Ipod in Whose Name?
April 23, 2010 1:42 PM   Subscribe

I want to gift somebody an new ipod with maybe a dozen or so audiobooks already on the ipod. How do I best do this, given how ipods and other Apple accessories are linked with itunes accounts?

I'm a little confused on the intricacies of how Apple sets up their ipods/itunes selections.

If I purchase the audiobooks through itunes, and then put it on a new ipod, will the new ipod be linked to my account? And will the all future purchases made by the gift recipient need to be made under my account?

How do I best set this up so they can get a couple of audiobooks from me, and purchase their own for the ipod in the future?

Maybe I'm over thinking this? Thanks for your help!!!
posted by The ____ of Justice to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
You can send the audiobooks as a gift and they can put them on the iPod. Alternatively, you could just buy physical discs of the audiobooks, rip them to MP3s and add them to the iPod BUT the iPod is registered to just one computer, so it would be wiped when they attach it to theirs. However, if the point is that you want to give them the loaded iPod so they will have something to listen to on a long trip and they wouldn't need to sync to their computer right away, that might work. You could give them the physical CDs to rip on their own computer when they need to.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 1:47 PM on April 23, 2010

Buy them an audible.com subscription with the Ipod. And/or IF you have access to their computer, you can download the books you choose via their own Itunes account with the software on the audible.com site.

My husband bought me my Palm IIIx lo many years ago with a year long audible.com subscription. The Palm is long gone, the subscription endures, and I still think of my husband whenever I log on to choose this month's book downloads.
posted by bearwife at 1:51 PM on April 23, 2010

One thing that I was thinking you could do is authorize their computer for Home Sharing and buy the books on your account, then transfer them to their machine. If you copy the books to their iPod from their account, they can view them and open them. Then they wouldn't have to worry about losing the books when they sync the iPod. Unfortunately this might ruin the surprise a little, but if you're clever it could work out - you'd need physical access to their machine somehow.

I don't know if this is feasible for you, but it's worth a shot if you want the books pre-loaded.
posted by Despondent_Monkey at 2:35 PM on April 23, 2010

When I did this for my mom, I ended up giving her the iPod as a present and then gifted her the books/music and $50 to spend on whatever. It was Christmas so I was in town to get her up to speed with iTunes and how to sync things and rip her CDs. I have a suspicion that she still probably has $48.02 in credit on that gift card.
posted by birdherder at 3:03 PM on April 23, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks for the answers so far everyone! Birdherder--this is also for my mom, and the more I read these answers, the more I think I should just get her a portable CD player and a subscription to audible (thanks bearwife!) or booksfree. (Or maybe another service...if anyone has recommendations, let me know!)

Just the thought of trying to explain how to download and sync everything via her laptop is making me very afraid. (She lives hundreds of miles away, so I can't just pop over every time she has a question...)
posted by The ____ of Justice at 3:12 PM on April 23, 2010

Once she is set up, it is all very, very easy. Can you visit her when you give her the Ipod and do the setup for her? Just a thought . . . it is simply wonderful to listen to books on an Ipod. The ability to see exactly where you are, to back up, to have the Ipod just automatically pick up where you left off, and the joy of hearing a book well read . .. hard to beat. (Also, for advanced listeners, installation of ipod connection in car means the ability to listen while driving too.)

Take care. I would research the audible.com or booksfree site yourself before buying, of course.
posted by bearwife at 3:25 PM on April 23, 2010

I am popping in to reassure you that it is possible for a very non-computer savvy mom to make iTunes work once you set it all up for her. Is there a way to do that? I would save the iPod gift until a time when you were visiting for a few days, then set iTunes up to do a bunch of stuff automatically. You can show her how to do stuff, too, but that's a little past the point where my mom was...

Another alternative would be to ask (or pay) someone, anyone you know in her area to help her set it up and download the audiobooks if she's lost with things like that- it wouldn't take more than half an hour.

My mom is in her mid-60s and had never really tried computers until 3 or so years ago. She loves her iPod and uses it every day while she's gardening and messing around the house. I set it up to 1) automatically import any CD she put in her computer and add it to her library 2) automatically sync her iPod any time it is connected to the computer 3) automatically download/sync a few podcasts I thought she'd enjoy.

The only time she's ever had a problem was when her iPod got confused and needed a reset (easy to explain the buttons to push over the phone) and when her internet was down and she didn't understand why her podcasts weren't loading as usual (so ran through my usual routine of talking her through unplugging the wireless router and plugging it back in, then magic! fixed!). She's had it for a year now. This is much, much better than she does with other, normal computer stuff.
posted by charmedimsure at 4:15 PM on April 23, 2010

Does it have to be an iPod? Consider a player like the Sansa Fuze, and get audiobooks and podcasts as MP3s. More versatility.
posted by megatherium at 5:56 AM on April 24, 2010

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