Pat contacted me and asked a question about using an iPod for backing tracks live on stage:
I read your article on putting in silent songs which is a good fit for us. There is still an issue of the iPod making a click or pop when you press the start or stop buttons. Can that be avoided? Also, do you recommend having the iPod charging while using it on stage? We have a stand alone charger from Best Buy. Is there a recommended way to look at or see a larger screen on stage?
The iPod is set at default to make a click sound when you move the click-wheel so this is probably the problem you’re experiencing.
You don’t say what model of iPod you’re using, but you can switch the clicks off on an iPod video by going to Settings > Clicker and selecting “off”.
Regarding the charger, it actually doesn’t matter whether you charge your iPod on stage while it’s playing or not – charging it doesn’t affect the sound in any way.
I personally DON’T charge my iPod on stage, but this is only because the battery life of an iPod (if you’re only using it for audio like palying backing tracks) lasts for many, many hours so if you take a fully-charged iPod on stage with you it will more than last the duration of a normal gig no problem. Also by NOT charging my iPod on stage there’s one less cable for me to plug in!
As for making the screen bigger on an iPod, I haven’t come across any real perfect solution to do this. All the solutions I’ve heard so far usually rely on some sort of magnifying glass type device to “increase” the display which I just don’t find suitable. Be careful if you’re thinking of buying a DVD player with an iPod dock (they usually come with 7″ or 8″ screen and a built in iPod dock). These players are designed to play VIDEO from the iPod dock, so only VIDEO gets sent from the iPod to the players screen…audio WILL play, but with a blank screen(!) so watch out for that.
Best thing to do is try before you buy to make sure whatever solution you decide on will be up to the job.
Have you considered buying an iPod Touch?
The iPod Touch has a larger display screen so is a good option to consider. Unfortunately if you already have an older iPod it would mean buying another iPod (but perhaps you could sell your old iPod second-hand and recoup some of the cost that way).
When you consider that buying a new iPod Touch with a lovely big screen probably only equates to the price of a gig, then maybe that puts it a little more in to perspective and it’s not so expensive an option after all…