Words Get in the Way
As with any new venture, there are intimidating terms and jargon bandied about. Here are a few terms and definitions you’ll encounter in the iPod and iTunes circles:
Compression Rate: This term refers to how much of the quality of an original recording is retained in an audio file when a CD is uploaded to a computer. The terms “lossy” and “lossless” apply here in that lossy compression discards a greater amount of data than lossless compression.
MP3: This is the format to which audio files are converted for import and play on the iPod. The compression is small, making it easy to store large numbers of audio files in a small area on the iPod’s hard drive.
AAC: Advanced Audio Coding. This is Apple’s default compression format to reduce audio files to an acceptable size. AAC compression provides better sound quality than MP3s.
MPEG-4: This term refers to an audiovisual compression format for video files. It’s the current standard compression format for products offered through iTunes.
Podcast: A podcast is an audio or video file produced specifically for import to the iPod. Podcasts usually create larger files than music and, therefore, take up more space on the iPod’s hard drive.
Rip: Ripping is importing music from a CD or other source and converting it into a file format for the iPod.
WiFi: This term refers to the ability to connect to the internet over available wireless networks. WiFi connections are often available in coffee shops, gaming dens and sometimes other places where people might want to use the internet from their own devices, like libraries. The iPod Touch utilizes WiFi technology.