So What Is an iPod Anyway?
The iPod is a small digital device that includes memory (most models include a hard drive just like the one in your computer, only smaller), an operating system, a processor and other computer
, as well as an LCD screen (all models except the iPod shuffle), controls, and other system elements needed to deliver its amazing functionality. It also includes a
lithium battery to give you plenty of listening time, a Headphones port to which you attach audio devices (including headphones,
, and so on), and a Dock port or USB connector to enable you to move music from a computer onto the iPod and recharge its battery.
iPods can work with a variety of audio file formats, including AAC, MP3, Audible books, AIFF (Mac only), and WAV. Because you just listen to these formats on an iPod, you don't need to know that much about them to use one. However, you will want to understand these formats when you prepare music for an iPod using iTunes. If you can't wait to learn what these formats are all about, see "Audio File Formats You Might Encounter When You Use iTunes" on page
The iPod's software enables you to manage and play digital audio files. You can also use its software to set a variety of preferences, in addition to using the iPod's other built-in tools.
Even with all this, iPods are quite small. The largest iPod is only 2.4 inches wide, is 4.1 inches tall, is .75 inches thick, and weighs a mere 6.4 ounces. This is
the size of a deck of playing cards. The smallest model, the iPod shuffle, comes in at a svelte 0.98 inches wide, 3.3 inches tall, 0.33 inches thick, and a mere 0.78 ounces, which is about the
of a pack of chewing gum.