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iTunes and You

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Move Music and Video to the iPod (shuffle Excluded)

Now that your media is organized, it's time to put it on your 'pod. The conduit for moving music, podcasts, audiobooks, and videos to the iPod is iTunes—which, fortunately, can be fairly flexible in the way it goes about the process.

By default, any tracks in your iTunes Library—and videos, in the case of the 5G iPod—will be transferred automatically to the iPod when the iPod is plugged into your computer. If there are more tracks in your iTunes Library than will fit on the iPod, iTunes asks permission to create a subset of your music files and then transfers that subset to your iPod.

There are several ways to configure iTunes so that your iPod is updated when you want it to be. It's just as possible to configure iTunes so that only the music and videos you want are copied to your iPod. The key is the iPod Preferences window.

To start, plug your iPod into your computer, and launch iTunes. (By default, iTunes launches when you connect the iPod.) The iPod appears under the Devices heading in iTunes' Source list (FIGURE 3.7). To open the iPod Preferences window, select the iPod in the Source list.

Figure 3.7

Figure 3.7 My iPod in the Source list.

Within the iPod Preferences window, you'll find eight panes if you have a 5G iPod: Summary, Music, Movies, TV Shows, Podcasts, Photos, Contacts, and Games. If you have a color iPod that doesn't offer video (including an iPod nano), the Movies, TV Shows, and Games tabs will be absent. For monochrome iPods, the Photos tab will be missing.

Below these tabs, you'll see the Capacity gauge (FIGURE 3.8). This is a thermometerlike display that details how much media is on your iPod. With a 5G iPod, you'll see entries for Audio, Video, Photos, Other (read: data like files you've copied to the iPod, notes, contacts, and calendars), and Free Space. Click the gauge, and the display cycles through amounts of storage used by each kind of media (measured in GB and MB); the numbers of items of each kind of media (7,660 songs, 109 videos, and 6,098 photos, for example); and how long it would take to play the audio and video files (26.6 days, for example).

Figure 3.8

Figure 3.8 The Capacity gauge.

Here's how the panes shake out.


In iTunes 7, the Summary pane provides such details about your iPod as its name, capacity, software version number, serial number, and format. It also will tell you the version of the iPod software it's running and offer you the option to update that software if newer software is available or restore your iPod (essentially, erase its contents and give it a new operating system). I'll cover the ins and outs of restoring your iPod in Chapter 8.

Finally, the Summary tab offers these options.

Open iTunes When This iPod Is Connected

Most likely, you're going to want to sync or otherwise muck with your iPod when you plug it into your computer. This option saves you the trouble of launching iTunes manually.

Only Sync Checked Items

This provides fine control over which files you sync to the iPod. Checking the box for this option lets you prevent files from loading onto the iPod by unchecking the small check boxes next to their names in playlists and Library lists.

Manually Manage Music (and Videos, on 5G iPods)

This small option offers a lot of power. To understand its usefulness, it's helpful to know that by default, when you sync iTunes and the iPod, iTunes moves only the files you ask it for onto the iPod and erases everything else from the device. This can be a real bother if you've moved your iPod from one computer to another, and the contents of the second computer don't match those of the first.

Managing files manually allows you to add music (and videos, for compatible iPods) to your iPod without erasing any other media. When you select this option, all the playlists on your iPod appear below the iPod's icon in the iTunes Source list. (For the sake of simplicity, we'll say that the Music, Movies, TV Shows, Podcasts, and Audiobooks entries count as playlists.)

To add media files to the iPod manually, just select them in one of iTunes' playlists, and drag them to the iPod's icon in the Source list or to one of the iPod's standard (not Smart) playlists (FIGURE 3.9). You can also drag files from your computer's desktop directly to the iPod, which copies the media to the iPod but not to your iTunes Library.

Figure 3.9

Figure 3.9 Moving music to the iPod manually.

Optionally, you can add songs by genre, artist, or album by using iTunes' browser. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. In iTunes, choose Edit > Show Browser (Command-B in Mac OS X; Ctrl+B in Windows).

    A pane divided into Genre, Artist, and Album columns appears at the top of iTunes' main window.

  2. Click an entry in one of the columns.

    If you want to copy all the Kate Bush songs in your iTunes Library to the iPod, for example, click Ms. Bush's name in the Artist column. To copy all the reggae tunes to the iPod, select Reggae in the Genre column.

  3. Drag the selected item to the iPod's icon in the Source list or to a playlist you've created on the iPod.

To remove songs from the iPod, select the songs you want to remove within the iPod entry in the Source list; then press your keyboard's Delete key (or Control-click on the Mac or right-click for Windows, and choose Clear from the contextual menu). Mac users can also drag the songs to the Trash.

You can even copy entire playlists to other playlists by dragging one playlist icon on top of another. This method works for both iTunes and iPod playlists, though you can't drag a playlist on the iPod to an iTunes playlist and expect the songs to copy over. Under most circumstances, tracks on the iPod don't copy to your computer (unless you know the tricks detailed in Chapter 7).

But wait—there's more. iTunes 7 includes two new views: Album and CoverFlow view. To see your music in each of these views, click the second button in the View palette at the top of the window to see the Album view. The CoverFlow view appears when you click the third button (FIGURE 3.10). As their names hint, these views let you see your music by album cover.

Figure 3.10

Figure 3.10 iTunes' View buttons.

Specifically, in Album view, you'll see the artwork for any album available from the iTunes Store on the left side of the window and the contents of that album on the right (FIGURE 3.11). CoverFlow is kind of a lazy-Susan affair that represents your library as a series of covers (FIGURE 3.12). You can move music from these views to your iPod simply by dragging the cover art from the view to the iPod's icon. The contents of that album, video, or podcast will be transferred to the iPod.

Figure 3.11

Figure 3.11 Album view.

Figure 3.12

Figure 3.12 CoverFlow view.

The iPod will also tell you when it's ready to be unmounted. When the iPod is mounted on your computer or busy accepting data from an application, its display flashes the international symbol for "Back off, Jack!" (the circle with a line through it), along with a "Do not disconnect" message. When you unmount it properly, the iPod displays its main menu.

Enable Disk Use

The iPod is, at heart, an elegant storage device that happens to play music and, in some cases, slideshows and videos. You can mount the iPod as a hard drive on your computer by enabling this option. When the iPod is mounted, you can use it just like a hard drive; copy files to it as you desire.


The Music pane (FIGURE 3.13) contains options for syncing music and music videos to your iPod, as well as for displaying album artwork on a color iPod.

Figure 3.13

Figure 3.13 The Music pane.

Enabling the Sync Music option tells iTunes that you'd like it to sync its music collection to the iPod automatically. If you've enabled the Manually Manage Music and Videos option in the Summary pane, enabling the Sync Music option overrides the Manual option (iTunes will ask you if you're sure you want to do this). When you've chosen Sync Music, you then have the choice to sync all songs and playlists or just selected playlists.

Any songs currently on the iPod that aren't in the iTunes Library or in the selected playlists are erased from the iPod.

Why choose selected playlists rather than your entire music library? For one thing, your iPod may not have the capacity to hold your entire music collection. This option is also a good one to use when several members of your family share an iPod. It allows you to chunk up a music collection into multiple playlists and then rotate those playlists in and out of the iPod.

If you've removed songs from the iTunes Library and want them to remain on your iPod after the update, you'll want to avoid this option and manage your music manually.

Movies (5G iPod only)

The Movies pane (FIGURE 3.14) is similar to the Music pane. Here, you'll find the option to Sync Movies and then choices to sync All Movies, All Unwatched Movies, All Most Recent Unwatched Movies (this can be 1, 3, 5, or 10 most recent unwatched movies), or Selected Movies or Selected Playlists. iTunes provides this greater level of sync control because movies take up a lot of space, and a large movie collection and even the highest-capacity iPod may not mix.

Figure 3.14

Figure 3.14 The Movies pane.

Again, if you enable the Sync Movies option, you undo the Manually Manage Movies and Videos setting if you've switched it on.

TV Shows (5G iPod only)

The TV Shows pane (FIGURE 3.15) also provides greater flexibility than does the Music pane. Here, you can choose to sync all TV shows; 1, 3, 5, or 10 of the most recent; all unwatched TV shows; 1, 3, 5, or 10 of the most recent unwatched TV shows; or the selected TV shows or playlists.

Figure 3.15

Figure 3.15 The TV Shows pane.

Echoing my past statements, if you allow syncing of your TV shows, you disable the Manually Manage Movies and Videos setting.


It would be pretty silly to own a music player called the iPod that didn't play podcasts. Yours does, and this pane determines how podcasts are treated by iTunes and the iPod (FIGURE 3.16).

Figure 3.16

Figure 3.16 The Podcasts pane.

Much like with the TV Shows pane, you can choose to sync all episodes of all podcasts; 1, 3, 5, or 10 most recent of all your subscribed podcasts; all unplayed podcasts you subscribe to; or 1, 3, 5, or 10 of the most recent unplayed episodes of all your podcasts. Alternatively, you can use these same options with selected podcasts rather than all your subscribed podcasts.

Photos (color iPods only)

If you have a color iPod, you can synchronize pictures between your photo library and your iPod. The key to doing so is within the Photos pane of the iPod Preferences window.

Sync Photos From option

When you enable this option, you'll see an alert that asks whether you're really sure you want to enable photo support. iTunes does this to warn you that any photos currently on the iPod will be replaced. You don't have the option to manage photos manually; thus, you have to be more careful about accidentally erasing pictures when you plug your color iPod into another computer.

With this option enabled, you can choose a source for your photos. On a Macintosh, you'll see iPhoto listed in the Sync Photos From pop-up menu (FIGURE 3.17); you also have the option to choose images from the Pictures folder in your user folder or to select any other folder. This works pretty much as you'd expect.

Figure 3.17

Figure 3.17 The Photos pane.

When you choose iPhoto, the option below the pop-up menu reads All Photos and Albums. When you enable this option, all the pictures in your iPhoto library will be converted and copied to the iPod. You also have the option Selected Albums, which works much like the Selected Playlists option in the Music pane. Regardless of which option you choose, whenever you add new images to a selected album, the iPod automatically updates its photo library when it next synchronizes.

If you choose Pictures from this pop-up menu, the options below it change to All Photos and Selected Folders. The principles of iPhoto import apply here as well. If you choose All Photos, iTunes rummages around in this folder and looks for compatible graphics files. If you choose Selected Folders, you can direct iTunes to look in only those folders that you select.

Finally, you can select Choose Folder. When you do, up pops a Change Photos Folder Location navigation window. Just traipse to the folder you want to pull pictures from, and click Choose. When you do this, the folder you've chosen replaces Pictures in the pop-up menu.

This process is no more complicated for Windows users. The main difference is that the Windows version of iTunes offers no iPhoto option (and because there is no version of iPhoto for Windows, that's probably a good thing). Instead, you'll see the option to sync All or Selected Folders from your My Pictures folder or another folder of your choosing.

If you've installed Adobe Photoshop Elements (version 3 or later) or Adobe Photoshop Album on your PC, the Sync Photos From pop-up menu also contains entries for these programs, allowing you to import pictures from the albums these programs create.

Include Full-Resolution Photos

Near the bottom of the Photos pane you'll see the Include Full-Resolution Photos option, followed by this text:

Copy full-resolution versions of your photos into the Photos folder on your iPod, which you can access after enabling disk use.

This is a useful hunk of text, in that it hints at where your full-resolution images are stored, but if space permitted, it would be even more useful if it continued with these words:

Oh, and don't get your hopes up thinking that just because you've copied these full-resolution images to your iPod, you'll be able to view these exact images on your iPod or project them on a television. No, sir (or madam, as the case may be), this option is provided only as a convenient way to transfer your images to the iPod so that you can later attach it to a different computer and copy your pictures from here to there.


iTunes handles synchronization of contacts and calendars between your computer and iPod. The Contacts pane offers synchronization options for your computer's main contacts and calendars applications. From the Contacts pane on a Macintosh, you can choose to synchronize all your Apple Address Book contacts or just those contacts from selected groups. On a Windows PC, iTunes synchronizes Windows' Address Book or Microsoft Outlook contacts in the same way—either all contacts or selected groups of contacts. Only in the Macintosh version of iTunes do you also have the option to include the photo associated with your contact.

Below the Contacts section of the pane, you'll spy the Calendars section. This works similarly to Contacts. On a Mac, you can sync all your iCal calendars or just selected calendars. On a Windows PC, you have these same options for Microsoft Outlook calendars.

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