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Our Mastering the iPod Experts

J.D. Biersdorfer

J.D. Biersdorfer

Columnist and author of iPod: The Missing Manual

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Tony Bove

Tony Bove

Journalist, columnist and co-author of iPod & iTunes for Dummies...

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Brad Miser

Brad Miser

Author of more than 30 books including Absolute Beginner's...

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Top 5 Things to Do

Once you’ve invested in a new techno-toy like the iPod, it’s easy to get so caught up in the possibilities and overwhelmed by technology that you feel controlled by the device. Take charge of your iPod and make it work for you. Here are a few hints on how to be the master (or mistress) of your new digital wonderland.

1. Download more than music.

Though music is the first thing that comes to mind when “iPod” is mentioned, there’s no reason you should ignore its many other functions. With just a little time and practice, you can use your iPod as a portable hard drive, a PDA, a video player and an education tool, making it a far more practical purchase than you ever imagined.

2. Individualize your iPod style.

The iPod and iTunes site have tons of features that allow you to customize your iPod to your personality. Set up iTunes to automatically download a podcast series you particularly enjoy so that you’ll always have new “downtime” entertainment available. Custom-build your own playlists so you can listen to the songs that fit your mood. All is available to you with a few mouse clicks.

3. Learn with your iPod’s help.

Download podcasts and audiobooks from iTunes to your iPod that teach you how to make the most of, well, your iPod. What better tool to learn about all the amazing things you can do with your iPod than the iPod itself?

4. Take a virtual music safari.

Get adventurous! Sure, you can upload your favorites, but there are bound to be several music genres you aren’t that familiar with. Jump on iTunes and check them out. Who knows? You might discover that you really do like some of the musical “broccoli” you’ve been pushing to the side of your plate for years. Normally a rap fan? Download some jazz and see where Miles Davis can take you. Are you a dyed-in-the-wool classical music lover? Crank up a little Metallica and try to pinpoint the similarities.

5. Share your iPod goodies.

An iPod is absolutely the perfect conversation-starter. It levels the playing field by providing common ground. The next time you’re standing in line or at a ball game or anywhere else, whip out your iPod and start up a conversation with the person standing next to you. Chances are, they’ll have an iPod with them, too, and you can both get new music, video, podcast and other ideas from each other.

Posted: 2/1/08