10 Ways to Make Your iPod a Better Learning Gadget

ipodwithclass_21.jpgThe iPod can super­charge your learn­ing. But it’s often a mat­ter of find­ing the right soft­ware and con­tent. Below, we’ve list­ed sev­er­al new pieces of soft­ware that will let you suck more edu­ca­tion­al media (DVDs, web videos, audio files, etc.) into your iPod. And we’ve also list­ed some impor­tant pieces of con­tent that will make your iPod a bet­ter learn­ing gad­get. So here it goes and be sure to vis­it our Pod­cast Library and our relat­ed piece 10 Signs of Intel­li­gent Life at YouTube:

1) Put Wikipedia on Your Ipod:
Ency­clopo­dia is a free piece of soft­ware that brings Wikipedia to the iPod. Ency­clopo­dia can be installed on iPod gen­er­a­tions 1 through 4, as well as iPod Min­is. Def­i­nite­ly worth a try.

2) Watch DVDs on Your iPod: This free, open source soft­ware works on MacOS X, Lin­ux and Win­dows, and makes it sim­ple to load and watch DVDs on your video iPod. Here are some help­ful instruc­tions to get you start­ed.

3) Load YouTube Videos to Your iPod: Con­vert­Tube allows you to take any YouTube video and con­vert it to a for­mat that works on your iPod. It’s as sim­ple as enter­ing a url and click­ing “con­vert and down­load.” If you want to give the soft­ware a test run, try con­vert­ing these UC Berke­ley cours­es that were recent­ly launched on YouTube. Or these Nobel Prize speech­es.

4) Make Oth­er Video For­mats iPod-Ready: Life­hack­er recent­ly men­tioned three oth­er pieces of soft­ware that will make a vari­ety of oth­er video for­mats iPod-ready. For Win­dows, see Vide­o­ra; for Mac, see iSquint. Or more gen­er­al­ly see Zamzar. In a nut­shell, these items will turn a wide range of video for­mats into the one video for­mat (MPEG‑4) that your iPod likes.

5) Con­vert MP3 files into One Big iPod Audio­book File: Down­load­ing free audio­books can often require you to work with a series of sep­a­rate mp3 files, which can make things rather cum­ber­some. This soft­ware does you a favor and mash­es the files into one man­age­able file. And it has a fea­ture that will let your Ipod remem­ber where you stopped if you decide to take a break. (If this one appeals to you, be sure to see item # 10.)

6) Cre­ate eBooks for the iPod: This bit of soft­ware turns text files into ebooks that you can read on your iPod. After you load a text file, it will make the text read­able through iPod Notes (which you can find under “Extra Sett­tings”). Then, voila, a portable text. Thanks to Pachecus.com for point­ing this one out.

7) Record Web Audio and Move it To Your iPod: Designed for Macs, iRecord­Mu­sic enables you to eas­i­ly record audio from web pages and Inter­net radio streams. So if you’re surf­ing the web and find a good piece of streamed audio, it lets you record it and then trans­fer the media to your iPod. The only down­side is that the soft­ware isn’t free. It will run you $24.95, but it may well be worth it. You can down­load a tri­al ver­sion here.

8) Get a Civic Edu­ca­tion on Your Ipod: This site allows you to down­load to your iPod ten impor­tant doc­u­ments that any edu­cat­ed Amer­i­can should be famil­iar with. The texts include: The Dec­la­ra­tion of Inde­pen­dence, Con­sti­tu­tion of the Unit­ed States, Bill of Rights, Louisiana Pur­chase Treaty, Eman­ci­pa­tion Procla­ma­tion, Get­tys­burg Address, Civ­il Rights Act, and sev­er­al oth­ers. (Note: You can also down­load here an iPod ver­sion of Mer­ri­am-Web­ster’s Pock­et Dic­tio­nary for $9.95.)

9) Load Maps onto Your iPod: If you trav­el to New York City, Paris, Berlin or Moscow, how will you find your way to the muse­ums? iSub­wayMaps is the answer. It lets you down­load sub­way maps from 24 major cities across the globe. You’ll only need an iPod with pho­to capa­bil­i­ty and you’ll be good to go. (By the way, if you want to load Google Maps to your iPod, here is a tuto­r­i­al that will explain how.)

10) Study For­eign Lan­guages, Take Uni­ver­si­ty Cours­es, and Lis­ten to Audio­Books on Your iPod — All for Free: Ok, so this is a cheap but worth­while plug for some of our rich­est pod­cast col­lec­tions. Our For­eign Lan­guage Pod­cast Col­lec­tion lets your learn over 25 dif­fer­ent for­eign lan­guages. Our Audio­Book pod­cast col­lec­tion will give you portable access to 100+ clas­sic works of lit­er­a­ture and non­fic­tion. And this uni­ver­si­ty pod­cast col­lec­tion pro­vides access to over 85 cours­es record­ed at lead­ing Amer­i­can uni­ver­si­ties. Not bad, if I say so myself. For our com­plete pod­cast library, click here.

P.S. We ini­tial­ly post­ed this item back in Decem­ber when many peo­ple were tun­ing out for the hol­i­days. So it seemed worth repost­ing. Hope you agree.

Sub­scribe to Our Feed

by | Permalink | Comments (4) |

Sup­port Open Cul­ture

We’re hop­ing to rely on our loy­al read­ers rather than errat­ic ads. To sup­port Open Cul­ture’s edu­ca­tion­al mis­sion, please con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion. We accept Pay­Pal, Ven­mo (@openculture), Patre­on and Cryp­to! Please find all options here. We thank you!

Comments (4)
You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Leave a Reply

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.