1. Thoughtnaut's Avatar
    EDIT - I'll have to work out how to add the screenshots, later, I'm afraid.

    I got spoiled on podcasts with my Zune HD and its excellent integration with the Zune software. Finding a similarly seamless experience for Android has not been easy. I had decent success with Doubletwist (an excellent app, I think), but the lack of two-way sync and the length of time it takes to sync were dealbreakers for me. Similarly, Motorola’s Media Link worked, it didn’t give me as much control as I wanted. While the solution I present below doesn’t have two-way sync, either, I find it much more manageable than Doubletwist’s current iteration.

    I’ve known that Windows Media Player has pretty robust syncing features, but it’s taken me awhile (and a lot of reading and experimenting) to finally get everything where I want it. This post, my first to this forum, is intended to help those who are looking for an easy media sync solution.
    A couple of points at the beginning:

    My setup:

    • Droid X
    • Windows 7 64-bit computer
    Zune software (or any decent podcast aggregator/downloader—I prefer the Zune interface)
    • Windows Media Player 12
    • Handbrake (optional)
    • Dropfolders (optional)

    STEP ONE: Use your podcast software to subscribe and download your podcasts to a specific directory.

    STEP TWO: The magic in this comes from WMP’s auto playlist feature. Auto playlists add content to a playlist based on criteria you specify. There are many criteria to choose from and your auto playlist can be quite specifically tailored to your needs. You can create an auto playlist here:

    You’ll be presented with the following window, which allows you to set the various criteria that determines what content is added to your playlist.:

    You’ll note that the auto playlist defaults to music content, but you can add video content and/or skip the audio content all together.

    For the first criteria, click the -Click here to add criteria- field and choose -More…-. Click -File name- and OK in the pop-up. Click on -click to set- and add the directory path to your podcast downloads you set up in step one.

    This will add content in subfolders, by the way.

    I’ve set up my playlist so that, when I rate a podcast, it is dropped from the sync. It acts as something of a toggle; if I want it on my Droid, the content is unrated. If I don’t want it, I assign a rating (it can be anything). To accomplish this, click the -Click here to add criteria- field and choose -My Rating-. Change -Is at least- to -Is- and change -4 stars- to -Unrated-. Click OK.

    (As an aside, I also use the ratings toggle to add music content to my X. Any music item that I rate with one star will be automatically synced to the phone as well, via another auto-playlist. It’s not a huge timesaver, but it’s easy to spot what’s going on the phone and toggle it. Subsonic’s awesome, by the way. This just saves me a bit of time and bandwidth).

    Last, though it’s mostly irrelevant, I also filter based on the date that the content was added to my library. This prevents me from inadvertently syncing year-old podcasts. I can add them manually if I want.

    • It can take a minute or two, after starting WMP, for the auto playlist to populate.
    • In case it’s not obvious, you can rate/unrate multiple items at the same time. To unrate an item, right-click it, choose -Rate- and then -Unrated-

    STEP THREE: Connect your Droid to your PC. For the Droid X, you’ll want to choose “USB Mass Storage” mode.

    You can convert files, as necessary, from within WMP. If you select -Options- from the “Tools” menu, you can click the “Device” tab and then select your hardware. For the Droid X, you have the following options:

    Personally, I choose to handle my conversion in Handbrake (more on that in a moment) as I found that conversion via WMP was a bit spotty.
    In the upper-right corner of the WMP window, you’ll see tabs for Play, Burn, and Sync. Click the “Sync” tab, and then “Set up sync…

    In the window that appears, add your auto playlist(s) to the “playlists to sync.” You can also choose to “Sync this device automatically” in the upper left. If you select this option, your Droid will begin syncing immediately after you connect it and start WMP. When you have your playlists added, click OK and then click “Start Sync.”

    A few minutes later you should be synced up and ready to go. A couple more notes:

    • Items removed from the device (outside of the syncing process) will not be re-synced unless you add them manually. Delete them from your phone and WMP will not reload them.

    • I prefer to convert my video files prior to syncing, with Handbrake. It’s faster and I have greater control over the result. I use Belvedere to monitor my podcast download folders. When Belvedere spots a video file, it moves it to another folder that is being watched by an application called DropFolders. Upon spotting the video file, DropFolders starts up Handbrake and converts the file to a Droid X-friendly format. I use the Windows task scheduler so that this happens in the middle of the night (task one—open the Zune software and download new podcasts and task two—start DropFolders and convert the videos.

    So that’s pretty much it. Your mileage may vary, but this solution works very well for me.

    And thanks to the forum for all of the good information. I’ve only been a smartphone owner for a little over a month now and the advice, here, has been invaluable.
    fmichigan likes this.
    08-02-2010 02:30 PM
  2. fmichigan's Avatar
    I'm on the Samsung Captivate using their stock media player.
    I use WMP 11 on XP.
    I too rely heavily on the rating system to create playlists.
    However, I tried to sync from WMP to my mounted sd card and I'm having problems.

    It seems like most of the music files sync to the card, but none of the playlists show up and most of the album art is missing.

    08-03-2010 02:10 PM
  3. Thoughtnaut's Avatar
    I must admit that I've never actually tried to sync the playlists--only the contents of the playlists. Tonight I'll give it a try and see if I have better luck than you.

    Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk
    08-03-2010 06:54 PM