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Take Control of Media on Your iPad
Mar 23, 2011

Take Control of Media on Your iPad, Second Edition

Make the most of your iPad media machine!

This ebook is no longer for sale.

More Info

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.

What's New

What’s New in the Second Edition

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:

  • The Mind Your Media chapter has expanded steps for how to Sync from iTunes. It also has instructions for how to Stream from iTunes, a new feature introduced in iOS 4.3.
  • The Read Ebooks and More chapter details the changes in iBooks 1.2, such as the new Collections organization feature. It also has a new introduction that helps you get your head around popular options and file formats for reading ebooks on the iPad.
  • The Listen to Audio chapter has been revised to reflect the latest information. In particular, the new topic Stream Audio to an AirPlay Device describes how you can play audio from your iPad to a stereo system or Apple TV.
  • In the overhauled Watch Video chapter, Encode Videos from Your DVDs is updated to note a few small changes when using Handbrake, and the workaround for exporting HD video from iMovie is deleted, since an iPad-friendly HD 720p setting is now available. Also, Connect via Cable now discusses the new Apple Digital AV Adaptor, which has an HDMI port, and mentions that the iPad 2 supports mirroring, allowing you to show the iPad screen on an external display.
  • The View Photos chapter is generally updated, and it has a new topic, Take Photos with the Camera, that walks you through the basics and teaches useful tips for focusing and zooming.
  • The Use Your iPad as a Remote chapter is fully updated to cover the latest version of Apple’s nifty Remote app (version 2.1 at press time), which you can use to control iTunes on your computer or a first- or second-generation Apple TV.
  1. Watch the iTunes Music Festival Streaming Live on Your iPad

    Posted by Michael Cohen (Permalink)

  2. MobileMe Will Be Replaced by iCloud

    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:

    Posted by Tonya Engst (Permalink)

  3. iOS 4.3.3 and iOS 4.2.8 Address Location Tracking Bugs

    On April 20, 2011, researchers Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden announced that they had discovered a file within iOS, consolidated.db, that seemingly tracked every single location that an iOS device has ever visited. Furthermore, this file was not encrypted and was backed up each time the iOS device synced with iTunes to a user’s computer, making the file available on the syncing computer as well as on the device. Although the file was actually known about for quite some time, a media firestorm erupted following the announcement, with many articles speculating that Apple was tracking users’ every move for unknown, but probably nefarious reasons, and which led to several requests by Congressional representatives for Apple to explain the purpose behind collecting the information.

    Apple responded within a week with a press release explaining what the consolidated.db file was, and why it was storing as much information as it seemed to be storing (see this TidBITS article, “Apple Addresses Location Controversy Questions,” 27 April 2011, for details on that press release). In a nutshell, Apple claimed that a bug was the reason that the file contained so much information, that the file was designed merely to help the iOS device’s Location Services feature establish location more easily, that it actually contained information about nearby Wi-Fi access points and cell towers rather than the device’s actual location, that no user-identifiable information was being sent back to Apple, and that a forthcoming release of iOS would address the bug and keep the file from being backed up to users’ computers.

    On May 4, Apple released two updates to iOS that address the problem. One, iOS 4.3.3, updates all GSM iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 models, iPad and iPad 2 devices, and third and fourth generation iPod touch devices. The other, iOS 4.2.8, updates all CDMA iPhone 4s (see the TidBITS article, “iOS 4.3.3 and 4.2.8,” 4 May 2011). Updated devices now will store only a week’s worth of location information, and that information will not be backed up when the device syncs with iTunes. Furthermore, the location information cached by devices is erased whenever users disable Location Services.

    Posted by Michael Cohen (Permalink)

  4. Tip for Syncing Photos from Windows to iOS

    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.

    Posted by Tonya Engst (Permalink)

  5. YouTube Debuts New Mobile Site as an Alternative to the iPad App

    YouTube has introduced a mobile version of its site at 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:

    The site is currently in English only, but localized versions are expected.

    Posted by Tonya Engst (Permalink)

The Author

Jeff Carlson is a contributing 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.