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‘Pod People

That collection of unreleased Starland Vocal Band tracks doesn’thave to be the only useless information you save onto your iPod:Info freaks have written a program that lets you transfer up to900 film entries from the Internet Movie Database (the softwarecan be found at Meanwhile, Roster2iPod (at you copy the current stats of any Major League Baseball teamdirectly onto the device, turning your MP3 player into oneexpensive baseball card.

If paper is too 20th-century for you, lets you download(for a fee, of course) thousands of books, newspapers such as The New York Times and TheWall Street Journal, and even foreign-language lessons,which are then read to you through those bud earphones. Don’t like the ponderous voice-overs?Read it yourself with PodNews (at or, ashareware program that lets you upload headlines, sports scores, and horoscopes from the Web to your iPod. By the way, PodNews was written by a 14-year-old. What have you done lately?

Do you secretly suspect that the iPod is really Apple’s attempt at karmic retribution for its nightmarish proto-PDA, the Newton? You couldbe forgiven, given the number of i-geeks creating programs that allow the iPod to view contacts and appointments downloaded fromorganizational programs like Outlook and FileMaker. The application PodWriter ( even lets you compose reminders (albeit awkwardly) using the iPod’s jog dial. Note to self: Buy a pen.

Every Tuesday night at New York nightclub APT, patrons grab a number from a deli-style ticket dispenser and take turns DJ’ing,relying only on their iPods–and their wits. First, the wannabes choose a four-minute set from a library of 2,000 songs. (“We pulled a lot of our playlist from Beck’s iPod collection, which we saw listed in The New York Times Magazine,” confesses event promoter Sai Blount.) Then,the aspiring Oakenfolds step up to a pair of iPods connected to asimple mixer to get the crowd grooving–or booing.

Combine the iPod’s massive, portable storage capacity (up to 20gigabytes) with its speedy FireWire connection and you’ve got asoftwarepirate’s wet dream–a quick, inconspicuous way to trade enormous files, usually in one direction. Plug the device into any Macand its icon appears on the desktop screen, where files can be dragged into the ‘Pod, and voilà–“free” software! Clever crooks have been known to hit display models at computer stores, discreetly sucking down entire copies of Microsoft Office in seconds. Note that Spin does not endorse such behavior.