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Take Control of Media on Your iPad, Second Edition
Make the most of your iPad media machine!
Join media-savvy author Jeff Carlson as he helps you enjoy media on your iPad or iPad 2 like never before. Jeff explains basic and advanced ways of adding media to your iPad, and gives you a thorough grounding in Apple's core media apps—iBooks, iPod, Videos, and Photos. He also helps you integrate your iPad with an Apple TV and looks at various ways of using an iPad as a TV remote. You'll also get plenty of suggestions for third-party apps and products, whether you want to read books not available in the iBookstore, stream music from the Internet to your iPad, convert your own DVD library to iPad-friendly format, or put your own photos on your iPad.
Updates and this ebook: In late 2011, now that iOS 5 has been out for a few months, this ebook (which was written for iOS 4), still contains a lot of current and useful information, but it is no longer completely up-to-date, particularly with respect to Apple's introduction of iCloud as a way to move media. We do not plan to update this entire ebook again, though you may see the Take Control series cover some of these topics in the future. Meanwhile Take Control of Your iPad does examine media-related topics in iOS 5, though not in as much depth as this ebook did for iOS 4.
You'll learn how to:
Mind your media: Get an overview of options for moving media to your iPad, including iTunes, Home Sharing, and more.
Read books, magazines, comics, and more: Learn about different ebook file formats. Find free and commercial ebooks to read in iBooks, transfer ebooks from a desktop computer to iBooks, and learn how to use iBooks so you can go beyond flipping pages. And, if iBooks isn't your cup of tea or if you want to include multiple ebook-reading apps in your repertoire, or read magazines or comics, you'll find ideas for top third-party options.
Listen to music and audiobooks: Jeff covers the basics of controlling your music and podcasts in the iPod app, and he gives steps for creating regular and smart playlists (a surprisingly complex endeavor), and for using Apple's handy Genius feature. You'll learn how to stream music directly to your iPad with a third-party app or with Home Sharing, and you'll learn how to stream music from your iPad with AirPlay.
Watch video: Learn how to add video to your iPad, whether you want to buy it from Apple or acquire it from an independent source. Specific topics include iTunes Store rentals, ripping DVDs, exporting from iMovie, a GoodReader workaround, and an SD card tip. You'll also learn how to output from your iPad to a television, and get ideas for streaming video to your iPad, with quick looks at YouTube, Netflix, and Safari. Bonus for Apple TV owners—the ebook has directions for integrating an Apple TV with an iPad.
View photos: Benefit from Jeff's experience as an enthusiastic amateur photographer as he discusses moving photos (and certain videos) to an iPad from a camera or a computer. Jeff also covers how to share your photos once they are on the iPad, whether with a slideshow, Picture Frame mode, or via email attachment. You'll even learn what happens when you transfer a raw image file from an external device to an iPad. Bonus for iPad 2 owners—Jeff offers tips for taking better-quality photos using the iPad's built-in cameras!
Control your electronics: If you truly want to use your iPad as a big iPod touch, here's one opportunity—as a big remote control. Jeff shows you how to use Apple's Remote app to control iTunes on a computer or to control an Apple TV, and he offers ideas for how to trick out your iPad so it can serve as a remote control for other consumer electronic devices like TVs and stereos.
iPad & Kindle
About the Author
Jeff Carlson is the Managing Editor of TidBITS, a columnist for the Seattle Times, a frequent contributor to Macworld, and the author of best-selling books on the Mac, video editing, digital photography, and, in earlier incarnations, Web design and Palm organizers. He consumes almost too much coffee. Almost.
Table of Contents
Read Me First
This book delves deep into an area where the iPad excels: playing media of all types, from movies, music, and photos to ebooks and up-to-the-minute news sources. It was written by Jeff Carlson, edited by Tonya Engst with significant assistance from Michael E. Cohen, and published by TidBITS Publishing Inc.
One early criticism of the iPad—before the tablet had even been released—was that it seemed to be a decent media player, a “big iPod touch”… but not much else. It played movies and photo slideshows, let you buy and read electronic books, and played music (oh, and managed your email, browsed the Web, organized your calendars and contacts, and did “real work” with Apple’s iWork apps for iPad, but those examples were usually glossed over because they didn’t fit the big-iPod narrative).
Of course, there’s more to the iPad than that, as you know if you own or have used one. The iPad is a bold step forward in terms of how we interact with computers and our important digital information. But you know what? It is also a pretty darn good media player. The large and incredibly responsive touchscreen makes a huge difference in how you consume digital entertainment—it’s literally there at your fingertips, not once removed by a mouse, trackpad, or keyboard. The compact size makes it possible to watch a movie on an airplane without worrying if the person in the seat in front of you will lean back and crush your laptop. And the 8–10 hour battery life means you won’t be frantic to find a power outlet as you near the end of your book or film.
As you might expect, Apple has done a great job of making the iPad friendly to everyone without requiring a lot of technical knowledge to operate. But in the realm of handling media, you may find yourself in nooks where the right approach isn’t obvious. How can you put your DVD movies on the iPad? What if you want to include your own home movies? What’s the best way to read magazines, newspapers, and other newsy content? How can you import digital photos and upload them to a photo-sharing site without making a trip to a desktop computer? What’s the optimal way to get the most media onto a 16 GB iPad?
This book answers all these questions and much more, and it helps you get the most out of your media.
“Media” encompasses a lot of different materials, so don’t feel as though you need to read the book from front to back if, for example, you’re initially interested in making musical playlists on your iPad. Come back here (or visit the bookmarks list or table of contents) to jump to any topic.
Apple released iOS 4.2.1 in late 2010, bringing to the iPad features that had already appeared in the iPhone such as Home screen folders, expanded multitasking, and more. And, then, just as this manuscript was going into production, Apple released iOS 4.3 and the iPad 2. We delayed publication for an extra week in order to add information about iOS 4.3 and the new iPad 2.
Highlights of the many changes in this edition include these:
There are lots of great ways to read our ebooks on these devices. For more details, please read our latest Device Advice.
Feel free to ask us if you have a question about this title!
How could we not publish such kind words? If you'd like to send us your comments (good or bad, though we hope they're all good), just click the Feedback link on the cover of your copy of the ebook. Be sure to let us know if we can publish your comment. Thanks!
October 3, 2011 -- Version 2 of this ebook covers the iPad and the iPad 2, and iOS 4.3, and it was released in March of 2011. We've discussed the idea of updating this ebook for iOS 5, both to work in a smattering of iOS-related changes and to incorporate a few other details that have changed in the last 6 months. Much as we'd like to keep this title 100% up-to-date, there is only so much time in the day, and we've decided to focus on other projects for now. Fortunately, a lot of the information in the ebook is still correct and useful, though iCloud may be a game changer for your options for transferring media to your iPad.
July 2, 2011 --
Sixty-one artists are performing at the iTunes Music Festival in London through the rest of July, and Apple is streaming those performances live all month. You can watch the performances either in the iTunes Store via iTunes on your computer, or via the free iTunes Festival London 2011 app, which is designed for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. If you watch it on an iOS device, you can use AirPlay to stream it to an Apple TV 2 to see it on the big screen.
—Michael E. Cohen
June 8, 2011 --
On June 6, 2011, Apple announced a new service called iCloud that will appear at some point later in 2011 ("fall" in the northern hemisphere), and will replace MobileMe from Apple's perspective. Until then, MobileMe continues unchanged, except that Apple is no longer selling subscriptions or charging for renewals; all current members automatically have their accounts extended through the end of June 2012.
When iCloud becomes available, existing MobileMe members will be able to migrate to the new service, which will be free (albeit with optional paid features, such as iTunes Match and additional storage). So far, Apple hasn't released details about the fate of iDisk (including file sharing and iWeb publishing); MobileMe Gallery; Back to My Mac; the Backup application; Web-based access to Mail, Contacts, and Calendars; or Mac-to-Mac syncing of things like preferences and keychains.
In the meantime, you can learn more about iCloud and what it might mean for MobileMe users in the following places:
May 5, 2011 --
The "discovery" by two researchers in April 2011 that iOS devices were storing far more location-related information than necessary, and that the information could be accessed relatively easily, incited a firestorm of criticism. Apple has now addressed those criticisms with two iOS updates.
—Michael E. Cohen
April 4, 2011 --
Apple has released a minor update to the Mac version of GarageBand '11. Version 6.0.2 reportedly improves overall stability, but most notably it introduces support for opening projects created in the iPad version of GarageBand. When you first open an iPad project after installing this update, GarageBand on your Mac will need to download an additional update that’s just shy of 200 MB. Note also that when you open iPad GarageBand projects, you’ll immediately be prompted to save them under a new name. That’s because once you’ve modified a project in the desktop edition, it can no longer be opened by GarageBand for iPad.
January 6, 2011 --
Reader F.D.M. wrote in to share this tip:
I've had numerous questions from Window users (the ones that do not own Photoshop (Elements)) that are confused about the way iTunes syncs (root) folders and (sub) folders, filled with photos. For instance, if you have a rootfolder called c:\photos with subfolders c:\photos\holiday and c:\photos\work and you sync, selecting "Choose folder" and then "All folders", which is a logical choice, all your photos are dumped into one big 'album' on the iPad, causing great confusion. Instead, in order to create different albums on the iPad, you must select "Selected folders" and then choose the folders that you want to sync.
I've posted this tip in relation to all of the ebooks about iOS, since I assume it works the same regardless of the device.
July 8, 2010 --
YouTube has introduced a mobile version of its site at m.youtube.com. According to YouTube, the mobile version's features are more in alignment with the full Web site's features and the mobile site does not use Flash, so all the videos should play on the iPad. If you decide to try the site, note that once a video is playing, you can access the playback controls by tapping the playing video. Once you've done this, the video plays in an iPad-like interface, complete with playback controls. Rotate the iPad to the landscape (horizontal) position to view the largest image.
The mobile version may have more to do clashing titans of the tech industry (YouTube's parent company is Google) than with user's needs, but it certainly offers iPad users another option for viewing YouTube videos.
If you like the mobile site and want to view it quickly from your Home screen, you can make a "Web clip" of the site: Go to the site in Safari, tap the plus (+) button on the toolbar, and then Tap Add to Home Screen. Then, name the clip and tap the Add button. The iPad will respond by switching to the Home screen and showing an icon for the clip you created. Tap the icon to quickly return to the mobile YouTube site.
If you'd like to read more about the mobile YouTube site, here are two good resources:
Google Makes the iPhone YouTube App Obsolete (New York Times Bits blog)
The site is currently in English only, but localized versions are expected.
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