One stop iPod touch thread

Help me out folks. Windows user, with no experience of ipods or itunes or iwhatevers previously. Just bought myself a touch, fnarr fnarr :wink:

I don’t intend to jailbreak it yet, so if we can start with non jailbreaky alternatives and move on from there? I am not sure even what I need to know. Some random questions, there will likely be more soon. FTR, it’s a G2 touch.
[li] Do I have to use iTunes or is there an alternative?[/li][li] Can I just fling over files and install them on it like with windows-mobile devices, or do I have to do some sort of bizarre and arcane install-on-synch bs?[/li][li] What is the best (free) video encoder? Ideal settings?[/li][li] I see stuff encoded for PSP and Zune, m4p or something, that ok for ipod too?[/li][li] What is the best book-reader? How are things with PDFs?[/li][li] Are there any voice-control applications or talking applications?[/li][li] Can I only download/install apps from the store, or can I do it from sites?[/li][li] Are there any emulators available without jailbreaking it? I will get to jailbreaking later, but best not confuse me for now :D[/li][/ul]

Thanks in advance from this noob!

Using my one little bump: BUMP!

I’ll try…I don’t have a touch but I do have an iPod and a iPhone.

[li] Do I have to use iTunes or is there an alternative?[/li]You don’t have to but it’s recommended. The popular alternative is called amarok…from what I understand, winamp and many others have plug ins. I wouldn’t discount iTunes because it’s from apple and they r teh suxxors. There are many who use iTunes and are happy with it. I’ve been thru a few of the alternatives and keep coming back.

[li] Can I just fling over files and install them on it like with windows-mobile devices, or do I have to do some sort of bizarre and arcane install-on-synch bs?[/li]No, you’ll have to use an ‘arcane’ software that will allow you to automatically or manually synch media. Itunes uses an environment that allows you to sort, build smart playlists and have full control over what you put on your mobile device. If you jailbreak your iPod you will be free to manually drag media from your ultra modern windows OS using the premier tools that microsoft has provided for sorting/searching and otherwise managing your media

[li] What is the best (free) video encoder? Ideal settings?[/li]Handbrake, free, has presets for your iPod

[li] I see stuff encoded for PSP and Zune, m4p or something, that ok for ipod too?[/li]Possibly if they are in a format that is readable by your iPod. I’ve found that as long as the resolution is within the iPod specs, it will play it.

[li] What is the best book-reader? How are things with PDFs?[/li]I’m not familiar with readers but I have found that pdf is (natively?) supported. I use an app called air sharing which allows me to connect the device to my wireless network at home, drag pdfs into a network folder and read them thru the app.

[li] Can I only download/install apps from the store, or can I do it from sites?[/li]if you jailbreak you can install apps from where ever you find them. Again, the arcane iTunes store isn’t likely to have tons of free certified apps that can be used without jailbreaking your device.

Sorry for the snark, IMHO iTunes and the ITMS are a reasonable software suite for managing your device, I get that there are many that think that it’s all bloatware but these guys have spent millions to make a serviceable and accessible software that is usable even for the noobs. There is a very good reason why they have their market share.
That being said, you may consider evaluating the software and services they provide to manage their device before you consider jail breaking it .

So, here’s my disclaimer: your post is way too technical for me to answer point by point. It sounds like you already know way more about the iTouch than I do, and I’ve had mine for over a year. I can’t imagine trying to use it without iTunes, or for downloading files.

But, regardless to the answers to your questions— the touch is a great thing. I constantly discover new things to do with it, and I love the last two upgrades. Some of the new apps are just amazing. I use them on a regular basis, from games to a new virtual level to charting gas price to looking at a star map.

But I also love iTunes… (I can’t say enough great things about the new “Genius” feature) and I’m a Mac user for the most part. So for me the touch was a perfect extension.

Hope you love it!:slight_smile:

I think you have to jailbreak it to use Amarok.

I do not own an iPhone or iPod Touch, but eReader / Fictionwise has recently started supporting these.

They’ve got a pretty good selection. I read using a Palm PDA, and their reader is much smoother to use than the PDF files. YMMV using an iPod of course.

Thanks for the replys so far guys! Still no sign of the damned ipod, somone is going to be in big trouble, I tell you that much!

Dreamy, no worries on the snark, I am not offended, but I have no apple enemity despite being a win-user :slight_smile: I don’t intend to jailbreak until I have given the dev community a chance to catch up (if at all), and by “arcane” I was most definately including activesynch that I have had to use with windows mobile devices. Your replys were especially helpful.

I have now installed iTunes, and while I don’t quite understand it, I will be practicing a bit. I don’t really understand playlists and stuff yet as I am not a big music user, mainly audiobooks, ebooks, apps, web and video. Am trying to get my head around the artwork stuff too. Will probably be back with more questions when the unit arrives.

Oi, 'teki!

I’ve heard good things about some ebook app called Stanza, which is supposed to work with loads of document formats.

It’s also supposed to have a thing that converts a book to mp3, which is cool if you like being read to by Stephen Hawkins.

I’m not familiar with activesynch so I was confused. Basically within iTunes you can specify 1. do you want the computer to launch iTunes when the device is connected and 2. do you want the device to synch with your iTunes library when connected. Each method has it’s advantages. I use my PC to charge the device, so I don’t mind if it also synchs any new media I may have added and just let it automatically synch. When I say synch you have complete control over what automatically copies over or it can be done manually.

Playlists are easy don’t overthink it. In the left column at the top you’re going to have music, video, audiobooks…these are the items that are on your computer (library). Below that is the store. Below that is the playlists. It’s easiest to consider the playlists as lists of songs or pointers to the items in your library. You have the option of creating playlists manually (you just drag songs from the library into the playlist). When you do this, it doesn’t really copy the song, it just puts a pointer to that song in the playlist. In this manner, a song can be in several playlists (because the song is really only in your library and it just has pointers from the multiple playlists to the library), Deleting a song from the playlist just removes the pointer. Deleting the song from your library will remove the song from your computer (iTunes will even ask do you want it moved to the recycle bin)
You can also create a smart playlist, in this scenario, you build a condition and if an item in your library meets the condition, it’s included in the list. So for example you build a smart playlist ‘90’s music’ and it goes thru your library and if the year is in the 90’s it will add the song to the smart playlist. If you add a new song to your library tomorrow and the year is in the 90’s it will automatically be added to the playlist.
Artwork, et al. is attached to each media file and you can manage it using the software. Right click on one or more items in your library and select ‘Get Info’ this will allow you to edit the song name/album/artwork/etc.

Once you get your device, you’ll be presented with an additional item for your device in the left bar, here you will be able to manage which items in your library get moved to your device. Including apps, pictures etc.

Happy to help :slight_smile: