Alternative uses for the Apple Ipod

Edward James By Edward James, 16th Sep 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Technology>MP3 Players

Arguably, the Apple ipod is the best selling MP3 player. Whilst it is great for music the ipod does have many other uses as well, which are explored in this article.

Alternative uses for the Apple ipod

When the first generation i-pod was first launched back in October 2001, it was nothing more than an MP3 player that could only be used to play music files. Playing music is at the heart of the i-pod and this is what it was originally launched for. Most i-pod users transfer MP3 music files from their computer to the i-pod via i-tunes, which is Apple’s recommended method. I-tunes is free (and regularly updated), easy to use and is a great way of organizing your music library on a computer. Some i-pod users have a dislike for i-tunes and other software houses have developed alternative programs to get music on and off the i-pod.

Over the last 10 or so years the i-pod has evolved in to a full on multimedia device that has captured the imagination of hundreds of thousands users worldwide and keeps them entertained in their day-to-day lives. Consequently, the i-pod can be used for much more than a ‘personal stereo’, such as;

i) Listening to pod casts

A podcast is an audio piece that is downloaded to an i-pod and listened to whilst on the move. There are many different types of podcast available to download and include things such as news reports, sport reports and entertainment reviews amongst much more. The majority of podcasts are free and are downloaded on to a computer, imported in to i-tunes and then transferred over to the i-pod to listen to at the user’s convenience.

ii) Listening to audio books

The i-pod is a great tool for listening to audio books, making it an ideal gadget for the partially sighted, young children that cannot read by themselves or all those who simply prefer to listen to an audio book rather than read one. Audio books can be bought from the i-tunes store, a third party source or downloaded for free from many different internet sites. Once on the computer the audio books need to be imported to i-tunes and then transferred across to the i-pod.

iii) An in car music system

The i-pod can also be used as the primary music source in motor vehicles. There are a variety of ways to hook the i-pod up to enable it to play music through a motor vehicle’s speaker system although it is achievable with all types of vehicle radio.

Some car radios have aux in sockets, which allows a cable to be plugged in to the headphone socket of the i-pod with the other end plugged in to the radio. The music from the i-pod will then be transferred through the vehicle’s speaker system.

If the vehicle radio doesn’t have an aux in socket a radio tuner is required. These radio tuners are made by a variety of third party companies, including Belkin and Griffin, are plugged in to the docking socket of the i-pod before tapping in an unused radio frequency. The vehicles radio is tuned in to the same frequency and the i-pod music is played through the speakers, although it is not possible to stop, pause, skip tracks, move to the next album etc. via the vehicle’s stereo when using the i-pod in this way. It should also be noted the sound quality is not usually as good either.

iv) As a photo viewer

The fourth generation ‘photo i-pod’ was released in 2004. This i-pod had the capabilities of having photographs downloaded to it. The i-pod could then be attached to a TV or other external visual device for slide shows, or the photographs could simply be viewed on the colour screen. Not all models of fourth generation i-pod had this capability, but if yours does, it is a fantastic feature that allows you to take a sample of your photo albums wherever you go.

The i-pod can also be used to store photographs taken with a digital camera, i.e. as a back-up device for those times it is not possible to get to a computer and upload the images, such as when on holiday. In order to take the photos directly off the camera and put them on to the i-pod an additional i-pod accessory is required which, just like nearly all Apple accessories, does not come cheap. That said, it is a useful bit of kit if you are one of those people that takes hundreds of holiday snaps but does not have enough memory cards.

v) Watching visual media

The fifth generation ipod was released in 2005, featuring a 2.5” 320 x 240 colour screen was the first i-pod with the ability to play videos in the MP4 format. This i-pod allows the user to download music videos, TV programmes, visual podcasts and a whole range of other visual things that can be watched on the go. Visual media is bought from the i-tunes store, third party websites or can be downloaded for free from other internet sites. The media is then imported in to i-tunes and then downloaded on to the i-pod for future use.


It is easy to see the i-pod has come a long way from its humble beginnings of simply playing music and it is easy to see why the i-pod is so popular. An all singing all dancing i-pod is a great multimedia entertainment device, however in order to get the most out of it you are going to need quite a few accessories, which don’t come cheap. The requirement for the expensive accessories is, arguably, the biggest criticism of the i-pod but it is a problem that all multimedia entertainment units have in common


Apple, Ipod, The Ipod, Uses For An Ipod, What Is An Ipod

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author avatar Edward James
A random guy interested in cycling, fishing, photography and writing about my experiences.

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