Sebastopol, CA--The iPod is the world's bestselling music player, but if you think that it's just a music player, then you probably think Clark Kent is just a newspaperman. Gleaming in white and chrome, slightly larger than a deck of cards, an iPod has anywhere from five to thirty gigabytes of storage depending on the version, with each new generation offering slimmer lines, more storage, and fancier features.
The beauty of the iPod is that even the original Macintosh-only model, unleashed by Apple in 2001, held 1,000 average-length pop songs--far more than the typical MP3 player. Add iTunes, Apple's jukebox software for the Mac, and you can create mixes and musical collections as unique as snowflakes. With the 2002 Windows version, and MusicMatch software, Windows users joined the family of iPod owners. But unbeknownst to many users, music playing isn't the only tune the iPod knows. To discover the full range of this little device, you'll need iPod: The Missing Manual (Biersdorfer, O'Reilly, US $24.95), the book that should have been in the box.
In "iPod: The Missing Manual," "New York Times" tech columnist J. D. Biersdorfer opens the secret doors of this gleaming beauty. She lays bare an astonishing collection of useful tips, tricks, and shortcuts like these:
iPod as PDA. The iPod can suck in your calendar, address book, to-do list, and notes from a Mac or PC, and then display them at the touch of a button. It also doubles as an alarm clock and stopwatch.
iPod as hard drive. Hook up your iPod to your Mac or Windows machine where it shows up as a disk. Use it to copy, back up, or transfer gigantic files from place to place--at immense rates of transfer speed.
iPod as e-book. The iPod makes an excellent book reader, capable of displaying and scrolling through recipes, driving directions, book pages, and even web pages.
iPod as GameBoy. Well, not a Gameboy exactly. But the three built-in video-style games are perfect time-killers for waiting rooms, bus rides, and the Department of Motor Vehicles.
"iPod: The Missing Manual" is much more than it seems, too. It not only covers all iPod models for both Mac and Windows, including the super-slim 2003 series, it's also the ultimate guide to iTunes, MusicMatch Jukebox Plus, and even the new iTunes Music Store.
No matter what kind of music moves you, "iPod: The Missing Manual" will help you get much more out of your iPod--and much more into it.
iPod: The Missing Manual
ISBN 0-596-00477-x, 331 pages, $24.95 US, $38.95 CA, 17.50 UK
O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.
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