files.  This is the most powerful sync tool, as very specific autoplaylists can be defined based on:
    o ratings
    o how recently the files were added to the library ('last played')
    o whether/how recently the files were last played ('sync status'

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