Posts Tagged ‘hardware’

my iPod

Monday, April 28th, 2008

Understanding that others have written on the subject – I wanted to give my spin the on the (just about) ubiquitous iPod.

“A most underrated device the (Apple) iPod is“, (as Yoda would say), and I wouldn’t go anywhere without my trusty multi-media device. Other than these devices being cool, with great design, neat user interface and having some street cred, they are also immensely useful for teaching and learning.

I use mine to play music (sometimes), play podcasts (both audio and video a lot of the time), play video (TV, movies, presentations etc.), show photos, store files, and record audio (interviews). I won’t make any comments regarding the iPod Touch as I see it as an alternative to the way I use my iPod (and because I haven’t had enough experience with one to know it’s full range of functionality and/or limitations).

I can do all these things in a personal way (like, I’m the only person interacting with the device) or I can, through the Component or Composite Audio Visual (AV) cable, share everything with an audience. (NB* the newer iPod Classic require a new version of the AV cables).

I can use it walking, riding (the bicycle), traveling in the car (or on the train/plane), at home in the lounge or in the classroom/lecture theatre.

iTunes is the main piece of software I use to upload audio, video, and photos to the iPod, but I have some other software and hardware that allows me to add value to the iPod.

  1. The Belkin TuneTalk is a great little recording device that plugs into the bottom of the iPod and enable digital recording (but watch out for a new version for the latest iPod Classic).
  2. Then there’s the Griffin iTrip Auto (FM transmitter) that allows you to play your iPod through the car stereo system (charges the iPod as you go).
  3. And what about an Elgato eyetv digital TV tuner? I have the ‘hybrid’ model which does analogue and DTT (free view). This means I can capture of an old analogue VHS tape player and convert to digital and then save to iPod. You plug a co-axial cable into one end of the ‘stick’ and the other end goes into a USB port and via the excellent software you an watch and record free to air TV. Once recorded you are able to edit the recording (removing advertisements maybe) and then export as an iPod .mp4 file. If you have Roxio Toast you can also burn to DVD. This enables you to record something on TV in the evening and use it in your teaching the next day!
  4. Then there’s other handy things like a 3.5mm headphone jack splitter which effectively enables two people to listen to the iPod at the same time (you’ll need another set of head phones). You can pick these splitters up form an electronic store like Dick Smith Electronics.
  5. A small carry bag is also useful. I found a great design from Eagle Creek that’s got enough compartments and room for the bits and pieces. Not sure if they still produce the model I’ve got, but the Hip Check looks close.

I’ll probably go into more detail on the intricacies of exploiting the educational uses of the iPod in later posts (like creating & subscribing to podcasts) and in the meantime provide a couple of links to post by others… Kate Foy | Rob De Lorenzo | Manoj Jasra, and surely many more. Feel free to comment and provide a link if you’ve written something on the subject….

The bottom line: everyone (particularly teachers) should have one, or at least something that can do the same sort of things. I really can’t think of a reason why you shouldn’t. If you can think of a good reason – let us know!