Bonus Chapter 4: Advanced iPod Techniques

You’ve made it! You are now an iPod warrior, ready for the advanced course. This chapter provides details on a variety of advanced techniques to make your iPad, iPod, or iPhone experience more rewarding.

Playing Original iPod Games

The fifth-generation iPod nano is supplied with three games: Maze, Klondike, and Vortex. The iPod classic also offers Klondike and Vortex, and adds iQuiz. These games, are as sophisticated as those found on handheld, color-display game machines.

Of the four games supplied with older iPods, three of them — Brick, Parachute, and Solitaire — are a bit dorky for the information age, but hey, they’re extras. On the other hand, the fourth, Music Quiz, is a cool way to test your knowledge of your music library.

To run a game, choose Extras>Games from the main menu, and select the game. (On older iPods, choose Extras>Game.) And of course you can listen to music while you play.

Maze: Maze shows off the motion sensor that lets you control certain functions by rotating or shaking the iPod nano. You tilt the iPod nano in any direction to move a ball through different mazes to reach goals before the timer expires. You can also scroll the click wheel to put “spin” on the ball and affect its path. Mazes offer time-plus pickups that let you gain time by rolling the ball over them, and time-drain pickups that — you guessed it — drain your time away. And what maze would be complete without teleport holes that transport the ball to a different location? This Maze game is amazingly addictive.

iQuiz: The point of iQuiz is to choose the correct answer before time runs out. Too many wrong answers and that’s it — game over! The game displays a timer, the number you’ve answered wrong, and your score, as well as the number of remaining questions.

iQuiz is supplied with four question packs, three with preset questions: TV Show Trivia, Music Trivia, and Movie Trivia. The fourth, Music Quiz 2, uses the music on your iPod to create custom-tailored multiple-choice and true-false queries. You might hear a snippet from a song and have to answer with the album it came from, or what year it was released. Or you might need to figure out whether a certain tune came out in a specific year. The quiz may even incorporate your album art.

Vortex: Inspired by the original version of Breakout (from Atari), Vortex lets you bash bricks in three dimensions, using the click wheel to play in 360 degrees. You move your bat around the edge of the Vortex to block the ball as it smashes bricks that rotate inside. Clearing the Vortex of bricks enables you to enter the Vortex and advance to higher levels. As you rotate the click wheel, the bat moves in the direction of your rotation, and you fire your weapon by pressing the Select button or double-tapping the click wheel.

Klondike (Solitaire): Rather than playing the card game ‘til one, with a deck of 51, with the Statler Brothers, try Klondike, the iPod version of Solitaire. After selecting the game, press the Select button to start the game. To move cards, scroll the hand pointer over a card and then press the Select button to select the card. Then scroll the hand pointer to the new location for the card and press Select to place it at that position.

To deal another round of three cards, scroll the hand pointer over the card deck in the upper-left corner of the display and press the Select button. After going through an entire deck, the game places the remaining cards into a new deck so that you can continue dealing cards. The game improves considerably in a smoke-filled room with take-out pizza nearby; gangsters are optional.

Brick and Parachute (older iPods): Brick is like the original version of Breakout (from Atari). After selecting the game, press the Select button to start the game. Move the paddle from side to side, along the bottom of the display, with the scroll wheel. You get a point for each brick you knock out. If you break out — knock out all the bricks — you move up a level in the game.

Parachute is a crude shoot ’em-up game where you play antiaircraft gunner. Choose Parachute from the Games menu on fifth- and fourth-generation iPods (Game menu on older iPods) and press the Select button to start the game. With the scroll wheel, you pivot the gun at the bottom. Then press the Select button to fire at helicopters and paratroopers. Don’t let the paratroopers reach the ground, or they’ll heave grenades at you. War is hell, ya know.

Music Quiz (older iPods): Music Quiz (probably the greatest time-waster iPod game of them all) tests your knowledge of your music library by playing the first few seconds of a song picked at random from your iPod. Choose Music Quiz from the Games menu on fifth- and fourth-generation iPods (Game menu on older iPods), put on your headphones or connect your iPod to speakers, and press the Select button to start the game. While the song plays, you have ten seconds to pick the song title from a list of five titles. If you choose the wrong title, the game displays Incorrect! and moves on to the next song. If you choose the right title, you gain points and move on to the next one. (“Life’s a Long Song” by Jethro Tull would be appropriate.)

Recording Your Voice

If you record conversations and interviews on the road, throw out your antiquated tape recorder. An iPad, iPod touch, iPhone, fifth-generation iPod nano, or iPod classic can record hundreds of hours of voice-quality memos, meetings, notes, and interviews with a touch of a button. The voice memos are stored on your iPad, iPod, or iPhone, where you can review them immediately. Even better, the voice memos are automatically transferred to your iTunes library for archiving or reviewing on your computer.

An iPad, iPod touch, or iPhone can use either an external mic (such as the Apple Earphones with Remote and Mic), or its built-in mic. A fifth-generation iPod nano can record voice memos using its built-in mic on the back next to the video camera, or using an iPod nano–compatible microphone. An iPod classic can record voice memos using the optional Apple Earphones with Remote and Mic or an iPod classic-compatible microphone. You can find external mics for purchase at the Apple Store.

The Voice Memos app supplied by Apple for the iPod touch or iPhone lets you record audio through an external microphone (such as the Apple In-Ear Headphones with Remote and Mic) connected to an iPod touch or iPhone, or through the internal microphone of an iPhone. On an iPad, you can use free or paid third-party apps such as Voice Memos for iPad and Voice Recorder for iPad (both are similar in function to Apple’s Voice Memos).

Using Voice Memos on an iPod touch or iPhone: With the Apple-supplied Voice Memos app, you can record your voice and send the recordings to others by email or text message, or sync them back to your computer’s iTunes library.

Voice memos can be up to two hours long. If you record for more than two hours, your iPod or iPhone automatically starts a new voice memo to continue your recording. After syncing with iTunes, the voice memos appear in the Music section of your iTunes library and in the Voice Memos playlist (created for you if you don’t already have one).

To start recording, tap the Voice Memos app on the Home screen and then tap the red dot button on the left side of the VU meter on the microphone recording screen:

voice_memos_1

(You can also press the center button on the control capsule of the Apple In-Ear Headphones to start recording.) The red dot changes to a pause button, and the list button on the right side of the VU meter changes to a stop button. Tap the pause or stop button to stop recording.

Tap the list button on the right side of the VU meter to see the Voice Memos screen with your list of recordings. Select a recording, and you can then tap Share to send it by email, or Delete to delete it. After tapping Share, tap Email Voice Memo to open a new email message with the recording (or tap Cancel).

You can also tap the play/pause button on the left of the recording to play it, and tap the right arrow on the far right side of the recording to open the Info screen for that recording.

The Info screen also lets you trim the recording so that it’s shorter — tap Trim Memo to view the playback timeline, and tap along the timeline to set a stop time. Then tap Trim Voice Memo (or Cancel to cancel):

voice_memos_7

Touch Voice Memos in the upper-left corner of the Info screen to return to the Voice Memos screen, and tap Done in the upper-right corner to return to the microphone recording screen.

Recording on an iPod classic or fifth-generation iPod nano: The Voice Memos Extra in your fifth-generation iPod nano or iPod classic lets you record voice memos through an external mic or, in the case of the iPod nano, through the internal mic. (Be careful not to block the mic, which is on the back.) To record voice memos with an iPod classic, first connect the Apple Earphones with Remote and Mic, or connect an external mic to the dock connection — you won’t see a Voice Memos menu item if you’ve never connected a mic to the iPod classic.

To start recording with a fifth-generation iPod nano, choose Extras>Voice Memos from the main menu — the Record screen appears, showing a microphone. Press the play/pause button or the select button to begin recording, and press it again to pause recording. After pausing, you can select Resume to continue recording, or just press play/pause again. To finish, press the Menu button, and then highlight Stop and Save and press the select button. Your saved recording is listed by date and time.

To start recording with an iPod classic, choose Voice Memos>Start Recording from the main menu. Recording starts immediately. Press the play/pause button to pause recording. After pausing, you can select Resume to continue recording, or Stop and Save to stop and save it. Your saved recording is listed by date and time.

Tip: You can set a chapter mark in your voice memo on an iPod nano to go back to that section quickly. While recording, press the select button whenever you want to set a chapter mark. During playback, you can go directly to the next chapter by pressing the next/fast-forward button. Press previous/rewind once to go to the start of the current chapter, and twice to go to the start of the previous chapter.

To play or delete a recording on a fifth-generation iPod nano, choose Extras>Voice Memos, press the Menu button, select Voice Memos, and then choose a recording. Select Play and then press the select button to start playing the recording, or select Delete and press the select button to delete the recording. When you sync your voice memos with your iTunes library, they are automatically deleted from your iPod nano.

To play a recording on an iPod classic, choose Extras>Voice Memos and then select the recording. When you sync your voice memos with your iTunes library, they are automatically deleted from your iPod classic.

Enabling an iPod as a Hard Drive

You can use an iPod classic, nano, shuffle, or older iPod model as an external hard drive (or in the case of an iPod shuffle or iPod nano, as a flash memory drive). And like any hard drive, you can transfer files and applications from your computer to your iPod and take them with you. An iPod is smart enough to keep your files separate from your content libraries so that you don’t accidentally erase them when you update your iTunes library and photo library. And because your iPod is with you, it’s as safe as you are.

As shipped, an iPod is formatted as a Macintosh hard drive and can be connected to any Mac. When you first connect it to Windows, an iPod is reformatted as a Windows hard drive. You can then connect it to any Windows PC or any Mac.

You can’t enable an iPad, iPod touch, or iPhone as a hard drive.

Tip: If you format an iPod for Windows first, you can transfer files between Mac and Windows computers. A Mac can use Windows-formatted hard drives, but Windows can’t use Mac-formatted hard drives. To reformat an iPod, restore it to its original factory conditions.

I don’t recommend using an iPod classic or older iPod model regularly as a hard drive to launch computer applications because these iPods are designed for sustained playback of music and video using a cache, drawing chunks of data from a hard drive as needed. (The iPod nano and iPod shuffle use flash memory, so this is not an issue.) You can eventually burn out the iPod’s hard drive by using it to launch computer applications that continually draw data from the hard drive. Instead, use the iPod’s external hard drive capabilities for backing up and copying files. You should copy computer applications to a computer hard drive before launching them.

To use your iPod classic, iPod nano, iPod shuffle, or older iPod model as an external hard drive, follow these steps:

  1. Connect the iPod to your computer.
  2. Click the iPod button that appears in the upper-right corner of the iTunes window. The Summary sync options page appears. If another sync options page appears, click the Summary tab.
  3. Select the Enable Disk Use check box. The Enable Disk Use option is available if your iPod is set to automatically synchronize music or videos with your iTunes library. If you already set your iPod to manually manage music and videos, this option is grayed out because it isn’t needed. Setting the iPod to manually manage content already enables you to use it as a hard drive.

Warning: After enabling your iPod for disk use, you must always remember to properly eject your iPod before disconnecting it from your computer. Click Done to finish with the sync options, and then click the Eject icon next to the iPod name in the iPod button. Wait until the iPod’s display shows either the OK to disconnect message on older models or the main menu on newer models. You can then disconnect the iPod from the computer. Don’t ever disconnect an iPod before ejecting it. You might have to reset your iPod.

On a Mac, you can use the Finder to open folders, view folder contents, and transfer data to and from iPod classic, nano, shuffle, and older iPod models after the device is enabled as a hard drive. On a Windows PC, you can use My Computer or Windows Explorer to do these things. If you open My Computer, the iPod appears as an external hard drive. Windows automatically assigns the iPod hard drive to a Windows drive letter, such as E:. The iPod hard drive opens to show several folders, including Calendars, Contacts, Photos, and Notes. You can add new folders, rename your new folders, and generally use the iPod as a hard drive.

Warning: Don’t rename the folders already provided on your iPod because they link directly to functions on the iPod. For example, the Calendars folder links to the Calendar menu on the iPod.

You can drag files or folders to the iPod window. To keep data organized, you may want to create new folders on your iPod using the Finder on a Mac or Windows Explorer on a PC, and then copy files and folders to the newly created folders. To copy files and folders in Windows, use the drag-and-drop method in My Computer or Windows Explorer, or copy and paste the files or folders. On a Mac, use the Finder to drag files and folders to the newly created folders on your iPod.

To delete files and folders from an iPod connected to a Windows PC, select the filenames or folders and then press Backspace or choose File>Delete from the Windows Explorer menu, just like you do with your internal hard drive. On a Mac, select the filenames or folders and choose File>Move to Trash, or drag them to the trash icon.

 

 

 

 

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Bonus Chapter 4: Advanced iPod Techniques — 4 Comments

  1. Hi Tony

    I have just purchased your edition of ipod & itunes for dummies. What Iam wanting to know is it possible to transfer my music in itunes to a memory stick if so how.

    Regards

    JDR

    • Hi,
      You can drag the artist folders (or the album folders within the artist folders) to the memory stick, just as you would copy other folders. The artist folders are inside the Music folder, which is inside the iTunes Media folder, which is inside the iTunes folder (which is most likely inside your Music folder in your home folder). You can find instructions on this on page 201. Good luck!

      Tony

  2. I just purchased a JBL “docking station” and discovered that it will play music from my iPod through the speakers but not voice memos. The fellow at Mac Superstore said it’s because the voice memos aren’t programmed for audio output. I can listen to the voice memo by myself through earphones, but the playback is pretty faint for a room-full of people to listen all at once.
    Is there a way to get voice memos to play on the docking station? Or is there another way to play a voice memo for
    several folks at once? Thanks.

    • You can sync your iPod with iTunes, and in iTunes you can change a voice memo to a music file, which you can then sync back to your iPod and play through the speakers.

      Select the voice memo in iTunes (which appears as a song in the Music section — the album is typically “Voice Memos” and the genre is “Voice Memos”). After selecting it, choose File > Get Info, click the Options tab, and click the drop-down menu for Media Kind. It should be set to Voice Memo; change it to Music. From that point on, it plays as any other music file.

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