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Take Control of Your iPod: Beyond the Music, Second Edition
Learn a dozen ways to do more with an iPod than just listen to music!
Written by gadget-wizard Steve Sande, this 136-page book helps you advance to the next level of iPod mastery. You'll learn basics like charging an iPod and moving music over to it, but most of the book looks at all the other stuff you can do with an iPod: track calendar items and contacts, keep to-do lists, exercise, read ebooks and RSS feeds, listen to podcasts and audiobooks, watch video, view subway maps, back up your hard drive, and much more! (Click the "Contents & Intro" tab, below, to see the complete topic list.)
Updates and this ebook: Because the world of iPods is changing rapidly, we've found it difficult to keep this PDF updated, and we are not likely to update it again. The PDF was last updated in October 2007.
The book begins with colorful comparison charts of the various iPod models, just in case you aren't sure which iPod you have, since you may not realize that the iPod you bought few years ago is now considered a "second-generation iPod" or you may have received your iPod as a hand-me-down, sans manual.
This book provides instructions for both Mac OS X and Windows users.
iPod touch users: please note that this ebook covers the iPod touch only to the extent that it behaves like a regular iPod. It does not cover the iPod touch's many unique features.
Read this book to learn answers to questions such as these:
iPad & Kindle
About the Author
Steve Sande is a Mac consultant with Raven Solutions, LLC and has worked with Macs since 1984. Steve's writing can be found almost daily on The Unofficial Apple Weblog, where he also hosts the weekly TUAW TV Live video podcast.
Table of Contents
Read Me First
This book puts you in control of aspects of iPod use that go beyond the obvious activity of listening to music. This book was written by Steve Sande, edited by Tonya Engst, and published by TidBITS Publishing Inc.
Few products define the early twenty-first century better than the Apple iPod. Not only has it become the personal accessory for millions of people worldwide to wear on a belt or bag strap, but a huge industry has dedicated itself to making sure your iPod is outfitted with as many accessories as possible.
As a longtime devotee of electronic gadgetry, I'm often asked about the iPod as an entertainment device. Once the novelty of carrying a huge amount of music around in a tiny plastic and metal box has worn off, people start asking more questions about other ways the iPod can be used. That's the focus of this title: how to do more with your iPod than just listen to music.
You can do a tremendous number of things with an iPod: read electronic texts, use it as a backup startup drive for a Mac, or reduce your need for a PDA (personal digital assistant), such as a Palm or Pocket PC. An iPod makes it easy to take a Keynote, PowerPoint, or video presentation on the road without lugging a computer with you as well. You can even amaze your friends by turning your iPod into a pocket-size Linux computer, or track your progress as you train for a marathon.
This isn't to say that the iPod can totally replace a PDA or laptop, but if you own an iPod and have only an occasional need for special functions, it's well worth trying some of my hints to avoid the cost of purchasing an unneeded gadget. And who wouldn't want to go on a business trip or vacation with just an iPod in hand instead of a suitcase full of gizmos, cables, and chargers?
As new models of the iPod appear on store shelves, you can be sure that people will find even more useful and fun reasons to buy them. I'll keep up with those new uses for the iPod and keep the Check for Updates Web page for this book updated as those new uses arise. (If you have the electronic book, click Check for Updates on the cover; if you have the printed version only, contact my publisher and ask for a copy of the ebook.)
Although you can read this book sequentially, you may wish to use this page to chart your own path through the topics that I cover. You can click a blue link to jump quickly to a particular section.
(To use this book effectively, you must understand these topics.)
Good question! As of October 2007, this book covers all the regular iPods, all the nanos, all the minis, and all the shuffles. It also covers the iPod touch, but only to the extent that the touch behaves like a regular iPod. So, it doesn't cover special touch features, like Wi-Fi access to the Internet, the Safari Web browser, the ability to enter data, and so forth.
As of its most recent release in October 2007, yes, it is. However, chances are good that this particular ebook won't see another update in PDF form, unless the update is very minor. With Apple's release of the iPod touch we can't live up to the "beyond the music" premise of the title without vastly expanding the size of the book, and at that point we are better off re-thinking how we want to cover the iPod in the Take Control series.
As always, we'll make a point of posting minor update information on the ebook's Check for Updates page, though as 2008 winds along, the amount of new information may make additional minor updates impractical.
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!
March 13, 2009 --
Apple has released a new shuffle model, which is noteworthy for its even tinier size and its quadrupled storage capacity (now 4 GB) compared to the previous shuffle model. It also comes with headset-based buttons and new voice capabilities. You can learn more in the TidBITS article, 3rd Generation iPod shuffle Shrinks, Gets Mouthy. To support the new shuffle (and to add various enhancements), Apple has also released iTunes 8.1. iTunes 8.1 changes the name of the Party Shuffle feature to iTuens DJ and makes it possible for iPhone and iPod touch users to use the Remote 1.2 app to vote on songs they'd lke to hear. iTunes 8.1 also changes the way the Autofill sync works and adds other tweaks. To learn more, see the TidBITS article, iTunes 8.1 Enhances DJ Capabilities. --Tonya
September 10, 2008 -- Apple yesterday announced another round of new iPods: a new nano that has a slightly different size and the capability to flip the screen from horizontal to vertical, just like the iPhone; a classic that has slightly different specs and that supports the new iTunes Genius feature; and a new iPod touch that has a few tweaks and a built-in speaker. For more details and some analysis on how the new models compare with the old ones, and the iPhone, see Adam's write-up in TidBITS, in Apple Reveals New iPod Nano and Updated iPod touch. --Tonya
Apple has introduced a new shuffle that offers 2 GB of RAM instead of 1 GB, and they've dropped the price of the older 1-GB model. They've also released a pink nano, perhaps in order to have it available as a Valentine's Day gift. See Apple Drops iPod shuffle Price, Introduces 2 GB Model in TidBITS for more details.
May 3, 2007 -- Although this ebook doesn't have a section about how you can take your iPod so far beyond the music that you replace it with a newer one, some readers may find themselves owning an older iPod that they no longer need, even to serve as an alarm clock or auxiliary portable for bringing music to friends' houses. Although there's a lot to be said for passing a no-longer-wanted iPod to someone else who might enjoy it, if you have an iPod that's no longer wanted, you can recycle it and get 10 percent off the purchase of a new one. Steve Jobs wrote about this in his "A Greener Apple" letter, posted on the Apple Web site on May 2, 2007.
Here's what Steve wrote: "Let me take a moment to talk specifically about iPods, even though they are included in the above data. All of Apple’s U.S. retail stores, which now number more than 150, take back unwanted iPods for environmentally friendly disposal free of charge. As an incentive, we even offer customers a 10% discount on a new iPod when they bring their old iPod to our stores for proper disposal. This summer we’re expanding it to Apple retail stores worldwide, and we’re also extending it to include free shipping from anywhere in the U.S. No product purchases are required for any of our free take back programs. In a few months, we think we’ll have ‘best of breed’ iPod recycling programs in the U.S., and we plan to continue to expand our free iPod recycling programs globally in the future."
Right now, I would imagine that you'd contact an Apple Store to learn about iPod recycling. Apple may also update their "Apple and the Environment" page to provide more info in the soon.
September 12, 2006 --
iPod fans got a look at their digital future this week as Steve Jobs announced new products and services at Apple Expo Paris.
The iPod nano received a facelift and new colors. Many owners of first-generation nanos had complained about scratches on the plastic case. Apple's response was to give the nano a new brushed aluminum housing in five colors (natural aluminum, blue, black, pink, and green). The new nano also boasts improved battery life, a brighter display, and capacity up to 8 GB.
The iPod shuffle has changed dramatically. What formerly looked like a Flash Drive is now a postage-stamp-sized clip-on device with 1 GB of storage. No longer do you plug the shuffle directly into your USB port - there's now a diminutive dock for charging and syncing.
Owners of fifth-generation iPods with video can rejoice! Not only has Apple announced the availability of full-length movies from the Disney/Pixar library, but also a firmware update provides new capabilities. A new search function makes it easy to find tunes in your library of up to 25,000 songs. For the first time, classic games such as Bejeweled, Zuma, Texas Hold 'em, and Tetris are available for the iPod. The games can be downloaded for $4.99 each and represent the first time that third-party software has appeared on the iPod. Capacities have also climbed, with the entry-level iPod at 30GB, and the top-of-the-line iPod reaching the 80 GB mark.
The iTunes Music Store is a thing of the past - it's now the iTunes Store. The name change reflects the growing influence of other media - such as games, TV shows, and movies - on the iPod world.
June 16, 2006 -- The Nike + iPod Sport Kit ($29) is now shipping, providing yet another use for the iPod "beyond the music." When you slip the wireless sensor into a pair of Nike+ running shoes and attach the wireless receiver to your iPod nano, you can track your time spent walking or running, distance, pace, and calories burned. The iPod nano can even provide spoken feedback to alert you to milestones during your workout.
The wireless sensor uses a tiny accelerometer to capture your progress, then transmits the information to your iPod nano. Once you're done with your run, perform a sync to transfer workout data to iTunes and nikeplus.com. At nikeplus.com, your peformance history is captured, and you can set goals for your future runs. One fun feature lets you challenge other runners to virtual races.
For more information on the Nike + iPod Sport Kit, visit the Apple - Nike + iPod - Gear page.
March 21, 2006 -- Microsoft's Office 2004 for Mac 11.2.3 update adds new features to Entourage that allow it to sync contact and calendar information to any software or device that uses Apple's iSync technology, including the iPod. While I haven't tested the update with my iPod, this built-in syncing option may be a good and less expensive way to sync your data rather than using one of the third-party utilities I discuss in the ebook. To access the update, choose Help > Check for Updates in any Office program or launch Microsoft Auto-Update from your Applications folder.
March 3, 2006 -- Are you looking for a way to get amazing stereo sound out of your iPod? Apple's iPod Hi-Fi ($349) may be just the thing. Any iPod with a dock adapter can blast sound out of the Hi-Fi and get charged at the same time. This works well with the built-in alarm function to make a very iPod loud alarm clock. Check it out on the Apple Web site: http://www.apple.com/ipodhifi/
February 7, 2006 -- Apple is now shipping a 1 GB iPod nano for $149. The new nano is equipped with all the features of the 2 GB ($199) and 4 GB ($249) models. With the price of the 512 MB ($69) and 1GB ($99) iPod shuffle dropping, it appears that Apple might be moving to retire the shuffle, which is the only iPod without a screen.
January 10, 2006 -- You will finally be able to use your iPod with video as a high-quality audio recorder when XtremeMac's MicroMemo arrives later this spring. This $79.95 device will use the iPod's batteries for power and feature a removable flexible microphone. Visit XremeMac's website for more details.
January 10, 2006 -- At Macworld Expo in San Francisco, Steve Jobs announced hardware and software products that enhance the iPod:
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