Though Apple originally launched the iPod as strictly an MP3 player, the device has grown to include various additional features that have turned it into a full-fledged portable multimedia player. Explore the iPod's various functions to take full advantage of its features and enjoy hours of mobile entertainment while you're on the go.
Playing music is the iPod's main function. The iPod supports standard MP3s, as well as AAC files, WAVs, AIFFs and AA audiobook files. The number of songs that an iPod can store varies depending on the model. A 2GB iPod Shuffle can hold up to 500 songs, but a 160GB iPod Classic can hold up to 40,000 songs, according to Apple. Users can download song files from the iTunes Store, accessed through Apple's iTunes desktop software, or from any third-party source that offers compatible files that aren't protected by digital rights management (DRM) software.
All iPods with a screen, including the iPod Nano, iPod Classic and iPod Touch, support the playback of TV shows, music videos, video podcasts and movies downloaded from iTunes or a third-party source. Videos downloaded from the iTunes Store, whether they're free, rented or purchased, will automatically transfer to the device when you connect it to your computer. Movie files from a third-party source must be converted before the iPod can play them. To convert, drag the file to iTunes to add it to your iTunes library. Click "Advanced" in the top menu bar and select "Convert Selection to iPod."
Both the iPod Nano and iPod Classic support the playing of basic games downloaded through the iTunes Store. This includes classic games like chess and backgammon, as well as commercial game titles for puzzle solvers and action enthusiasts. A wider selection of games is available for the iPod Touch, including dozens of titles that were originally created for video game consoles but ported to the iPod system.
The iPod Touch enhances the iPod platform with personal digital assistant (PDA) functions, including the ability to run third-party software such as calendars, instant messaging, stock trackers and other programs that help the user become more productive. Apple also includes basic productivity features on the iPod by default, including a built-in web browser and an email program based on its Apple Mail desktop software. Third-party apps can be downloaded only through the iTunes Store and are either free or come with a price tag starting at 99 cents.
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