courtesy of unleaded.
Why this is better than iTunes:
* Files your iPod cannot play, such as FLAC will automatically be converted.
* You can use album art saved in image files (eg. folder.jpg) instead of having to embed it in MP3 tags.
* Replaygain will be converted to SoundCheck.
This ensures that all your albums play at the same volume, regardless of how they were mastered. Although iTunes supports SoundCheck, converting to SoundCheck from Replaygain is superior, because you can set Replaygain to work on a per-album basis. This means that intentional differences in dynamics between tracks are not destroyed.
If you want Replaygain/SoundCheck to be used on your iPod, you first need to scan your music and apply Replaygain.
What you need:
— The latest version of foobar2000.
— The latest version of foo_dop.
Even if the latest version of foo_dop is marked as ‘TEST’, it’s probably OK to use. If you have lossless (FLAC etc.) files, either:
Installing the software:
Run the foobar2000 installer, the default options should be fine.
Extract foo_dop (the .7z file). You can do this with WinRAR, or 7zip.
Extract LAME, or Nero AAC Encoder.
Copy foo_dop.dll to your foobar2000 components folder (usually C:\program files\foobar2000\components\).
If you downloaded Nero AAC Encoder:
Copy NeroAacEnc.exe from the win32 folder of the .zip to your foobar2000 folder (usually C:\Program Files\Foobar2000\). Note that this is different from the components folder.
If you downloaded LAME:
Copy LAME.exe to your foobar2000 folder.
Getting it to work:
Fire up foobar2000, select Preferences from the File Menu. Under the Tools section, select iPod Manager.
The Metadata fields allow you to customise how your iPod will display your tracks. You can just leave these fields as they are, or customize them. As you can see from the screenshot, I’ve configured foo_dop to show my albums like  Silent Shout. This has been done using the Title Formatting string:
Select the ‘Tools’ tab at the top.
Check ‘Convert Files which are in a Format not supported by iPod’.
If you chose the Nero AAC Encoder:
Fill in the fields as follows:
— Command: “C:\program files\foobar2000\neroAacEnc.exe” -q 0.42 -ignorelength -if - -of %d
— Extension: m4a
You can select the quality you want by changing the number ‘0.42′ above, anywhere between 0.0 and 1.0. Here is a rough guide to the bitrates you can expect:
Approx. average bitrate <-> Quality table:
If you chose LAME:
Fill in the fields as follows:
— Command: “C:\program files\foobar2000\LAME.exe” -V4 –vbr-new %d
— Extension: mp3
You can of course change -V4 to any quality setting you like, where -V9 is lowest quality and -V0 is highest. you can read more about these settings elsewhere in the forums. For iPod listening, I would recommend V5 or V4.
If your iPod is album art capable, select ‘Add artwork to files’. You now need to tell foo_dop where you save your artwork. You can use wildcards, like *.jpg.
If your iPod supports Gapless (5G and up) select this option. Otherwise, don’t, as it slows things down a bit.
Actually using it:
Add some files to a playlist in foobar2000 (drag and drop them), and select all the tracks. Right click on the tracks, and from the context menu choose iPod->Send to iPod.
From the File->iPod menu, you can load your iPod library into a playlist, among other options. Synchronize is particularly useful if you have your music in the foobar2000 media library.
To manage the music on your iPod, you can use the ‘Browse iPod’ menu option, or remove tracks directly from the iPod Library playlist after using the Load Library option (you have to use ‘Remove from iPod’ in the iPod context submenu).