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So you just got an iPod nano -- now what?

Cory Bohon

All day on December 25, TUAW presents "Now What?" We've got first steps and recommendations for all the Apple gifts you (hopefully!) found under the tree today. Happy holidays! If you're a iPod veteran, send a link to this post to the switcher on your holiday list.

Congrats on your new iPod nano! We hope the color matches your wardrobe.

Setting Up
If you do not already have iTunes (available for Mac and Windows) installed, then you will need to get that taken care of. The latest version is available for free from the Apple website. Depending on your Internet connection, this download could take a few minutes, but remember that you shouldn't connect your iPod until you know that iTunes is installed. If you have a Mac, then iTunes probably came installed on your machine, so check your "Applications" directory for

Once you have iTunes installed, plug your iPod nano into a USB port on your computer using the included USB Dock connector. By default, iTunes will launch and ask you to set up your iPod nano for the first time. You will start by entering a descriptive name for your iPod -- you can choose anything you wish.

You will then be able to sync your music from your iTunes library. If you don't have much in your library, you can download some tunes from the iTunes Store (perhaps you received an iTunes Gift Card), or you can rip music from CDs directly to your library. Of course, you aren't limited to the iTunes store for your music shopping: any online music store that delivers MP3 files (eMusic and Amazon, for example) will work just fine with your iPod.

iTunes also lets you subscribe to and download your favorites from thousands of free audio and video podcasts (we can suggest a few winners) and listen to online radio stations. You can't copy those streaming programs to your iPod, though, without a separate tool like RadioLover or RadioShift; if you really crave radio and your local stations don't broadcast online, you can check out Griffin's RadioShark peripheral for off-the-air recording.

Continue reading for more tips, tricks, accessories, and more!

Every Day Use of Your nano
You will no doubt be using your iPod all the time, here are some tips that you can remember when you are using your iPod nano.

To turn on your iPod nano - press any button
To turn off your iPod nano - press and hold the play/pause button
To turn on the backlight - press any button, or use the Click Wheel
Disable controls - slide the hold switch on the top until the orange strip shows; handy for carrying iPod in your pocket
Change volume - from the now playing screen, slide your finger around the Click Wheel

If you like to shuffle your music around, then try this out: Shake your iPod nano from left to right rapidly -- your music will instantly be shuffled. Don't like that song? Shake it again! This feature, called "Shake to Shuffle," can be turned off by choosing Settings > Playback, choose Shake, and then select Shuffle on/off.

For more tips and tricks like this, see your user manual (1MB PDF link).

Accessories for Your iPod nano
You can extend your iPod nano experience by using some of these great accessories:

  • While most people like the white iPod earbuds that come with the iPods, some don't. If you are in the category that doesn't, then check out Apple's new In-Ear Headphones, Coosh Headphones, or Shure (although they're quite expensive).
  • If you like listening to your music without having earbuds in your ears, then perhaps you would like a nice set of speakers for the iPod? If so, I would highly recommend the Logitech Pure-Fi Anywhere 2 speakers. These speakers also include a remote control, and have a really great, crisp sound.
  • If you are worried about protecting your iPod nano, then you can check out cases from Griffin, Belkin, and the Apple Online Store. I usually don't carry around a case with my iPod nano, simply because I like to see the wonderful colored aluminum, but you can find some really good cases.
  • If you find yourself recording notes, lectures, speeches, etc., then you might want to check out the Incipio Lloyd microphone adapter for iPod nano. This teeny tiny accessory doesn't add much bulk to your iPod, but does add support for recording voice notes right on the device.

Getting Support for Your iPod nano
If your iPod nano (or iTunes) doesn't seem to work right, then you can always turn to AppleCare Support & Service. AppleCare gives you one year of limited service and support, and you also get a limited number of calls to Apple's Technical Support line.

If you plan on using your iPod nano every day, then I would highly suggest purchasing the AppleCare extended warranty. Not only does it allow you to call Apple with your concerns and questions, but you can also send your iPod in to their service center if something should ever happen.

If you do encounter problems with your nano, you should always do the 5 R's. Reset, Retry, Restart, Reinstall, and Restore are always the first places to start. You can use Apple's online Troubleshooting Assistant to go through the 5 R's.

Do you have something you would like to add to this guide? Perhaps your favorite iPod nano accessories? If so, let us know in the comments below!

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