Play Ipod on LapTop

Posted on 2006-05-25
Last Modified: 2008-02-01
I just got a laptop. I would like to play my Ipod through the speakers of my laptop without putting Itunes on the laptop.  Is this possible??  My library is on my desktop.
Question by:tgilbride
    LVL 2

    Accepted Solution

    as far as I know, it's not possible to "control" your ipod, let alone transmit "sound" signals through your ipod's interface... you can only transfer songs to and from your ipod...

    your problem has two solutions...


    hook up your ipod to your laptop's line in & unmute "line in" in your volume control... that way, you can play your ipod on your speakers...


    use any audioplaying software to play your library directly from your computer...
    LVL 7

    Assisted Solution

    I'm not sure if this is an option for you but FM transmitters for Ipods/MP3 devices are great.

    Look up 'transmitter mp3' on ebay or google and you'll pick one up online for just a few bucks that will transmit your tunes to a stereo - you may even be able to configure for your P.C.

    LVL 22

    Expert Comment

    Can't get the gist of this one: if your library is on your desktop can't you just play it through some other player if you don't want to install iTunes? Although not all players support m4a files.
    Excuse my impertinence,  but why wouldn't you want to install iTunes? Is it a company laptop, and they don't let you install software?

    And...are we talking about the laptop's internal speaker or external speakers?


    Expert Comment

    You could store the files on the iPod without using iTunes. Just drag on and drop the files into your iPod using Windows Explorer/My Computer on your desktop. This way, they will not play on the iPod themselves, but you can access them using My Computer on your laptop. You can then drag and drop the songs into a directory on your laptop. You can store any files, not just songs, this way.
    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    I'm one of those rare non-iPod owner-type, but I still have an idea you could consider.
    Since you can listen to your iPod with headphones, you probably can get an audio cable of some sort (sorry I'm not up on what the various cables and cords are called) and connect to your laptop that way.  If such a cable exists, it would have two "male" connections of the mini-phone size: one to go into your iPod headphone spot and the other to go into the line-in or digital-in on your laptop/soundcard.  I know for sure that with another type of cable that (I think called a "single RCA") you can connect up personal music devices to stereo systems.  (I know that the sound quality will vary, and the type of cable matters too.)  In theory it should be possible with a laptop too... so maybe look for that kind of cable.

    This link isn't directly related ( but it might have some helpful ideas about the kind of thing I'm talking about.

    Another consideration is buying a dock, like seen here:
    This might only be for macs though... if you have a PC maybe there is a comparable device?

    All the best to you!
    LVL 22

    Expert Comment

    Your logic is quite correct on the cable, olivepeople: stereo mini jack to stereo minijack. But  HyeProfile has already suggested this -- he didn't go into specifics as this is fairly standard practice and the cable readily available.

    I'd just like to clarify a couple of things (without offending you in any way):
    <one to go into your iPod headphone spot and the other to go into the line-in or digital-in on your laptop/soundcard>

    Whilst we're all wrapped up in our digital worlds, the fact is that the headphone output of all iPods is analogue (and for good reason) -- as are the line-ins on PCs and laptops. The A/D conversion is done by the soundcard. Some soundcards do have digital inputs, but these are only for connecting digital outputs to -- like from professional equipment and some consumer equipment, including minidisc players, DATs etc.
    The only digital output on iPods is either firewire or USB(2) -- then it needs software to read the info like iTunes or Ephpod.

    For connecting iPods to stero systems with RCA inputs you need a cable that is stereo minijack to twin RCA jacks.

    The signal out of the headphone output for the iPod has been well thought out for its signal strength and impedance, and is quite compitible with PCs and auxillary inputs on home stereos, and the sound is very good -- unlike that of some of the equipment that iPods preceeded, like some CD Walkmans that were terrible.

    If you need a very portable sound system just take your iPod and a set of powered computer speakers.


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