Although an iPad running iOS 5 can do everything you need by itself, chances are your music, movies, and other data reside on a Mac or Windows PC. A computer is also the easiest way to keep a backup of the iPad’s data. iCloud backup is great, but isn’t appropriate for all situations (namely, when you don’t have robust Internet connectivity).
The iPad’s home base is iTunes, Apple’s media hub software. If you don’t have the latest version, go to www.apple.com/itunes/ to download and install it.
When you connect the iPad using the USB cable, the iPad appears in the iTunes sidebar. Select it to view information and options for synchronizing your data (Figure 14).
You’ll be surprised at just ...