Yesterday, I got my first iPod - the new nano. It is a thing of beauty! I've already got a big collection of mp3s so I was worried that iTunes would throw a wobbly. Instead, it was able to convert all my files to AAC format - reducing them in size whilst maintaining quality meaning I can store more music on my iPod. During this conversion, iTunes created new files and the naming convention was spot on. It automatically saves each track in an album folder which sits in an artist folder. It even downloaded the majority of the album artworks - the only job left for me was filling in the gaps. I love the fact that when I change the artist/album/track name in iTunes, the file/folder is updated.
When I plugged my iPod in for the first time, I decided to manually update it. After a while, I realised that this was too time consuming so it now syncs automatically. My original decision was made after hearing stories of iTunes deleting all the music from iPods. I think this only happens when iTunes itself contains no music; therefore the mirroring process will clear everything from the iPod - something I don't have to worry about because my iTunes always has the files. Now that my iPod is nearly full (I think I have about 300mb remaining), I will go back to manual updates. I guess I'll have to start being more selective by ignoring entire albums or individual songs that I don't or rarely listen to.
I still own a Creative Zen Micro mp3 player but I can't see myself using it anymore. Before iTunes, Windows Media Player filled the void for ripping, managing and playing music. I never thought I'd say this but now I can't see myself using this anymore either. iTunes is not only an alternative; it's the replacement. My favourite feature is the cover flow where you can scroll through all of the album covers - something that is also on my iPod :D. To summarise, all of those who are afraid to use Apple products (like I was) have nothing to fear - I guarantee they won't look back!