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Looking at the iPod's Menus and Screens

Now that you have an idea of how to move around your iPod, let's get a good understanding of its menus and screens.

The steps you use to move around the iPod's menus are the following:

  1. Slide your finger or thumb clockwise on the Click Wheel to move down a menu or counterclockwise to move up a menu. As you move your digit, different menu options will be highlighted on the screen to show that they are selected.
  2. When you want to use a menu command, highlight it and press the Select button. That command will be active and the screen will change to reflect what you have done. For example, if you selected another menu, that menu will appear on the screen. If you selected a song, the Now Playing screen will appear and that song will start to play. If you selected an application, that application will run.
  3. To move back to a previous screen, press the Menu button. You'll move back to the screen you were on before the current one. Each time you press the Menu button, you'll move back one screen until you get back (or up) to the Main menu.

The Main Menu

The iPod's Main menu provides the major (dare I say main?) commands available to you. The specific commands you see on the Main menu by default will depend on the model of iPod you are using. For example, if you use an iPod video, as shown in Figure 3.3, you'll see the Videos command, which won't appear on the iPod nano because it isn't applicable to that model.

Figure 3.3

Figure 3.3 The Main menu is a good place to start using an iPod, which is why you will move there when you first turn it on.

When no music is playing, the default Main menu commands are the following:

  • Music
  • Photos
  • Videos (iPod only)
  • Extras
  • Settings
  • Shuffle Songs

All these commands take you to their respective menus, except for Shuffle Songs. The Shuffle Songs command puts the iPod in Shuffle mode, where it plays songs in a random fashion. (You'll learn more about this later.)

When you are playing audio or video, the Now Playing command appears. This command takes you to the Now Playing screen. If you aren't viewing the Now Playing screen, the Play icon will be in the upper-left corner of whatever screen you are seeing if the iPod is currently playing or the Pause icon if whatever is currently playing has been paused.

When a menu choice leads to another menu, a right-facing arrow will appear along the right edge of the screen for that choice. If you don't see an arrow for a command, that command will cause an action to happen instead.

When there are more options on a menu than can be listed on the screen, you will see the scrollbar along the right edge of the screen; the dark part of the bar represents how much of the menu you are seeing on the screen out of the total menu, which is represented by the full bar. (Remember that to scroll up and down a menu, you use the Click Wheel.)

The Music Menu and Screens

The Music command takes you to the Music menu, which provides access to a number of other menus relating to the selection of music and other audio to which you want to listen (see Figure 3.4).

Figure 3.4

Figure 3.4 The Music menu enables you to access your content in a number of ways.

The menu options you have on the Music menu are the following:

  • Playlists—The Playlists command takes you to the Playlists menu, which lists the playlists stored on your iPod. (If you haven't read Part II, "iTunes," playlists are collections of music that you create in iTunes.) On the Playlists menu, you will see each playlist you have created in iTunes and have moved to the iPod. Because each playlist represents a "menu" of the songs in that playlist, when you select it, you will see the Songs menu, which lists each song in the playlist. You'll learn how to work with the Playlists menu and screens in detail in Chapter 6, "Building an iPod's Music Library."
  • Artists—Similar to the Playlists menu, this command takes you to a menu on which your music is organized by artist. You can choose an artist and then browse all the music by that artist that is stored on your iPod.
  • Albums—This command and menu enables you to browse and select your music by album.
  • Compilations—This command, which is not displayed by default, and related menu enable you to browse and select your music by compilations, which means those collections of music that contain songs produced by various artists. This command is controlled by a setting that you'll learn about in Chapter 12, "Configuring an iPod to Suit Your Preferences."
  • Songs—This command takes you to a menu containing all the songs on your iPod, listed in alphabetical order.
  • Podcasts—Podcasts are similar to radio or TV broadcasts except that you can download them onto your iPod and listen to them at a time of your choosing. Selecting the Podcasts command takes you to the podcasts stored on your iPod so that you can work with them.
  • Genres—I'll bet you can guess that this command takes you to a menu that enables you to browse and select your music by genre.
  • Composers—Are you detecting a pattern here? I'll leave this one for you to figure out.
  • Audiobooks—This takes you to a menu showing all the audiobooks available on your iPod.
  • Search—This command takes you to a search tool that you can use to find specific content stored on the iPod.

You'll learn all about using the Music menu and screens to listen to music in Chapter 4. You'll learn about the menus and screens for other functions in later chapters, such as podcasts in Chapter 7, "Using an iPod to Listen to and Watch Podcasts," and audiobooks in Chapter 8, "Using an iPod to Listen to Aubiobooks."

The Photos Menu and Screens

As you can tell from its title, you use the Photos menu to access the photos stored on an iPod (see Figure 3.5). On this menu, you'll see the Slideshow Settings command that enables you to configure how slideshows are played on the iPod. Below that command is the list of all the photos on your iPod, grouped into collections. To view the photos in a collection, you highlight the collection whose photos you want to view and click the Select button.

Figure 3.5

Figure 3.5 On the Photos menu, you can access Slideshow Settings or choose a collection of photos to view.

Chapter 9, "Using an iPod to Store and View Photos," is devoted to explaining everything you need to know to work with your iPod's photos.

The Videos Menu and Screens (iPod Only)

The Videos menu and screens (iPod only) enable you to enjoy the video content stored on your iPod (see Figure 3.6). (Because the nano is not designed to display video, this menu option doesn't appear on nano models.) On the menu, you see video organized into various categories including Video Playlists, Movies, Music Videos, TV Shows, and Video Podcasts. You'll also see the Video Settings command, which provides access to several controls you can use to configure an iPod's video playback.

Figure 3.6

Figure 3.6 Using the Videos menu, you can get to the video content on an iPod, including movies, TV shows, and video podcasts.

You'll get the scoop on using an iPod for video in Chapter 10, "Using an iPod to Watch Video."

The Extras Menu and Screens

The Extras command takes you to the Extras menu. On this menu, you will find various options that are related only because they are on the same menu (see Figure 3.7). These commands enable you to access the iPod's non-music features, such as the Clock, Calendar, and so on. You'll learn about these extras in Chapter 11, "Taking the iPod Further."

Figure 3.7

Figure 3.7 The Extras menu is aptly named.

The Settings Menu and Screens

The Settings command is like the Preferences command in most computer programs (see Figure 3.8). It enables you to configure various aspects of your iPod, such as the commands on the Main menu, the Clicker settings, and so on. You'll use this command to configure the Backlight later in this chapter, and we'll get into it in detail in Chapter 12.

Figure 3.8

Figure 3.8 If you want to make the iPod work according to your preferences, use the Settings menu.

The Shuffle Songs Command

Unlike the other items on the Main menu described so far, this is a command that doesn't take you to a menu. Instead, it puts your iPod in Shuffle mode. You'll learn how to configure and use this command in Chapters 4 and 12.

The Now Playing Command and Screen

The Now Playing command appears on the Main menu only when you have selected and are playing audio or other content. When you choose this command when you are playing audio, you'll move to the Now Playing screen, which will show you the audio that is currently playing (see Figure 3.9). This is an important screen because you can control various aspects of how music is playing, such as the volume level, from this screen. You'll explore the Now Playing screen in detail in Chapter 4. When you are viewing video, this command will take you back to the Now Playing screen, but instead of information about what you are viewing, you'll see the content of the video.

Figure 3.9

Figure 3.9 The Now Playing screen shows you the music currently playing on an iPod.

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