Not a Mac genius
Er. Help! I am having an incredibly difficult time understanding how iTunes interfaces with my Windows system. I'm running XP Pro (and maybe XP media on my new laptop). My "my Music" folder defaults to my external hard drive (I've got 90GB on a 300GB drive). One would think that iTunes would just see all this music, but no. It seems to want a folder all its own. This is annoying to me, because it seems that I need to import all my stuff into iTunes, and then that will double the amount of disc space I'm using for music (not that that's a huge issue). I could move everything into iTunes and then delete the other folder, but lots of those files are in .wma or .ram formats, and iTunes converts them -- which I think means that they can't be played outside the realm of iTunes ever again. Also, is there some simple way of taking the songs on my iPod and transferring them to another computer? Because I can't figure it out, and I really would like to move some of my collection to my laptop.
Yes, I know this would all be simpler if I had bought a Mac, but I couldn't afford it, and now I'm stuck with proprietary crap. And an iPod which, if I'd bought it 6 months later, would be twice as big and have a totally cool metal casing. Can I tell you how much I hate Apple right now?
Any advice (and not the "lose the iPod and get something Windows compatible" kind) would be appreciated ...