The iPod was designed to handle AAC and MP3 formats the most efficiently, but it’s not limited to them. Here are the other types of music files you can play on an iPod:
WAV is a standard Windows sound format, going all the way back to Windows 95. (Most Macs can play WAV files, too.) Windows fans download WAV recordings for everything from TV-show snippets to start-up sounds and other system alert noises. A WAV song usually sounds better than the same song in MP3—but takes up more room on the iPod.
Speaking of big file sizes, the AIFF standard (Audio Interchange File Format) can create sound files that sound spectacular—in fact, these are the audio files on commercial music CDs—but they hog hard drive space. For example, if you stick Prince’s Purple Rain CD into your computer, double-click the disc icon, and drag the song file for “Let’s Go Crazy” onto your desktop, you’ll soon have a 46.9 MB AIFF file on your hard drive. Although the sound fidelity is tops, the files are usually ten times bigger in size than MP3s.
Apple originally developed the AIFF standard, but AIFF files play on other operating systems, too.
If you insist on putting gargantuan files like AIFFs on your iPod, you’ll have to worry about running out of battery power as well as disk space.
A modern iPod comes with a 32 MB memory chip. (Pre-2003 iPods have a slightly smaller buffer.) Yes, it serves as skip protection, because it stores 25 minutes’ worth of MP3 or AAC music. For ...