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iTunes 10 Essential Training takes an in-depth look into the popular music and media hub from Apple. Author Garrick Chow demonstrates how to perform the core functions in iTunes: playing, purchasing, sharing, and streaming content. The course also covers specialized features such as setting parental controls, syncing with iPods, subscribing to podcasts, listening to Internet radio, using the Genius feature, the Ping social network, and much more. Exercise files are included with the course.
In this chapter I want to briefly go over how to use iPods with iTunes 10. You're certainly not required to own an iPod to use iTunes, but iTunes is designed to work with these devices and manage their content, and many people do have iPods, so I feel it's important to at least cover the basics of how iTunes interacts with these devices. This won't be an in-depth tutorial on iPods by any means though. I am just going to focus on the iTunes related aspects of iPods. Now if you don't own one, you can skip this chapter entirely. Before we get started I can't stress enough the importance of making sure all of your files in iTunes are properly tagged and labeled, meaning make sure that all of your music files have at least the artist, album, and song titles properly added.
Make sure your movies are named in such a way they'll be able to tell what they are by their names, and if you have any TV shows or audio books, also make sure they're all properly formatted as well. Without properly tagged files, it's really difficult to find the content you're looking for on your iPod. Now for this example, I have connected three types of iPods to my computer. I have got an iPod nano, an iPod shuffle and an iPod touch. This is so you can see some of the differences in what options are available in iTunes, depending on which device you're using. And even though I am using a Mac here, most of what I am going to go over applies to Windows as well, and I will point out any difference as we go along.
Now when you first connect an iPod to your computer, you may have to go through a series of screens where you are asked to agree to a licensing agreement or to register your iPod. So go ahead and do all that on your own. Eventually you'll be back in your main iTunes window, and your iPod should show up under the Devices section of the source pane. Notice that the contents of the iPods are organized very much like your iTunes library. Here under the iPod Touch for example, I have a library for Music, Movies, TV Shows and Books and so on, just like how my iTunes library is set up. Now the first thing you see when you select your iPod is that the main part of your iTunes window is now organized into several sections with the Summary button selected.
Now depending on what iPod you have, you will see different categories at the top of the screen here. Notice the iPod touch has Summary, Apps, Music, Movies, TV Shows, Podcasts, Photos and Info. If you have your iPhone connected you would also see ring tones here. Now the nano only has Summary, Music, Podcasts and Photos, and the shuffle, which has no screen and can't display photos, only has Summary, Music and Podcasts. Let me go back to the touch here. Now under Summary, you can find your iPod's vitals, like its name, its capacity, software version, serial number, and so on.
Incidentally if you want to change the name of your iPod, just click it in the Source pane and type in a new name. This might be helpful if you have more than one of the same iPod in the house, and you want to make sure that your name is associated with yours. Now under the Version section, you'll either see a message telling you that your iPod software is up-to-date, or you will see a message like this one, telling you that a newer version of the iPod software is available. Apple is constantly releasing updates to its iPods, sometimes fixing bugs, other times adding major new features. Generally, it's a good idea to update to the latest version of the software when it becomes available.
If you see the Update button is available, just click it to download and install the software, and of course, this requires an internet connection for iTunes to check if your iPod has the latest software installed, and this also where you'll find the Restore button to restore your iPod. There may come a time when your iPod is just acting plain weird. Maybe it's not booting up right or it's locked up. Now there are various fixes and solutions you can find on Apple's web site, but as a last resort, you can click the Restore button to return the iPod to its factory new condition. And I say it's a last resort, because restoring an iPod completely erases it and installs a fresh copy of the software on it.
So you will lose all the items on your iPod. You should have copies of everything in iTunes anyway, but it does take time to recopy everything back to your iPod, so use the Restore button as a last measure. Now under the Options section we have several options or checkboxes. What you see here depends on what type of iPod you are using, but there are some options they have in common. First we have Open iTunes when this iPod is connected and I think that's pretty self-explanatory. With this option checked, iTunes will open whenever you connect your iPod to your computer. Next we have Sync only checked songs and videos, and this is currently grayed out, because I have my iPod set up for manual file management, meaning that instead of letting iTunes automatically add content to my iPod, I prefer to add the content myself by hand.
But if you do choose to sync your iPod, with this option checked, iTunes won't include any unchecked files when it copies files to your iPod, and that's referring to the checkboxes that appear next to each file in your library, these checkboxes here. So anything that is unchecked won't be added to your iPod. Next, we have Convert higher bit rate songs to 128 kbps AAC. This is a useful feature if you have a lot of higher bit rate songs in your library, which take up more space. By checking this option, iTunes will convert songs of higher bit rates to 128 kbps in the AAC format, which should result in smaller files, meaning you will be able to fit more music on your iPod.
So space is a concern, and it probably is if you're using an iPod shuffle or iPod nano, you can check this option. The next option is Manually manage music and videos, and this is an option I checked before I started this movie, so the iPod wouldn't be copying a bunch of files while I was talking. And again, this is the option that lets you manually drag songs and videos to your iPod, rather than letting iTunes move files automatically for you. Now the question often comes up here as to which option is better? Manual updating or automatic syncing? And it really depends on whether you prefer the control of manually managing your iPod or if you prefer to set up some rules and playlists to determine what gets copied to your iPod.
We will be looking at syncing options, but if I do uncheck Manually manage music and videos, first of all I will see this message telling me that all of my content is going to be replaced, because this will turn on syncing, which will automatically move content to my iPod. But if I click OK, you will see that it does give me the option to sync only checked songs and videos. I am going to leave Manually manage music checked for now. Now on the iPod nano and iPod shuffle, the next option here is Enable disk use, which is always on by default if you have Manually manage music selected. This means your iPod will show up on your computer outside of iTunes as an external hard drive and you can copy files to and from it like any other hard drive.
So if you have an iPod with a lot of empty space, maybe you have 160 GB iPod classic on which you're using only about 30 gigs of space for your music, instead of carrying around a dedicated external hard drive, you can just Enable disk use on your iPod and use it as a drive to copy or move files from one computer to another. If I had iTunes for a moment, you see that both the iPod shuffle and the nano show up on my desktop as hard drives, so I can copy files to and from them if I wanted to, because I have Enable disk use checked. Now on the shuffle, we also have Voice Feedback and here you can Enable VoiceOver, so that your iPod will speak the names of songs, artists, and playlists and so on.
And that's convenient, because the shuffle doesn't have a screen on which to display any of that information. Now the first time you Enable VoiceOver, iTunes might have to download the VoiceOver kit software, which could take a little while, so let it do its thing and update your iPod. From that point on, your iPod shuffle will be able to speak information to you. Also in the shuffle's options is Limit maximum volume, this lets you set a limit on how loud music on your iPod can get, which a lot of parents find useful if they're letting their kids listen to their iPods. The other iPod models have volume limit settings built in, but since the shuffle doesn't have a screen, the option is found here in iTunes.
Lastly at the bottom of the screen is the Capacity bar, which tells you how much space is currently being used on your iPod. It's also color coded so you can see which kind of media is taking up the most space. As you can see I don't have much content on any of my iPods right now. I have got some on the iPod touch, where you can see audio takes up a little bit, Video takes up a lot more, there are some Photos on there and some other content. Okay, so that's an overview of the Summary tab of the iPod management section of iTunes. In the upcoming movies, we will talk about how to sync your songs and videos to your iPod.
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