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Preparing for a new iPhone or iPod Touch

by Rob   on December 21, 2009
Filed under Apple, News, Tips and How-To's

Christmas is just a few days away and without a doubt, i-gadgets will be popular gifts under the tree this year. So, what can you do in advance if you are expecting a certain Apple product? Well, we’ve come up with a few pointers below:

  • If you are not yet using it, install Apple iTunes.  While there are other ways to get music, movies and apps on your new i-gadget, iTunes is the only Apple approved way.  We’ve found that using other third party tools to manage your i-device can be difficult simply because it is not supported by Apple.
  • Once iTunes is installed, import your music and movie collections.  Easy enough: File -> Add to Library.  Or just drag and drop your media onto iTunes.
  • Now that you have iTunes installed you must convert all of your unsupported media files to a format supported by your new i-device.  What? Unsupported media files?  Yes.  If you are new to Apple products, then prepare yourself for many hours of media conversion, especially if you are coming from a Microsoft device. iPods and iPhones do not support Microsoft’s Windows Media formats (WMA/WMV), nor does it support many other open source formats (like ogg). So if you have a lot of music in these unsupported formats, it’s time to start converting.  Here’s the audio formats supported by the current iPhone: AAC, Protected AAC, MP3, MP3 VBR, Audible (formats 2, 3, and 4), Apple Lossless, AIFF, and WAV.  For video supported formats, see here.  I’ll followup with another post on how to convert your media since it is beyond the scope of this post.
  • Planning to install apps onto that new i-device? Or purchase music or movies from iTunes? You’ll need an iTunes account for that.  Now that you have iTunes installed, click on the iTunes Store on the left, then click on the Sign In button on the top right.  Click create new account.  Follow the directions.  If you don’t have a credit card you can setup your account without one.  This is a bit more tricky.  To setup an iTunes account without a credit card you must first have a redeemable iTunes code (gift card, app code or other redeemable code).  Click Redeem within iTunes, then enter the code, click done, then setup new account.  You cannot setup an iTunes Store account without a credit card unless you have a redeemable code first.
  • Plan your app purchases. One of the biggest successes of the iPhone and iPod Touch is the App Store, so undoubtedly you will spend a lot of time shopping for the perfect app.  Since the App Store now has more than 100,000 apps in it, finding those perfect apps is a chore, so start now.  We recommend using the top app lists on iTunes.
  • Contacts. If you’re migrating from another phone to an iPhone you’ll want to bring your contacts with you.  iTunes will sync your Address Book from your Mac or Windows computer with your i-device.  However, most people do no use the Address Book to store this information.  Well, now’s a good time to start!  Your new iPhone also has the ability to “import contacts from SIM.”  However, since all iPhones come with a new SIM and you MUST use this new SIM, using this feature is rather difficult and not always reliable.  So for this, we recommend you start entering your contacts into Outlook or Address Book.
  • Parental Controls. Giving an i-device to a kid? Worried about what they can do with it?  No problem, we covered this in an earlier post discussing Parental Controls.

If there’s any pointers we’ve missed, please let us know in the comments and we’ll get them added!

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