Note

Don't let the term "synchronization" fool you. In this case, synchronization is not a two-way street. If you add songs to your portable device from another source, they will not be automatically copied to your computer the next time you synchronize. You'll have to perform that operation yourself, as we explain at the end of this section.

The sync capabilities in Windows Media Player rely on Media Transfer Protocol (MTP). Storage can be on flash memory—Compact Flash (CF) or Secure Digital (SD) cards, for instance—or on a hard disk. For compatible devices, Windows supplies drivers automatically—just connect the device to your computer. After driver installation is complete, you will see an icon for the device at the bottom of the Library section of Windows Media Player's navigation pane. Figure 13-7 shows Windows Media Player with two devices available for synchronization, an SD card and a portable Sansa e260 MP3 player.

Windows Media Player allows you to set up synchronization partnerships with up to 16 devices on a single computer, each with its own unique settings . For portable music players, the benefits are obvious, as you can plug in headphones or speakers and listen to the synchronized tunes (or watch videos) directly. For removable flash drives, sync features in Windows Media Player give you the ability to transfer media libraries from one PC to another or to carry a subset of your music library from your home PC to the office. Depending on the capabilities of your device, you might be able to sync only music files, or you might be able to include photos, video clips, and recorded TV shows .

Figure 13-7 You can sync all or part of a digital media library to removable devices that appear at the bottom of the navigation pane.

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