Got an eBay iPod without anything in box, what do I need?

Q: I just bought a 40 GB iPod from eBay, but all I bought is the iPod. I have iTunes on my Windows computer already, but would like to know what accessories I need to get started.

– Fred

A: Other than the iPod and iTunes, you’ll need earphones or headphones, as well as a way to connect the iPod to your PC. For the former, you can check the iLounge Buyers’ Guide for our choice of the best earbuds, earphones and headphones for any budget.

To connect your iPod to your PC, you’ll need a special cable. First, you need to know which model you have: if you have a 3G iPod (it has four buttons below the screen, plus a click wheel), it won’t charge via USB. You have two choices: you can get a FireWire card (unless you have built-in FireWire) and a FireWire-Dock Connector cable from Apple, or you can use USB to transfer your songs and buy a separate iPod USB Charger from Apple.

If you have a 4G iPod (it has a single, gray click wheel), then you can charge it via USB, as long your computer has a USB 2.0 port. This is a high-speed USB port that also allows for faster data transfer. If you do have USB 2.0, then you’ll need a USB-Dock Connector cable from Apple.

If your computer only has USB 1, you can still use the iPod, but it won’t charge, and data transfer will be slow. In that case, you’ll need to add a USB 2.0 or FireWire card to your PC, or buy an iPod charger from Apple, and use the USB port for data transfer.

Kirk McElhearn is the author of several books including iPod & iTunes Garage. His blog, Kirkville features articles about the iPod, iTunes, Mac OS X and much more.

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