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Eight Days a Week

The iPod arrived at just the right moment. I was about to go on tour with my band, and I wanted to bring music on the road. The songs I wanted to bring were spread out over many different albums from different bands—far too many CDs to carry. I didn’t want to burn a new CD of just those songs, because the albums had other songs that we might want to explore. It just seemed like too much guesswork to pre-select the songs I would need.

My first iPod, the 20-gigabyte version, arrived. It could hold more than 8 days worth of music, if you were to play a different song over the entire 24 hours of each day. (Since then I’ve added the newer 30-gigabyte version, which holds more than two weeks worth of music.)

I didn’t realize how convenient the iPod would be until I spent a few days trying to fill it up with music. I ripped CDs as fast as I could, not bothering to select individual songs—entire albums were sucked in, processed, and spit out. Yet I couldn’t fill the iPod fast enough.

As I went on tour, it was only about half full, but that was more than enough. Not onlycould I play songs indefinitely without repeating a song, I also impressed a rocklegend I met backstage at one of the shows by pulling out my iPod and playing one of his songs right on the spot. He was so impressed that he autographed my iPod carrying case.

Even the band’s sound engineer was impressed. He recorded the entire show that night directly to his Mac-based sound system and then copied the music quickly to my iPod. Ten minutes later, I was back in the tour bus with the night’s show on my iPod for everyone to hear.

It’s better than a jukebox in your pocket. It’s a jukebox you can update.

If you felt the same way I felt when I first got my iPod—like you’d been waiting for something like this—then you may appreciate the approach I took with this book. I started with the premise that it would change your music buying and playing habits forever. Once you start putting music into digital form on your computer, there’s no turning back.

Getting digital music into an iPod is really quick and easy, especially if you buy the music from the Apple Music Store on the Internet. Organizing the music into playlists takes a little longer, but the task is worth the effort if you want to listen for a long time while driving without having to select songs. Getting music from CDs into the computer (commonly called “ripping”) takes only a bit longer than downloading from the Apple Music Store. But selecting the CD, and deciding which songs to play, then putting it into the drive, getting the song titles and information from the Internet, and clicking the button to rip the CD—that whole process takes a bit of time. It’s a process you don’t want to repeat. You want to get it right the first time.

How This Book Is Organized

This book starts with how to get the best music out of the CD ripping process, so you don’t have to do it over again.

Chapter 1 gets you up and running, and you learn right away how to buy music online, rip CDs, and import music from other sources, so that you can fill up your iPod immediately.

Chapter 2 gets you on the road with your iPod, and provides tips on how to use the iPod’s controls and how to connect home stereos, portable speakers, headphones, and even car radios to your iPod.

Chapter 3 shows you how to organize your songs and manage your music library on your computer, as well as make backups, create playlists, and update your iPod automatically or manually.

Chapter 4 provides a brief introduction to the world of high-quality digital sound and the specific information you need to refine your CD ripping and importing process to get the best quality music while using the least amount of iPod disk space.

Chapter 5 shows you how to use your iPod as a personal digital assistant (PDA) that can keep track of addresses, phone numbers, calendar appointments, events, and to-do lists.

Chapter 6 gives you total control over your iPod’s settings and menus, and shows you how to use it as a hard disk with your computer, copying files and folders, making backups, and saving information for use on the road.

Chapter 7 helps you solve any problems you may have with the iPod and its connection to your computer, including how to reset the iPod, update its firmware, and restore it to its factory settings.

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