Ask Mr. Modem: How to move the music that makes you move

Posted Tuesday, Mar. 25, 2014  comments  Print Reprints

Mr. Modem’s sites of the week

Birthday Calculator

Type in your birth date and this calculator will tell you how many hours and seconds you have been alive, starting with the date of conception. OK, perhaps a little too much information, but it also presents the top songs of the year, your equivalent age in dog years, and the number of BTUs generated by all the candles on your birthday cake. If this won’t ruin your birthday, nothing will.

Paper Plate Education

Let’s face it, is there anything that can’t be explained with a paper plate? Paper Plate Education (PPE) reduces complex concepts to simple hands-on activities, using paper plates to teach science, math, history and geography. Who knew?

World Stadiums

The most comprehensive stadium database on the Internet, this site includes more than 11,000 stadiums in 224 countries. Use the map to navigate from country to state to city. Each stadium lists capacity, year built and provides a link to each respective stadium’s website.

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How do I move all my music from Windows Media Player to iTunes?

Open iTunes and click File > Add Folder to Library. Select your Music folder, which is where Windows Media Player usually stores your audio library. If you have songs stored in another location, you will need to locate and select the folder or folders that contain your music files. If your song files are in Windows Media Audio (WMA) format, iTunes will ask if you want to convert the format. Click “Convert” to begin the process. Once the conversion begins, let it complete without interruption. When the conversion finishes, your song files will be in your music library in iTunes, ready to crank up the volume and annoy your neighbors or destroy your eardrums.

I received a thumb drive as a gift with no instructions, so I don’t know how to use it. I know there is a place to plug it in on the computer, but that’s about it. Can you walk me through how to use this, please?

Your thumb drive is a small USB storage device that you can use like any other drive. Such devices are also commonly referred as “flash drives,” “data sticks,” or “where the heck is that thing?” All you have to do is insert it into a USB port and wait a few seconds while Windows locates the device. If you have a file that you want to place on the USB drive, open Computer or My Computer, double click your USB (thumb) drive and drag your files into that window, or simply copy and paste it to the drive’s icon as it appears in Computer.

I recently received a request to print a document that I had saved on a floppy disk more than 10 years ago. When I put the disk in the floppy drive (yes, I still have a floppy drive) and try to access it through Windows Explorer, I get a message that says, “A:\ is not accessible. The request could not be performed because of an I/O device error.” Do you have any suggestions?

Insert a new floppy and see if you can read and write information to that disk. If so, the problem is with the old floppy disk itself and not your disk drive. If you cannot read and write data to a new floppy, then it is most likely a problem with the drive itself or its cable/connection inside your computer. (I/O stands for Input/Output, by the way.) The good news is that external floppy drives that you plug into a USB port are inexpensive today, so the problem you’re experiencing should be easy to resolve if the old floppy drive has, indeed, performed its final flop.

Mr. Modem publishes “Ask Mr. Modem!” each week, featuring PC tips, tricks and plain-English answers to your questions by email. For more information, visit

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