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- Working with the iPad touchscreen
- Printing with an iPad
- Syncing data with iCloud
- Using iTunes Match to update media on multiple devices
- Dealing with spam
- Sending Twitter updates from multiple apps
- Connecting an iPad to an external display
- Controlling a computer remotely with an iPad
- Keeping to-do lists synchronized
- Taking pictures and movies
- Preparing audio and video files for the iPad
Skill Level Appropriate for all
There are many ways to enjoy media on your iPad. You can watch or listen to the content you've placed on the iPad via iTunes, and using Home Sharing, you can also stream the contents of your iTunes library to the device. Now let's add one more: media that streams over the Internet. The first one we are going to look at is Pandora. Pandora is a free service that streams music to you based on artist selections you make.
For example, I can choose the search for artist field. I will type in The Jellybricks, because they just rock. There. Now I've got a Jellybricks station. (music playing) (Singer:Longing to know you, to feel the things you feel. If I--) So what happens if Pandora starts with a track by the band and then it plays related music? I can rate songs with a thumbs up or down rating, which helps Pandora learn what I like.
Your can also skip songs, though you're limited to 6 skips per hour and 12 skips per day if you have a free account. Although you can't pick exactly the music you want, Pandora is remarkably smart about playing music that you will like. It's a great way to discover new music. To stream exactly the music you want, you'll need to look at a subscription service, one that you pay a monthly fee for. I've used a variety of these services, including Rhapsody, Napster, Mog, and Rdio. These cost between $10 and $12 a month, with support for IOS devices like the iPad.
I want to look at Rhapsody, because it has a great selection, and the interface is easy to navigate. Now as you can see, the Rhapsody window comes up in that little tiny window that indicates this is an iPhone app. None of the subscription services that you pay for for music includes an iPad-native app; instead, they're all iPhone apps. So all you do is press the XX button, and now you can get to a much larger screen. So again, this is kind of like Pandora.
The difference is that you get to choose exactly the music you want. So I will tap Search and I'll enter Jellybricks again, because they still rock. Here, there are, the Jellybricks Power Pop. So I will look in all albums, and here are all the albums available on Rhapsody. I will then choose Goodnight to Everyone. It gives me a little tip. And if like, I can choose to play a song.
I will just tap one right now. (music playing) Let's look at a couple of other options here. You notice that there's a Download button here. Tap that Download button. You have the opportunity to download the tracks on the album. These don't download at a high resolution. These are low-resolution MP3 tracks, but they're plenty good for headphones that you would use with the iPad.
There are other things you can do with the service. You can go back to the Home page. You can check out playlists that you've created. You can look at your library of songs and artists, and of course I can look at the tracks that I've downloaded. Now I know a lot of people aren't keen on subscription music services, but I swear by them. Where else are you going to get access to a music library of over 12 million tracks? If you're a music geek, it's worth taking one of these services for a spin, and yes, they all offer free trials. And now to video.
If you're not a Netflix subscriber, you really should be, if only for the ability to stream Netflix movies and TV shows to your iPad. For just $8 a month, you can stream Netflix content your iPad over a Wi-Fi connection. And we will give that a try. Search field, Netflix, and here's Netflix. I've already logged in. Normally, you have to log in first, enter your password, and there you go.
So, on your Home screen, you'll find things like the top picks for you based on other things that you've watched on Netflix. I can also check other areas, so, Genres, for example, if I want to see things for children and family. Here are some recommended movies here. Again, anything that's here is available for streaming directly to your iPad. You could also search for things. So I could tap in the Search field. Let's do 'Sherlock Holmes'. Maybe Sherlock will do it. Yeah, and sure enough, here are some Sherlock Holmes TV shows as well as movies.
Then I can also look in my Instant Queue. These are things that I've added from Netflix on the web and I can view on my iPad. You can't add to your queue from within the iPad app. You used to be able to do that, but can't anymore. So right now you have to load it from a browser, and then you can view it on your iPad. Note that while Netflix's streaming library isn't nearly as complete as its disk library, it's gotten far better in the last couple of years. However, you're not going to find recent blockbusters. For that you must stick with a disk-based subscription.
Finally, if you're a fan of network TV and don't mind watching the occasional TV commercial and of course paying $8 a month, there is Hulu Plus. Hulu streams TV shows from a variety of networks, including ABC, FOX, PBS, and Comedy Central. If you have a Hulu Plus subscription, you could often have access to full seasons of older programs, as well as episodes of newly released episodes. Let's take a look at it. Hulu Plus. I've signed in, and here are some of the options.
So they have a Featured page. You can see what's hot in the last few days or couple weeks. You can look at Most Popular, and you can look at Recently Added shows. You can also choose the TV button and suggest TV shows, again Featured, Most Popular, Recently Added, and Browse TV, which allows you to search for TV shows. They also have a Movies section. It's not nearly as big as is Netflix's, but they're starting to add some shows. You can also look at your queue.
So as you browse through this application, you can add shows to a queue and then later pull them up for viewing at another time. One other nice thing is that you can also subscribe to shows. For example, I can choose The Daily Show, I can go to its show page, and then I can tap a Subscribe button and subscribe to that show. As with Netflix, Hulu's video looks great over a reasonably fast connection. Can these apps replace your TV? It depends how fond you are of sports and live events. If you can't live without live TV, you're not ready to cut the cord.
If you're thinking of cutting that cord however, these apps in your iPad are a good place to start.