Help now available for the iPod illiterate

“Is the thought of loading your CD collection onto that little white box called the iPod enough to scare you back to vinyl? You aren’t alone. As Apple Computer’s popular MP3 player becomes a mainstream must-have, it’s only natural that the ranks of techno-deficient iPod owners will continue to grow,” Seth Porges writes for BusinessWeek.

“And where there’s a demand, someone is always ready to help. A slew of books and services has popped up to take the intimidation factor out of the iPod,” Porges writes.

Full article here.

29 Comments

  1. iPod and iTunes for Dummies, Secrets of the iPod … what next?

    Goldilocks and the Three iPods;
    Agatha Christie iPod Mysteries;
    The iPod Bathroom Reader;
    iPod It Dere and Someone Stole It?

    Maybe not. But if it made the cover of Time or Newsweek then you can be assured that a number of opportunistic writers are hard at work. I might consider “The Making of the iPod” if it’s substantial — over 150,000 words.

    If any publishers are reading this: Short books are for the illiterate!

  2. I propose the iPod Amendment, so that every minority (blacks) can listen to the DNC speeches from iTunes. And hopefully they are smart enough to Vote for Me before they Vote against Me.
    Did I mention I was in Viet Nam.

  3. How about a movie!…

    Could call it ‘I ipod’ and it could star Will Smith and could be about a rare 60gb ipod that play music so load that it kills it’s owner!!

    Sounds like a block buster to me- LOL!

  4. As hard as it is for us to believe that there are people CHALLENGED by ripping music into their iPods consider this.

    I have a Victrola in my house, about 100 years old. Still plays great! but the point is that up until a few years ago the act of playing music entailed putting a disc onto a spinning platform and pushing a button (or closing a lid). Bingo. Music. Adjust the volume. Done.

    That was the way music was played, by the average person for a CENTURY.

    Anyone could learn in 10 seconds, and never forget. The average person couldn’t balance a tone-arm, but they got by. And even inserting a cassette into a player was dead simple,

    NOW we have a situation that is REALLY SIMPLE for US. The savvy ones. Insert a CD, iTunes is launched, the CD is recognized, click “import” the songs are digitized and automatically inserted into the iPod.

    The whole process is very easy, compared to the way it used to be, But for people who have never done anything more complicated than placing a platter on a round surface and adjusting the volume, it’s like dealing with the controls to an alien space ship.

    And then there’s dealing with various encoders, bit rates, playlists, authorizing your computer, etc.

    Just knowing the difference between an mp3, AAC, AIFF, WAV, and the new lossless encoder is a lot for people to grasp in even simple terms.
    You didn’t have many features with a Walkman. Pop in the cassette, maybe some EQ.. Metal Tape? and that was it. An iPod does SO much more, but to a lot of people it’s incomprehensible in anything but it’s simplest default settings.

    (continued in next post)

  5. But now the iPod, which has been used mostly by reasonably techno-savy people, is falling into the hands of people who don’t like electronic complexity, are frustrated by 20 levels of menus, and just WILL NOT read the manual. Skimpy as it is. I see these people going beserk with iMacs and iPods because, as simple and intuitive we think these devices are, they are 10 steps deeper into techno-complexity than these people are used to dealing with.
    And it’s VERY frustrating for them.

    My parents can deal with a color TV set, even a color TV set with cable. But add on the DVD player, the Surround Sound, I’m still using my S-VHS player, 300 channels on my cable, 3

    or 4 remotes (depending on what’s lost that week), and 15 minutes after they are sitting in my den My 30 inch tv set has a blue screen and white noise is pouring out of the all the speakers in the room.
    The time is past where you could just punch buttons randomly and stumble across the right combination. It’s like that scene is Zoolander where the male models are just whacking and poking the iMac to get it to work. My parents think they can just monkey with it and it will be fine. But as it is every 20 minutes I have to fix the damn stuff. And grasping all the different ways that the hardware works together is just WAY over there heads.

    There are a LOT of people who can’t or WON’T bend to the evergrowing complexity of ordinary household devices. The consumer WANTS all the features, but will never bother to learn them. And in the end is just frustrated and angry because it makes them look stupid.

    Because technology keeps galloping forward it’s hard to imagine that it will EVER be the way it used to be where a device had features that were virtually FROZEN for decades. Like the ordinary home telephone. Is it safe to say that except for, maybe, Caller ID the home telephone was virtually unchanged for 50 years? Now, no two cellphones have the same interface, or features, or much of anything in common, and it changes every 6 months. And MAYBE only 5-10% knows what in the hell all those features do or how to make them work.

    (continued in next post)

  6. Sometimes I just wish that Cellphone service was PERFECTED, and forget about taking movies with it, I just want to be able to make and receive calls just about anywhere. Which I can’t do.

    And the iPod, the symbol of simple, intuitive, sleek, technology is still above the heads of so many people. What say ye? Should we go a bit slower, perfect the features, make it easier for the average user, and less prone to failure because we are pushing the envelope. OR. Full speed ahead? The way we are.

    David Vesey

  7. You don’t need to spend $15 on a book the iPod comes with a manual that should help you out. If you still can’t figure it out then those people shouldn’t be around computers or electronics; for the good of the world.

  8. Yes the cell phone I had 18 years ago had better reception! It was however rather large – I carried a camera in the case pocket ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

    I have a Sony-Ericsson Z600 now, full of features but I can’t turn voice mail off or extend ring time so for use simply as a phone it’s not as good.

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