Friday, September 14, 2007

Portable iTunes on a Stick - Partial victory

Well I have some good news for those that are looking for a way to have the nomadic iTunes experience on computers that you don't own. I do have a way to make iTunes portable with out any worry of violating the iTunes Software License Agreement. The bad news is, it only works on Windows XP so far, and you do need to purchase some software from Mojopac.

The Mojopac software offers a virtualization environment that is quite different from Microsoft, VMware, or Xensource. Rather than requiring a piece of software be installed on the host pc, Mojopac is installed on a usb 2.0 drive and leverages the Windows auto play feature to start the virtualization environment. This approach gives the users much less static as they move from pc to pc, and because it is not emulating a full computer should be less resource intensive. Unfortunately in my tests the Mojopac was often sluggish, and required some system tweaking to get acceptable levels of performance on my 8gig PQI flash drive. The drive itself only had an average read speed of 19MB/s compared to the average from a IDE drive average of 63MB/s, so performance was sometimes very sluggish (especially on web browsing).

Weighing in at $49.95 for a single license, or $75 for 2 the software isn't in the cheap sweet spot of $20, so the potential value of a portable Windows XP environment will have to sway you.

When I began writing this series trying to find a way for people with access to a computer to be able to run iTunes and add music to their iPod, even on computers they did not have Administrator privileges on. The solution described here does not do this, it requires Administrator Access.

This is unfortunate, and I plan to follow up with them why it requires admin access.

Either way for $50, you can have a portable iTunes solution on any computer you have administrator access to. While this doesn't completely solve the problem I was trying to address it is a partial victory, iTunes that can be run from a portable drive.

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