Apple's iPod media player has come a long way in a short period of time. Introduced in 2001, Apple launched the iPod as "1,000 songs in your pocket." One year later, the second-generation iPod was introduced and could hold 4,000 songs. Since then, more models of the iPod have been introduced; some are bigger, some are lighter, some play video and some have more storage capacity. With so many possibilities, you need to know what types of formats your iPod can support so you can make the most of your device.
All iPod models play audio files such as songs and audiobooks. Supported audio formats include MP3, AIFF, AAC and uncompressed WAV files. IPods also support Audible (AA) files, which are spoken word files; AA files require iTunes 1.3 software, which is installed if you have the most recent version of the iTunes software. AIFF files require at least iTunes 4 software. iPods do not support SND, MP1 and MP2, QuickTime, and compressed WAV and WMA files.
The iPod classic (fifth generation and later) and all iPod touch models can play and store video files such as television shows, movies and video podcasts; some older versions of the iPod nano can also play video. Supported video formats for these iPod models include MOV, M4V and MP4 files. iPod does not support AVI, MPEG and WMV video formats.
The iPod classic, iPod touch and iPod nano can display and store photos and other images. Supported image formats for Mac users include JPG and JPEG, TIFF, JPG2000 or JP2, PNG, PICT, GIFF, Photoshop or PSD, SGI and BMP files. Windows users can run all the same files with the exception of PICT and JPG2000 or JP2 files.
Non-iPod video formats can be converted for compatibility. These ensures that your favorite videos can travel with your iPod. iTunes software includes a built-in converter you can use to convert QuickTime-supported formats including QuickTime movies and AVI files to an iPod-support file type. There are also many free programs available online, such as HandBrake (see Resources) that can also convert videos into a variety of other video formats.
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