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ATPM 9.04
April 2003




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Review: Secrets of the iPod, 2nd Edition (book)

by Kirk McElhearn,

Author: Christopher Breen; published by Peachpit Press.

Price: $21.99

Trial: None

Oh, I wish I had an iPod. Well, not really. You see, while the geek in me wants one for the tech toy it is, I don’t have much use for it. I work at home, and my only commute is from the first floor of my house to the second floor. That’s about 18 seconds, so an iPod wouldn’t serve much purpose.

But I understand why so many people have bought them, and why they are so attached to them. Reading Christopher Breen’s Secrets of the iPod really tempts me, if only to discover all the neat things he presents in the book.

Breen goes through every nook and cranny of the iPod—the hardware, the software, and a whole slew of accessories. Anyone who uses an iPod will certainly discover some things they didn’t know as Breen gives tips and tricks for getting the most out of the device. He naturally talks about copying music to the iPod, but also shows you how you can copy contact information, calendars, and more, using it as a poor man’s PDA.

The iPod is the natural extension to Apple’s iTunes, and Breen goes over everything you need to know to use the two of them together. He also shows how to use available Windows software for the iPod, so that PC users aren’t left out in the cold.

But the iPod does much more. Sure, it plays music, that’s the main reason for having one. But you can also download audio books. It can be a portable FireWire hard drive. And by using a program to clone your Mac OS X startup volume, you can even use it to boot in OS X. It’s great as a backup device, if you have room after putting a few days’ worth of music on it.

I generally shy away from books devoted to just one hardware device, but I can see that iPod users would really benefit from this book. It’s concise and to the point, and Breen’s no-nonsense writing helps iPod owners do everything possible with their device. This book is an excellent way to learn everything about your iPod, and enjoy it as well.

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