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iPod & iTunes: The Missing Manual, Fourth Edition by J.D. Biersdorfer

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iPod Software Updates

What Apple maketh, Apple shall updateth. Like any other software company, Apple constantly fixes, enhances, and fine-tunes the operating systems it writes— including the iPod’s.

In general, Apple updates the iPod’s system software a few times a year, but the amount of new stuff varies in each revision. Some updates just fix bugs and improve existing functions (like battery life), while other updates add a whole new world of possibilities (like the ability to play AAC files or use calendars on your iPod).

Apple uses a universal updater program, so no matter what iPod you have, you just download this one file, usually named something bold and inspiring like “iPod Updater 2006-01-10” (Figure 12-8). When you download the latest version, the Updater software will decide if your specific iPod model needs updating or not.

How to Know When It’s Time

Notification that a new iPod software version may come to you in any of several ways:

  • Macintosh Software Update. If you’ve got the Mac’s built-in Software Update feature turned on in your System Preferences or Control Panels, it can regularly check Apple’s servers for updates to all your Apple software, including iTunes, iSync, iCal, and the iPod system software. Just pick the software you want from the Software Update list and click Install.

    The iPod Universal Updater shows you the latest software version for each model and tells you if you actually need to update.

    Figure 12-8. The iPod Universal Updater shows you the latest software version for each ...

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