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iPhone: The Missing Manual by David Pogue

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Familiar iPod Features

In certain respects, the iPhone is not an iPod. It doesn't have a click wheel, it doesn't come with any games, it doesn't display lyrics, it can't output video to a TV set, and it doesn't offer disk mode (where the iPod acts as a hard drive for transporting computer files). At least not in version 1.

Tip

OK, OK—there actually is a way to simulate iPod disk mode on the iPhone. Just download iPhone Drive, a shareware program available from this book's "Missing CD" page at www.missingmanuals.com.

It does have a long list of traditional iPod features, though. You just have to know where to find them.

Volume Limiter

It's now established fact: Listening to a lot of loud music through earphones can damage your hearing. Pump it today, pay for it tomorrow.

MP3 players can be sinister that way, because in noisy places like planes and city streets, people turn up the volume much louder than they would in a quiet place, and they don't even realize how high they've cranked it. No wonder parents worry about their kids.

That's why Apple created the password-protected volume limiter. It lets parents program their children's iPods (and now iPhones) to max out at a certain volume level that can be surpassed only with the password.

To set up the volume limiter and its password, in Photos.

Sound Check

This feature smoothes out the master volume levels of tracks from different albums, helping to compensate for differences in their original recording levels. It doesn't deprive you of peaks and valleys in the music volume, of course—it affects only the baseline level. You turn it on or off in Settings (iPod).

Equalization

Like any good music player these days, the iPhone offers an EQ function: a long list of presets, each of which affects your music differently by boosting or throttling back various frequencies. One might bring out the bass to goose up your hip-hop tunes; another might emphasize the midrange for clearer vocals; and so on. To turn the EQ on or off, or to choose a different preset, in iPod.

On-the-Go Playlist

During the first few years of the iPod Age, you could create playlists only in iTunes. You couldn't create one when you were out and about—to kill time standing in line at the Department of Motor Vehicles, for example, or to whip together a little music flow to impress a hot date.

Now you can.

  • Creating an On-the-Go Playlist. Open the iPod program (Home→iPod). Tap Playlists. At the top of the Playlists screen, tap On-The-Go.

    Now a master list of all your songs appears. Each time you see one worth adding to your On-the-Go Playlist, tap its name (or the + button). You can also tap one of the icons at the bottom, like Playlists, Artists, or Videos, to find the stuff you want.

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    When you're finished, tap Done. Your playlist is ready to play, just as you would any playlist.

    Note

    On real iPods, you can create many On-the-Go playlists. The iPhone can keep only one at a time. (It does get copied over to iTunes, though, with each sync.)

  • Editing the On-the-Go Playlist. On the Playlists screen, tap On-The-Go; on the next screen, tap Edit. Here you're offered a Clear Playlist command, which (after a confirmation request) empties the list completely.

    You also see the universal iPhone Delete symbol (). Tap it, and then tap the Delete confirmation button on the right side, to remove a song from the playlist.

    To add more songs to the list, tap the button at the top left. You're now shown the list of songs in the current playlist; you can tap Playlists to switch to a different playlist, or tap one of the other buttons at the bottom of the screen, like Artists or Songs, to view your music collection in those list formats. Each time you see a song worth adding, tap it.

    Finally, note the "grip strip" at the right edge of the screen (). With your finger, drag these handles up or down to rearrange the songs in your OTG playlist. When your editing job is complete, tap Done.

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