That itsy-bitsy square pamphlet is your Pod User's Guide? That's all? It might be different if your iPod was as dumb as the typical MP3 player. But it's not. If only someone would show you everything it can do. Someone will: J. D. Biersdorfer.
Her book's a perfect match for the iPod: simple, useful, fun. It's all you need to know, plus all you want to know. (Those earbuds? Neodymium drivers in there, a rare earth that's five times more powerful than aluminum.)
If it's new to the iPod/iTunes universe, she covers it. The latest hardware -- including iPod "Mini." The new iTunes for Windows. iPod shareware for Windows. New Mac and Windows-specific troubleshooting techniques. The latest scoop on iPod battery life.
You'll walk step-by-step through syncing -- even installing a FireWire card in a Windows PC. This edition adds "variations on Auto-Transfer" -- for example, syncing only some of your tunes, and how to sync if you're using iPod primarily as a portable hard drive.
There's a full chapter on digital music formats: both MP3 and Apple's super-high-quality (albeit restricted) AAC format. Biersdorfer next turns to software: iTunes, MusicMatch Jukebox for Windows, and even shareware. On both platforms, you'll walk through ripping CDs, importing music files, deleting songs, playing music, managing your music library, even tuning into Internet radio.
There's thorough coverage of iTunes Music Store: even AOL downloads. Want to use your iPod as a boombox or car stereo audio source? Want a better replacement case? It's all here. So are full instructions for iPod's calendar and address book. Enough to make the thing tax deductible? Hmmm… Bill Camarda
Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2003 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks for Dummies, Second Edition.