The iPod has become so ubiquitous that it’s hard to believe that it
has existed a for a relatively brief 12 years. The omnipresent white earbuds and minuscule hard drive have become a symbol of our technology-driven lives. Given these facts, is there anything new we can learn about these devices? O’Reilly’s 11th edition of iPod: The Missing Manual by J.D. Biersdorfer and David Pogue suggests that the MP3 players possess capabilities far beyond just playing music.
The manual covers the iPod Touch, Nano, Classic, and Shuffle, detailing the special features of the various players. Each section details with clear photos and screenshots how to set up the device, synch it with iTunes, load music, and in some cases how to find, install, and uninstall apps. Those new to the iPod family will find these tours useful, as Apple provides little information in hard copy form. Written in easy-to-understand language (at one point Biersdorfer and Pogue instruct the reader to “click the flippy triangle next to folder name”), the authors assist users in quickly becoming iPod experts.
Speaking of experts, veteran iPod fans will find relevant material in the manual as well. The authors explain how playlists work, how to hook up your device to a home stereo or car sound system, and how to play both audio and video on a television. Anyone who has spent time staring at endless cables in an electronic store will find the book invaluable; it describes which devices require which connectors, complete with illustrations. iPods also function as general hard drives, and the book describes how to transform an iPod Classic into a portable storage tool. Think you cannot view text files on an MP3 player? Think again. Other little-known features as the voice memo capability are thoroughly explained.