Connect your iPod to your stereo
There are plenty of iPod-specific speakers. Some are portable. Others are large. But you don't need to buy expensive speakers. Instead, connect your iPod to your entertainment center.
All you need is a cable. Apple and other manufacturers make iPod-specific cables. One end plugs into the miniplug on your iPod or iPod dock. The other connects to your receiver.
Most attach to the receiver with RCA connectors. Don't plug the iPod into the phono jacks; they're too sensitive. Your stereo could be damaged.
If need be, use a cable with miniplugs on both ends. Just make sure it is a stereo cable. These have two black bands on the metal tip.
There are special cables and docks for video and photo iPods. These connect your iPod to your television. Before you buy, check that your television has compatible connections.
Control your iPod with a remote
Once you connect your iPod to your entertainment center, you'll want a remote. You won't need to get up to change the tunes. Apple's Remote ($29) works with iPod docks with an IR receiver.
Apple's AV Connection Kit ($99) features connection cables, a dock and remote. DLO and Griffin make similar docking kits featuring a remote control.
You can transfer photos to newer iPods. Connect your iPod to your computer and open iTunes. Right-click your iPod's name. On the Photos tab, select "Sync photos from."
In Windows, you can select a folder containing photos. Or, if you use Adobe Photoshop Album or Adobe Photoshop Elements, select one of them.
In Mac OS X, select iPhotos or a folder. Use the options to select the photos to transfer. iTunes transfers scaled-down versions of photos.
You can also download photos from your camera directly to the iPod. This is handy when travelling. You'll need the iPod Camera Connector ($29). It attaches to the iPod's dock connector. It features a USB port for attaching your camera's cable.
Not all cameras are compatible with the iPod Camera Connector. If yours isn't, use a USB memory card reader instead.
Once attached, the iPod provides the option of importing photos. When you're done, you can erase the memory card. You can view the photos on your iPod immediately.
Store files on your iPod
You can also add files to your iPod. This is convenient for transferring files between two computers.
To add files, enable disk mode. Connect your iPod and open iTunes. Right-click its name. On the Summary tab, select Enable Disk Use. You'll be warned that you must manually eject your iPod before disconnecting. Click Apply.
Move and explore files in Windows Explorer or Apple's Finder. Eject your iPod in iTunes. Or, drag it to the trash in Mac OS X. In Windows, right-click the iPod name in My Computer and select Eject.
Connect the iPod to another computer and you'll receive a warning. It will ask you to associate the iPod with the computer. Click No. Otherwise, you'll lose your iTunes library.