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Take Control of Your iPod: Beyond the Music
Oct 04, 2007

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!

This ebook is no longer for sale.

More Info

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:

  • Which iPod do I have?
  • Can I replace my radio alarm clock with an iPod?
  • How do I read RSS news feeds on my iPod?
  • How do I put maps and directions on my iPod?
  • How can I read long Microsoft Word documents on an iPod?
  • How do I sync music videos to an iPod?
  • How do I put Flash-based videos from YouTube on my iPod?
  • How can I convert a DVD so I can watch the video on an iPod?
  • Which iPods are best for using as voice recorders?

What iPods does this book cover?

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.

Is this book up to date?

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.

  1. New Shuffle, iTunes 8.1


    p>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

    Apple Announces New iPods

    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

    January and February 2008 iPod News: New Shuffle, New Pink Nano

    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.

    Recycling an Old iPod

    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.

    Posted by Adam Engst (Permalink)

  2. Movies, Games, and New iPods

    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.


    p>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.




    p>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.



    Go Running With Your iPod

    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 At, 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.

    Microsoft Improves Entourage and iPod Syncing

    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.

    The iPod Hi-Fi Ships

    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:

    Apple Ships New Nano; Drops Shuffle Price

    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.

    XtremeMac Announces High Quality Audio Recording for iPod

    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.

    Steve Jobs Announces iPod Enhancements

    January 10, 2006 – At Macworld Expo in San Francisco, Steve Jobs announced hardware and software products that enhance the iPod:

    • Apple’s new $49 Radio Remote: Plugging into the top of the iPod, this device adds an FM radio tuner to your iPod so you can listen to local broadcasts. Although it doesn’t record those broadcasts to your iPod, it does transform the screen into a reasonable facsimile of a digital FM tuner.
    • iMovie HD 6: Software enhancements now make transferring videos to an iPod with video a lot easier. What used to take several programs and multiple steps can now be accomplished simply with iMovie HD 6 (part of iLife ‘06). When you finish creating your video masterpiece in iMovie HD, you “Export to iPod” to save the movie in the proper screen size and format for the iPod’s screen. iMovie HD doesn’t streamline the process of moving DVD content to your iPod…yet.

    Posted by Adam Engst (Permalink)

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.