iTunes/iPod Tips & Tricks: iPod as a Hard Drive

Like I said in the introduction to this series, we all know the iPod/iTunes combo is powerful for music and video syncing. You can keep a fresh circulation of music on your iPod using Smart Playlists and you can do videos pretty much the same way. But what about the non-music and non-video features?

This week we are going to start simple.  but this single tip will help us further down the road.  And as any good teacher knows, the best way to teach is to start at the ground level and build off of that.  This week we are going to look at using the iPod as a hard drive.

Most people really do not completely understand that there is an actual drive inside the iPod.  They also do not know that there is a setting that will allow them to use their iPod as an external hard drive and allow them to backup documents, transfer files between computers, and even have a copy of your entire music collection (though I would not recommend this option).

So how do we set up the iPod to be used as a hard drive?  Well the process is really quite simple and not all that scary at all.  In fact it is a single checkbox that shows up in iTunes iPod display.  When you plug your iPod into iTunes and click on the iPod in the source list (the list on the left side of iTunes), you will see a checkbox for “Enable disk use”.  This is the checkbox to check.  See the image below (image from iLounge)


That is all there is to it.  Nothing fancy, no registry hacks, just a simple check box.

There are a couple of disadvantages to using your iPod as an external drive.  The first and most obvious, is that any space used by your personal files, is space that can not be used for music, videos, photos, or games.  Also, when the iPod is set to “Enable Disk Use” you have to manually eject your iPod before you can disconnect it from your computer.  This can be done by clicking the little eject button next to your iPod in the source list.

That concludes this week’s iPod/iTunes Tips & Tricks article.  I realize that most people probably know how to do this already, but it is important for future articles in this series.  Next week we are going to look at putting your address book and calendar onto the iPod.  So be sure to check back next week.

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