How to Use an iPod
As the proud new owner of an iPod, you just joined the 21st century. Records, cassettes, and CDs are so late 20th century. The future of music is digital. By purchasing an iPod, you’ve opened yourself up to entirely new entertainment possibilities. And that’s not hyperbole.
An iPod is more than just a digital music player. Sure, you can store your entire music collection on an iPod, and there are plenty of awesome music playback options like shuffle, playlists, etc., but the most fun you can have with an iPod has nothing to do with music. Here’s just a few examples of functions you can perform with your iPod.
- Record and broadcast audio in podcast form
- Listen to your music collection in your car
- Store photos and other media on the go
- Use the iPod as a laser pointer with iBeam software
- Play video
- Take and store photos and video
- Read blogs
There are so many ways to customize an iPod (and a million ways to use it) that you’d be foolish not to own one. Congratulations, you’re an iPod owner.
Setting Up Your iPod
Your first step is to download and install iTunes if you don’t already have it on your computer. iTunes is the default way to interact with your iPod, allowing you to manage the content of the iPod and edit user settings right from your computer.
You can find iTunes for free on Apple’s website. Simply follow the instructions to download and install this program.
Adding Music to iTunes
Once iTunes is up and running, you’ll need to build your digital music database. Make a big stack of your favorite CDs, gather your digital music that you already had on your home computer, and get ready to put your music collection all in one place.
To begin copying songs from your CDs to iTunes and your iPod (also known as “ripping”), start by opening iTunes itself. Once iTunes is open, insert a CD that you want to import to your computer and stick it in the CD drive. If you’re connected to the Internet, your computer will read the disc and display the CD’s name, the artist’s name, and the song titles.
Click the “import” button on the bottom right corner of the iTunes window. You’ll have to wait a few minutes while the songs import. Once your computer makes a chime sound, all the songs on that CD have been imported, and you’re ready to move on to the next CD.
Adding Music to Your iPod
Now that you have a CD’s worth of music on your iTunes list, you can add it to your iPod easily. Just plug your iPod’s USB cable into the iPod and the computer, press the “Sync” button on iTunes, and the songs will be loaded automatically onto your iPod.
Depending on how many songs you sync at once, the process of adding music to your iPod could take anywhere from a few seconds to about 45 minutes. Syncing thousands of songs obviously takes more time than syncing just a handful.
Be sure not to tax your computer too much by doing computer activity during the sync.
Make an iTunes Store Account
You don’t have to take this step, but if you do you’ll have access to a vast library of digital music, most of it cheaper than you’d spend at a retail music store, and since it is digital it is completely portable and easy to manage.
Click the “iTunes store” option on your iTunes window. This will take you to the Apple iTunes store, where you can download all sorts of media, from your favorite music to free podcasts to a fee-based movie rental service. Click the button on the top right that says “Sign In”.
Choose “create new account” and agree to the terms and conditions. Choose an email address as your username. This email address will also be the one Apple uses to communicate with you about your iTunes account.
Next it is time to enter your billing information. You can use Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, or even a Paypal account to pay for your purchases. Once this info has been verified, you have yourself an iTunes account. One more thing to do before you use your account — alter your settings for buying media. You may not like the default way that Apple charges you for your purchases, so click on the iTunes menu and select “Preferences”.
Shopping at the iTunes Store
Head over to the iTunes Store by choosing the “iTunes Store Menu” on the far-left side of your iTunes window. At the iTunes store, you’ll notice “featured content” on the front page, and links on the left that lead to more content. Most people skip this stuff and head right to the “search” bar.
Look in the top right corner of the iTunes store window and you’ll see a box that says “Search iTunes Store” underneath. Put in the name of a musician or band or any other media that you’re interested in purchasing. You’d be surprised how much music and other media Apple has the right to sell. Go ahead, put in the most obscure music you know, I bet it’s there.
After you enter your search terms, just hit “enter” and iTunes will go looking for it.
The iPod is huge. Everyone and their grandmother has some sort of digital music player, and a good majority of those people have some form of iPod. Whether you want something to listen to while exercising (iPod Shuffle) or a way to store your entire music collection (the 160G iPod Classic), Apple has probably built a model to fit your needs. Rumors about new iPod features are a big deal — currently, iPod rumors abound, including a new vibration feature (unsure how that would work), to a smaller and more affordable model, and new operating systems and device colors. Whatever the next model is like, one thing’s for sure — it will be a big seller.