Sunday, 11 November 2012

New iPod and Playlist


            One of my favourite pieces of technology is my iPod. Simple in concept, the iPod really has changed how people enjoy music, especially if you grew up with the Sony Walkman and Portable disc player type devices. I can carry every piece of music I own with me, and using shuffle I never know what will be played next, but know it will be something I like.

            What has my iPod to do with self-defence? Not much really, sometimes it is nice to just enjoy the music.

            I had a 30Gb “iPod Video” that has served me well for a number of years. I do not recall when exactly I brought it but this model came out in 2005, which sounds about right. The headphones it came with broke on me after a few years, which lead me to discover that the sound could be so much better with alternate headphones.

In the past few weeks it has become obvious that the headphone socket has worn out, so I only get sound in both earpieces if I lean against the plug. My girlfriend told me to go along to the Apple store to see what could be done, so I did.

Apparently my model is now classed as “Vintage” and being well out of warrantee could not be repaired. I was given a 10% trade-in on any new model.

The only thing I had used my old iPod for was playing music, so had no interest in something that could take photos, access the internet and play games for an increased price tag. For that reason my choice was the 6th Generation iPod Classic.

Someone at Apple has been very smart here, realizing that change for change’s sake is not necessarily a good thing. The Classic works and indeed looks a lot like my old model. The main difference is that it now has a 160Gb memory and the facing is made from aluminium rather than plastic. It seems to hold a charge better too and apparently the battery life has been extended to 36 hours. I have heard talk that Apple intend to discontinue the Classic in favour of the iPhone and iPod Touch. I hope that is not the case. There will always be a market for a music player that mainly just plays music.

I had expected the guys at the Apple store to transfer the content of my old iPod onto my new, but this service was not available. I had to wait a while until I could find time to make sure everything I had on my old iPod was on the copy I keep on an external Hard Drive.

Because it is so familiar setting up my new iPod was very simple. I copied my backup files into iTunes and then onto the iPod. 5,659 songs at 21.2Gb took a while though.

In fact the main difference I found was more to do with iTunes itself. The only playlist I have ever used are “Recently Added” and “Least Played”. These were standard options on my old iPod but I could not find them on the new model. I searched on the internet on how to create these using “Smart Playlist” but most of the explanations I could find were not satisfactory. As is often the case with Apple, the solution was a lot simpler than you think. Since correct information on how to create these particular playlists is hard to find I thought I would put it up on here to benefit those who have brought my book or read the blog.

The simple method is:- Open “New Smart Playlist”. In the top left corner there is a section saying something like “Obey rule”. Untick this box. Go down to the line that says “Limit to” with a number beside it. Set this number to how big you want your playlist. I set mine to 250 items. Right beside this is a box that says “Random”. Open the drop down menu and change Random to either “Most Recently Added” or “Least Often Played”. Name your playlist and you are done. Took me several hours of looking through webpages to find that!