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In this chapter, we have looked at a lot of controls and behaviors of your iPhone and iPod that are dependant on some of their default settings. If your own hasn't been behaving the same as you have been seeing in these movies, or if you would like to turn off some of these default behaviors, I will show where to find them right now. If you are on an iPhone, tap Settings, and then scroll down to iPod. If you are on an iPod touch, you also tap settings, but your preferences are divided into Music and Video settings. They are same settings that are found on the iPhone; they are just separated. So if you are following along on an iPod touch right now, tap Music. And here is where you will find most of the preferences that will determine your iPhone's behaviors when playing music and videos.
The first item is Shake to Shuffle, which is on by default. Basically if you are in the iPod app, or the Music app on the iPod touch, shaking your phone will start a random song from your currently selected playlist. Now in order for this to work, you have to already be playing a song, and your screen has to be on. This prevents you from accidentally shuffling songs if you are running with your iPod, or it's just bumping around on your car's dashboard. I like this feature myself, but if you want to turn it off just tap the On/Off switch. Next, we have Sound Check, which is off by default. Inevitably some of the songs in your music library are going to be louder than other songs.
This just has to do with the way they were originally recorded and released, and to some extent how they were encoded. For example, songs recorded these days are a lot louder than songs recorded back in the sixties. So if you are shuffling songs in your collection, you might be playing an older song that requires you to turn the volume up so you can hear it at a descent level, only to have your ears blown off by the next song that was recorded in the past year or so. Sound Check automatically controls the playback level of all songs, so they all play back at relatively the same volume. Quiet songs become a little louder and louder songs become a little bit quieter, and they sort of meet in the middle.
Personally I am not a fan of how Sound Check makes some songs sound, so I will leave this OFF. But if you are listening to a playlist that includes a wide range of songs spanning several decades and you want to make sure everything plays back at a consistent volume level, you can try turning it on. Next we have the EQ options, which are essentially a collection of preset audio adjustment settings for tweaking the frequencies of the music you are listening to. Notice we have several EQ selections to choose from, covering a wide range of genres and scenarios. So, for example, if you found you are not getting the bass response you like out of the tracks you are playing, you might come in here and tap Bass Booster.
If you are listening to an audio book, you might want to choose the Spoken Word EQ settings. If you come in here while music is playing, you will here the changes to the sound of your music as you tap different selections. Just be aware though that using the EQ setting does drain your battery a little faster, so I will leave my EQ setting off for now. The next music-related setting is Volume Limit, and this lets you say your iPhone or iPod so the volume level never goes louder than the limit you set. This is good for anyone who is guilty of listening to their music way too loud or for parents who want to protect their kids' ears. You probably want to have music playing as you drag the slider to set the limit so you can hear the results of your settings.
Then tap Lock Volume Limit, which then prompts you to create a 4-digit passcode. That way if you are setting a volume to protect your kids' ears, they won't be able to turn off the Volume Limit unless they know the passcode. I will just cancel this for now. The last setting here is Lyrics and Podcast Info. If you have songs that include embedded lyrics, you will see the lyrics appear when you play them. Or if you have podcasts which include embedded show information, you will see that information appear when you play the podcast. If you don't see the lyrics or podcast info, that information is either not included, or try tapping the album or podcast outwork to make them appear, and of course, if you don't want to see any of that stuff, go back to Settings and turn Lyrics and Podcast Info off, and that does it for the music preferences.
Next we have two video preferences. If you are using an iPod touch, go back to Settings and tap Video to see these preferences. The first item is Start Playing, and all this determines is where videos you had previously been watching will pick up from. The default choice is Where Left off, which I think makes sense because you will most likely want to start watching a video where you last left off. And if you did want to watch the video from the beginning, you just need to tap the Back button once, so I will leave that how it is. Some videos you watch will have closed caption text embedded in them. Here you can decide whether you want Closed Captioning to be on or off by default.
Regardless of your choice though, you can still turn closed captioning on and off while you are watching a video. This is just for setting the default behavior. The last two options relate to when you plug your iPhone or iPod into a TV using a special cable you can buy from Apple or a third-party vendor. If you want to make sure widescreen movies play at their proper dimensions, keep Widescreen turned on. And TV Signal has to do with whether you are connecting to a TV in North America or Europe. North American TVs use the NTSC standard, while European TVs use PAL. If you find yourself in Europe and wanting to watch a video from your iPhone on a TV, be sure to come in here and change the setting to PAL, and that does it for the iPod music and video playback preferences.
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