All iPod, All The Time

The iPod has become such a ubiquitous tool in everyday life that the time has come for iPod.pedia, a book that refers to itself as The Ultimate iPod and iTunes Resource. While I was skeptical at first, upon reading, I must admit that this book, by a non-Apple insider, contains a treasure trove of useful and fun information for iPod junkies like me.

iPod.pedia, authored by Michael Miller (whose previous works include Googlepedia) and published by Que, notes at the outset that tens of millions of people currently use iPods and start with the premise that they deserve "to get as much as possible out of the iPod experience." Sounds good - pardon the pun.

While I initially feared that the book would simply be the work of Apple patting itself on the back, I was comforted to read early on that Mr. Miller does not work for Apple and had no official contact with Apple while writing the book. Indeed, he writes that he uses a PC, not a Mac. I was thus prepared to sit back and digest the book without concern for a propaganda blitz.

The book informs users how they best can download songs, rip and download them to and from CDs, create playlists, edit track data and artwork, and make iPod sound quality the best possible.

But Mr. Miller does not stop with music, as he also explains how to play videos, podcasts, audiobooks and games. The uses continue, as he teaches how to implement an Ipod as a scheduler and workout trainer. He also gives detailed instructions on how to store and view digital photographs and how to transfer data files from one computer to another.

For history buffs, the first section of the book provides an overview introduction to the history of the iPod, from the various models released over time up to and including the new iPhone.

The next section sets forth detailed step-by-step instructions for using the iPod, iTunes software and the iTunes Store.

After that, the book covers applications, and explains how to use the iPod and iTunes not only for music, but also podcasts, audibooks, photos, videos and games. This section is especially important for those who are ready to branch out from pure music iPod use.

Covering more ground, and getting into some more detailed uses, the book next teaches how to use the iPod in the home, the car, as a portable storage device, for running and exercise, and as a calendar/scheduler.

The next section is entitled "Secrets," and it provides interesting tips and tricks for your iPod. Did you know, for example, that you can record FM radio for playback on your iPod? Or, were you aware that you can use your iPod to give business presentations, and to view emails and PDF files? It is true, and this section teaches you how.

This section of the book further goes on to explain iPod hacks for those with the technical expertise to get inside the iPod and modify its firmware or operating system. Such hacks can allow you to modify the fonts, graphics, icons, and the screen background. Other hacks enable users run additional applications on the iPod above and beyond those officially on the market.

The book next covers the wide array of available iPod accessories and third party software.

The tail-end of the book covers iPod troubleshooting. I found this section important as a self-help guide for dealing with iPod problems I have encountered in my own iPod use.

At the end of the day, iPod.pedia is a useful guide to have at your fingertips as you navigate the unfolding iPod uses.

Eric Sinrod is a partner in the San Francisco office of Duane Morris LLP where he focuses on litigation matters of various types, including information technology and intellectual property disputes.  His Web site is http://www.sinrodlaw.com and he can be reached at ejsinrod@duanemorris.com. To receive a weekly email link to Mr. Sinrod's columns, please send an email to him with Subscribe in the Subject line.

This column is prepared and published for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice.  The views expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the author's law firm or its individual partners.