Making the most of your iPod music

iTunes has a number of different features that are designed specifically to make working with the iPod simple and easy. These features can be used to maximize the amount of enjoyment that you can get out of your iPod with relative ease.

Using the rating system will be the easiest way to build your collection. If you like a particular song on an album, rate it using the 1 to 5 stars function in the main iTunes window. This allows you to sort all of your music based on its ratings. You sort the music this way by clicking the title of the column, Rating. It will either sort with the lowest ratings on top, or the highest, depending on how you have it organized from previous listening. The ratings are also important if you want to use the Genius function of the iTunes interface.

The most recent build of iPod touch software now lets you make your own playlists on the go, a handy feature that we have been waiting on for a very long time. The easiest way to use this feature is once you have everything that you want on your iPod and you want to build a new playlist, or add to an existing one, open up your music section. The bottom left hand side has the on-screen button for Playlists. Simply click on this button and hit ‘Add Playlist’ for a new one, or scroll to the playlist you are adding to. If it is a new playlist, the iPod will ask you for a title, then send you right to the all-song database to search for the songs you want on your playlist. If you see a song you like, either click the blue plus button on the right hand side of the screen, or just double-tap on the title of the song. You can either search through by the title of the song, or sort by album, artist, or even the other playlists in order to find the songs that you are looking to add to your new list. Once you are all finished, hit the ‘done’ button in the upper right hand corner.

Now if you’re adding songs to an existing playlist, it gets a little more complicated. Once you have selected the playlist, click the ‘edit’ button on the top left hand side. This allows you to move the songs around, or even remove them by hitting the red minus symbol on the left. To add new songs to this playlist, hit the plus box in the upper left hand corner and from there it acts just like building a brand new playlist. When you are finished, hit the done key in the upper right hand corner.

Building your playlists from the iPod itself will allow you to do more to customize exactly how you want your music. You will have more tools to organize with if you start from iTunes though. Always keep an eye on the number of times a song has been played. It is the easiest way to figure out which one you are listening to the most. Every time you sync your iPod with your computer, the totals are combined and you can see just how much and of what you have been listening too. You might be surprised what is at the top of that list.

Using the Genius tool, you can find more music that matches those favorites and have the iTunes library mix your music together for you in playlists that you can edit later yourself. To start with Genius, you need an Apply iTunes account, it’s the same account you use to buy music with. Just click the Genius heading on the left hand side and follow the steps to log in and send your music tags to the Apple database. In moments you will have new playlists to enjoy.