iPods are in
Mac Tip #167/06-Oct-2004
I’ve occasionally mentioned my iPod in these Tips, but never with much detail. In this Tip I want to explain why you might like to seriously consider getting an iPod. But first, if you have no idea what an iPod is then visit Apple’s iPod pages.
I have a 40Gb (Gigabyte) iPod. It’s about the same size and weight as a pack of cards and I carry it with me wherever I go. It contains music I can listen to, addresses, appointments and notes I can refer to and a backup of my computer.
First I used iTunes to import all my CDs. Most CDs have music, but some are self-improvement CDs with spoken word. Then I went to Audible.com and bought a few spoken books.
Next I made sure to enter all my addresses in Address Book and my appointments in iCal.
Then I plugged my iPod in to my computer and in a couple of minutes all of those things were transferred to my iPod.
While my iPod was plugged in I also dragged over my Documents, Photos and Library folders to back them up.
That transfer took a a few minutes longer as there were many Gigabytes of information.
Recently, while on holiday, I also bought a Griffin iTrip FM transmitter. Now while I’m in the car, or at home, I just switch on my iPod and play the music or books through my radio. While I’m walking the dog I listen through earbuds.
The iPod is small and lightweight, making it easy to carry. It’s revived my interest in listening to music — I have about 1,000 “songs” on there — 3 days worth! I can quickly refer to my addresses and diary. I know I have a good backup of my computer, without messing around with CDs.
I recently downloaded a demo of a spoken phrase book — if I were travelling in Japan (or several other countries) I could listen to phrases such as “Two coffees please” or “Take me to the airport” and then say them. If my pronunciation failed completely I could show the phrase on the iPod screen, or even ask the taxi driver to listen for herself.
There are free radio shows and interviews around which you can download to your iPod. Just search Google.
The iPod’s a hot property at the moment and there are a million accessories and bits of software, allowing you to do all kinds of things.
For me, the most important features are the backup capability and the diary and address book, followed by the music. You can do any one of those things more cheaply, but to have them all in one slim, well-designed package is a real bonus.