There’s nothing quite so frustrating as getting an exciting new piece of software and not understanding why it won’t do what you want it to do. User manuals, however, can be tedious, dry and don’t offer the kind of visual step-by-step explanation that a video tutorial does. For anyone who has ever booted up his new copy of Photoshop and not even known where to begin, there’s For a monthly or annual subscription fee, you are granted access to over 59,000 tutorials, which will walk you through pretty much any piece of software, from complicated 3-D animation programs down to your Gmail account. It’s like having your own private tutor.

The best part about is its organization. Each lesson is broken down into chapters, each with its own subsections. You can bookmark a video and add your own title, description or tags in case you want to come back to it. The Web site also remembers your progress. You can filter software searches by company, genre, instructor or release date. So if you find a teacher you like you can view a list of all of his tutorials or all of his tutorials for a given program. The genre classification is also handy in browsing for and previewing applications you might consider purchasing.

Tutorials follow the standard video tutorial format. Viewers watch replicas of their own screens as if they were on their own computers. The instructor narrates in voice-over as he or she demonstrates the lesson, with the occasional tidbits appearing in text. The tutorials are presented in great resolution in their own size-adjustable pop-up windows, which have standard video controls and optional closed captioning. You can also view a transcript of the closed captioning and even run a search for a specific phrase within it. Total runtime for a tutorial generally seems to run in the five to 10-hour range, which makes the chapter breaks a very welcome addition.

Another great feature of the site is its variety and depth of tutorials on a given piece of software. A search for Photoshop will bring up videos for a range of past versions (not just the newest release) as well as tutorials aimed at several skill levels, from an introduction to its most basic tools to an investigation of techniques for advanced users.

For a little extra money you can become a premium member, which enables you to download the exercise files for a given lesson. These are supplemental files for use with the specified application to help you apply the lesson on your own. Often they are copies of the files used in the instructor’s demonstration, which you can play around with.

DVDs of some of the tutorials, including exercise files, are available for purchase on the Web site. There is also an iPhone app to learn on the go. A basic monthly membership is $25.

iChair iPod Touch Case: When searching for a case for you precious iPod, protection is obviously the No. 1 consideration, but no one wants to add bulk either. Being able to slip your iPod in and out of your pocket is part of what makes them so great. But sometimes you also need some added functionality, too. There are plenty of extra gadgets that will prop up, hold or display your iPod or iPad for watching videos, but that’s just one more thing you have to carry around and is often twice as big as the iPod itself.

iChair is a case and stand in one, combining protection and functionality without sacrificing sleekness. The two-part slider case snaps together and apart with ease. A little flap pops out on the back so you can prop up your iPod either vertically or horizontally. It’s great for watching movies, reading sheet music while practicing an instrument or enjoying a hands-free video call.

The iChair combines a soft shock-absorbing inner layer with a more durable hard rubber exterior for ideal protection from short drops and dings. Also included is a screen protector and an extra slider cap with two colors, white or blue, to choose from.

The iChair is not currently available for the latest generation of iPod Touch, but is coming soon. iPhone and iPad versions are available.