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New to Uploading Music to iPod nano? Here's How

Jun 1, 2008
If you've been trying to figure out how to upload music to your new iPod nano, don't worry. We'll have you playing great songs on your iPod nano in no time. Of course, you might not be so interested in music. But maybe you bought your nanos to play videos or games. Well, good news! Once you're uploading music to your nano you'll know how to upload all the other goodies too.

1) Load the music files onto your computer

Where are your music files? For a lot of new nano owners the answer is "on my CDs." If so, you'll want to make the files available to your computer. Most people start by copying the files from CDs onto the computer's hard disk. Note: If you use iTunes and have selected "Copy files to iTunes music folder," it's enough to just have the CD in your computer's CD drive.

2) Import the music into your iPod manager

What's an iPod manager? For most of us it's the iTunes software Apple provides you for free. If you don't have it on your computer already to go the Apple website and download iTunes. It's a good starting point for new users, and it's free!

Don't worry, using iTunes to manage your iPod doesn't keep you from buying music at other stores. I buy music downloads from Amazon and eMusic, in addition to iTunes.

Decide if you'd like to have all your files in one location on the computer. If so, it's easiest if you tell iTunes to copy all the files there for you. In iTunes choose Edit, Preferences, Advanced from the menu and click the "Copy files to iTunes Music folder when adding to library."

Wherever you got your music from, once it's on your computer you can import it into iTunes. You have a couple options. One way is to select (from the top menu) File, Add Folder to Library, and find the folder holding your music. Click "OK" and iTunes will now show the music in the Library music list. Another way is to use the Control & O keys. Navigate to the files' location and click on the files you want to add.

3) Connect your iPod nano

You probably already did this, but just in case: connect your iPod nano to your computer with the the USB cable that came with your nano. You'll know the connection's successful when the left-hand menu in iTunes shows your iPod.

Next you need to decide if you want to let iTunes handle synchronizing with your iPod or if you want to handle things manually. I like the "manually manage" approach -- it lets me decide which files to move to my nano. It also lets me synch up different computers to just one iPod.

4) Finally! Start uploading music to your nano

If you decided to let iTunes manage the uploads you're ready to start. Just click your iPod's icon and select "Sync" in the lower right corner. You're done! Play with that a few times. Try making playlists to group your music, go to iStore to download a couple free podcasts, and go enjoy!

If you decided to manage uploading manually you have a one-time setup to complete. Click your iPod's icon and select the "Manually manage music and videos" checkbox on the iTunes screen. Now, select the music you want and drag it onto the iPod icon.

5) Be sure to eject your iPod

Always, always, always click the eject button on the lower-right corner of the iTunes screen. Don't risk corrupting your iPod files.

6) Find more cool stuff!

Now that you have the hang of it, it's time to go find more music, podcasts, games and videos for your iPod nano. I get my podcasts via iTunes, which has a terrific list. Music, games and videos, on the other hand, can be found in a lot of other stores for very reasonable prices. See my web site for suggestions.
About the Author
Read Lydia Vaughn's review of the best sites to get more downloads for your iPod nano at her website, Nanos Reviewed.
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