Getting the most out of your gear : "The Ipod Touch" (part2)

Sep 06
Yesterday we gave you the first half of our article on “getting the most out of your gear : The Ipod Touch” , today its time for part two on how to use that slick mp3 player to its full advantage and have its technology .. work for you.
My Ipod touch is … My Audio recorder
Allthough you might think we should be coming to the end of this series , the fun goes on ! The Ipod also makes for a great audio recorder. The built-in microphone is of a very high quality and is perfect for those quick snippet recordings ( I love to collect audio from preforming street artists) but with the addition of the apple earbuds (or skullcandy ones, whichever you prefer) you can use it to do podcast recording.  ( I have hooked up a boom mike to it , and its just perfect for podcasting in the car). The stock “audio recording” application records in high quality, but you are not able to get the files OFF without hooking it up to Itunes (and you all know how I feel about that).
Apps : Audio Recorder.
My Ipod touch is … My Remote control.
What we tend to forget is that the Ipod also makes a great “remote” for controlling devices and services around the house. One of my favorite uses is the “boxee app” where I can use the ipod touch as a remote for the boxee pc hooked up to our Tv. Its lightning fast, and very versatile. The Itunes Remote app makes it nice to control the music playback on our Imacs without having to go indoors when we want to chill to some tunes on our porch. And you know that the abilty to connect (via the command line) to my linux servers from just about anywhere is mandatory for me. So ISSH does that pretty well. There might be something to say about the “small keyboard” but we manage to survive. In case of rare emergencies even “full screen desktop control” can be acquired using the teamviewer app.
Apps : Boxee remote app – Itunes remote app – ISSH – Teamviewer.
My Ipod touch is … My PDA.
And allthough I use my phone for most of the following applications, I have made them available on the IPOD too. Email Calendar and Contacts are of course mandatory. But to avoid an “over-cluttering” of my communications ( getting nagged by emails on every device ) I’ve setup a special email account on Google for my Ipod Touch and only sync my personal CALENDAR to the device. Not my emails. That way I can quickly glance at what I have planned, but also shoot notes – files – whatever to my Ipod using its special (secret) email account. Always a nice way to filter out information overload. What is of course mandatory for all my portablet devices is their “interlinking” with Evernote. That way voice memo’s, pictures and notes are easily synchronized across my devices. the gTasks application is a nice app for keeping track of my Todo Items and syncing them “in the cloud” to my Ipad.  I don”t use the ipod extensively as a PDA but as a “backup” when my smartphone runs out of power its just perfect.
Apps – Gtasks – Evernote – Mail – Calendar
And my Ipod touch is even more.
Forget not that WHEN my ipod is hooked up to wifi, its a powerful little tool to access a lot of web based information. The device might be a little too small for “browsing” the interweb, but for some quick googling ‘in a pinch’ its pretty ok. However, using some clever apps like the Wikipedia application, the IMDB application and some others, its like having a “portable tricorder” in your hand that helps you to look stuff up. The standard Google search application, Google earth, goggles and even places help me find the stuff I’m looking for in a pinch. Even easier (and more discrete) then flipping open a laptop (or the Ipad for that matter) the ipod makes a great ‘information tether’ to the web. Mostly the device just lies around on our coffee table as we are watching tv, making it a great tool to settle any movie arguments or quickly pull down some obscure fact to satisfy our knowledge hungry brain.
So what about … Games and stuff.
To be perfectly honest, I’m not really a gaming person. Although I love things like Angry birds and stuff, I can seldom find the time (nor the patience) to really “get into a game”. And for that the Ipod is not to blame, for even our Xbox 360 doesn’t see a lot of “Fraggin Knightwise” these days. And with plenty of content and connectivity to keep me entertained, I’ll pass up on “cows versus aliens” for now.
The Ipod touch has the wrong name. Its that simple. “Ipod”. It reminds us of a “music player” that outlines its primary function “playing music”, putting all the other posibilities of the device second. And in fact, that is hardly fair. When you turn around and look at the Ipod touch as a Wifi-only-mini-tablet, it becomes much more powerfull. For a fraction of the price of an Ipad (and an Iphone) you get the rich eco-sphere of IOS applications AND the “quality of build” that Apple products are known for. Even the first ipod i’ve ever owned is still in service today. With great battery life, a good screen, a pretty fast processor, a good front and back camera AND the ability to connect to the internets, the Ipod touch is so much much more then its forefathers. So we owe it to this little square device to see it as more then an “mp3 player with some extras” and appreciate it for the underpriced overpowered mini tablet it actually is.   To be honest , I would not be surprised to see a transformer logo on the bottom of the device, because it is indeed , so much more then meets the eye.
I hope you enjoyed my deep-geek-dive into the functionalities my little “mp3 player” has to offer. With the right software and some creative thinking, you can find many many more ways to have this little piece of technology work for you. Turning an mp3 player into a mobile web conferencing tool does not require you to be a coder .. just .. think outside the box and make tech … work for you..
So lets tap that hive mind of yours .. tell us : What do YOU use your ipod touch for ? What apps do you recommend and what clever tricks have you found to have the ipod work for you ?

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