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iPod Encyclopedia

Friday, August 4th, 2006 by | Filed Under: Multimedia

iPod Encyclopedia

To say that most people love iPods would be a bit of an understatement. People are not only using it as an MP3 player, but also as a portable drive. Today, we are going to discuss a useful new tip, which can render your iPod more useful than you would have ever thought.

Now, let’s say you have one of those old first generation iPods and since then, you have purchased one of the new ones that came out. So, you basically have no use for the older one. What could you do with it? Auction it on Ebay for a fraction of the price? Or, would you rather convert that old one to an encyclopedia that you could carry anywhere with you. Yes, that’s really what we are going to learn to do today!

The encyclopedia that I am referring to here is free software that will convert your iPod into a mobile vault of information, using the free online source of information called Wikipedia. As most of you may know, Wikipedia is a much preferred friendly encyclopedia that anyone can use. It’s absolutely free and since it’s constantly updated by volunteers and users, the information is invaluable. The last time I checked, Wikipedia had more than 4,600,000 articles about various topics in different languages and is one of the top 20 most visited Web sites on the Internet. It will also help install a vast amount of information on your iPod.

We’ll start by downloading a free copy of Encyclopedia. You can download it by clicking here.

Encyclopedia can be installed on iPods from generation one to four, as well as, on an iPod mini and photo iPod. If you don’t know the generation of your iPod, don’t worry. You can just run the setup for Encyclopedia and if your iPod isn’t supported, it will just refuse to continue the installation. Another good thing is that you can also listen to music while the encyclopedia resides on your iPod. It doesn’t touch your music files at all. Whenever you start your iPod, it will ask you whether you want to start the encyclopedia or listen to music.

Before we go ahead with the installation steps, take a look at the screenshots below to get an idea of how it will look on your iPod.

It looks easy to navigate, doesn’t it?! Now, the installation is very easy. First of all, connect your iPod to your computer. We are looking for the USB port here. iTunes should start up automatically. If it doesn’t, just start iTunes manually. What we are going to ensure here is that you have enabled your iPod to be used as a disk. So, when the iTunes window pops up, click on the player options button at the bottom of the window. That’s the one that has an iPod icon on the button. In the new window, make sure that the “Enable disk use” option is checked.

Once you have enabled it, you can safely close iTunes. Go back and open up the installation file that you downloaded for the Encyclopedia software. Double click on “encyclopodia-setup.exe” to initiate the installation. Once the installation dialogue box presents itself, click next to proceed with the installation. There’s not much to it really. It’s just a bunch of “click nexts” and the information presented is self explanatory.

Do keep in mind that sometimes when you initiate the installation, it might give you an error that says “Device not ready.” This just means that the wizard is searching different ports for your iPod, so just click on “Retry” to reinitiate. Once the installation is completed, eject and disconnect your iPod.

Now, you will need to reboot the iPod to enable Encyclopedia use on it. For iPod’s generation one to three, hold down the menu and the play button for five seconds. On iPod generation four and iPod mini, hold down the menu and select button for five seconds to reboot the iPod. Once the iPod is booting up again, simply hold down the rewind button. It’s as simple as that!!

You have successfully installed the Encyclopedia software on your iPod. The last step here is probably the easiest. You simply need to go and download the Wikipedia of your choice and copy it to your iPod. Currently, Wikipedia is available in English, Italian and German. Click on the links below to download the respective Wikipedia you want.

English Wikipedia
German Wikipedia
Italian Wikipedia

The files have the extension “. epodia” and are updated about every six months. After the download has completed, go to the following directory on your iPod’s hard drive:


Do note that some of you might have a different drive letter than “F:\,” so just make sure that you are entering your iPod drive and not some other one on your local PC. Copy the downloaded “.epodia” file to this location and reboot the iPod following the same steps that we discussed above. Once the iPod has rebooted, select the eBook library options from the encyclopedia menu and you are good to go.

This is a very handy trick for most of us, whether we are students, scholars or people with a 9 to 5 job. As I said earlier too, if you have an older iPod that you no longer use, you can use this nifty little trick to make it come to life again! And just in case you missed the best part of this deal, it doesn’t cost you a dime! So, whether you want to impress your buddies by reciting baseball stats at the next outing to the park or simply showing off your knowledge about cars to your husband, this iPodpedia will be there as your trustworthy sidekick!

~ Yogesh Bakshi

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