iPod and Other MP3 Player Tips: 2007
MP3 players (like iPods) aren't just for music anymore. These days, you can download podcasts, watch TV shows and movies, and even let Rick Steves guide you though the sights of Paris, London, Rome, and more with our audio tours.
What are your favorite tips for using an MP3 player as you travel?
- Please don't post questions here. Use our Travelers Helpline.
Mp3 Audio guides toursa and walks on www.audioguide2go.com
There are hundreds of mp3 audio tours trails and guides from all over the world through the free portal www.audioguide2go.com There are a huge variety to choose from
Liverpool, UK Fri 12/07/2007
The great thing about the I-pod is the number of complimentary items that you can benefit from, especially when you are on a budget while travelling.
Not only can you download free travel advice through Rick Steves, but you can download free music through I-tunes PODCASTS, TV. SHOWS, AND LANGUAGE COURSES!
There are the I-PODS THAT STORE PHOTOS, VIDEOS, MOVIES, GAMES, EVEN A STOPWATCH THAT ARE THE BEST! YOU CAN HAVE THOUSANDS OF THINGS STORED UP, SO YOU CARRY A LOT LESS LUGGAGE WITH YOU, AND CAN STORE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY IF FLICKR ISN'T ENOUGH FOR YOU. ALSO, LOOK TO SEE IF YOU CAN STORE STREET MAPS IN THERE TOO, AS WELL AS LISTS OF PHONE NUMBERS ETC. MAKE SURE TO BRING THE ADAPTER WITH YOU SO WHEN OVERSEAS YOU CAN STILL RECHARGE YOUR LITTLE GEM.
LADNER, CANADA Wed 12/05/2007
We LOVE LOVE LOVED the Rick Stevens audio tour guides for Paris! Thanks SO much!! I agree, I would have been SO happy if you had them for Italy and other places as well!!
USA Sun 11/25/2007
If you'd like to download free books in MP3 format to while away travel time, check out these links:
Podiobooks - http://www.podiobooks.com - A wide variety of new books by emerging authors, both complete and in progress. There's some REALLY good stuff here! You can download books directly or subscribe and create a download schedule.
Librivox - http://www.librivox.org - Public Domain books (think Mark Twain, Rudyard Kipling, Jack London, etc.). These books and short stories may be read by a single author or a compilation of authors. My preference is for the single author reads; you get a more uniform sound quality.
USA Mon 11/05/2007
I love to use my iPod with noise canceling headphones. It cuts the noise of the jet engines, and the crying babies. Makes sleeping a bit easier.
Thank goodness for new technology!
USA Wed 10/24/2007
use relaxation mp3s to help sleep on plane
Ipods make travel easier, whether its walking tours, music that can enhance a train ride...or.... Don't laugh....but I used 'relaxation' mp3s on the plane to help get some rest. They worked pretty well.
nyc, USA Tue 10/23/2007
Charging an iPod
The great thing about the latest iPods is that they can be charged in Europe without a voltage converter. You only need a plug adapter.
Philadelphia, PA USA Thu 10/04/2007
I pod battery charger
Nifty device for charging ipod with a single AA battery:
Anchorage, AK USA Tue 10/02/2007
Ipod Rough-Guide city guides
Just found these cool eating guides from Rough Guide... for your IPOD! they can be downloaded from their pod-cast section of the web site http://www.roughguides.com/website/travel/Downloads/podscrolls/default.aspx
looking forward to try them in Spain!
CA USA Tue 09/18/2007
Great travel headphones
An alternative to noise-canceling earphones is a pair of custom phones. I have odd shaped ear canals and the traditional ear buds fall out all the time. Custom headphones require a bit more leg work but the results are well worth it!
Challenger makes a great pair: http://earplugstore.stores.yahoo.net/chmisearph.html
I used to work for an audiologist and she suggested these. They are a bit pricey ($200) but last a long time. The only reason I have to replace mine is because my niece got a hold of them and pulled the speaker out of my left ear mold. Grr! I will keep the next pair out of harm's way and they will theoretically last forever.
Plus, when I wear the headphones I can turn the volume on my mp3 player down to the lowest level and can still hear fine. (versus 75% volume with traditional ear buds) That saves a LOT of battery life. The headphones also double as earplugs during take-offs and landings when you're not allowed to have electronic devices on.
Dallas, TX USA Tue 09/11/2007
ipod tour of Bern, Switzerland
I was recently in Bern, Switzerland. I stopped at the tourist information office at the train statein and they offered an iPod audio tour guide. It had 2 2-hour walking tours,one that started at the train station and brought you to the Bear Pits and then one that started at the Bear Pits and brought you to the train station. The guides were great. They came in a variety of languages and they had pictures to guide you. You could take the tours or locate monuments on either tour and play them whenever you liked. There was a 6 hour and a 24 hour rental. Not too expensive. Great details in the tours and very pleasant way to explore the City.
Milwaukee, WI USA Sun 09/02/2007
Brookstone sound-isolating earbuds are great value
I cannot speak highly enough of the Brookstone sound-isolating earbuds for $35. I am very fussy about earphones and yet I am not one to spend over a $100 for them. The Brookstone ones are fantastic ~ three different sizes of ear piece things (they actually fit me!!), the sound quality is great, it has a retractable cable, and it comes with a dual-pin airplane adaptor. They have different kinds of earbuds, look for the "sound isolating" ones.
USA Sat 08/18/2007
Make Your Own
For me, the name of the game is Make Your Own. For MP3 audio I have an Edirol R-09 a shirt-pocket near studio-quality device that makes direct MP3 recordings with a pair of built-in stereo mikes. If I'm not the source of the audio I use the free Audacity program on my PC to record and convert to MP3. I travel with a Sony DSC-T7 miniature still/video camera. I've made a lot of videos with it, some of them fairly elaborate. When I want to save data from either of these devices, I take out the memory chip and download it to my somewhat dated Sony Vaio Notebook computer with a card reader; I carry the notebook and card reader with me at all times. For movies, I use the Creative M 30g, an amazing, amazing tool where I keep a rotating set of a dozen or so movies in foreign languages for the perfect travel entertainment. I usually convert and download these movies from DVDs bought on the street during my travels.
Ann Arbor, MI USA Sat 08/04/2007
Beware of iPod photo storage
My iPod photo software gave me a scare in Italy. I uploaded pix to the iPod and then deleted them from my camera each day for several days until one day the iPod was showing that it contained no photos at all and when I tried to upload, it found no photos on my camera, although I could clearly see there were! I found out that they were still on the iPod hard drive when I returned, thank God, but it was very annoying. I bought a third 1G card in Italy and I think I'll just use those from now on.
Annapolis, MD USA Wed 07/25/2007
I too had a similar situation with issues downloading to IPod from Nikon. But I was able to go from Camera to PC and PC to Ipod as a "storage device" - but could not view them. Essentially it was now a 30-gb storage device. When I got home all was there. After downloading all the images to PC at home, I re-imaged/re-loaded the Ipod software and re-sync'd the music. The Ipod-to-Camera worked again after this. I suspect that too many images to download at once may be a problem, so 100 or 150 or less might work better (and faster) than trying to do 1GB at one sitting!
Newport Beach, CA USA Wed 07/25/2007
re: speakers too
I got these extremely light ones for $9.95: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/477536-REG/CTA_IPASP_IP_ASP_Speaker_for_iPod.html
NYC, Sun 07/22/2007
I'll take my video ipod on our Benelux trip next week. I'm not used to headphones; I usually listen through a portable rechargeable speaker (the Logitech mm50, which is dual voltage). I am thinking about taking this speaker along ... has anyone done that?? I'll use headphones on the plane, of course.
Santa Maria, CA United States Fri 07/20/2007
That speaker weighs in at a whopping 4 pounds. If you are going to be hauling a suitcase much I would say leave it at home and use the headphones.
30008, ga USA Fri 07/20/2007
MP3 in Lond
Rick didn't have podcasts for London but his book has 4 walks. I recorded (read) the walks onto my computer, then loaded those in my MP3. I was able to walk around London with those walks without having to constantly open the book to read it. I also recorded snippets of St. Paul's bells, Big Ben, Beefeaters, and the changing of the guard bands and added those to my computer slides.
Tucson, AZ USA Wed 07/18/2007
Power for IPod
My daughter bought an attachment that held 4 AA batteries, so we could watch movies on the flight across without having to rent one of the airline's DVD viewers. Small, light weight.
Seattle, WA USA Tue 07/17/2007
iPod as a reccorder
I found over the years that I never actually listened to music on the road, but I hauled my iPod along when I first got one. Then I discovered the little contraption that turns my iPod into a recorder. Then I started randomly recording snipptes of my travels. Now I can add my "audio postcards" (as NPR calls it) to my computer slide show.)
Also I used it for downloading new music from friends I met (senuti lets you reverse the process)
Olympia, WA USA Sun 07/15/2007
The best thing to have on your ipod is travel podcasts if your a industry buff like i am mostly i think Frommers.com Podcasts Rick Steves Audio Toursm, Travel With Rick Steves, and Many Other Cool ones.
Lawrence, KS USA Tue 07/03/2007
Sony earbuds for canceling noise
Sony makes some great headphones for traveling, MDR-EX51 (and -EX71, -EX31, etc). They're not labeled as "noise canceling" but they do a great job of blocking out the noise of the plane and other people. They also keep your music in your ear and not in your neighbor's, so you won't be bothering anyone even at full volume. They're also very comfortable and come with a few different sizes of 'plugs' to fit your ears. I switch between the headphones and ear plugs during the whole plane/train ride and it's very comfortable.
Albany, NY USA Thu 06/28/2007
If you're going to Dublin, you can download audio walking tours called "iWalks" from the Dublin Tourist Info website:
Fairfax Station, VA USA Tue 06/19/2007
You can get more audio guides at www.podtours.co.uk - they're focused on art and architecture and cover more than 20 European cities and sights. I tried the one of Salisbury Cathedral and it gives you a great feel for how it's different from all the other cathedrals.
New York, NY USA Sun 06/17/2007
iPod camera connector
if you are using the iPod camera connector, make sure the iPod is fully charged. It takes a long time to copy the pictures from the camera to the iPod and if your iPod or Camera run out of juice while the pictures are transferring, it will be a big headache.
San Diego, CA USA Tue 06/12/2007
ipod and pictures
It is my understanding that you can download your digital pictures from your camera to your ipod. I intend to do this during my trip this fall. However, I would suggest you check to make sure your digital camera is compatible with the ipod for downloading.
USA Tue 06/05/2007
iPod & Movies
I have a 30g video iPod that i converted my movies & put on. now i can watch good movies on the plane or airport. I am also able to put family photos & contact phone numbers & addresses. It's a very handy tool on trips.
Cortland, OH USA Mon 06/04/2007
I also put my language lessons on my iPod. This really comes in handy!
OH USA Mon 06/04/2007
One item to pack for your travels is an external battery pack (especially for the video iPods). Belkin makes one that will give an additional 14 hours (I got more) of play time from 4 AA batteries. I have seen other manufacturers with smaller versions on the market.
I found this to be worth a little space when I travelled to Russia. It was a 25-hour plane and train ride before I got to recharge my iPod. With two movies and a long playlist, the internal batteries would have been toast somewhere over Eastern Europe.
Chicago, IL USA Mon 06/04/2007
iPod 4GB Nano
I took my iPod Mini to Scandinavia in the early summer of 2005. It helped make the long flights, train trips, and airport layovers bearable, especially with Sony noise-canceling headphones. I got a universal power adapter from Radio Shack for charging. It's kind of bulky, but it worked OK.
For my upcoming trip in July to do the Camino pilgrimage, I bought a 4GB Nano. Since I'll have to carry everything on my back for a long distance, its lightness and use of flash storage were big selling points. Plus, I'm looking to acquire noise-reducing/canceling earbuds for portability's sake (if you have any suggestions, pls post them).
In addition to music & Bible (NT), I'm going to try out a couple of language programs called iSpeak. I've been using Pimsleur basic Spanish and French to prep my lingo skills, and I'm hoping the iSpeak will help when I'm actually in Europe.
Ridgefield, WA USA Sat 06/02/2007
Rick Steves Podcasts
I really think Rick's podcasts are the best both audio tour and radio but I think Rick should do audio tours of ROme, and London. RICK STEVES YEAH
Lawrence, KS USA Sun 05/27/2007
free Italian audio phrases
To get a free audio phrase book for your next Italian trip, try the free lessons at learnitalianpod.com. They offer a series with basic phrases. The phrases themselves can be found at: http://wikitravel.org/en/Italian_phrasebook.
Daphne, AL USA Sun 05/27/2007
Rick Steve Podcasts give pearls of wisdom
My iPod was wonderful on my 7 week trip around Europe. The best thing is to download Rick Steves Podcasts for free through itunes and listen to them on the train as you arrive at each of your destinations. It was so funny because as I was sitting on the Circumvesuviana Train from Napoli to Sorrento I started listening to Rick talk about the experience of riding of the Circumvesuviana and Napoli!!! He even let me know it was a haven for pickpocketers so I watched my stuff extra close. Definitely check out Rick Steve's podcast and load them on your ipod.
Blackstone, MA USA Tue 05/15/2007
Before my trip I downloaded several books for free from netlibrary.com. Check the site out to see if your local library participates! These files are in wma format. Not all mp3 players are compatible however. Check this file out:
san francisco, ca USA Sat 04/21/2007
I loved my IPOD.... it made travel pics easier to store and an easy way to play show and tell with anyone who wants to see them. Also, great for listening to music during those awkward moments while dining alone, watching movies, reading ebooks, and playing video games.... if you can't sleep due to jet lag they help out and keep you from climbing up the walls.
b.c. canada Wed 04/18/2007
No need for a converter
Re:General Electronic Charger Q's Yes, you can just plug your appliance in and need only bring the plug adaptor. It is VERY convenient -- no more lugging around those heavy converters. We just returned and I easily recharged my ipod, AA batteries, camera batteries -- all without a converter. Just make sure the input includes up to 240v.
Spokane, WA USA Sat 04/14/2007
Ipod camera adapter
for those heavy shutter bugs who take too many picts while traveling - get the camera connector for your video ipod. You can simply download your camera directly to the ipod - and free up your memory cards. the connector is about $29 from Apple. then Download to your pc when you get home!
CA USA Wed 04/11/2007
re: Downloading audio tours of Paris
Judi, it's easier to download directly from Rick's page (clicking on the "download MP3 files) link, without going through itunes.
NYC, Sat 04/07/2007
Check out iGo (iGo.com) for a great way to charge and power a variety of devices. We have a PS0236 and a variety of power tips that can charge our iPods, Nintendos, and cell phones. It's a power converter as well as a plug converter and they also sell car chargers. We've found it invaluable and keep adding to our collection.
Nottingham, England, UK Sat 04/07/2007
Downloading audio tours of Paris
help! I bought an MP3, followed instructions for downloading from itunes the Rick Steves: Louvre, Walks, Orsay,& Versailles.I can play it on my computer, but can't get it downloaded over to the MP3. Leaving on 4/10!Help Fast!!!!
quakertown, pa USA Fri 04/06/2007
Creative Vision: M 60GB
In addition to what Amy said, I highly recommend the 60GB Creative Vision:M- this one has a new feature allowing you to connect it directly to your Digital Camera and download the pictures- this way, you can clear the pictures off of the card so that you can continue using it!! I also love having my Creative to watch videos and listen to Audio Books while I travel (I've got several of Rick Steve's shows saved to watch on the plane ride to Europe)
Bellevue, WA USA Tue 03/27/2007
Romance in Italy: your iPod can help
Here is how technology can help you manage your romance adventures in Italy without knowing the language. iTalian Relationship iCards are a series of translated phrases converted into digital images. Once loaded on your iPod, they can be shown to other people to make yourself understood.
No need to say a word, just smile and show the screen of your iPod.
Link to blog article: http://www.italyfromtheinside.com/2007/03/romance-in-italy-your-ipod-can-help.html
Bellevue, wa USA Tue 03/20/2007
I'd recommend the 30G or 60G Creative Zen Vision M, especially if you're looking for a video player. It's got a much more crisp and clear screen, and more format options (for example -- avi) are supported than what the iPod does. It's heftier than the Nano, closer to the Video iPod.
I have an adapter that is also worldwide compatible.
New York, NY USA Tue 03/13/2007
iPOD Saved my Sanity!
I just got the 2GB iPOD Nano. On my first trip overseas I was in Berlin feeling homesick and wanting to be home so badly. I listened to an American comedian (Steven Lynch) and it made me smile so big on the train people must have thought I was crazy. It saved my sanity and now that it finally broke after many trips I bought an iPOD and am looking forward to using it on my next trip in a few weeks!
Puyallup, WA USA Mon 02/26/2007
NEW IPod Shuffle
Man, just bought one of these. Amazing! So small, and it clips onto your clothing, or backpack. I'm taking mine on my next trip. Holds up to 240 songs or download some stuff from itunes...like language lessons or tour info.
For $79 it's an investment well worth the convenience! Uses the regular iPod charger if you already have one...only bad thing for those of you not already into iPod, and you don't have a charger...the Shuffle charges in your computer too...doesn't come with the electrical outlet charger..
No matter, I'm taking mine on the next trip, it's much smaller than my regular ipod, so easier to take with!
USA Sun 02/18/2007
With all the information, audio books, language courses, and the ability to back up data using it as a hard drive, the Ipod is an essential bring along.
I always bring some of my travel shows with me and a reminder of what to see. Ripped DVD's for he plane, language course CD's and Itunes videos.
Smallest package can not be beat!
Branford, Ct USA Wed 02/14/2007
I have read all the comments on using only an adaptor (not a converter) for charging iPods in Europe. I have an A/C charger for my iPod which is NOT made by Apple. Does anyone know if that would still work with only an adaptor? Thanks!
USA Tue 02/13/2007
Yes - just use the plug adaptor and you're all set. No need to buy the expensive voltage convertor.
Scotland Mon 02/12/2007
So I can just use my Euro/American power adapter and plug my ipod charger into that to charge my Nano?
USA Sat 02/10/2007
I have purchased a charger for my ipod, and have an adapter that I purchased. Since ipods are already fine for europe, I would just get an adapter, don't need a converter!
Chapel Hill, NC USA Sat 02/10/2007
My Planned Uses
I just got an ARCHOS 604 30g player in preparation for our Scandinavian tour in June. I can download movies or TV shows for watching on the way over, listen to music, record a tour guide's narration and download my photos every day as a back-up to my SD card. I chose this particular player because it has a removable battery so I can get an extra and don't have to worry about running out of power at an inopportune time. I can even get a "helmet cam" to record my activities if I so desire!
Minneapolis, MN USA Tue 02/06/2007
Another Paris audioguide
Another Paris audioguide (free, 16 tracks) is available from www.iAudioguide.com. They offer city guides for 6 European cities (London, Barcelona, Berlin, Paris, Brussels and Rome), all in 4 languages. On top of that, search iTunes in the section 'society and culture' and then 'travel and places' and you'll find many more.
Brussels, Brusse Belgium Wed 01/31/2007
Paris Louvre Tour using SanDisk Sansa
My wife and I visited the Louvre in October using two Sansa MP3 players to listen to Rick's tour of the museum. It was great! Rick's tour added a very nice touch to the museum and led us through the museum in a logical manner. They also play video, FM radio, and photos so they made the train trip to Germany seem shorter. Thanks for the great MP3 tours, Rick!!!
Lynnwood, WA USA Mon 01/22/2007
iPod Shuffle AC Charger
Since the new (2nd gen) iPod Shuffle is designed to only charge through the USB port of a computer, using the headphone jack, it can be difficult to recharge on the road.
DLO has come out with the PowerBug charger. It takes the place of the iPod dock in that you can plug it straight into the USB port of a computer. Additionally it has a "head" that plugs into an AC outlet and accepts USB plugs. So you can plug your Shuffle into AC power to recharge.
It will also take other USB charging iPods and input power range is 100-240VAC so it should work overseas with an adapter.
Bellevue, WA USA Wed 01/17/2007
I love love loved the rick steve paris ipod tours. My family and I are going to England and Scotland. Does anyone know of anything like that for these countries.
Phelps, NY USA Mon 01/15/2007
We took our IPODS to Europe (Ireland and Germany) and took with us the plug adaptors for those countries. Apple sells an international adaptor kit for their computers and IPOD Chargers. You slip off the US adaptor and slip on the countries plug. The IPOD charger from Apple works with both currents without having to do any changes. It worked great!
Lindenhurst, IL USA Sat 01/13/2007
Creative Labs, better travel mp3 player
I've had my Creative Labs MuVo Mini for 2 years now and have traveled to 15 countries with it, including using Rick's tours in Paris. No problems, small, I even use it while working out in hotels, and finding a single AAA battery has been no problem from York to Baku! http://zombiechronicles.blogspot.com
Frankfurt, Germany Fri 01/12/2007
MP3 Players for Travel
I have an IPOD which I love, but for traveling abroad I prefer my Creative MuVo. It has 1gb of memory runs on a AAA battery and is very small and weighs nothing. I can put 4-5 books and 6-8 CDs of music on it and don't have to worry about the power source. Looking forward to a month in Italy this summer.
Arlington, WA USA Thu 01/11/2007
I'm buying an IPOD!
My wife and I are headed to France later this year. After reading several of thse posts I downloaded Rick's Paris podcasts and played them on my Mac. The podcasts are fun and informative, and I've been traveling to Paris for 25 years. That's it...I'm going out and buying an IPOD today and take these with us. Rick:I hope you get a commission from Apple!
San Francisco, CA USA Thu 01/11/2007
Nano vs Video iPods
There are lots of pros and cons to both the Nano and the Video.
I love my Nano, and it really fits along with the traveling light philospophy. I think it would even travel comfortably in my money belt. It has enough storage space for my day to day needs - I only need a few albums, and podcasts to keep me happy.
However, having said that, if you DO think you would use it for the video capability in terms of watching TV shows or movies on an airplane or to fall asleep at night, etc. and the photo storage, then you might want to consider the video iPod. It is bulkier, but it stores a heck of a lot more.
To be honest, I'm almost contemplating getting a video iPod too :). If you do get a Nano... consider the red one. Part of the sales of the red ones go to help pay for drug therapy for someone with AIDS in Africa.
Whatever you do... get the iPod. I had another MP3 player that I bought and took on my first trip to Europe, mainly for photo storage. Never did figure out how it worked!
DuPont, WA USA Mon 01/08/2007
Traveling with iPOD
I downloaded both audio and video podcasts on Paris and London to my video iPOD before taking family last summer. These made the trip more enjoyable. Had no trouble recharging in either country but had a spot of trouble when trying to dowload pictures from digital camera to my iPOD with Apples camera connector. It froze if I had a lot of pictures to transfer. Also there is no way to select which pictures to transfer. Other than that, iPOD's are fun on trips. Take and enjoy.
Franklin, TN USA Mon 01/08/2007