When iTunes recognizes a connected iPod, iPhone or iPad, the program automatically performs a "sync." During this process, the software and hardware are synchronized to have the same contents and settings. Although iTunes can perform syncs only with Apple products, it is possible to upload iTunes items onto Windows Mobile smart phones and portable devices.
ITunes is a free media organization program that is developed and owned by Apple. Originally released as the front-end application for Apple's QuickTime media player, the product was extended to manage Apple products like the iPod, iPhone and iPad. ITunes is also the front-end application for the iTunes Store, Apple's digital media retailer. ITunes software makes it possible to purchase items from the iTunes Store and organize them on local or external hard drives. Currently, Apple distributes mobile editions of iTunes software only for the iPod, iPhone and iPad.
Microsoft developed Windows Mobile as an operating system for smart phones and portable devices. Windows Mobile devices are equipped with mobile editions of Microsoft Office, Microsoft Outlook, Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player. But although this software is standard, the operating system comes in three different versions that are specialized for different types of hardware. Windows Mobile Classic supports PDAs that do not operate as mobile telephones. And Windows Mobile Standard runs on mobile phones with regular displays, while Windows Mobile Professional is installed on smart phones with LCD touch screens. Windows Mobile was rebranded as Windows Phone with the release of version 6.5 in May 2009.
In January 2009, Apple announced that it dropped its FairPlay digital rights management (DRM) protection on 80 percent of the music retailed through the iTunes Store. Apple's proprietary DRM restriction prevented unlawful duplication by limiting the compatibility of purchased music to iTunes software. While the Apple iPod and iPhone supported playback for purchased iTunes music, the files could not be uploaded to any other portable media player. Since the new AAC-coded files distributed by iTunes are DRM-free, they can be added to third-party media-management software and devices. This includes any Windows Mobile devices, since they are installed with Windows Media Player. Nonetheless, any iTunes purchases that still carry FairPlay encryption will not be compatible.
While iTunes is designed to sync only with Apple products, some third-party add-ons make it possible to upload songs onto other types of hardware. ITunes Agent is a free program that can populate any connected MP3 player with songs from an iTunes playlist. But the applications TunesSync and Pocket Tunes are especially engineered to work between iTunes and Windows Mobile devices. Both licensed programs streamline the process for uploading items in the iTunes library to a Windows Mobile smart phone or PDA.
Mobile Media Management
Although the mobile edition of Windows Media Player supports playback for the AAC audio files and M4V video files imported from iTunes, there are alternative programs. Kinoma Play, Core Player, Pocket Player and PocketMusic are all media management apps that can be installed on Windows Mobile devices. These mobile programs offer a streamlined user interface for retrieving and playing media. In addition to copying songs from iTunes, Pocket Tunes can also be used to manage imported media.
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