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How to Set Up iCloud on Your iPod

iCloud synchronizes your iTunes purchases, apps, and iBookstore purchases as well as e-mail, contacts, calendars, bookmarks, and documents on a web server on the Internet — also known as the cloud. You can even include music you didn’t purchase through iTunes; Apple offers the iTunes Match service for $24.99 a year that lets you store music you’ve ripped from CDs or purchased elsewhere.

Apple provides 5GB of free storage in your iCloud account, but iTunes purchases — including music, apps, books, and TV shows — don’t count against the 5GB. That means you can use the 5GB for other stuff, like documents, calendars, contacts, and e-mail.

iCloud first makes its appearance when you set up your iPod touch: the Set Up iCloud screen appears. After setting up your iCloud account on your iPod touch, you can set it up on your Mac or Windows PC.

How to set up iCloud on a Mac

iCloud requires Lion (OS X version 10.7) or Mountain Lion (OS X version 10.8). Setting up iCloud is easy: Open System Preferences, click iCloud, and then click Add account. Sign in with your Apple ID or create a new Apple ID.

When you sign in to iCloud for the first time, the service automatically configures Mac OS X Mail on your Mac to send and receive e-mail from your iCloud account and to synchronize contacts from the Contacts application and calendars from the Calendars application. If you already set up your iPod touch with iCloud, automatic synchronization should already be set up on that Mac.

To specify which iCloud services to use with your Mac, choose System Preferences→iCloud, and then enable or disable each service by turning them on or off.

How to set up iCloud on Windows

iCloud (including iTunes Match) requires Windows 7 or newer, or Windows Vista; the service is not available for Windows XP users as of this writing. You need to use Outlook 2007 or Outlook 2010 to sync calendars and contacts with iCloud.

Download and install on your PC the latest version of iCloud Control Panel for Windows, available from Apple. iCloud Control Panel for Windows is required to set up and manage iCloud services with Windows 7 or newer, or Windows Vista.

To set up a Windows PC to sync with iCloud or to check or change your services, open Control Panel from the Windows Start menu and choose iCloud Control Panel. Sign in with your Apple ID or create a new Apple ID. You can then enable or disable each service by turning them on or off.

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