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It probably won’t fetch, shake or roll over and play dead (hopefully not, anyway), but your iPod can perform some pretty amazing iPod tricks

Our look at iPod tricks starts with a few very simple techniques that don’t require much more than downloading some software or purchasing an inexpensive cord. Here are some ideas to get you started:

1. Watch movies from your iPod on your television: True, the video iPod is cool. But wouldn’t it be great if you could watch the movies you have on your iPod on your much larger television screen? According to Apple, you need to purchase their proprietary iPod to TV cord, but for most sets a standard mini-jack to three-plug RCA cable will do the trick. It’s generally less expensive and will get the job done.

2. Listen to radio shows on your iPod: OK, truth be told these iPod tricks won’t actually turn your device into a receiver. However, it will allow you to record your favorite online radio programs on your computer for you to listen to later. One great program for achieving this goal is Radio Recorder. Just download the program to your computer, tell it which stations and programs you want it to record and it automatically syncs those files with your iPod.

3. Play iPod games: Did you know you can get more than just music at the iTunes site? In the directory section on the home page of the online store you’ll find a link to “iPod games.” Click on it and you’ll soon be playing Sudoku, Tetris or even preparing for your SATs. The games cost about $5 each.

4. Download maps on to your iPod: With a video screen and Google maps, you can be ready to get lost anywhere on the planet.This tutorial shows you how to download images from Google maps, put them in your iTunes folder, and sync them back to your system. It’s like having one of those huge road atlas’ at your finger tips.

If you want to take your iPod to the next level, you’ll need to consider installing the Linux operating system. That sounds scary, but it’s really not. All you need to do is go to IpodLinux.org and download the operating system that applies to your iPod. You’ll then attach your iPod to your computer in “disk” mode and will be able to install the system.

What’s the benefit of installing Linux? Well, with this system in place you’ll be able to enjoy oh so many more iPod tricks, including downloading information from Wikipedia and playing many popular video games such as Doom and many of the games available through Nintendo’s Game Boy system.

You can access these new and improved iPod tricks at the following sites:

For more ideas on iPod tricks, check out theMac Development Center andPC World’s iPod tricks article.

Now, if only I could get it to do the laundry and make my bed!

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