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Taking Your iPod Beyond Music

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Avowed Windows lover Matthew David became enamored of a little white box full of favorite tunes. Now he has found that his Apple iPod can do even more than fill his life with music.
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This new love affair I'm enjoying with my iPod is really out of the blue. I'm first and foremost a PC lover. Actually, the worst kind of PC lover—one who really, really likes Windows. So why did I make a leap to Apple? Well, the bottom line is this: I love music more than a PC; and the iPod, coupled with iTunes and the iTunes Store, is the best one-two punch for digital music lovers. So I bought an iPod about two months ago. And I am hooked! I never leave home without it.

Music is certainly the area that has sparked the most interest for iPod lovers. You can get a lot of music on even the smallest iPod Minis. But I'm also a closet hacker, and I wanted to see how far I could extend the limits of the iPod. In this article, I'll show you how to take your iPod beyond the music.

More Than Just Music

On the surface, your iPod appears to be all about music. But in many ways, the music is just the beginning of what you can do. When you run your iPod, you'll find a section under the main menu called Extras. The Extras section includes these additional features:

  • Games. The games are much more fun than the standard games you get with PDAs such as the Palm Pilot. You'll find a Break Out game, Solitaire, and Parachute. A cool new game plays the first five seconds of a track from one of your music files, and you have to choose which song it is from a list of five.

  • Alarms. The Alarm tool turns your iPod into an alarm. You can have a beeping sound, or, if you add speakers to your iPod, maybe have your favorite song wake you in the morning.

  • Notes. The Notes section allows you to store text files on your iPod. I use this feature to store notes and article outlines. I can then review them when I'm away from my computer. (I did that for this article.)

  • Contacts. The Contacts section stores information about your contacts in vCard format.

  • Calendar. The Calendar allows you to store calendar information in iCal format. Once it's loaded, you can review appointments in a calendar format.

All I need now is for my iPod Contacts and Calendar to synch with Outlook, and I can throw away my PDA!

The preinstalled programs that come with the iPod are, in my opinion, just a sample of what's coming for the iPod.

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