Friday, March 2, 2007

Ipod's dirty little secret - a double agent!

Ipod’s dirty little secret

The ipod as well all know has some amazing features. With its ability to mobilize our music and media files. It can serve up all a digital buffet of music and video, help organize your contacts, and allows you to play games and view the family photos.

All great and amazing, but one very important feature that many of us overlook is the ipod’s dirty little secret. I am referring to its ability to double as a mobile filing cabinet.

The average ipod has a 20Gb hard drive. If you are like me, I have about half of my ipod filled with music that I actually listen to. Once the honeymoon is over, and you organize your media collection to include what you actually listen to, you can free up some space on the hard drive. iTunes by default manages your ipod and the space on it. Change a few settings in iTunes and you can access those precious Gb’s of unused space.

The real benefit is of course the amount of storage you have. In comparison to USB flash drives, they typically offer 4Gb of storage at a reasonable price. Any larger, and the price seems to be slightly out of reach. Of course wait a few months and USB storage capacities will double and quadruple, and prices will continue to fall. For the here and now, you cannot beat the price per Gb of storage the ipod offers.

To manage your ipod hard drive usage follow these simple steps:
- Connect iPod to your computer and then open iTunes. You should wait until the ipod and itunes are finished synchronizing.
- Select your iPod in the source pane on the left hand side. Open the Summary tab and select “Manually manage music and videos” and then click Apply.
At this point, you can close iTunes, or minimize it and continue working. Open My Computer, and you will see an additional drive letter (C:\ is your primary hard drive, D: may be your cdrom) If you have any other hard drives or partitions, then your ipod will appear as the next logical drive letter in the sequence. Open your ipod’s drive letter and you will notice many other folders. Note: Leave those files and folders alone. You can drag and drop your files as you please. There are no limitations to what you can store on the ipod, as long as you don’t go beyond the drive’s capacity.

To revert back to automatic mode, simply remove the check mark that you placed earlier in the itunes summary tab. You can also view how much free space you have on the ipod drive with the summary tab.