I thought I knew just about all there was to be known about the iPod and the syncing of same, but — proving the adage regarding aged canines and new skills — forum visitor madmaxmedia set me straight on a very useful way to add media to your iPod.
I now know that you needn’t add music and movies to iTunes and then sync the iPod to iTunes to add that media. Instead, you can simply flip the iPod into Manual syncing mode (you do this by selecting the iPod in iTunes’ Source list, click the Summary tab, and enable the Manually Manage Music and Videos option), and drag the media from its current location to the iPod in the Source list.
To answer the “so what?” question, this is useful for those times when you don’t have the storage space to add all the media you’d like to your iTunes library. So, for example, you can burn a heapin’ helpin’ of music as data to a DVD. Or convert a couple of favorite movies to iPod-compatible format and burn them to a DVD. When you want to move that material to the iPod, just insert the DVD and drag its contents from the disc to the iPod in the Source list. It will be copied directly to the iPod without being added to the iTunes library.
The media needn’t be stored on a CD or DVD. You can just as easily use a hard drive or USB thumb drive.