on November 27, 2012
Having just gotten a Kindle Fire two days ago, I was surprised to learn there didn't seem to be a direct way to transfer music using the built in music app. I could upload 250 songs to the Amazon cloud for free (then download to my Fire), but to upload more songs was going to be $25 per year. I considered doing the cloud route in batches (I assume it's possible to upload 250, download to Fire, then delete from cloud and repeat....), but it seemed a ridiculous path. I found this poking around the app store looking for a solution, and it worked really well over WiFi. It did take hours to load my 600 or so songs, and hit an error once and had to be restarted. Apart from that - easy peasy. You (1) load app to Kindle, (2)load program to your PC (the app lets you send an email to yourself, then just open the email from your PC and download). (3) Go to WiFi tab on the app and set it going. There's a good tutorial in the app, and apparently you can also load via a USB link if you want to (might be faster?)
There's a companion music player - Rocket Music. I'm only using the free version, but even the free version solved my immediate issue, which was the lack of "genre" as a category for viewing your music on the native app.
I recently transferred a very large CD collection to my laptop which just happened to have iTunes installed on it from Dell, not realizing, when I started, that iTunes was a rather closed system. Although, I found during the process that iTunes was very well thought out in the way you can organize and manage your music library. And that was fine as long as I was utilizing my laptop as my music player. I had purchased a very small FM transmitter that plugged into the headphone jack on my laptop and could thus transmit my music from my iTunes libraries to any FM radio station within my house and also in my car (on roadtrips only). Eventually I realized that this was rather archaic and that I really needed to have a good MP3 player in a much smaller "form factor" to do that.
That put me into research mode to decide what might be best for me, for a player. We all know the "easy button" would be an iPod Touch, however I was very reluctant to purchase one, even though they are, without question, an excellent product. Simply because I did not want to be held hostage to Apple, outside of their closed system environment. I had heard stories from friends who found that they could not always access or transfer their iTunes libraries to other PC's etc. At any rate, I zeroed in on the Samsung Galaxy 5.0 MP3 Player, due to quality of product and features...5" screen which places it between a Tablet and a touch phone, as well as having GPS, maps, bluetooth, wifi for internet access, and the capability for storage expansion with a 32gb microSD card slot, boosting overall capacity to 40gb, along with the onboard 8gb storage.
But I could not feel comfortable in making that purchase without knowing I had a way to migrate from iTunes on my laptop to this player. After considerable research, I stumbled upon iSnycr. Although their website contained good information, as well as very easy to follow tutorials for using it, and seeing many positive reviews on Amazon, CNet and other sites, I still had questions about compatibility and function related to the transition from PC to the Samsung Galaxy. So I emailed JRT Studios (who created and supports iSyncr) with some detailed questions about how to proceed for a successful result. Surprisingly, I got a very informative response from the CEO of iSyncr (I am assuming this from the fact that his name, Justin T, just happened to correspond to the initials JRT of JRT Studios). At any rate, to receive a timely response from him/them and then a second response to follow up questions I asked, was very impressive, in light of the fact that this is a very low cost and reasonably priced product which addresses a rather big issue for those like me, who are seeking a solution for synchronizing their iTunes library to a non-Apple device such as the Galaxy "Android" player.
This product (iSyncr) works exactly as advertised. When I transferred my iTunes library from my laptop to the Galaxy player, it maintained all of my file folders and metatags (such as song ratings, album name, artist name, year of release, etc) and allowed them to be displayed and arranged in the same way that iTunes did. And, you can see from JRT Studios website that all of the previous download versions of their software, gets constantly updated with "fixes" to any problems which users encounter. If the software falls short of user expectations, then JRT seems eager to write new code to address and improve performance and features. In comparison, I have purchased "off the shelf" boxed software from national retailers, paying up to $150 for other types of solutions and have never seen one of them care one bit whether you were satisfied with their product, as contained within the box. You can complain all you want in user forums or in emails to such nationally known software companies and you won't find them eager to engage in improvements in "real time". You will likely experience having to wait until the next version comes out in another year or two, as well as paying more money for the "upgrade".
So my hat is off to iSyncr. A quality product is not only measured by its performance but also by the quality of support which leads to post-purchase satisfaction, along with a commitment from the company to constantly offer improvements to enhance performance.
On a side note, to make all of this work as desired, I found from many reviews of the Samsung Galaxy and Samsung touch phone (which is its smaller companion) that you have to download Kies, which is an Android software, to play media on the device. Hearing that it was very "buggy", I went in search of alternate software to make all of this work in unison. Partially based on recommendations from Justin at JRT Studios, and partially on Amazon reviews and CNet reviews of media player software, I settled on an inexpensive downloadable program in the Android marketplace, called Player Pro, which I put on my Samsung player. It has a lot of similar features to iTunes. And iSyncr flawlessly integrated my iTunes library to my player, and allowed it to be played using Player Pro. Steps that I took were thus...first I downloaded iSyncr to my laptop. Next I downloaded Player Pro to my Samsung, using the wifi connection from my DLink home router, which transmitted the download to the player. Once each program was on its respective device, I connected the Samsung to my laptop, through the USB cord connection, opened iSyncr, and then selected the files in iTunes which iSyncr asked me to identify for transfer and then hit the "transfer" button (or whatever it happened to be called). Twenty minutes later, I was ready to use the Samsung with my iTunes library successfully transmitted, with all of my folders and sub folders (smart playlists) intact.
Although I have not yet done it, I also plan on one more music utility download, to improve the acoustic performance of the player, in order to fine tune the EQ of the player, depending upon what sound system I am transmitting to, whether it be my home stereo system, or my car, or my powerboat. I am doing this, since I found that the Samsung, upon first use, a couple days ago in my car, tended to over drive the bass and left a bit to be desired in the mids and highs (basically giving a bit of muddy sound). And when I removed the FM transmitter from the Samsung and plugged it back into my laptop to send the same iTunes songs from my laptop to the car stereo, the sound was normal just like the original CD would have sounded. So I am going to purchase and download another program onto the Samsung, which is called PowerAmp, in the Android marketplace. PowerAmp allows you to tweak the sound to individual preferences through, what I believe is, a ten band equalizer. With PowerAmp, I am hoping that once I set EQ to desired settings that it will allow a default to those settings, any time I launch Player Pro to listen to music, on the go. Player Pro and PowerAmp are both highly rated by users, on aforementioned sites, so I hope that this will be the last addition for a combination of solutions for optimum listening experience.
Hope this is helpful in more ways than one, since I spent untold hours in research, agonizing over the MP3 hardware player purchase decision between iPod Touch and the Samsung Galaxy player with the 5" screen. iSyncr definitely tilted the scales in the direction which I really wanted to go and gave comfort to my decision. No post-buyers remorse here.