I'm an iPod newb and I need help.
July 12, 2012 2:59 AM   Subscribe

I'm a complete iPod newb and I need help.

I got my first iPod a couple of months ago. Before I bought it, I hadn't even really handled an iPod before. Among other things, other people's gadgets make me nervous, because I'm worried I'll break them.

My main problem is this: I bought an iPod Classic, because for the next couple of years I'm probably going to be traveling a lot. And I'm not going to be in the U.S. much, so downloading things off of iTunes is often the easiest way to watch the American stuff I want to watch. This means that the iTunes library on my laptop is constantly changing.

My laptop is pretty old, so I don't have a huge amount of extra space on it, and I thought I could use the iPod like an external hard drive to store old tv episodes and movies, so that I could clear up space on my computer to watch other stuff. But I can't figure out how to make the iPod sync the way I want it to. If I just let it sync everything, it erases random tv episodes from the iPod to make room for the new stuff that is still on my computer, and if I choose "sync individually" (or whatever it's called), I only see the option to sync the stuff that is still on my computer, which means that old tv episodes on the iPod get erased.

What am I doing wrong and/or missing? Can you help me force the iPod to do what I want it to do? And are there any other facts, tricks, or basic info about how to use an iPod that I should know? I've been surprised by how rigid the iPod system is. I tried looking in some computer/technology forums for the answer to this question, but I think it's so basic that no one else seems to be asking about it.
posted by colfax to Technology (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Your iPod can act as an external hard drive, but then those media files won't be available to you to view/listen to.

When you first plug in your iPod and iTunes pops up, click your iPod on the left side of the screen and choose "Manually Manage Files" (more or less what it says). Now you will be able to choose which TV shows/songs/movies you want on your iPod (FOR VIEWING, NOT STORAGE), instead of having iTunes sync what it feels needs to be synced.
posted by kuanes at 3:47 AM on July 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


Given the constraints kuanes notes about using your iPod as a hard drive, you might find it easier / better to make a two-external-drive setup. Big external hard drives are pretty cheap these days (starting around $80), so if you can swing that price and your laptop has two USB ports, you plug the external drive into one and store ALL of your media on that. While it's plugged in you tell iTunes that its library is going to be on your G: drive (assuming a PC). This will clear up space on your laptop's HD which should help it cache better under ordinary circumstances.

During synching the iPod, you will have to have both hard drives plugged in. At all other times you can listen to music / watch movies on your iPod or on your laptop with the external drive plugged in.
posted by gauche at 7:34 AM on July 12, 2012


Think of your iPod as a portal to your iTunes music library containing some or all of the stuff in the library. It's not meant to be used as a standalone player, where the files only exist on the iPod.

When you "sync", you're _actually_ synchronizing the library on the iPod with the part of your iTunes library that's been chosen to sync. In this situation, "sync" is not a synonym for "transfer", the software is trying to keep the two devices in sync (and gives priority to the hard drive).

It seems like for what you want to do, an external drive is the best solution.
posted by brentajones at 8:29 AM on July 12, 2012


Thanks for the info. Sounds like I misunderstood the iPod a bit. It's been useful in other ways though, so it's not a total wash.
posted by colfax at 9:14 AM on July 12, 2012


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