So, you got a new iPod for Christmas. While the iPod ecosystem is designed to be pretty easy to flourish in, here are some tips and techniques to (like) totally tame your tunes and ‘tube.
If you have an iPod with a screen (every model but the shuffle), protect it. There are three ways to do this. One, buy a case. There are many different styles of cases to choose from. Some engulf the whole iPod, with a leather or plastic flap of that must be flipped open to access the screen. Others protect the body, but have openings to access the controls (clickwheel) and view the screen (either directly or through a clear plastic cover). Some have belt clips. Remember that if you wear your iPod on your belt, it can bump into things, or, heaven forbid, fall off.
The second way to protect your iPod/iPod touch/iPhone is with a very thin transparent plastic film that applies directly to the screen. These plastic film sheets can be applied to other areas of the iPod as well, and range in price from $15 to $25.
The third way to protect your iPod (which should be combined with the other methods above) is to just plain be careful about where you store/carry/use it. For example, if you put your iPod in the pocket of your tight (from holiday overindulgence, of course) jeans along with your car keys, there’s a pretty good chance the keys and iPod will rub together as you move around. Not good. Same if you drop it unprotected into your purse to jostle about in there with your cell phone, car keys, spare change, what-have-you. Same with a laptop case.
Let’s talk about battery life. To get the most out of your iPod battery, consider the following. Make sure your iPod is running the latest version of iPod software, through which Apple can upgrade the iPod to run more efficiently.
When you’re not using your iPod, make sure you (1) turn it off, and (2) set the Hold switch to Hold. That way your iPod cannot inadvertently come on and drain the battery while its stored in your purse or backpack or pocket.
Keep your iPod battery warm. Cold is the sworn enemy of battery life. If you leave your iPod in the cold, consider letting it warm up a bit before using it. If not, a low-battery icon may appear and it may not wake from sleep.
Screen backlighting can use a lot of power. Turn it down or off if you don’t need it via the iPod’s Settings menu. Also, if you don’t wish to use the iPod’s built-in Equalizer, turn it off via Settings as well.
iPods saves battery life by bringing data from storage (either flash RAM or hard drive) and caching it in “short-term” memory. In simple terms, as you listen to one song the next song is brought into the cache. If you’re watching a movie or TV show the same caching scheme is used to cut down on constant accessing of the hard drive, which really eats up battery life. If you “jump around” through your songs and video with the Previous/Rewind or Next/Fast-forward buttons, you are forcing your iPod out of the caching scheme and into constant memory access, decreasing your battery life.
If you have an iPod touch or iPhone and you’re not going to be using its wireless features (web surfing with Safari, buying music via the iTunes Store), turn wireless OFF via Settings. Same with Bluetooth.
Oh, and don’t leave it lying around unattended. Mom or Dad might want to use it.
|© 2008 Peter F. Zimowski|