Video on the go
Getting video files on the iPod touch is as easy as it was with previous video-enabled iPods and the new classic and nano. And although the screen on the touch is slightly wider than the others, iPod-formatted video files will still play quite happily - and as we've said before, you can simply adjust the video to either fit in the screen or fill it by double-tapping on the video while it's playing.
Any iPod-formatted video file will be able to be imported straight onto the touch. These include TV shows downloaded from the iTunes Store, video podcasts and any video files that you find online - such as movie trailers from the Apple website or videos downloaded from Google video, for example.
If you'd prefer the video to fit the touch screen perfectly though, it's easy to convert it - see the 'Converting video' section for how to do this.
Don't worry if you're about to leave a Wi-Fi hotspot but want to keep viewing a web page, because your Safari browser is clever enough to keep your current page loaded on your iPod, so it'll always be there when you reload Safari - until you load up a new page, that is. This will work for multiple pages too, so you could have a range of important web pages stored on your iPod for later reading.
You can even import your Safari bookmarks from your host computer - the one that the iPod touch is synced to. Start by connecting your touch and then click on the Info tab on the right. Now scroll down and check the box marked Sync Safari bookmarks.
You may have noticed that there are a few spare spaces on the main screen of your touch, which is partly due to the fact that it's missing some of the features found on the iPhone - Google maps and stock reports, for example. While we have no doubt that Apple will at some point release additional widgets to add to your touch, there is something you can do in the short term to further increase the player's functionality.
Head to www.apple.com/ipodtouch/webapps at the Apple site and you'll see a wide range of web-based applications that can be used when you're connected to a Wi-Fi hotspot. Everything from basic games to online word processors can be found here - and there's even a direct link to the iPhone/touch formatted Facebook site.
How to convert video for the iPod touch
There are several ways to convert videos for the iPod (you can even do it through iTunes, but we don't recommend you do that) but the best program by far is iSquint. It's quick, simple to use and the results it produces are perfect.
iSquint, however, is Mac-only. For a Windows-friendly solution, download the Videora iPhone converter. Videora can cope with all manner of video files and offers easy 1-click transcoding as well as more detailed conversion options.
Find missing album art
Adding album art to both iTunes and your iPod has become a whole lot easier since Apple added the Get Album Artwork feature to iTunes (see under the Advanced menu). But despite the fact that it's fairly comprehensive, it's not infallible. For example, in our personal iTunes Library, made up of over 3,000 songs and 270 albums, it couldn't find artwork for around 20 full albums and over 250 individual singles.
So, what do you do if you're a die-hard completist? One option is to employ the services of a third-party program to fill in the gaps. One such program is CoverScout from equinux. Costing just shy of €20, CoverScout enables you to quickly spot the gaps in your library's artwork and then search via Google or Amazon to find them. Then, once you've found the correct ones, you just import them into iTunes.
Don't worry if you still can't find what you're looking for though, as there's built-in support for a webcam too, so you can take a quick shot of the CD cover and import it that way - CoverScout is even considerate enough to reverse the camera so that the sleeve is shot the right way around.
How to stream video to your iPod touch
If you've bought (or are thinking of buying) the EyeTV digital TV adaptor for your Apple computer, then you might be interested to learn that its creators Elgato have recently released an update to the software, which enables you to stream video files downloaded from EyeTV to your iPod touch or iPhone via your computer and a Wi-Fi network.
Although the EyeTV software is generally intended for use over a local network, we've tried it over much larger distances and it works perfectly - if a little slowly.
MacFormat's Chris Phin has managed to get the system up and running and posted a brief EyeTV tutorial video on the MacFormat website. You can view it here.
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