Thursday, May 17, 2007

The magic within Apple's iPod player

There are so many digital music players available.So why is Apple's iPod so special?We used one and discovered that it has a lot more to offer than just music.

Every now and then a technology comes along that promises to change our lifestyle.The sony Walkman (launched in 1979), the video cassette recorder (in the 1980s) and the internet (mid-1990s) are vivid examples.The latest technology fascination is a small digital music player called iPod.No bigger than a pack of cards and a slim as a cigarette lighter,the little wonder can holder as many as 10,000 songs!that lets you carry your entire CD collection in your back pocket!.

But the iPod is much more than a digital music player.In fact it has so much to offer that it's fast acquiring the same status of the Walkman.Here are some features that we will find them under the 'Extras' menu on the iPod.

Feature 1 : An address book

One of the iPod's most unknown features is its ability to store and display addresses,phone numbers and other text-based data.If you have a collection of phone numbers that you want to access easily,you can store textual information from website articles and e-books.The amount of data you store is limited only by the available space on the iPod's hard drive.
If you are a Mac OS X user,you'll use two application to transfer this data to the iPod:
Address Book and iSync.Address Book installs with OS X and iSync is a free download from the Apple website and will sync Mac,iPod,PDAs and Bluetooth devices.
In other operating systems such as windows,you use any application that will export your data into the vCard format (for e-mail addresses).Then connect the iPod to the PC,and in the software drag the vCard file into the 'Contacts' folder of the iPod.
Now,let's say you want to use the iPod to store a large document.Though the iPod technically does not allow it,you can work around the problem by simply typing the name of the file first where you would normally type the name of the person.Having done that paste the text file into the 'Notes' or 'Comments' field of your address entry.Then,when it gets transferred to the iPod,your entry will show up as just another address entry and the text file will deployed under the 'Notest' section of the entry.
This is a handy way to take important information and text files on the road with you.You can add driving directions,WAP stumbling logs,notest,just about anything that you can imagine.

Feature 2 : Calendar

The iPod can also function like a PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) and you can store your daily schedule in it.It has a calendar that can store your forthcoming events.
To access the calendar simply follow the patch 'Extras | Calendar' and you will find your daily to do schedule.Navigate through days by using the scroll wheel or through months by pressing the 'Forward' and 'Back' buttons.Selecting a day will bring a list of all events scheduled for that day.Selecting a specific event will bring up exact time information and a description of the appointment.
How does one go about putting their calendar onto iPod?Luckily Apple has used the standard vCalendar format.This means that one can export calendar information from application such as Microsoft Entourage or Palm Desktop and put it straight into the iPod during a Sync operation.
Apple has developed its own solution for adding vCalendar files via iCal.If you don't want tp use iCal,then use the Palm Desktop or Entourage to export your calendar information.Once you have exported it,simply drag it to the 'Calendar' folder on iPod.It will automatically be updated and recognized.

Feature 3 : Games

The iPod also including some simple games like Music Quiz,Solitaire,Brick and Parachute.There are web sites from where you can download more games and put these in your ipod.The games and put these in your iPod.The games are the simple kind,so don't expect as you'd get on PCs or the latest phones.

Feature 4 : A secret storage device

Here's one thing an iPod can do that a PDA or paper notebook can't.It can be used as a hard disk drive.That might have certain advantages if you're concerned about certain files or information being discovered on your computer.
With storage capacities ranging from 5 GB to 30 GB,there are lots of possiblities for use as an external storage device for your laptop when you are on the field.
If there are some applications that you want to use,but for some reason you don't want to install them on your laptop,you can run them off the iPod.You can also use the iPod as a boot drive if you have an OS installed on it and if your computer supports booting from an external Firewire device.Most modern day computers allow that.
An iPod can be connected to any Firewire-equipped computer and be used to share and swap files as needed.On an iMac computer,the iPod will automatically show up on the desktop as an external drive.With any other system you'd need the Firewire drivers to be installed.
iPods connect to iMacs using Firewire cables.This,flexible Firewire cables are now available that are much better for field use,that the standard thick cables that most Firewire devices ship with.To connect an iPod to the PC you would need an iPod Dock Connector to USB 2.0 + Firewire cable (see )

Feature 5 : Storing your photos while traveling

The new iPod photo allows you store all of your pictures on the contraption.Truth is it costs a bomb.Perhaps it will come down in few months.
Until then thoug,if you are saddled with an earlier version of the iPod,fret not.Though you can't view pictures on it yet,there's nothing to stop you from storing them in the device.
A 40 GB iPod can hold up to 24,000 photos (captured on a 3 megapixel camera ).Want to transfer pictures from your digital camera? Well,then here's what you could do.Get yourself a card reader that connects to your iPod.
The card reader will simply act as a bridge between your digital camera and the iPod.It reads the pictures on your camera and transfers them to your iPod.At a later date,when you get back home,you can pull out the pictures from your iPod and transfers them to your computer.However you may have to spend some money to get this kind of capability.A card reader usually costs less than $100.
Belkin ( ) has a pretty decent card reader that does a good job.
The advantage of going in for a card reader if you have an older version of the iPod is that you get full functionality for cheaper than what it would cost you to buy a new photo iPod.

Feature 6 : Storing audio files

Storing music is the primary function of the iPod.The fourth-generation models have a 40 GB hard disk which can store up to 10,000 songs!The 20 GB iPod can hold about 5,000 songs.
Apple offers an online music store (called iTunes) from where you can buy and download songs for the iPod.
And don't worry about the batteries getting over.The ipod has a long battery life - up to 12 hours.And with the 25 minutes of skip protection that iPod provides,you can listen while playing basketball,and the music will keep playing A word on the batteries though.It is perhaps the iPod's Achilles Heel.After 12-18 months of sustained use.It starts running out of juice.Once that happens,you'll have to spend a packet on getting a new pair of batteries for the iPod.Unless you decide to go for a third-party battery pack that isn't quite as sleek as the original,but does the job nevertheless.

Feature 7 : Lots of accessories

There are plenty of accessories that expand the functionality of the iPod and make it more useful.Check out the 'Accessories' section on Apple iPods store ( ).
There are external speakers,a remote control,a stereo connection kit,an add-on voice recorder,a radio and kits for using the iPod while driving.
You can also pick up an inexpensive cassette tape adapter and listen to the iPodin your car through your car stereo.It seems everyone wants to make accessories for the iPod these days.

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