Apple's iPod line of MP4 players can do more than play music files, although that remains a core feature of the device. In addition, you can play videos, take photos, video chat and surf the web with your MP4 player --- although some features only work with the newer iPod Touch models. Loading and listening to MP4 content on an iPod device requires a connection to a computer running Apple's official iTunes media management software.
Download the iTunes software from Apple's website, or install it from the CD included in the iPod's packaging. Most versions of Mac OS X include iTunes as a pre-installed component of the operating system.
Add MP4 music, videos or other content to the iTunes library. To put media content on the iPod, you must transfer it through iTunes. Add music already on your computer's hard drive using the "Add File to Library" command in the "File" menu. Add music from an inserted CD by clicking the "Rip" button next to the disc's icon in iTunes. Purchase new music from the Apple store by clicking the "iTunes Store" link in the left frame.
Connect the iPod to the computer. This requires Apple's included USB cable, as standard USB cables will not interface with the device. iTunes will open automatically. If this is your first time charging the iPod, it will need to charge for several minutes before iTunes will recognize it. On a first-time connection, you'll be prompted to name the device and select either automatic or manual media syncing.
Add media to the iPod. If you chose to automatically sync the device, media from the iTunes library will transfer to the iPod when you connect the device to the computer. For manually synced iPods, click and drag the desired media from the library to the iPod's icon in the left frame to begin the transfer.
Click the "Eject" button next to the iPod's icon to disconnect it from the computer. Do not disconnect the device without clicking "Eject" or while files are still transferring.
Play back media by selecting the "Music" or "Videos." Use the scroll wheel to select these menu items on an iPod Classic. Tap the icons on the home screen on an iPod Touch or iPod Nano.
- Though iTunes is required for many media transfers, the iPod Touch can also acquire new applications from the App Store icon, as long as the device has an active network connection.
- Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images