8 Cool (and Useful) Mods for iPods and iTunes

Your iPod is more like a miniature computer than you might think. After all, it has a screen, keys, storage, and an operating system. And just as with any PC, you can add new features, overhaul the OS, update the interface, and personalise it to your heart's content.

While you're at it, why not fill it with content from the Internet and with movies ripped from your own DVDs? And hey, why shouldn't you be able to copy your tunes off the player anytime you want? You can do all of that and more with these cool iPod hacks. They're free, harmless (meaning that you can reverse or undo any of them without hosing your player), and guaranteed to help you get more fun and function out of your iPod. (We'll identify which generations of iPod each hack works with. To determine which generation you have, consult this list.) And since most iPods communicate with a copy of iTunes, we've thrown in a couple of hacks to make that program work the way you want it to.

Copy Music From Your iPod

Compatible with: All iPods

142300-iPod Folder-large

Here's a scenario to consider: Your PC's hard drive dies and takes your music collection with it. Or you're migrating to a new PC and need an easy way to copy over your MP3s. Either way, iPod Folder can come to your rescue. Available for Windows and Mac, this simple utility copies music directly from any iPod to any folder you choose on your PC, something you can't do with a standard iPod that lacks iPod Folder. You can even store the program on your player so it's available at a moment's notice.

To get started, connect your iPod and make sure that it's enabled for use as an external drive (check the setting in iTunes if you're not sure--go to the Summary tab when the iPod is selected); then run the iPod Folder program. Click the iPod icon and choose the appropriate drive letter for your player. Next, click the folder and choose the desired destination for your music. Finally, enable any options you want, such as Include iPod Folder Structure or MP3 Files Only (the latter is helpful if you don't want to copy DRM-protected AAC files). Click the arrow to begin the copying process.

Carry Wikipedia on Your iPod

Compatible with: Pre-fifth-generation iPods (not including Nanos)

142300-Encyclopodia-large

Is that an encyclopedia in your pocket? It is if you have Encyclopodia, an iPod-formatted version of Wikipedia--the Internet's vast repository of shared human knowledge. Just think of the (frequently accurate) facts you'll have at your disposal to impress friends, settle bar bets, and ace final exams. All you need is the free Encyclopodia viewer, the also-free Wikipedia e-book files (available in English, German, and Italian), and a pre-fifth-generation iPod (not a Nano). iPhone and iPod touch users can access the living Wikipedia in their devices' Web browsers, of course.

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