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Using an iPod

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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

In this chapter

  • Connect an iPod to headphones or speakers so you can hear its music.
  • Turn an iPod on and learn about its controls.
  • Tour the iPod's menus and screens.
  • Light up your iPod's world with the Backlight.
  • Turn an iPod off.

The iPod is a well-designed device that is easy to control—once you understand its controls and how they work. Because the iPod is likely quite different from other devices you have used, it can take a little time to get totally comfortable controlling one. That's where this chapter comes in. Whether you have an iPod or an iPod mini, you'll learn about the iPod's controls and how to use them. You'll also come to know (and love) the iPod's menu structure and the major screens with which you will deal. You'll get into the details of using all these controls and screens in subsequent chapters.

Getting Ready to Play

In order to hear the music that is stored on your iPod, you must attach a sound output device to it. The most common one you might think of is the earbud headphones that were included in the package.

To use these, you connect the mini-jack on the earbud cable to the Headphones port located on the top of the iPod (see Figure 3.1). When you do so, you'll hear any sound coming from the iPod through the earbuds.

Figure 3.1Figure 3.1 The top of an iPod is where you plug in headphones, speakers, or other audio output devices.

Although you are likely to use earbuds or other headphones with an iPod, those are certainly not the only audio output devices through which you can play an iPod's music. Following are some other devices you might want to use:

  • Powered speakers—You can connect a set of powered speakers to the Headphones port to play your iPod's music on those speakers. For example, you can use any set of computer speakers to create a mini stereo system.

  • If you connect a set of unamplified speakers, you aren't likely to hear very much if anything. The iPod doesn't put out enough power to drive a set of unpowered speakers.

  • FM Transmitter—You can connect an FM transmitter to the Headphones port to broadcast your iPod's output over FM (some transmitters connect to the Dock port). You can then tune into your iPod's music on an FM tuner, such as the one in your car or home stereo system.

  • Home or Car Stereo—You can use various cables and connectors to connect the Headphones port to an input port on a home stereo receiver, a car stereo, or boom box to play your iPod's music over one of these devices. You'll learn how to do this in Chapter 8, "Using an iPod with a Home Stereo or Car Stereo."


On the top of the iPod, you'll also see the iPod Remote port in which you connect a remote control (you'll learn about these in later chapters). And, you'll also see the Hold switch, which you'll learn about later in this chapter.

Controlling an iPod

While the iPod is slightly larger than the iPod mini, the controls on each are the same. Figure 3.2 shows the face of an iPod while Figure 3.3 shows an iPod mini. As you can see, these devices are quite similar. The main controls on an iPod are all located on the Click Wheel (see Figure 3.2).

Figure 3.2Figure 3.2 The controls on the iPod will become second nature to you after you use them a few times.

Turning an iPod On

To turn an iPod mini on, press the Click Wheel in any location or press the Select button. You'll see the Apple logo on the iPod's screen, and after the iPod starts up, you'll see the main menu.

Figure 3.3Figure 3.3 The controls on the iPod mini, just like the iPod, are all on the Click Wheel.

Choosing an iPod's Language

The first time you turn an iPod mini on, you'll immediately move to the Language selection screen that you use to choose the language in which your iPod will display information. To choose a language, slide a finger or thumb clockwise on the Click Wheel to move down the language list or counterclockwise to move up the list. When the language you want to use is highlighted, press the Select button to choose it. You will then move to the main menu. You only have to do this the first time you turn an iPod on or after you reset it.

Making Selections on an iPod

The previous paragraph about selecting a language gives you a specific example of how you control an iPod mini. Now, let's give you the general concept of how you move around your iPod mini to make it follow your commands.

The iPod is based on menus on which you make choices. To make a choice on a menu, you slide a finger or thumb clockwise on the Click Wheel to move down the current menu or counterclockwise to move up on the current menu. As you move up or down, a different command on the menu will be highlighted. When the command you want to use is highlighted, press the Select button to choose it. If the command is for another menu, that menu will appear. You can then move up and down that menu to choose another command. If the menu provides a list of songs, albums, or other categories, you can use the same process to select and play an item, such as a song.

To move back to a previous menu, you press the Menu button, which is located on the top edge of the Click Wheel.

You'll learn the specific menus and screens you will use later in this chapter. For now, just understand how to move up and down the iPod mini's menu structure.

Using the iPod's Click Wheel

The iPod's Click Wheel is kind of cool because it contains both the wheel that you use to move up and down the menus and the various buttons you use to control the iPod itself. These buttons are located at each 90-degree point around the Click Wheel. To use a button, you simply press down on its icon on the wheel. The button will click and the action it represents will happen.

Because there isn't a clear delineation between locations on the wheel, you don't have to be precise when you press a button. Press down close to the button's icon on the wheel and you will likely get the expected action.

Changing Volume

When a song is playing, you control the iPod's volume by sliding a finger or thumb on the Click Wheel clockwise to increase the volume or counterclockwise to decrease it.

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