Apple's iPod was originally designed as a portable MP3 player when it was released in 2001, but has now evolved into a personal media center depending on the model. As of February, 2011, Apple manufactures four iPod models: iPod Classic, iPod Nano, iPod Touch and iPod Shuffle. Each model has a different format and different features; all iPods are compatible with digital music files and all models with the exception of the iPod Shuffle are also compatible with video and photos.
The iPod's primary purpose is playing music anywhere and everywhere. You can use an iPod to listen to music while walking down the street, running or even on the airplane. The iPod is also compatible with many types of speakers and stereo systems for home use. Various accessories allow you to use an iPod as a portable music player in your car. You can even create custom playlists for your iPod, plug it into a sound system and use it in place of a DJ for a wedding, party or special event.
The iPod Classic, iPod Nano and iPod Touch are video compatible, which means you can sync movies and TV shows purchased from the iTunes Store. iPods accept MP4, M4V, MOV and MPEG-4 video formats; if you have home movies or free videos from the Internet that do not fit these formats, you can convert the video using programs such as iSquint and Apple Quicktime Pro. The iPods portability allows you to watch videos everywhere, whether you are on the subway, flying on an airplane or camping in the woods.
You can use an iPod Classic, iPod Nano or iPod Touch to store and view photos. Keeping photos on your iPod is practical for showing family and friends when you are not at home. To sync photos with your iPod, connect it to your computer and open iTunes. Click the "Photos" tab and choose the album or folder you want to sync. Use you iPod's slideshow feature to view all of your photos.
iPods were not specifically designed for this purpose but they can actually be used as a storage device without any extra software. When you plug your iPod into your computer, open iTunes and check the "Enable Disk Use" box under the "Summary" tab. Disconnect and then reconnect your iPod and locate the device icon on your computer. Copy files directly onto your iPod through the Finder on a Mac or in My Computer/Computer in Windows.
- Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images