How do you give someone an iPod that is pre-loaded with tunes from the iTunes store: A friend of mine called me last night with this situation: She would like to give someone an iPod and pre-load it with some specific songs she would purchase from the iTunes store.Simple enough. But when I tried to explain to her how to do it, I decided it isn’t as simple as it sounds.
Why this is problematic for a non-technical person: She’s very much a non-technical person and so is the recipient. She wants the music to all be purchased. The DRM “digital rights management” baked into songs purchased on iTunes, along with the skills necessary to connect an iPod to multiple computers (on both the Mac and Windows platform) make this simple-sounding exercise a potential land mine of Christmas morning screw-ups for people who simply want to hit a button and have it play.
After thinking about it a while, this is the alternative I suggested. It’s not a “pre-loaded iPod” but it’s the best I could think of that uses relatively non-technical consumer-level skills. Does anyone have a better hack that a non-technical person could understand? (That’s key: please, no “First, you need to port Linux to the iPod” suggestions.).
1. Give the person the Nano in the box.
2. Using iTunes, create a playlist of the songs you’d like to give, selecting them from the iTunes store (note: you don’t have to purchase a tune to add it to a playlist).
3. In your iTunes window, highlight the playlist you’ve created and then click on the “arrow” at the right of the name.
4. Select the “give this playlist” option and follow the instructions.
To me, this is not really a “solution” to what she wants to do, rather it’s a hack that Apple has packaged as a feature. Nonetheless, if you’re wanting to give someone an iPod and some songs, I think this is probably the way to do it with the least potential for Christmas morning frustration (as long as the recipient has a computer with a broadband connection).