There are a number of ways to play music through your next-gen gaming console, and this guide will show you how to connect an iPod to an Xbox 360, one of the simplest and cheapest ways to play MP3s through a gaming console. This process can be handy if your television is hooked up to your primary soundsystem, if most of your music collection is from iTunes and other MP3s, or if you don't have ample hard drive space on your Xbox 360 to rip your entire CD collection. You won't even need extra cables!
What you will need:
- An iPod, iPod Touch, or iPod Nano
- An Xbox 360
- An iPod-to-USB cable (included with virtually all Apple MP3 players)
- Load up your iPod with MP3S. You've probably already accomplished this step above and beyond, but you won't be able to connect your iPod to your computer while it is plugged into the Xbox 360. So, just make sure you have some tunes on the device beforehand.
- Turn on the Xbox 360. The console will not act as a conduit between your iPod and your television or speakers unless the power is on.
- Once you have reached the Xbox Dashboard, connect the iPod to the Xbox 360. You will need an iPod-to-USB cable. Since this cable is what you use to connect your iPod to your computer, however, you should already have one. The Xbox 360's USB ports are located on the front of the device, behind a round, rectangular white panel to the right of the power button. (If the console is standing upright, the panel will be located directly beneath the power button.)
- On the Xbox Dashboard, select the "My Xbox" blade and find the "Music Library" button. This will open a menu offering access to a few options, including wireless access (if you have it enabled) to Windows Media Player on your computer, as well as any music which you have ripped onto the Xbox 360's hard drive. If you have connected your iPod, the name of the device should appear highlighted on this menu.
- Select your iPod on the Music Library menu. A menu will appear which slightly resembles the main menu on your iPod—you can browse your music by artist, album or genre. Additionally, all of the playlists on your iPod will be accessible. Select the artist, album, playlist or song of your choice. Now, you can blast your music collection through your television's soundsystem, or you can simply enjoy your MP3s in the background while enjoying any of the video games or other content your Xbox 360 has to offer.
While your iPod is plugged in, the Xbox 360 will also provide a steady charge! This works with most iPods, iPod Touches and iPod Nanos.
You can also access the music playing through your Xbox 360 at any time by pressing the Xbox button. Move the menu to the right to see a basic play menu for the music library, including buttons for play/pause, next/previous tracks and a shuffle option. Select the title of the currently playing song in order to access your music library and update the current playlist or select a new song or album.
To play non-AAC music files (such as MP3s), you may need to download a free codec from Xbox Live. This file is very small, legal and takes only a few seconds to install. Once it has installed, you can play most audio files through your Xbox 360 with the help of an iPod.