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How To: Setup and use iPod without iTunes!

Posted by 2000mph on September 5, 2007

Now I’m not a fan of Apple iPods for the one reason that it forces upon users a nasty piece of bugware called iTunes.

But recently a bought my partner an iPod Shuffle because she really wanted one and I have to admit iPods are cool little bits of kit and they do look good.

However once we got it home and tried to use it we had a problem. It states you have to download iTunes in order to format and setup your iPod to use and iTunes happens to be a massive 45Mb download. Thats huge and just so I can set up my iPod and transfer files, you must be f**ing joking!

So online I went to search for an alternative, and there are plenty, see links at the bottom of the page. The only trouble is in every case you have to download iTunes and setup your iPod first. There was no chance in hell I was going to do that, I have my principles and I was not going to waste my time and bandwidth on downloading that piece of crap.

So what was the solution, well it was my good old friend, Winamp! There is a plugin available for Winamp that adds iPod support called ML_iPod.

This is so good one of the guys who developed it now works for Winamp and so this feature is built into Winamp from version 5.2 and above. However the plug in has more features so is a better choice and I’m not sure all the features needed to fully support using your iPod without iTunes is available in the built in version as I haven’t tested it so any one who has please let me know. I am quite happy with Winamp 5.03 and see no need to update at the moment.

Anyway onto the plugin, it’s a stupidly small file to download and as easy to install as a single click on the installer. In seconds you can launch Winamp and set up your iPod.

There are detailed documentation for this plugin here:


Built into this plugin is the best feature ever. It has a ‘Restore or initialize an iPod’ function. This means that you can initialize and format a brand new iPod without going within a country mile of iTunes or any annoying Apple software.

Then you can use this amazing plugin to sync your Winamp playlists onto your iPod. Read the documentation for more details as thats all I have for you.

I’m just so relieved that I didn’t have to download iTunes, which for some unexplained stupid reason has to come with Quicktime as well!! Why? Arggh! So if you did download it both iTunes and Quicktime would bug you every 2 secons to update, upgrade, buy, until you give in or jump out the window!

And best of all its all in Winamp, the best music player ever invented in the entire universe!


As promised links to some sites that list other iTunes alternatives if your interested:




12 Responses to “How To: Setup and use iPod without iTunes!”

  1. Barney said

    Nice one mate, that’s handy to know 🙂

  2. unique1 said

    Awesome. iTunes is just horrible, causes constant blue screens for me, and it’s interface makes no sense.

  3. Arjun said

    hey.. thanks a lot for your pointers!! really helped.

  4. A said

    Thank you, just the information I needed.
    Greetings from Austria

  5. thank you thank you, that really helps

  6. Help said

    can i sync videos in winamp too?

  7. […] and fellow blogger Matt Harrison explains one of the ways that you can manage your iPod without iTunes. Written by Chris Barnes in: Hints […]

  8. Ocavil said

    Hahaha…. It’s 2012 now… Look how far we’ve come! 45 mb? Big? Lmao… I can download that in less than 10 secs on my phone … Now everyone wants a Mac… I still don’t… But they’re pretty awesome… Shuffles? Haha how times have changed

    • 2000mph said

      Your right times have changed alot in just a few years but one thing is constant and thats iTunes is still crap. I have an iPhone now and it’s actually great butI don’t keep it updated as it’s too much hassle. Still have that iPod Shuffle it’s a great little music device. Simplicity rules!

  9. Randy Rochet said

    iTunes bloatware doesn’t only install iTunes & Quicktime – but it also installs Bonjour, none of which do you want, or need, running on your PC. Both remain even after you’ve successfully uninstalled iTunes! Worse yet, the ONLY program you can direct WHERE it goes is C:\apps\hardware\ipod\itunes\iTunes.exe & C:\apps\hardware\ipod\itunes\iTunesHelper.exe but not all their ancillary programs (trust me, I’ve tried it and I don’t even HAVE a Program Files directory on my PC). The iTunes installer creates C:\Program Files\Bonjour\mDNSResponder.exe even if you don’t want it. Not only that, but hidden services are also installed, such as C:\Program Files\Common Files\Apple\Mobile Device Support\AppleMobileDeviceHelper.exe and C:\Program Files\Common Files\Apple\Mobile Device Support\AppleMobileDeviceService.exe in addition to C:\Program Files\iPod\bin\iPodService.exe. Miserable is too nice to describe this horrifically badly behaved program.

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