Chapter 1. Meet the iPod: Out of the Box and Into Your Ears in 15 Minutes

If you’re like most people, you want to jump right in and get your spiffy new iPod up and running. What you don’t want to do is wade through any instructions longer than a couple of paragraphs, and you wouldn’t mind if the directions were accompanied by plenty of color pictures, too.

Sure, Apple thoughtfully includes a tiny folding pamphlet of starter info with every iPod it sells. It’s nicely designed as far as pamphlets go, but you may find that it doesn’t go far enough; you want more help than a few line drawings and some haiku-like instructions can give you.

This book—and especially this chapter—is designed for you.

You won’t get bogged down in a bland gray ocean of print here. You’ll learn how to get your iPod whistling sweet tunes in your ear in no time, and find out a bit about your particular iPod model. If you want more information on in-depth ‘Podding or getting the most out of iTunes, you can find that in chapters farther down the road.

But for now, let’s get rolling with your new iPod. Ready?

Meet the iPod Touch

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Since its arrival in 2007, the iPod Touch has become the most popular member of the iPod family. It’s also the most versatile; it runs thousands of mini-programs called apps, makes and takes FaceTime video calls, keeps you on schedule, surfs the Web, handles your email, takes text and audio notes, and serves up fun as a handheld game console. Oh, and it plays music, videos, slideshows, and podcasts, and displays eBooks on its gorgeous screen whenever you feel like reading. Yes, the Touch is the Swiss Army knife of iPods.

The Touch gets its moniker from its responsive touchscreen, the smooth front-side surface that lets you navigate through your music, videos, and photos with nothing more than a tap or drag of your finger.

While the Touch may have inherited its sensitive screen from the iPhone, it gets its playback stability from the flash memory it shares with two of its iPod siblings, the Nano and the Shuffle. No matter how hard you run or rock out, you’ll probably never hear your music skip a beat. Nor is it likely you’ll run out of juice. The new Touch gives you about 40 hours of audio playback on a single battery charge, or 7 hours of video viewing.

Speaking of video, the Touch sports the same eye-catching 3.5-inch Retina Display as the iPhone does, giving it an impressive 960 x 640 pixel resolution. To see the display in its finest form, flip the Touch sideways when you view photos, movies, and TV shows. And you don’t have to be content just watching videos—the Touch lets you shoot and edit high-definition movies as well, and you can upload them directly to YouTube. Need a still camera? Yeah, the Touch has one of those, too.

The Touch comes in three memory configurations: an 8-gigabyte model that stores 1,750 songs or 10 hours of iPod-friendly video, a 32-gigabyte version that holds 7,000 songs or 40 hours of video, and a 64-gig model that stores a relatively whopping 14,000 songs and 80 hours of video.

As an entertainment device, the Touch is tops, but its ability to reach out and touch the Internet is what makes it an iPod you can do business with (if you can tear yourself away from the fun stuff, that is). Thanks to its built-in WiFi chip and a small but powerful version of Apple’s Safari browser, you can surf the Web whenever you’re in range of a wireless network. And where there’s Internet, there’s email, stock-market updates, weather forecasts, YouTube videos, and online maps. You use your fingertips to point your way around the Web—or to fire up the Touch’s onscreen keyboard for a little good, old-fashioned data entry.

If that’s not enough, there’s a whole new world of possibilities in the iTunes App Store, where you can customize your Touch with additional mini-programs—more than 250,000 apps await you there.

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Oh, and one more thing…have you ever been using your iPod and wished you could buy even more music or video, no matter where you are? With the Touch (and a wireless network connection), you can. This little Internet iPod can step right up to the iTunes Store and shop away.


The iPod Touch and the iPhone may look like kissing cousins, but they have some distinct differences. For one thing, the Touch isn’t a mobile phone, like the iPhone is. While this means that Touch owners get to skip The AT&T Experience, it also means there’s no ubiquitous cellphone network to tap into for online fun when your pool of WiFi hotspots runs cold. (The bright side: no AT&T bill, either.) In addition, the Touch’s built-in camera—with less than a full megapixel of photo resolution—isn’t as good as the iPhone’s 5-megapixel gem. On the plus side, without the extra hardware inside, the Touch is much more svelte.

Meet the iPod Nano

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If there’s any iPod that’s undergone a radical transformation since its introduction, it’s the humble little Nano. Since it hit the scene in 2005, this sporty little player has changed its size and shape just about every year, and the 2010 Nano is no exception: it’s even smaller—and sportier—than its ancestors.

How small is it? A mere 1.48 inches wide by 1.61 inches high, and it weighs less than an ounce; you can clip it to your shirt and barely feel it. It’s also the first Nano to come with a touchscreen for tapping, flicking, and swiping your way to music, podcasts, audio books, and photos. Its bright color screen shows them all off in 240 x 240 pixel resolution on a 1.54-inch display.

Designed with runners and other fitness enthusiasts in mind, the Nano has a built-in pedometer to track your steps and help you chart your workouts. It also includes Apple’s VoiceOver feature, which recites menus and song titles into your headphones when you’re too busy running to look at the screen. And since it stores all your music on a nice, stable flash-memory chip, you don’t have to worry about your music skipping, even if you are.

When you get tired of recordings, switch to the Nano’s integrated FM radio. Unlike standard receivers, the Nano can pause live shows for a few minutes should someone start talking at you in the middle of a song.

The Nano comes in 8-gigabyte and 16-gigabyte models, and you can choose from seven anodized aluminum colors (pink, red, blue, green, yellow, silver, and a graphite gray). With a full battery charge, you’ll get up to 24 hours of audio playback. That should get you through even the most intense cardio routine.

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Stripped down and buffed up with a touchscreen, the 2010 iPod Nano offers far fewer features than previous models. It has no video camera or video playback capability; no Contacts, Calendars, or Notes features; and no built-in microphone or built-in games. If you long for the more full-featured Nanos of the past, remember that there’s always eBay or inventory-clearance sales.

Meet the iPod Shuffle

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The smallest member of Team iPod doesn’t have a screen—but it doesn’t need one, because it’s designed for fuss-free music on the go. You don’t have to worry about losing your Shuffle because, like the new Nano, it clips right onto your lapel or pocket—it’s like jewelry you can rock out with. Take your pick of five standard Shuffle colors: blue, orange, green, pink, and silver. It comes with a 2-gigabyte memory chip that holds hundreds of songs, audio podcasts, and audio books. And even though it’s called the Shuffle, you don’t have to shuffle your music; you can play your tracks in order with the nudge of a button (see below).

The Shuffle may not have a screen, but it includes VoiceOver technology. Just press the VoiceOver button to make your Shuffle announce the name and artist of the song currently playing. Speaking of playing, you get about 15 hours of music between battery charges.

This iPod is so petite, you can’t charge it with the same USB cable the other iPods use—it comes with its own little dual-function USB adapter that connects to your computer to both charge the player and load music from iTunes. In addition to the USB adapter, here’s what you’ll find in the Shuffle box:

  1. Those trademark white Apple headphones that plug into a jack on top of the Shuffle.

  2. The Shuffle itself, complete with a handy control ring that lets you adjust the volume and jump back and forth between songs.

  3. The Shuffle’s VoiceOver button. Push it to hear the Shuffle announce the name of the current song or playlist.

  4. The Shuffle’s On/Off switch. Slide it one notch to the left to play tunes in order () or slide it over all the way over to shuffle them ().

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Meet the iPod Classic

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With its solid, rectangular shape and horizontal screen, the faithful iPod Classic still retains the look of the original, boxy white-and-chrome iPod that started it all back in 2001.

Less than a decade later, Apple has transformed that humble little 5-gigabyte music player with its black-and-white screen into a gorgeous full-color portable media system that can play movies, TV shows, and video games—all while still fitting comfortably in the palm of your hand. Although Apple hasn’t added any new features to the Classic lately, it’s still a beloved model, especially for media lovers who want to carry all (or most) of their music collections around with them.

That’s because the Classic has more than double the storage of even the highest-capacity new-gen iPods—and quite an improvement over its original 5 gigabytes back in 2001. You can stuff 160 gigabytes of music, photos, videos, and more onto the Classic. That’s 40,000 songs or 200 hours of video. And you don’t have to stock up on the Duracells, either, because the Classic has a rechargeable battery that can play audio for 36 hours or video for 6 hours.

The Classic comes in either silver or black. Unlike earlier iPods that sported hard glossy plastic on the front, Apple’s latest version comes outfitted in a full metal jacket—anodized aluminum on the front and shiny stainless steel on the back.

Along with the click wheel—think of it as the Classic’s mouse—the 2.5-inch color screen is the player’s other main component. Capable of displaying more than 65,000 colors at a resolution of 320 x 240 pixels (translation: high-quality), the Classic is a great place to store and show off your latest vacation photos. In fact, you can keep up to 25,000 pictures on your ‘Pod. The screen also makes it a delight to catch up on that episode of The Daily Show you missed, or play a few rounds of solitaire while you listen to your favorite music.

The Classic comes with a USB cable to connect to your Windows PC or Macintosh and those iconic see-what-I’ve-got white earphones. Want more stuff for your Classic? Check out the accessories mentioned in Chapter 12.

Install iTunes

Before you can have hours of iPod fun, you need to install Apple’s iTunes multimedia, multifunction jukebox program on your computer. (Along with iTunes, you get Apple’s QuickTime software—a video helper for iTunes.) iPods once came with a CD that packed in all these programs, but these days you have to download them yourself:

  1. Fire up your computer’s web browser and point it to

  2. Click the Download Now button. (Turn off the “Email me…” and “Keep me up to date…” checkboxes to spare yourself future marketing missives.) Wait for the file to download to your computer.

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  3. When the file lands on your hard drive, double-click the iTunesSetup.exe file. If you use a Mac, double-click the iTunes.dmg file and then open the iTunes.mpkg file to start the installation. If your Mac is younger than seven years old, you probably already have iTunes installed. Go to →Software Update and tell your Mac to see if there’s a newer version of iTunes, just in case.

  4. Follow the screens until the software installer says it’s done.

You may need to restart your computer after you install iTunes. Once you do, you’re ready to connect your new iPod to your computer.


The hardware and operating-system requirements needed to run iTunes are listed below the Download Now button. If you have an older computer, it’s worth a glance just to make sure your rig can handle the program. For the record, iTunes 10 requires Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7, or Mac OS X 10.5 and later.

Unpack and Set Up Your iPod

If you haven’t torn open the plastic box already (heh-heh, right), liberate your iPod from its wrappings. The items you’ll find inside vary depending on which model you bought, but all of them come with three things:

  1. Apple’s classic white headphones.

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  2. A USB cable to connect the iPod to your computer. The iPod Touch, Nano, and Classic come with a white USB cable with a flat dock-connector port, while the Shuffle has its own USB adapter (Meet the iPod Shuffle).

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  3. A little pamphlet of quick-start information that’s not nearly as fun or as colorful as this book.

What you want right now is the USB cable. Connect the small, narrow end to your computer’s USB port and the wide, flat end (or the adapter, if you have a Shuffle) to the iPod. The first time you connect your iPod to a computer, iTunes’ Setup Assistant walks you through a few steps to get your iPod ready to go. In addition, the iPod begins to charge, as described on the next page.

Charge Your iPod for the First Time

Right out of the box, your iPod probably has enough juice to run for a while without your having to charge it up. Eventually, though, you’ll need to go in for an electrical fill-up. All you need to do is plug the iPod into your computer using the USB cable (the iPod charges itself by drawing power from the USB connector). Just make sure you have your computer turned on and that it isn’t asleep.

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It takes only a few hours to fully charge your iPod battery, and even less time to do what Apple calls a fast charge, which quickly powers up the battery to 80 percent of its capacity. That should be plenty of gas in your iPod’s tank for a quick spin.

Here’s how much time each iPod needs for both a fast and a full charge:


Fast Charge

Full Charge

iPod Touch

2 hours

4 hours

iPod Nano

1.5 hours

3 hours

iPod Shuffle

2 hours

3 hours

iPod Classic

2 hours

4 hours

If you’re traveling and don’t want to drag your laptop with you just to charge your iPod, you can buy an AC adapter for the USB cable. Chapter 2 has more on that.

Three Ways to Get Music into iTunes (and onto Your iPod)

Once you have iTunes running on your computer, you can start filling it up with music (and then loading it onto your iPod). Chapters Chapter 4 and Chapter 5 have info on song formats and technical settings, but if you’ve got a brand-new iPod, odds are you don’t care about that right now. You just want to load up some music. Here are three simple ways to do that:

Import Existing Songs into iTunes

When iTunes first opens and displays your sad, empty music library, it suggests a couple of ways to get yourself some tunes—namely by buying them from the iTunes Store or converting songs from your CD collection into iPod-ready files. Those methods are described on the opposite page.

But there’s another way, and it doesn’t involve money or a lot of extra effort.

If you’ve had a computer for longer than a few years, odds are you already have some songs on your hard drive in the popular MP3 format. Since they’re already on your computer, why not add them to your iPod through iTunes? They’re probably sitting in a folder, waiting for you to play them.

To grab that music, choose File→Add Folder to Library (Windows PCs) or File→Add to Library (Macs). In the box that appears, navigate across your hard drive to your folder of music, select it, and click the Choose button to pull your songs into iTunes.

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Boom! There you have it—your old music in your brand-new iTunes library.


Now, many Windows fans may have music in the Windows Media Audio (WMA) format. The bad news here is that iTunes can’t play WMA files. The good news is that when iTunes finds WMA files, it can automatically convert them to an iPod-friendly format. You can always add WMA tracks by choosing File→Add to Library and selecting the songs you want; iTunes then converts them. One last thing to remember: The program can’t convert copy-protected tracks you downloaded from other online music stores.

Import a CD

You can also use iTunes to convert tracks from your audio CDs into iPod-ready music files. Just start up iTunes and stick a CD in your computer’s disc drive. The program asks if you want to import the CD into iTunes. (If it doesn’t ask, click the Import CD button at the bottom right of the iTunes window.) If you’re connected to the Internet, iTunes automatically downloads song titles and artist information for the CD (yes, strange as it may seem, music managers like iTunes don’t get information about an album from the album itself; they search for it in a huge database on the Web).

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Once you tell iTunes to import music, it begins adding the songs to your library. You can import all the tracks from a CD or, if you don’t want every song, turn off the checkboxes next to titles you want to skip. Chapter 4 has more about using iTunes to convert CDs.

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Buy Music in the iTunes Store

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Another way to get music for your iTunes library and iPod is to buy it from the iTunes Store. Click the iTunes Store icon in the list on the left side of iTunes (that’s called the Source list, since it identifies the source of your media, like Library or Store).

Once you land on the Store’s main page and set up your iTunes account (see Set Up an iTunes Store Account), you can buy and download songs, audio books, and videos. The content goes straight into your iTunes library and then onto your iPod. Chapter 7 is all about using the iTunes Store.

Get Stuff onto the iPod Touch: The Quick Way

As with every iPod model that’s come before it, the iPod Touch offers the simple and effective autosync feature, which automatically adds a copy of every song, podcast, and video in your iTunes library to your iPod. In fact, the first time you connect your Touch to your computer, the iPod Setup Assistant asks you to name your ‘Pod and offers to copy all the music in your iTunes library over to it. If you opt to do that, you automatically set your iPod to autosync. (You can change that anytime you like; see Load Songs onto an iPod from More Than One Computer.)

If you’ve added more music since you first synced iTunes and your iPod, the steps for loading the new goods onto your Touch couldn’t be easier:

  1. Plug the USB cable into your Windows PC or Macintosh.

  2. Plug the flat end of that same cable into the bottom of the iPod Touch.

  3. Sit back and let iTunes leap into action, syncing away and doing all that heavy lifting for you.

You can tell iTunes’ sync magic is working because iTunes gives you a progress report at the top of its window that says “Syncing iPod Touch…” (or whatever you’ve named your player).

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When iTunes tells you it’s finished updating your iPod, you’re free to unplug your Touch and take off.

Autosync is a beautiful thing, but it’s not for everyone—especially if you have more than 8, 32, or 64 gigabytes’ worth of stuff in your iTunes library. (That may sound like a lot of room, and it is for music, but once you start adding hefty video files, that space disappears fast.) If you have a library that’s more capacious than your iPod, iTunes fits what it can onto the player (see the note on Note).

If you want more control over the music that iTunes syncs to your iPod, jump over to the next page to read about selective ways to load up your Touch.

Manually Load Your iPod Touch

If you don’t want to autosync your Touch, you now need to go ahead and choose some songs for it. Until you do, the Touch just sits there, empty and forlorn, in your iTunes window, waiting for you to give it something to play with.

Manual Method #1

Manual Method #1

  1. Click the iPod Touch icon on the left side of the iTunes window (the Source list). This opens up a world of syncing preferences for your iPod.

  2. Click the Music tab, and then turn on the Sync Music checkbox.

  3. Click the button next to “Selected playlists, artists, and genres”, and check off the items you want to copy to your iPod. (No playlists yet? See Chapter 6.)

  4. Click the Apply button at the bottom of the iTunes window.

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Manual Method #2

  1. This one’s for those into detailed picking and choosing: Click the Summary tab and turn on “Manually manage music and videos”. Now you can click the songs, albums, or playlists you want on your iPod and drag them to the Touch icon in the Source list.

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Manual Method #3

  1. Every item in your iTunes library has a checkmark next to its name when you first import it. Clear that checkmark next to whatever you don’t want on your Touch. (If you have a big library, hold down the Ctrl [⌘] key while clicking any title; that performs the nifty trick of removing all the checkmarks. Then go back and check only the stuff you do want.)

  2. Click the Touch icon under Devices in the Source list, and then click the Summary tab.

  3. At the bottom of the Summary screen, turn on the checkbox next to “Sync only checked songs and videos” and then click the Sync button.

Get Stuff onto the iPod Nano or Classic: The Quick Way

You don’t have to do much to keep your iPod’s music and video collection up to date with what’s on your computer. That’s because iTunes has a nifty autosync feature, which automatically makes sure that whatever is in your iTunes library also appears on your iPod once you connect ‘Pod to desktop PC.

The first time you plug in your new iPod (after you install iTunes, of course), the iPod Setup Assistant leaps into action, asking you to name your iPod, and if you’d like to “Automatically sync songs to my iPod”. If your answer is yes, then just click the Finish button. iTunes loads a copy of everything in its library that fits onto your iPod (see the note below if you have more music than the iPod has storage). That’s it. Your iPod is ready to go.

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You can copy photos from your computer and choose the language you’d like the iPod menus to appear in here as well. But if you just want to stick with the music for now, Chapter 9 can fill you in on the photo business. If you generally like the autosync feature but want more control over what goes onto your iPod, read on to find out how to make that happen.


If you have a small-capacity iPod, you may already have more music than can fit onto your player. If that’s the case, your automatic option is the Autofill button at the bottom of the iTunes window. Skip ahead to Fill Up Any iPod Automatically to learn more about Autofill, which lets iTunes decide what to put on your iPod. And if you want to selectively sync certain playlists or artists, check out Adjust Your iPod’s Syncing Preferences with iTunes for the details.

Manually Load the iPod Nano or Classic

If you don’t have enough room on your Nano or Classic for your whole iTunes library, or if you plan to load music onto your iPod from more than one computer (say your work PC and home PC), you’ll want to manually manage your songs and other media. To put your iPod on manual right from the get-go, turn off the checkbox on the iPod Setup Assistant screen next to “Automatically sync songs…”. (If you’ve already done the setup thing, see Load Songs onto an iPod from More Than One Computer for how to get back to Manual Land.) iTunes now refrains from automatically dumping everything onto your iPod. “But,” you ask, “how do I get the music on there by myself?” Easy—you just drag it:

  1. In iTunes’ Source list, click the Music icon under Library. Click the button circled below to see a list of all the songs in your music library. You can also click Ctrl+B (⌘-B) to go into Column Browser view (see The iTunes Window: An Introduction), where iTunes lists your music by genre, artist, and album.

  2. Click the songs or albums you want to copy to your iPod. Grab multiple songs or albums by holding down the Ctrl or ⌘ key while clicking.

  3. Drag your selections onto the iPod icon. The number of songs you’re dragging appears inside a red circle.

You can manually load any items in your iTunes library—audio books, movies, whatever—onto your iPod this way.

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Fill Up Any iPod Automatically

Most people’s entire music library is too big to stuff onto the wee 2-gigabyte Shuffle, or even the 8-gigabyte Touch or Nano. (Classic owners can chuckle here.) If you love all your music and don’t want to spend time cherry-picking tracks to load up your iPod, Autofill it to the brim with a full serving of tunes.

If you’re a Shuffle owner connecting your iPod to your PC for the first time, the iPod Setup Assistant appears. Leave the “Automatically choose songs…” checkbox turned on, click Done, and presto: iTunes grabs a random collection of songs from your library and copies them onto your tiny ‘Pod. After that, each time you connect your Shuffle, a small panel appears at the bottom of iTunes, inviting you to fill up your player with a click of the Autofill button.

Although Autofill used to be a Shuffle-only feature, other iPods can use it as well, as long as you set them to manually manage music. To use Autofill with a Touch, Nano, or Classic, connect the iPod and click the flippy triangle next to its icon in the iTunes Source list. The Autofill bar appears at the bottom of the screen. Click the Autofill button to load up.

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In the Autofill From pop-up menu, tell iTunes to snag songs from your entire library or just a particular playlist (see Chapter 6). Click the Settings button to have iTunes pick random tracks or to select highly rated songs more often. (“Ratings?” you say? Check out Chapter 5 for the details.)

After you Autofill for the first time, when you return for another batch of songs, you can turn on the checkbox next to “Replace all items when Autofilling” to have iTunes wipe the first batch of songs off your iPod and substitute new tracks.

Once iTunes fills up your ‘Pod, you see an “iPod sync is complete” message at the top of the screen. Click the Eject button next to your iPod’s icon, and then unplug the player from the computer.

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Manually Load Your iPod Shuffle

If you want to decide what goes onto your Shuffle, opt for manual updates instead of letting iTunes choose. As with any other iPod on manual control, you drag songs and playlists you want from your iTunes library and drop them onto the Shuffle’s icon in the Source list.

When you click the Shuffle icon and it displays your song list, feel free to re-arrange individual songs in the order you want to hear them—just drag them up or down. The info down at the bottom of the iTunes window tells you how much space you have left on your Shuffle if you’re looking to fill it to the brim. To delete songs from the Shuffle, select one or more tracks and then press the Delete key on your keyboard (which deletes the song from your Shuffle only, not your iTunes library; see Manually Delete Music and Videos from Your iPod).

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You can also mix and match your song-loading methods. Start by dragging a few favorite playlists over to the Shuffle, and then click Autofill to finish the job. Just make sure you turn the “Replace all items when Autofilling” checkbox off, or iTunes will wipe out the tracks you’ve already added.


Earlier versions of the iPod Shuffle used to be monogamous—that is, they wanted to work with only one iTunes library at a time and would threaten to erase and replace the Shuffle’s contents if you added music from a different computer. The free-spirited iPod Shuffles of today, however, let you manually add music from multiple computers, just as you can with any other ol’ iPod.

Disconnect Your iPod from Your Computer

Got iTunes installed? Check.

Got music in the iTunes library? Check.

Got your iPod connected and the music you want copied onto it? Check.

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Next up: Disconnect the iPod from your computer so you can enjoy your tunes on the go. Resist the impulse to yank the USB cable out of the iPod without checking it first. If you can see menus or the battery icon on your ‘Pod, you can safely unplug it.

But if you see the image shown at left, you need to manually eject the iPod from your computer. iTunes gives you two easy ways to do that:

  1. Click the Eject icon next to the name of your iPod in the iTunes Source list.

  2. If your iPod is already selected in the Source list, choose Controls→Eject iPod or press Ctrl+E (⌘-E).

With either method, the iPod announces onscreen that it’s disengaging and displays an OK to Disconnect progress bar as it breaks its connection with the computer. Once all the gray screens go away and you see the regular menus again, you can safely liberate your iPod.

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Buttons and Jacks on the iPod Touch

The iPod Touch keeps most of its controls behind its sensitive screen, but it does have a few physical buttons and jacks on the outside. Here’s a tour of the Touch from top to bottom:

  1. Sleep/Wake. Press the thin black button on top of the Touch to put it to sleep and save some battery power. If you’ve got a song playing, no problem: A sleeping Touch still plays—it’s just the display that goes dark.

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  2. Volume. These two buttons are on the left side of the Touch. Press the top one to increase the sound on either the tiny external speaker or an attached pair of headphones; the bottom button lowers the volume.

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  3. Home. Forget clicking your heels together three times to get home—just push the indented button below the Touch’s screen and you’ll always return home. The iPod’s Home screen is where your tappable icons for music, photos, Safari web browsing, and more hang out. If you ever wander deep into the iPod and don’t know how to get out, push the Home button to escape. You can also push it to wake the Touch from sleep.

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  4. Headphones. Plug the included headphones into the small, round jack on the bottom edge of the Touch. You can also use non-Apple headphones, so long as the new gear uses the standard 3.5 mm stereo plug (most do).

  5. Dock connector. This thin jack is the port you use to plug in the iPod’s USB cable for charging and media transfers from iTunes. Most iPod accessories (Chapter 12), such as audio docks, connect through this port as well. You may also see it referred to as the “30-pin dock connector.” The Touch’s own tiny external speaker sits to its right.

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Finger Moves for the iPod Touch

Until the Touch arrived on the scene, iPods were controlled by a click wheel or control ring on the front of the player. The Nano has a limited version of the touch-sensitive screen, and the Shuffle and the Classic still use the circular dashboard. But if you have an iPod Touch, you don’t need a steering wheel to get around the iPod—you just tap the icons and menus on the screen to navigate.

You’ll use some moves more often than others as you navigate the Touch:

  • Tap. Lightly touch a song title, app icon, or picture thumbnail on the screen with your fingertip. The Touch isn’t a crusty old calculator, so you don’t have to push down hard; a gentle tap on the glass starts a song, launches an app, or pops a picture into view.

  • Drag. This time, you keep your fingertip pressed down on the screen. As you slide it around the Touch glass, you scroll to different parts of a web page, photo, or other item that goes beyond the screen’s boundaries. You also use the drag move to nudge onscreen volume sliders up and down. It’s really the same concept as holding down the button on a computer mouse and dragging or scrolling. A two-finger drag scrolls a window within a window (which is, fortunately, not too common on mobile sites).

  • Slide. A slide is like a drag, but you’ll find it on only a couple of Touch screens. The first is the “slide to unlock” screen you use when you wake the iPod from a nap (see below). The second screen shows up when you want to power down the Touch completely; press the Sleep/Wake button until the “slide to power off” slider appears.

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    The iPod Touch relies on the human touch—skin-on-glass contact—to work. If you have really long fingernails, a Band-Aid on the tip of your finger, or happen to be wearing gloves, you’re going to have problems working the Touch. You can’t use a pencil eraser or pen tip, either. You can, however, find special styluses that work; for example, Pogo ( makes one for $15.

  • Flick. This move lets you speed-scroll up and down through long lists of songs, or side to side through overstuffed photo albums. To flick properly, quickly whip your finger along the length or width of the screen. (Make it a light movement—this isn’t a slide or a drag here.) The faster you flick that finger, the faster the screens fly by. Use the flick when you’re in Cover View mode; tap the Home screen’s Music icon and hold the Touch horizontally. All your album covers appear onscreen, and you can flick through them until you find the one you want to hear.

  • Finger spread and pinch. Can’t see what you want to because it’s too small on the screen? To make it bigger, put your thumb and index finger together, place them on that area of the screen, and then spread your fingers apart. To go the opposite way and zoom out so things shrink back down, put those same fingers on the screen, separated this time, and then pinch them together.

  • Double-tap. This two-steppin’ tap comes into play in a couple of situations. First, it serves as a shortcut to automatically zoom in on a photo or a section of a web page. You can also double-tap to zoom in on a section of a Google map (Chapter 3).

    Second, if you’re watching a movie or TV show, tap the screen twice to toggle back and forth between screen aspect ratios—the full-screen view (top right), where the edges of the frame get cropped off, or the widescreen, letterboxed view (bottom right), which movie lovers favor because it’s what the film’s director intended a scene to look like.

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  • Two-finger tap. Two fingers, one tap. That’s what you need to zoom out of a Google map view (remember, you use one finger and two taps to zoom in—Google just wants to keep you on your toes).

Nano and Classic Ports and Switches

Although they started out looking and acting similarly despite their different sizes, the iPod Touch and Nano don’t have that much in common anymore. The Nano has fled the click-wheel world for a glossy touch screen, and the Classic hasn’t changed much at all over the past couple of years.

Here’s where the Touch and Nano/Classic differ:

  1. Volume. The Nano has + and – buttons on its top-left edge to control the sound output through the headphones. (The Classic still clings to its click wheel for menu navigation and volume control.)

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  2. Sleep/Wake. The Tic Tac–shaped button on the Nano’s top-right edge turns its touchscreen on or off. Press it gently.

  3. Hold. The Classic is the only iPod left with a physical Hold switch. Slide it to the On position (with the orange spot visible) to lock down the Classic’s controls so your iPod doesn’t accidentally get bumped on or off when it rattles around in your pocket or bag.

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    Despite their design differences, the Nano and the Classic still have two things in common:

  4. Headphones. The small, round jack on the bottom of the Nano (below) or the top of the Classic (above) is where you plug in your white earbuds.

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  5. Dock connector. This flat, thin jack is where you plug in the iPod’s USB cable so you can connect it to your PC or Mac for syncing up your iTunes library or charging up the battery on your Touch or Nano.

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Control the iPod Nano or Classic

The Nano and the Classic let you control media in different ways. Here’s how to work either ‘Pod.

iPod Nano

Here are the finger moves that get your Nano singing:

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  • Tap. Gently press your finger on an icon to open its menus, or on a song title to play it.

  • Double-tap. Tap two times to zoom in on a photo—do the same to zoom back out.

  • Swipe. Lightly whip your finger side to side on the glass to move through the four pages of the Home screen.

  • Flick. Whip your finger up and down to scroll through long playlists.

  • Drag. Hold down a volume control and slide your finger to adjust it.

  • Rotate. Home screen upside-down? Place two fingers on the glass and twist them in the direction you want the screen to be.

  • Press. Hold your finger on the screen while you play a song or look at a photo to return to the Home screen.

iPod Classic

Push any button to turn the Classic on. Then control it like so:

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  1. Menu. Tap this button to return to any screen you just viewed. For example, if you visited Music→Playlists→My Top Rated, you’d press Menu twice to return to the Music menu.

  2. Next/Fast-Forward. Press here to jump to the next song in a playlist (Chapter 6), or hold it down to zip through a song.

  3. Play/Pause. This button starts a song; push it again to pause the music.

  4. Previous/Rewind. Press and release this button to play the song before the current track, or hold it down to “rewind” within a song.

  5. Select. Press here to choose a highlighted menu item. When you have a song title highlighted, the Select button begins playback.

Find the Music on Your iPod—and Play It

Now that you’ve got some songs on your iPod, you’re ready to listen to them. Plug your headphones into the headphone jack and press the Sleep/Wake button on your Touch or Nano—or any button on the front of the Classic—to turn it on.

Find Music on Your iPod Touch

The Touch’s screen is full of icons, but when it comes time to crank up the tunes, here’s what you do:

  1. Tap the Music button in the bottom-left corner of the Home screen.

  2. You see five tappable buttons at the bottom of the Music screen. These let you see your music sorted by playlist, artist, song, or album. The More button at the end lets you sort by composer, genre, and other categories.

  3. Tap the Songs button and then scroll (by flicking your finger) down to the song you want to play. You can also hold down the alphabet bar on the right and then drag your finger slowly to better control the scroll. Tap a song’s title to hear it play.

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Find Music on Your Nano

Your music is just a finger-length away on the iPod Nano:

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  1. On the Home screen, tap the Songs, Artists, or Albums icon. The icon opens to a list. If you’re in the Songs menu, tap a title to hear it play. If you tapped Artists or Albums, tap a name or title to see the available tracks, and tap one to listen.

  2. Tap the screen to get playback controls. The usual suspects like Pause, Fast-Forward, and Rewind await your gentle touch.

  3. Tap the screen again and flick your finger right to left to get a volume control slider. You can raise or lower the volume onscreen if you don’t feel like pressing the Nano’s physical volume buttons.

Find Music on Your Classic

After you pick a language, the first menu you see says “iPod” at the top of the screen. Here’s how to start playing your tunes:

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  1. On the iPod menu, highlight the Music menu. Run your thumb over the scroll wheel to move the blue highlight bar up and down.

  2. Press the round center button to select Music.

  3. On the Music menu, scroll to a category so you can find your song. You can select music by artist, album, song, genre, and so on. Scroll to the one you want, and then press the center button.

  4. Scroll through the list on the iPod’s screen. Say you decided to look for music by artist. You now see a list of all the singers and bands whose songs sit on your iPod. Scroll down to the one you want, and press the center button. You’ll see a list of the albums you have from that artist.

  5. Scroll to the album you want to hear. Press the Select or Play/Pause button to start playing the album. Press Pause to stop the song, or press the Menu button to retrace your steps back to the Classic’s main screen.

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