iPod: music on the go

There are a lot more iPods floating around than ever these days. You may have got one, too. But it may happen that you may have no idea what to do with it.

Before you start tearing your hair out, here’s an iPod Beginners Guide.

First of all, what is an iPod, anyway? It is a digital media player, created by Apple Computers back in 2001 as a new way to listen to music on the go. Think of it as a digital Walkman, but instead of carrying around tons of cassette tapes or portable CD player with lots of discs that could get scratched or lost, the iPod allows you to put anywhere from 240 to 20,000 songs on one device, depending on which model you get.

Thankfully, there are only three basic current models to choose from. The ones that Apple has released recently are the Shuffle, the Nano, and the regular iPod with video.

  • The Shuffle is the most basic of the three iPods and the cheapest. It is really small, and it holds up to 1 GB of music, about 240 songs, that is.

  • The Nano is the mid-range iPod. It is the most colorful of the lot. It is probably the most popular and best way to get into the iPod craze. They range in color and hard drive sizes (anywhere from 2GB of memory to 8 GB).

  • Last but not least is the iPod with video. This model is the big daddy of iPods. It holds from 30GB to 80GB which works out to roughly 10,000 to 20,000 songs. One thing that makes this iPod different from the Nano and the Shuffle is the added bonus of playing videos on a 2.5-inch screen, larger than any screen on previous iPods.

Those are the main differences between each iPod versions, so if you are still considering getting one, that should help you decide.

Now, you need to put stuff on it.

This is where iTunes comes in. This is free software by Apple that you can use on PCs running Windows 2000 or XP.

What iTunes allows you to do is import audio and video files from a computer into a library so you can organize them into your own custom playlists. That’s what you then transfer to your iPod.

When you plug in your iPod using the USB cable the iPod comes with, iTunes will take care of everything for you. It will automatically open up iTunes and transfer all your songs or videos onto the iPod. It will also update any files that you remove or add to your iTunes library afterwards, each time you plug the iPod to your computer.