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We Answer: Do Apple iPods Work with Windows

written by: Aaron R.•edited by: Bill Fulks•updated: 1/30/2011

A common question for new gadget users is whether Apple iPods work with Windows. I'll cover this quick question and explain what programs you'll need to get your iPod to work to the fullest with Windows.

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    Apple iPods and Windows

    Do Apple iPods Work with Windows The quick answer is that it's actually quick easy to use an Apple iPod with Windows. The only real restriction is that you have to have a USB port available for the iPod's cord. That's a feature on just about any modern computer.

    After that, all you need to use your iPod is a complete download of iTunes. This program works just as well on Windows as it does on Macs. If you need any help setting up your iTunes program, we have a very nice guide for a complete iTunes setup. If you follow those instructions, you should be ready to go in just a short time. Don't feel too intimidated by iTunes. It basically boils down to downloading the installer and then following some instructions. It might take a little time to import any music that you already have on your computer, but it's a very painless process overall.

    Once you have iTunes set up, you'll be all ready to go.

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    Connecting Your iPod

    If you want to use your Apple iPod with your Windows computer, you'll need to find the cord that came with the iPod. This USB cord will allow you to synch your iPod with your computer, charge it and customize playlists on your iPod. Just insert the long end into the base of the iPod and plug the other end into one of your computer's USB ports. It should go right in and be automatically detected by your computer. If you have iTunes installed already, it should also offer to automatically bring up iTunes for you and synchronize your iPod with your computer. This will move the music from your computer onto your iPod.

    If this is your first time using your iPod with your computer, you will probably have to wait for a moment while it charges and upgrades the firmware. The synchorization process may also take a bit of time, depending on how much music you have on your computer. Note that you do not want to sever the connection while a synch is in progress. It could cause some nasty problems with your files and your iPod. Just let it finish. It shouldn't need any input from you, so feel free to walk away for a bit if it's taking too long.

    You'll receive a notification once the synch is complete. I suggest that you use either the small icon in your taskbar, or in the iTunes program to disconnect your iPod safely. This will ensure that nothing is corrupted.

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    Using Your iPod Well

    Note that you can do a number of things with your iPod and Windows. By using iTunes, you can form playlists on your computer and transfer them over to the iPod. This can make it much easier to listen to your favorite songs on the go.

    You may also want to take a look at the iTunes store. This store is fully functional, even with Windows, and will allow you to purchase your favorite songs and even look up TV shows and free podcasts.

    Have fun exploring these features and enjoy your new Apple iPod.