Apple's iPod has come a long way since its introduction in 2001, when Steve Jobs unveiled a music-only device with a small black-and-white screen and miniature hard drive. Today the iPod Touch is a touchscreen entertainment center and productivity tool with solid-state storage. However, one thing that hasn't changed is the iPod's ability to fill a room with sound when connected to a home stereo. All iPods, including the iPod Shuffle, offer 60 milliwatts of total power through their headphone jacks. With an inexpensive cable, often marketed as an "iPod to stereo connector," it's no more difficult to wire your iPod to a receiver than it is to connect a CD player. However, for the highest quality sound, consider using a preamplifier or a custom dock with a line-level output. Instructions 1. Headphone Jack Connection o 1 Connect the mini stereo plug to your iPod's headphone jack and connect the RCA plugs to the receiver's "AUX," "TAPE IN" or "CD" jacks. Some receivers offer auxiliary jacks on the front panel as well. Stereo RCA plugs will usually be color-coded, with red representing the right channel and white or black representing the left. Some manufacturers may use different color-coding, so refer to the instructions or manufacturer's website to be certain. o 2 Adjust the volume on the iPod. To avoid distortion from the amplified headphone output, Apple recommends that you keep the iPod's audio level below half volume and control the sound level using the volume control on the receiver. o 3 Turn on your receiver, reduce its volume and select the input to which you connected your iPod. Begin playing music from your iPod and adjust the audio controls on your stereo until you're pleased with the sound. Use the iPod's controls to start, stop and change songs. 2. iPod Dock Connection o 4 Connect the dock to your receiver's "AUX," "TAPE IN" or "CD" jacks. Most docks will use the same mini-stereo-plug-to-RCA-connectors you would use to connect to the iPod's headphone jack, but when you connect with a dock, you'll be using the output from the iPod's dock connector. o 5 Place your iPod in the dock, turn on your receiver, reduce its volume and select the input to which you connected your iPod. Begin playing music on your iPod and adjust the controls on your receiver until you're pleased with the sound. o 6 Start, stop and change songs on your iPod using the controls on the iPod itself, or using the dock's remote control if included. If the dock uses a line-level output, the iPod's volume controls won't work while in the dock; other docks use a variable amplified output that enables you to control the volume using a dedicated remote but doesn't offer the same audio fidelity as a line-level output. Tips & Warnings If you use the iPod's EQ for listening with headphones, turn the EQ off when you connect the iPod to your stereo. IPod docks differ in the type of signal they output; consult the manufacturer's website or literature to determine whether a specific model offers a line-level output or an amplified (variable) signal. If the signal is too low to provide adequate volume, you may need a powered preamplifier to increase the signal level for your receiver. If your receiver has a "PHONO" input, don't use it to connect your iPod or any audio equipment other than a turntable. Phono inputs are specifically matched to the low levels of audio and unique equalization characteristics of turntables.