Multimedia storage viewer
Epson's new multimedia viewer P-4000 has a pretty decent 3.8 inch LCD (resolution 640x480 pixels) for viewing your snaps. The hard drive is a more than reasonable 80GB and can apparently store 18,000 6 MegaPixel images. Slightly better than your average digi-cam storage, no? It also stores digital movies and music files. Transfer your pics via the integrated CF and SD memory card slots or via USB cable.
Max-Joy MP3 Player for Kids
Although I would argue the 6-12 year-old set doesn't actually need an MP3 player (although I'm sure many 6-12 year-olds would vehemently disagree with me), I would be far more comfortable giving them a player that was designed for rough-and-tumble behaviour, because I sure as heck wouldn't give them mine.
Maxfield's upcoming Max-Joy MP3 player is looking to fill that bill. Impact, dirt and water resistant, the colourful 256MB - 1G player will retail for approximately £45; £61 if you get it preloaded with the fairytale audio bundle. Perhaps the most attractive selling point for concerned and tech savvy parents, however, is the fact that the audio output is restricted to 60DB in order to stop little ears from being damaged by loud music. As we all know, blasting our way to deafness is a grown-up prerogative. - [Star C. Foster]
Lenovo Easy Cube M500 MP3 player
Minimalism is great and all, but I just know I'd spend the first 15 minutes of holding this trying desperately to figure out how the thing actually works. It's almost impossible to look cool when you're repeating turning your Easy Cube MP3 player round and round in the hope of finding the one switch. Which kind of defeats the object of trendy minimalism in the first place.
It looks very similar to the Q-Be/Mobiblu players (though not as small at 70mm cubed), but also carries a faint whiff of the Asono Play. There's no display or internal memory - tracks are stored on SD cards. It's only $50, but bear in mind you'll have to buy 4 AA batteries for it - and memory cards if you want to bump up the storage space. Someone's bound to import one
Ricky Gervais goes for a 3rd series
Yep, that's Ricky Gervais on the right. I couldn't resist. We already have more than enough posts with generic "Oh look it's that guy off The Office" pictures in them. I found that this image of Ricky (only the 3rd Google Image result for "gervais") when he was in a band called Seona Dancing was most satisfactory indeed. Bit Bowie, isn't he? Not sure what's going on with the other chap though...
Anyway, what I'm actually here to tell you is that due to the incredible popularity of the prattlings of Ricky's daft mate Karl, the current (second) series is getting extended by two episodes, and that Ricky has signed up for a third series in the autumn (the press guy put it in bold, I think it has dramatic effect, don't you? And will you just *look* at those cheek-bones!). [Sara Wallen]
Tins are great. I think that's an opinion held by every right thinking person the world over. Tins and stationery. And cake. Cake's good too. I don't think there's one among us who could disagree that tins, stationery and cake are all things that we humans aspire to possess. So well done to Tinpod for coming up with three iPod cases that resemble Altoids tins (probably the best tins out there). They've got illustrations by Kurt Ketchum on them and are padded with neoprene lining to keep your iPod snug. They'll fit most iPods are available as limited editons and will cost you $29.95 for two.
Shuffle Stickers with a Message
One might think that the mere act of wearing headphones in public should be enough of a deterrent to chatty strangers that a bold, red, "Do Not Disturb" sticker wouldn't be necessary. However, I can tell you that I was recently stopped on the street despite the fact I was very obviously listening to music. Mind you, I was stopped for directions to the nearest Apple store, so it may have been the headphones that were my undoing to begin with. -[Star C. Foster]
New Panasonic D-Snap MP3 Players
Panasonic have just announced the release of six new MP3 players which take SD cards to store your music on. The SV-SD370V and SV-SD570V both include FM tuners for when your own tunes have looped around several times already.
The 310 and 370 are cube-shaped (haven't found any pictures yet...), and the 510 and 570 are both rather natty pendant-players (pictured, right). It seems that they can be popped out of their pendants (the white surround) too, should you want to see the unadulterated sleek blackness. [Sara Wallen]
Tiny Pebbley MP3 Player Reviewed
El Reg have just got their hands on and reviewed this teeny tiny little mp3 player. It weighs a minute 20g, holds 512MB or 1GB of music (which can be transferred via Windows drag and drop, hooray!), and even includes an FM radio tuner.
It doesn't score good marks on software (it's terrible apparently, not that you need it), but apparently it plays well and is surprisingly loud for it's wee-ness. Oh, and it'll play back for up to 12 hours, after being charged through it's USB sync cable.
But as good as specs are, or as bad as the software or navigation system are - I can't deny the "Ooh - tiny, shiny!" feeling. Wishlist++. [Sara Wallen]
Read (via The Register)
Available to buy at Advanced MP3 Players
MOTOFRWD Competition Winner - Dreamless Seamless: A Vision of Seamless Mobility
The convergence of mobiles, cameras, media players and diaries was the flavour of 2006, revolutionising interaction with technology and each other. A Portal is the key to this new digital world, and it is a right of passage for children to receive their first.
Portals are like an electronic watch in design; often featuring brushed aluminium casing with an organic LED display. It links to all devices in range, so the Sam can access his media, work and other devices anywhere. The Portal includes GPS amongst other technologies to calculate its exact position; this has opened a range of possibilities, allowing it to interact with appropriate devices nearby.
It is worn on the wrist where it detects the movement of the hand, letting the wearer make control gestures just by moving their fingers. When this isn't suitable, a speaker and microphone allow spoken control. A body temperature sensor can check if the user is too hot or cold and adjust air conditioning as necessary. Blood pressure and heart rate can also be monitored; all these can be used to calculate the stress and health of the user.
The Portal’s battery is charged on manufacture and is expected to last about five years, with most of the power for day-to-day use coming from movement of the arm, much like kinetic watches.
Sam’s brother is upstairs training. His Portal is monitoring his performance as his personal trainer checks his routine and gives feedback from the sports centre via the intercom on the main display.
Sam’s dad approaches his car. It unlocks and his Portal instructs it to warm the driver’s seat. The in-car entertainment carries on streaming his favourite music collection he was listening to at lunch as he presses the engine start button. The music dims as a low rumble signals the awakening of the V12. The voice activated carphone responds when he asks for an audio call with his mum, to ask how she’s getting on with the Portal he bought for her 80th birthday. There's no answer.
Grandma is on the floor. Her temperature and erratic pulse indicate a heart attack. The Portal’s assistive technology monitors her health, so she still enjoys her independence while never being out of reach of care when needed. An ambulance has already been dispatched.
Wood Case for your iPod
Look at this beauty. It's an iPod 5G case carved out of a single piece of hardwood. Not sure if the wood is sustainably hunted or not, since some of the links on the Miniot website declined to work for me, but there's no denying their loveliness. You can also get one of these iWood (yes, yes, very clever) cases for your nano. They're cleverly designed, with hidden hinges and a magnetic clasp to keep the case shut. Once you've selected the type of wood you want to use, you can get them mongrammed with your initials and choose something witty to have engraved inside.
iPod Tote Bag
Remember in the 80s and early 90s when people who thought they were cool (usually topless blokes with mullets) used to walk around with a ghetto blaster on their shoulder, polluting the air with the strains of the latest Vanilla Ice album? Well, let me introduce you to the naughties version. This is the iPod tote from Fred Flare, complete with built-in speakers that allow you to play your Arctic Monkeys album for all the world to hear. It's $60 plus the cost of four AA batteries. [Gemma]
[Previously posted on The Bag Lady]
Magpie iPod Outfits
These iPod covers certainly grabbed my attention thanks to some lovely bright patterns used in the design. The unusual upside-down clip helps them stand out even more, and designer Maggie emailed to say she made them that way to meet her needs as a runner. They're made from reinforced vinyl to protect from scratches, sweat and dirt and you also get a removable keychain to attach the case to your bag or clothes.
The cases come in a selection of bright and bold prints, currently only for the iPod nano, and cost $24.95. I'm not sure if having an upside down iPod would assist with usage or not. Would you use one?
CeBIT: More General Gadgetry
More gadgety goodness from the CeBIT trade fair which started today...
Next up is WINCOMM's fanless panel PC, available in 15" and 17" sizes. As far as I can tell, it is basically a tablet PC (though it is possible to get without a touch-screen, hrrm), just instead of having a revolving screen, it is designed to be mounted on the wall. I think the 'fanless' bit is the key to being able to have it hung somewhere in your house without the whirring getting to you - but I wonder what level of heat it produces?
Read - Datasheet (zipped PDF)
XONIX have designed two pairs of sunglasses with a built-in mp3 players - I can't work out what kind of capacity they have but hopefully the gods have mercy and it is more than 128MB! The idea is faintly reminiscent of the Motorola/Oakley RAZRWIRE collaboration - I'd hope no one would have the XONIX OM or OMF as their main mp3 player and the RAZRWIRE as their main mobile headset, or they'd look fairly daft constantly swapping between sunnies...
I find NEC's PaPeRo initially quite cute, but I'm disturbed the origin of the name - Partner-Type Personal Robot. What do they mean by partner-type? Check out the pic in the link - what do you think a "hole sensor" is? And what does it need one for? And why is it looking at me like that? Brrrrr.
CeBIT 2006: Samsung's 4 Gig flash MP3 player
Samsung's gone all iPod nano on us with the launch of the YP-Z5 Music Jukebox which, like the nano, has 4GB of flash storage. It beats the nano on battery life, with a claimed 35
hours. It also sports a 1.8inch colour screen, features compatibility
with subscription music services (Microsoft Plays For Sure Audio
Download and Subscription which includes MTV’s Urge, Napster, Rhapsody,
and Yahoo) and has 3D sound – whatever that might be. It weighs just
two ounces and is finished in aluminum. No news yet on price and
Caserta Italia iPod Case
Is it just me or is this Caserta Italia iPod nano case truly revolting? Possibly that's the idea, I don't know, but this hammered bronze suede and black leather case certainly gets your attention. As well as printed suede, there's the inevitable presence of some Swarovski crystals and an optional golden chain neck strap. The range also includes cases made from snakeskin, alligator and printed suede with Swarovski crystals. Made by hand in New York, the case sells for $225.
iBeat Illuminatied Headphones
Maybe it's because I grew up in a major metropolitan area; but I've always been taught that one should be discreet with one's more precious and costly items, and should exercise caution when revealing them in public areas. So I'm absolutely flummoxed by the iBeat Illuminated Headphones, headphones which glow in one of six frighteningly named colours. (Acid Aqua, Groovin' Green, Off-beat Orange, Pop Pink, Rhythm and Blue or, rather unfortunately, Wiggity White.)
Much like the previously mentioned Blinkit safety light, iBeat will glow steady or along to your music. In fact, if you paired the iBeat with the Blinkit, you'd be a beat-bouncing beacon of very conspicuous consumerism. -[Star C. Foster]
Most feasible iHoax so far - 6th Gen iPod?
There have been a good few hoax images of the next-generation iPod, however the newest few have been touted as more believable than the rest. I must admit the picture I have here (left) is convincing, it even has camera-shake blurring from someone trying to get a clear picture of the screens on a longer exposure. See more at MacRumors:Guides.
I hope all that cover manufacturers pull their iSocks up (hah) and manage to make protective pouches which actually keep the massive touch-screen safe from sharp objects in handbags and pockets. I guess we'll find out exactly what it will be at the Macworld Expo in San Francisco, on the 1st of April. [Sara Wallen]
Lightweight Bamboo Earphones
Hah, I seem to be getting all the earphones lately! Japanese design company amadana have bucked the trend of "Yay let's have neon earphones!" and come up with these subtle and lightweight bamboo earphones.
They look slightly uncomfortable, but the bamboo (dark bamboo available with black buds/hook, light with white buds/hook) promises to be lots lighter than the equivalent plastic, rubber or metal equivalents and so probably doesn't press down too much.
The frequency response given is 10-24,000 Hz, which is pretty good seeing as most headphones tend to be around 20-20,000 Hz. This is assuming you can hear any lower than 20 Hz or higher than 20000 Hz. Can't say I'd know if I could... [Sara Wallen]
Read Japanese (!) Product Page / Buy from Dynamism
Metallic neon earphones
Neon iPod-style earphones
Massive pink headphones
iPod Round Sound Speaker System
Apple may have its own speaker system out, but that hasn't stopped other companies from rolling out their own. This Round Sound stereo system from IXOS has four speakers on board, which should offer reasonable sound quality. While it's unlikely to blow your ear drums it's reasonably cheap at £50. The dock will take pretty much any of the more recent iPods (except the shuffle) and will charge your player as it plays. It's also got a standard headphone jack if you want to plug in a different player.
So you like listening to metal?
Help, help, I'm being oppressed! The tyranny of black and white headphones is just too much! Head over to v-moda and "refuse to be a slave to white and black earphones with drab designs - modaphones adapt to your music and fashion style rather than dictate it."
Of course, that is if your fashion style adheres to metallic silvery-black, blue or pink. Sorry, I mean “bling bling black”, “that’s hot pink”, and “blue steel”.
So if you fancy yourself a bit of a gangsta mutha, an over-sexed it-girl, or a pouting male-model, then these are for you. Go get 'em, tiger, rawr! [Sara Wallen]
Blinkit iPod Safety Light
Here is an iPod accessory I never thought we'd see: a safety light/flashlight because, well why not? (If they're going to start giving it non-musical capabilities, I'd like to see the iPod Dish-Doing accessory.) The Blinkit light plugs into your iPod charger base and can be active while using the iPod to listen to music. The light can be aimed either forward or to the sides; and is projected either as a steady stream, or will flash in five preset modes or along to whatever track you currently have playing.
With tinted lens caps coming in white, red, blue, green and yellow, this not only will allow you to be more easily seen at night, but can make your iPod your own personal rave. Given the proliferation of white ear buds I spot on the streets these days, if the Blinkit caught on, walking down the street at night could be colourfully awe-inspiring...or seizure inducing. - [Star C. Foster]
Available from the Apple Store for $29.95.
Asono Play - MP3 minimalism
Asono, the Norwegian company behind the minimalist Mica Players has thoughtfully made a more affordable version for us plebs called the Play. The high end model has a screen secreted at the bottom of the player, but this cheaper version just secretes more white stuff. Hang on... that came out wrong. It doesn't have a screen - OK?
It'll play MP3, WMA and ASF files for up to 12 hours on a single charge of its built-in battery and you're going to have to learn to love and cherish shuffle mode unless you want to sit and go through each track in turn till you find the right one. Not only that, but the single joystick means you'll have to be guided by noises when it comes to the controls - with a variety of distinctive sounds helping you to navigate your way round.
Apple iPod Cases
Not the most exciting looking iPod case in the world, and one that probably wouldn't have merited a mention had it not been for iPod branding slapped across the bottom. The leather case for the iPod is available in 30GB and 60GB models as well
as an iPod nano model. They'll cost you £69 a pop, which sounds on the pricey side to me. Bound to sell well though.
Apple iPod Hi-Fi Announced
All those companies currently making a tidy living out of add-on speaker systems for the iPod are probably going to be feeling a mite irked right now. Apple has just come out with its own high-fidelity speaker system for the iPod, which means you get to have everything all branded and matching in your life. The iPod Hi-Fi can be powered from a wall socket or by batteries, and you can use the Apple Remote to control your iPod as it nestles into the speakers. As you'd expect, the Hi-Fi has a dock that will fit all iPods and your player will be automatically recharged while it's sat on it. The iPod Hi-Fi will set you back £249.
Dinky Ministry of Sound MP3 Player
I think the Ministry of Sound have finally realised that small is beautiful! Judging by the size of the headphones on the product page, it looks pretty wee. The usual specs apply, about 8 hours playback, 1GB capacity (also available in 512MB) and takes up to 240 MP3 or 480 WMA files. It also comes pre-loaded with Summer Funk Classics 2006.
Looks rather sleek actually - most of the other Ministry players have been a bit odd-looking but this one has the kind of minimal style I like for this sort of thing, along with the now-customary OLED display. Pretty. [Sara Wallen]
Read - then buy for a tenner less at Argos
Das Blau stylish iPod cases
If you haven't yet treated yourself to an iPod case, and don't fancy your chances of knocking out something as beateous as my crocheted laptop case, these das blau Versa cases offer a smarter alternative. The case not only protects your precious player, it also works as a stand, allowing you to check out videos and photos on your 5g video-friendly iPod. Choose from eight different styles, or alternatively, check out the Wrap cases for iPod nano.They'll cost you $46.99 till the end of tomorrow, after which you'll need to hand over $59.99 - plus shipping.
Das Blau (thanks Lisa!)
Blueye iPod Style Phone attachment
This is an interesting little object. Plug this into your music player, PSP or similar portable multimedia type device and it will connect wirelessly to your Bluetooth phone. Then you can make and take calls through your music player's headphones using the Blueye's vaguely iPodish control panel. It’s compatible with any headphones, supports Interactive Voice Control and lets you record ringtones in real-time. The Blueye comes in three colours, red, white and black and costs £69.
Goodmans' Star Player
Goodmans, the company renowned for their reasonably-priced electrical goods, has been showing off some new products recently, including this star-shaped player which glows three different colours. The GMP31G2 comes in 128 256, 512MB and 1GB sizes and apparently has a 17-hour battery life. Aside from those colourful lights, there's not much by way of extras to talk about, but you can be sure that when the pricing is finally announced, it's not going to knock you over your overdraft limit.
Aural New York - Coloured iPod Earbuds
I'm slightly amused by the extremely attractive women and the "Girlfriend/Boyfriend Friendly" tags on the Aural New York site. In particular the photo advertising the limited-edition blue buds - I have to admit I never thought of matching my audio equipment to my underwear... I'm going to feel really tacky in my white undies and black Sonies now. Sigh.
Mind you, white earphone cords are so famously linked to iPods that they scream "Mug Me!" so a pink, black or blue replacement would be a fine idea. Much more choice than the usual white or black (well ok, transparent too if you've got ears with expensive
taste hearing). [Sara Wallen]
Zicplay iPod remote control
Hopefully grab a better pic in a minute, but you should just about be able to make out the lines of a Zicplay Tuneview, the first remote control to display iPod’s digital menu on an LCD screen. What this means is that you'll be able to control your iPod and see the full menu from afar. Stick it on its dock, hook it up to your stereo, and you can control the music player from the comfort of your sofa. It's being launched at the CeBit show in Hanover, Germany this March. It'll be available exclusively from KeySpan.
Apparently this is the speaker system which isn't going to leave you having to compromise between portability and sound output. It delivers over 40 watts of total system power, has long cords that let you place the satellites far apart for real stereo, and even lets you connect to your mobile phones with a 2.5mm adaptor (pssst, you can get these from Maplins at about £1!). [Sara Wallen]
Logitech Sports Headphones
If you're one of those daft people who goes tearing round the park of an evening when you could be at home eating pie, these headphones will be right up your well-trodden street. Logitech's Sports Headphones are designed especially for active types, with a lightweight frame that won't weigh your head down (cos those normal ones leave your head lolling about uncontrollably, right?) and a blood, sweat and tears water-resistant finish. There are also some special loops to attach if the headphones keep falling off when you're in full gallop.
Why does this little fella look so sad? Is it because he's uncomfortable with the headphone jack someone has jammed into his little Teddy brain so they could listen to their MP3s and WMAs? Or is he just embarrassed that he's only got 128MB of music storage space to offer.
Either way I have to tell you, this Teddy player is breaking my heart. And his approximately $100 pricetag isn't doing too much to cheer me either. Poor Teddy.- [Star C. Foster]
Full Metal (Nano) Jacket
I thought iSkins and iPod socks were cool until I saw how grungy they get in the bottom of our pockets and handbags along with our keys and jaffa-cake crumbs.
ukpreview.co.uk have these rather nice metal covers for iPod Nanos, Minis and Shuffles (and probably more), also available in brushed metal and also some 'crystal' clear plastic cases for those who want to still be able to see the trademark Apple designs. [Sara Wallen]
iCool Smelly MP3 Player
As tired as I am of seeing companies put the lower case "i" in front of a product name, I'm willing to let Solid Alliance slide on the iCool MP3 Player; I'm far too amused by the fact that it 's selling point is scent. This 256MB player will playback your MP3, WMA, or WAV files while exuding one of six scents: chocolate, rose, strawberry, lemon, cherry and blueberry. It is the Strawberry Shortcake of MP3 players.
I suppose the general idea is that even when your favourite band's latest album stinks, your MP3 player will still smell sweet. - [Star C. Foster]
iPod nano now in 1 Giga
They've snuck this one out on the quiet - what did they think we wouldn't notice? Now you can get your nano kicks in 1GB capacities as well as the 2GB and 4GB models. It'll cost you $149 and will store up to 240 tracks.
Sounds like it might be time for the shuffle to shuffle off its mortal coil, since the nano is now treading on its same-sized toes. Bargain hunters might want to keep an eye on the shuffle prices, since they're bound to take a few tumbles. (UK Prices; US Prices)
Luella Bartley's Sony MD Case
Looks like Luella Bartley is spending much of her time creating gadget accessories these days. First it was Sony, then it was Apple, and now it's Sony again. In fact, she's been mentioned on this site enough that I now know I'm supposed to pretend to know who she is. Give it 10 years and I'll be a fully fledged female - one who knows about lady things and everything. Anyway, if you're still clinging to your MiniDisc player, why not treat it to one of these expensive designer bags? Available in three colours for $180. Alternatively, you could put the cash towards a brand spanking new MP3 player. Just a thought.
Win a Special Edition Blue iPod nano
Fancy winning yourself a special edition blue iPod nano? Well then, the best thing to do is head over to Namesco where there are five blue nanos being given away. All you have to do is answer the super-easy question and provide your details to be in with a chance of winning.
Key Chain iPod nano Pouch
It's gold. It's shiny. It has foot-like things. It has two arm-like bungee cords you can attach to yourself. It has a keyring. It...
..it's monstrous, I'm sorry. I really can't be enthusiastic about this one! Blimey. [Sara Wallen]
Pop My Cherry
Having had so much success with fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi's range, cheapo US store Target have sought the help of some more top designers to create limited editions ranges for their rails. The first comes from British designer Luella Bartley, whose girly creations include this iPod case for $12.99. Possibly not the best choice for anyone over 20, but worth mentioning if only for the chance to make stupid cherry-themed puns (see title). [Gemma]
JVC's Alneo pink music player
This is what I like to see, a music player that comes in a choice of six colours. Really, I am *that* easy to please. The Alneo XA-F57 and XA-107 players from JVC are just your usual MP3 players, with 512MB and 1GB of memory respectively. However, one thing that might grab your attention, if you're that way inclined, is the direct MP3 recording from Line-in, which means you can encode your music straight from your CD player, or even (is this legal? No, don't tell me. And don't blame me if you get the coppers round either) record stuff off Jools Holland on Friday nights. Just like recording the Top 40 off Radio One when we were kids, but with more World music. Yours for £80 .
Gear4's leather iPod cases
I'm going to tell you something now that may well shock you: I'm pretty partial to pink things. Yes, it's a surprise I know, but I felt I had to get it out in the open. Actually, while we're on this whole "opening up" vibe, I might as well tell you that in fact I'm a sucker for colours in general. Which is why I'm feeling both elation and disappointment at the same time right now. Gear4's leather iPod case (£20) comes in pink (yay!) and black (boo!). But, sadly, there are currently no other colours to choose from. Grateful as I am for the pink (yay!), it's not really a catch-all solution to female needs is it? More colours please, Gear4.
Otoizm - Digital Pet That Loves Music
The Otoizm is a digital pet whose growth and well-being depends on the music you expose it to when you hook it up to your music player. Due out later this year, your Otoizm not only responds to your musical choices, but will compose music for you and engage other Otoizm it encounters in "dance sessions."
Is it wrong of me that I envision feeding an Otoizm entirely on a diet of West Side Story, so that when it does come across another Otoizm it might feel compelled to fight them...with dance? (Really - there's no need to answer that question. I already know.) - [Star C. Foster]
Louis Vuitton iPod Case
Surely not long before there are hundreds of knock-offs of these on market stalls everywhere, but until that day those of you who love a label can keep your iPod safely stowed in one of these Louis Vuitton iPod cases.
No pricing info or anything on the site, but you should be able to pick one of these up in Louis Vuitton stores in places like Harrods, Selfridges, Bloomingdales and Saks (check out the LV site for all the store locations.
Valentine outfits for your iPod
If you don't have a barbie, or a small dog of your own to play with, dressing up your iPod appears to be the only option left. Luckily, there are loads of companies out there ready and able to encourage your penchant for iPod outfits. Online shop, iAttire, has come up with some Valentine-inspired underwear for your favourite music player, so that when you go to meet your boyfriend (or girlfriend) clutching your semi-clad friend, he'll know it's time to back away slowly and quietly before turning tail and running for at least a mile.
Classy cases for your Sony Walkman
Sony has apparently gathered 15 percent of the music player market thanks to the help of its latest WALKMAN, which is why you can expect to see some more snazzy cases appearing in the future. Noreve's leather cases come in pink, blue or black, and have soft velvet interior and a removeable belt clip. You can pick it up for around £27 (€36).
Learn how to use your iPod in Selfridges
I've been avoiding this story because I hoped it would go away, but since everyone else is covering it, I thought I should probably join in. I've been ignoring it because I like to think that no one reading this site could possibly feel the need to enrol themselves on a class that teaches people how to use an iPod. Not so much because using an iPod is easy, as is reading through the instructions, but more because classes in Selfridges in London cost £65 for 40 minutes. That's £65 for a lesson you could get for free a couple of minutes' walk away in the Apple Store. Don't do it people. If you don't know how to use your iPod, invite a more gadget-savvy friend round for dinner and get them to show you. And if you still don't understand, it might be best just to spend that £65 on having someone set the whole thing up for you.
iBaby Umbrella Stroller
If you're a Mac-lovin' mom for whom iPod-ding your baby was a good start at consumer branding your child that didn't quite go far enough, you'll be pleased to know there
are people in the world willing to slap an iPod onto anything is a new stroller on the market that allows moms and their babies to enjoy a little iPod-powered road music together. The Kolcraft iBaby Umbrella Stroller comes complete with a cup holder, a canopy, a storage bag...and more importantly, an iPod Dok (with a Mini Adapter) and iPod Protection pads. Thankfully, the Dok includes a speaker housing so Mom and baby can listen freely, without the need for teeny-tiny baby earbuds. - [Star C. Foster]
Powder Puff Portable Media Player
I love the way they've shown this new multimedia player in front of some eye shadow and lip gloss, just in case we hadn't worked out it's aimed at women (or flamboyant queens) and that it looks just a little bit like a powder compact! It's also got one of those funny little fabric tags to make it look like it's from a clothing label, which inevitably gets frayed and muddy-coloured among the biscuits in the bottom of your handbag.
It's designed for SD or MMC cards, which you can now get up to 2GB capacity, with an up to 6-hour battery life (audio, 4hr for video), and can show photo slideshows. I wonder if the 2-inch screen goes mirrored when not in use? That'd be a good excuse for its shape... [Sara Wallen - thanks Hannah!]
The mPack P600 - Wondrous Media Gadget
First we had separate tellies, videos, phones, cameras, computers, games-consoles and Walkmans (tm), etc. Then we progressed and had tele-video/DVDs, phones with cameras, PDAs, mp3-players (also with phones and cameras and kitchen sinks).
Now here we have an mp3 player, video player (with surround(!) sound), 'PDA-functions', games, optional GPS, photo-viewer, and the bedroom, bathroom and kitchen sinks all in one! Though it's lamentably missing a camera. Though fear not, I daresay they'll have one in the next generation.
What does speak to me however is the screen-saving clamshell design, the continuous-video 4-hour battery life (8hrs for audio), and the drag-and-drop file transfer (without tediously converting all your files into bizarre formats). Not bad if you have an attention-span long enough to look at the same 4" for 2 hours or more! [Sara Wallen]
Read more at My mPack.
Saitek Audio Bluetooth headphones
Anything that comes without wires attached gets my vote. These Saitek Bluetooth Headphones let you listen to music wirelessly from your player so you can stash your player in your bag and forget about it. You can control the volume using the headphones and the little Bluetooth transmitter will plug into pretty much anything with a standard 3.5mm headphone jack. Expect 8 hours of battery life before it's time to recharge. Get yours for around £80.
Levi's to Create iPod Jeans
Levi’s enters the brave new world of wearable technology with their RedWire DLX Jeans, part of their upcoming Fall 2006 line. According to Levi’s, the jeans incorporate a “special joystick” in the denims' watch pocket, paving way for a whole new series of cheesy pick-up lines in clubs and bars everywhere these jeans are sold.
The big mystery is how the jeans succeed in “invisibly” housing the iPod when attached to the jeans’ dock – a promise they make, but which will be rather miraculous to keep. There are days when I’m lucky if I can fit a stick of gum in my pocket, never mind an iPod. I’m also curious as to what the pocket is lined in, after the recent iPod nano scratching hysteria. Photos aren’t available, but are greatly anticipated.
Now, if only they can design jeans that make body fat invisible. [ChicGeek]
XtremeMac to Produce 80 Hour MicroPack for iPod
Ladies, get your credit cards ready, XtremeMac has announced their upcoming MicroPack for iPods with dock connectors. Containing a lithium polymer battery providing anywhere from 8 hours of video to as many as 80 hours of music (depending upon your iPod model and settings), this white wonder is a must have for savvy gals on the go.
But, that’s not all. No mere piggy-back battery device, the MicroPack acts as a universal dock for your iPod, providing hands-free viewing and allowing you to sync with iTunes and/or charge the battery via any USB power source using Apple's 30-pin cable.
But wait, there’s more; the MicroPack provides line out and video out jacks for your listening and viewing pleasure. It also acts as a digital headphone amplifier, powering two headphone jacks while providing each with separate volume control. Act now, and they’ll throw in a stylish travel case (OK, I’m making that part up; it will always come with the case).
Available this spring, the XtremeMac MicroPack is available for the amazing price of only $19.95. (OK, don’t get excited, I made that up, too.) As fully featured as any too-good-to-be-true infomercial gadget, the MicroPack looks like the real deal and is priced as such; be prepared to shell out a cool $99.95. [ChicGeek]
iPod nano….Snoop Style
Sorry, rap fans, I’m talking Snoopy the dog, not Snoop Dogg. For all you Peanuts fans out there, Runa has released a special edition iPod featuring Charles Schulz’s beloved Snoopy character of Peanuts fame. Limited to 1000 units, the custom engraved nano comes with three adorable Snoopy faceplates, a lanyard and the SnoopyBox, which is…well…a box.
Available only in a 2GB version, this is simply a regular nano (in and of itself a lovely thing) that has been pimped out Snoopy-style. Now on sale in Japan (as are ALL the coolest toys; note to self: move to Japan), it will set you back to the tune of $286 USD. [ChicGeek]
iPod nano iJackets
Those of you bored with your nano already can stick on one of these iJackets. Made of strong but soft PU, the covers come with a detachable belt clip, detachable lanyard and protective shields included in the pack. They'll cost you just shy of a tenner and you can get them for your shuffle or your mini as well. Check out the large range of designs over on the New Technology Products website.
iPod Radio Remote
Yet more iPod accessories are coming your way, this time courtesy of Apple itself. The company has just announced the iPod Radio Remote, a remote control with built-in FM radio designed for use with the iPod nano and iPod video. So those of you bored of your huge library of songs can now tune in and sample some chart toppers instead.
The iPod Radio Remote includes a pair of Apple headphones with a shorter cable and is available now for £35.
Waist-Management: iPod Nano TuneBuckle
Now, this should save us having to root around the old biscuits and used tissues in the bottoms of our handbags in an effort to change the volume on that "OW, TOO LOUD!" track or skip ahead when the song that was yours and the ex's "our song" crow-bars its way to the front of your playlist.
I like this. It's a hell of a lot less garish and "whoo, a hell of a lot classier" (I think my male friend sitting next to me likes the lovely flat belly in the picture...) than the afore-posted Hip Tunes iPod Mini holder. Mind you, I'm not so keen on bending myself out of shape trying to see the tiny screen round my lady-bump! And wearing a long shirt or sweater may earn you some funny looks while your hands move in circular motions underneath as you search through your tracks... [Sara Wallen]
Christmas has been done and dusted for another year, so it's time to insert the usual "time to lose some weight" copy in [here]. Yes, we're all fatties now we've finished ploughing our way through acres of cakes, chocs, nuts stuffing, meat, meat, cheese, meat, booze, more booze and cakes (actually, I haven't finished yet - have you seen some of the reductions on cheese, pate, nuts and cake-based items in the supermarkets right now?! Only a fool would cease festivities with so many goodies on sale).
Here's the Storm Shield MP3 pedometer, which not only measures time and distance travelled in the name of flab fighting as well as calories burned, but also features an MP3 player with room for 20 tracks. Not that many songs to keep you going, but let's face it, who wants to keep going when there's fine wine and foodstuffs to be devoured back home? £20 from Blacks.
CES 2006: Sandisk's nano alternative
Would you rather have one of these things than an iPod nano? Sandisk is certainly hoping there are some of you out there tired of seeing Apple's. The Sandisk Sansa e200 comes in 6, 4 and 2GB versions and, as you'd expect from the creators of the SD card, there's also a slot for adding extra memory via SD. The 6GB model can hold 1400 tunes, which beats the 1000-track 4GB nano. The new range of players will hit the shops in March in both the US and Europe. You'll be able to view photos on the 1.8-inch colour screen and there's also an FM tuner.
CES 2006: Skullcandy headphones
It's nice to see some more ladylike cans than the big black ones you usually get. It's also nice to see that the Tech Digest boys have wasted no time in roping in the pretty stall woman to model for them. Skull Candy's offering these big pink headphones to anyone who fancies a change from the norm, while the company has also created a headphone snowboarding/skiing helmet, the Giro, which you can plug into a mobile phone or music player. The helmets start at $129 and go all the way up to $179, while the Ti DJ Headphones come in a selection of colours and retail for $39.95. No European distributers as yet, but there's no reason why they shouldn't make it here. Check out a pick of the lovely lady in the helmet here.
CES 2006: Internet radio on the hoof
So give it up for the Torian InFusion, a radio with ideas above its, uh, station. This corking Aussie gadget is barely bigger than a credit card, but it delivers crystal-clear internet radio for listening on the move - and you can record onto removable SD cards. You can search for any one of the web's thousands of online radio stations by location, musical genre or station name, and the sizeable prototype screen (pictured) will be upgraded to full colour when it goes on sale in a few months. - [Jane Hoskyn]
Find out more: Torian Wireless
iSee 360i - turn your iPod into a video iPod
Right, hands up anybody who purchased an iPod just prior to the video iPod being announced then found yourself wishing you had waited an extra week or so to make your purchase. All you lot waving your arms about, take heart. The iSee 360i, due out later this month, is a playback device that gives many 4th and 5th generation iPods (even the nanos and minis, although they'll require an adaptor) the capability to record and play video. Video content can be recorded from your television or other analog source, or downloaded from iTunes. Then plug your iPod (even your video iPod, if you must) into the iSee unit's 6oz case with a 3.6 inch screen - and watch to your heart's content (or at least until your battery gives up the ghost - which gives your heart approximately 4 hours to be contented).
With a projected retail price of $249, getting the iSee isn't much cheaper than biting the bullet and upgrading to the video iPod. However, if you're unnaturally attached to your current iPod (as I know many of you are), this could be a viable alternative to pouting every time you see the fellow next to you on the bus watching the latest episode of Lost when all you've got is your music for company. -[Star C. Foster]
Instant Music Turns LPs to MP3s
Once upon a time, not so very long ago - music came in three formats: 78, 45 or 33 RPM - and it wasn't just folks who fancied themselves DJs who listened to their music on vinyl. Music has become considerably more portable since then, but lots of folks still have stacks of albums collecting dust in the cupboard, waiting for the next boot sale. Instant Music allows theses dinosaurs of the music age new life by recording the audio from LPs (or audio cassettes, if you're a bit younger) & storing the output as MP3, WAV, WMA or AAC files. After all, if they're going to take up all that room in the cupboard you might as well get some use out of them; because no matter how hard you go on hoping, it's not likely fellows from Cash in the Attic are going to turn up to tell you your turn-table antiques are worth enough at auction to send you on holiday. - [Star C. Foster]
Ziclay SlideKey MP3 player
This Ziclay SlideKey MP3 player makes a refreshing change from the norm with its unusual slidey-key design. The controls can be concealed by the movable casing when not in use keeping this nice and compact, and there's a few extra features like voice recorder and USB data storage (not really extra features, more standard features, but I'll take what I can get). The Slidekey comes in 256MB, 512MB and 1GB models, with the option of adding a built-in fm tuner to the larger models. It's pretty cheap, with prices starting at just under £45.
More unusual designs
Mimi iPod wheel player
Clip on MP3 Player
mimi 721 MP3 Player
If your favorite part of the iPod family of players is their scroll wheel, you're going to love the mimi 721 from Hilon, which looks like a iPod wheel, giant-sized. With no screen, a mere 128 MB of memory and only MP3 playback, you may wonder what the mimi 721 has on its design inspiration. How about a price tag of just 20 Euros? (And I bet it'd coordinate just fine with those white earbuds, too.)
CES 2006: ZVUE wireless PMP
Portable Media Players have been touted as the next big thing for so long now that it's starting to get embarrassing. However, maybe this year will be the one where we all ditch our portable music players and start watching video on that daily commute instead. The ZVUE 500 has an added perk in that in not only plays your video and music files, but it also includes Wi-Fi, so you can take a gentle stroll about the internet should you ever find yourself in a wireless hotspot. It's got 1GB of on-board flash memory, as well as SD/MMC and CompactFlash memory card slots for extending storage. Expect to see it in stores later this year with a retail price of around $300.
CES 2006: Motorola ROKR II
The last one may have been remarkably unremarkable, but that hasn't stopped Motorola coming back with a new ROKR music phone - the ROKR E2. This time, there is something to remark on, because unlike the ROKR E1 there's no on iTunes compatibility on this handset. Instead the phone has its own music playing software.
As you can plainly see, it's not about to set us all to weeping with its beauteous design, looking like a chamfered version of the E1, and you're limited to storing your music onto SD memory cards. But it does have new music control buttons and a 1.3-megapixel camera, as well as the standard size headphone jack so you don't have to use an adapter, and support for Bluetooth headphones. Expect to see it in the UK in the early summer.
Motorola's iPod RAZR
CES 2006: Cowon's iAudio 6 multimedia player
There's very little excitement to be had in talking about hard drives - unless of course those hard drives are housed in a rather nice Cowan's iAudio 6 casing. Usually something this dinky would opt for flash memory, but the iAudio 6 is the first player to sport the new 0.85-inch hard drive. And since hard drives are cheaper than flash memory, this 4GB player should work out far more cost effective than the nano.
It's got a 1.3-inch, high res (260k colour) OLED screen, a touch-sensitive control scheme, video playback, image viewing and text viewing. Oh, and it plays songs.
Tavo Gloves for Touchpad Use
Tavo's technology-friendly gloves, made from thermal strech fabric, are designed to allow you to control the touchpads on your digital devices without freezing your precious digits. These $35 gloves can be worn on their own in cooler weather, on beneath your wooly winter gloves if you're listening to your tunes while slogging through frigid temps. -[Star C. Foster]
Meet the iKitty - a cat-shaped case for your iPod Nano. It doesn't seem to do much other than protect your case and make your Nano even more adorable. The controls are easily accessible through the cat's stomach, but I'm afraid your charger, headphones and other wires get plugged in some place rather rude. Naughty kitty!
Clip on MP3 Player
Not sure I'd ever actually wear one of these, but I love the idea of it. A music player that looks like a clip and works like a clip, the DN-CLMP128 from Japanese company Evergreen is a pretty unusual design idea. I doubt it will come out here, but you can find out the full spec list etc if you're interested on the DAP Review site.
Luisa Cevese iPod Bag
You know how people always say that tea bags are just made of the bits of leftover tea leaves scraped up off the factory floor? And sausages are just a load of old pig's trotters poured into intestines? No? I must be hanging out with the wrong people then. Anyway, the reason I bring it up is that Italian designer, Luisa Cevese, seems to have been making use of factory sweepings to make these iPod bags. Apparently, she "noticed the amount of cloth wasted during textile production and sought to give these remnants a new life," sandwiching the old scraps of fabric in between a couple of bits of vinyl. I rather applaud this recycling spirit (which must be why I provide regular custom for purveyors of sausages and tea bags). Check out the bags on the MoMA Store.
Fluffpod iPod Cases
In case the Chewbacca iPod cases weren't enough for you iPod-toting, fake fur aficionados there is fluff pod - makers of satin-lined, faux-fur trimmed iPod cases for the iPod, the Nano, and now, the iPod video (pictured). The Fluffpod video case comes in pink or white, features a clear, plastic protective cover for your video screen, allows docking base access, will run you $25 and, in my estimation, makes your iPod video look rather like it's been swallowed by a Muppet. - [Star C. Foster]
iPod Boxer Shorts on sale in UK
Those of you in the UK whose lives have been blighted by an inability to buy those iBoxers iPod underpants will be soothed by the news that they're now on sale in the UK. £16.99 from PopXpress. Yes this is just a very weak excuse to post that nudey torso again.
Cast your minds back to April and you may just about recall the C. Ronson iPod Hoodie I posted up. Well, that was in the days before hoodies were being banned from shopping malls and Lady Sovereign made her onslaught on the UK singles chart with the Hoodie Song. Now, hoodies are everywhere, including on the latest iPod models. These iPod Hoodies for your standard iPods and the mini are in danger of making the whole range as chav-friendly as the Chav Award winning shuffle. They'll set you back £9.99 for the mini model and £10.99 for the larger one. Perfect for the little ASBOs in your life. Speaking of which, I walked into my local Tesco Metro the other day with my coat hood up (I'd rather be warm than fashionable, thank you very much) and immediately got told to put it down by the power-happy security guard. I was filled with righteous indignation and stomped out in a huff, which didn't teach the guard anything, but left me without milk for my tea. (Yes, I know this isn't my personal blog, but I'm the editor. So there.)
iPod Book Cover
Bennie and Olive have put a new twist on the classic book safe; they've taken some old-school, hardcover pulp novels and turned them into iPod cases. Because really, iPod theft may be a real problem these days, but you don't hear many reports of folks having their copies of Lovely You, Detective Fiction or Scavengers is Space lifted from their bags. (The Hotel Fever cover might be chancey though...it looks like racy read that a roving, raving bibliophile might be tempted to borrow.) The cases are available from Virgin Threads for $69.00. -[Star C. Foster]
Read (via The Unofficial Apple Weblog)
Here's one for the music-loving ichthyologist in your life (because I can't imagine who else it might appeal to): the upcoming iFish from Sega. Much like their iDog, the Sega iFish will light up and
dance err...wriggle to your music, as well as act as a speaker for your favorite audio player. Available in 2006.-[Star C. Foster]
iPod Boxer Shorts
I promise this isn't something I've made up just so Katie will let me post photos of men in their underthings. Play Underwear's iBoxers are real and...as one might expect, they are boxer shorts with a small pocket built in to hold an iPod (or, if you prefer, cellphone or other MP3 player) because it's very, very important we are never without our gadgets, no matter what stage of undress we may be in.
Available in prints or solid colours, the iBoxer retails for $22. and if you buy 2 pairs you get 3 iTunes downloads for free. And please remember, one may never be fully dressed without their MP3 player these days, but just because you're wearing one in your skivvies does not mean you can leave the house without your trousers. - [Star C. Foster]
iPod speaker systems go to the dark side
Here's yet another speaker system for yet another iPod. It's a black version this time, however, which makes for a nice change, designed to go with your black video iPod - should you own one. The HouseParty from PodGear also comes in white and will work with the 3G iPods, 4G iPods, 5G Photo, the mini, the shuffle and the nano. It retails at £49.99 from here.
Hello, Hello Kitty
Here's some Hello Kitty irony for you: she has no mouth - but two of the newest additions to her ever-growing gadget kingdom have features for those of us doomed to open ours from time to time. First is SBODM International Industrial Co. Ltd's Hello Kitty-shaped flash MP3/WMA player, which offers synchronous lyrics display (and supports 15 languages) so you can sing along. (Other specs include 128MB - 1GB memory, FM radio, USB 1.1 interface, digital voice recorder.)
Second is the Hello Kitty breath-tester; breathe on it, and Hello Kitty will let you know on the go whether or not you need to pop a breath mint so you can give folks the ever important "Fresh Kiss."
Ah, that Hello Kitty: Cute as the Cutest button in Cutetown, and helpful too. -[Star C. Foster]
Creative's 'video iPod'
This kind of spoils the surprise for the big Creative launch we're hauling our backsides into town for tomorrow. We've been promised someone very senior at Creative will be blowing us away with a new product that we'll be the first to see. Not counting all the many thousands of people who've already seen it online, that is. We could of course be wrong, but we're expecting the big announcement to be this Creative Zen Vision:M video MP3 player, which has just surfaced on the Japanese Creative website. It’s pretty similar to Apple's latest video playing iPod, and comes with a 30GB hard drive and a 2.5-inch 320 x 240-pixel screen.
It's going to be a bit thicker than the video iPod (by which I mean fatter, not "more stupid" - although who knows?), but it will play back a lot more file formats, including MP3 and WMA audio, plus MPEG 1,2 and 4 video, DivX and Windows Media Video. It also has an FM tuner and voice recorder. No indication on pricing as yet, but hopefully it will be less than the 30GB version video iPod which sells for just over £200.
Zizzle iZ DJ-ing Speaker
Plug this little fella into your music player and you can listen to your music whilst admiring his his nose flashing in time to the music. Alternatively, the Zizzle IZ will let you play DJ, twisting his right ear in order to change the beats. Seven beats are available and you can also mix in a lead by twisting the left ear. Flicking the antenna on his head will set off some sound effects, while his belly button plays host to controls for the speed and volume of the sounds. There's also an FM Mode which lets you twist his ears to change channels. Quite what this teaches children about cruelty to bugs I'm not entirely sure, and I suspect that while he may look adorably cute in the photos, one day spent listening to him yip and blip his way through random beats will leave you ready to commit insecticide. £35 from iPod Accessories with red and green version also available.
RAmos Gold MP3 Player
If you wander round touting this item at all and sundry don't be surprised if you induce a few people to vomit. After all, the RAmos not only has an ugly two-cap name, it also comes to us in an offensive gold hue, with non-matching headphones. Thankfully, it's not available over here, so I'm spared the temptation of purchasing it merely to upset passersby.
Ear Muff Headphones
These things are a great idea - perfect if you get ear-ache in this freezing cold weather. The Ear Muff Headphones from Hammacher Schlemmer are neat little fleecey ear warmers combined with JVC speakers that let you listen to your music without your ears turning blue and dropping off. They'll cost US readers $35, UK shipping prices are available on request.
iPod speakers in Pink
Those i-deck people have reasoned that since people are always personalising their iPods, they'd probably quite like to do the same with their iPod accessories. Which explains the existence of this pink i-deck. Actually, it's just a normal i-deck decked out in some changeable speaker grilles, and you can pick from blue and black versions as well. The speaker grilles are available for £9.99 a pair from Monitor Audio's i-deck site.
Necklace Media Player
If your neck isn't already littered with sundry photo viewers, MP3 players and memory sticks, you may just fancy giving this YO-DK a go. It's a tiny touchscreen music player that can also play back videos and show photos. You'll need a finger thinner than dried spaghetti to operate the touch screen, but it's a neat little player. Not out over here yet I'm afraid.
If you're a bit of a film nut (like me), you're probably more than a little intrigued by the Video iPod. However, if you're a bit lazy (again, like me), the idea of spending hours downloading..or worse...converting your preferred film and/or cannon to play on the iPod is terribly daunting. Enter TVMYIPOD, who will sell you a 30 or 60 gig video iPod pre-loaded with the films or TV shows of your choice (from their library) and give you the hard copy of the DVD as well.
A quick glance tell suggests that content starts at around $9 and ranges on up; so this could get pricey pretty quickly. So you need to ask yourself: is it worth close to $500 to get an new 30 gig iPod pre-loaded with all 7 seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer? (You know, if they take out all the Riley/Adam episodes, it just might be.) - [Star C. Foster]
Smallest colour screen player
If I'm not writing some story about the thinnest gadget, it seems I'm writing one about the smallest gadget. This "world's smallest" story comes courtesy of Klegg Electronics who've just knocked out a mini mp3 player that is apparently the world's smallest with a colour display. But really, who has time to care that it's the smallest colour screen player when it's diverting all our attention with its beauteous pinkness? Also available in lovely blue and boring old silver. Prices start at $100.
Logitec FM Transmitter
If you want to play your DAP music in your car, you'll need an FM transmitter. This cigarette lighter transmitter from Logitec Japan is a $40 transmitter that comes in Pink, Green, Grey, Black or Blue for your coordinating pleasure. (Although I daresay if your car's interior coordinates with the pink or green options, your may want to consider reupholstering.) -[Star C. Foster]
iPod Nano Wallet
Since folks keep talking about how the Nano is about the size of a credit card, I can see the thought process that might encourage you to carry it like one. At least that seems to be the idea behind Marware's leather CEO Billfold Wallet, which has a special pocket for your Nano (including headphone jack, charger access and plastic screen.)
Convenient? Sure. Well - only if you want to carry it in your jacket since it's not meant for "use in pants pocket" (and presumably would be awkward in a purse as well). Oh - and if you don't mind having to flash your wallet around every time you want to skip songs. Doesn't the iPod family have enough of a reputation as being targeted for theft without adding the temptation of a full billfold to it? - [Star C. Foster]
Earbuddy Earbud Carrying Case
When I first saw the Earbuddy storage system for the iPod earbuds, I thought to myself, "How cute! And what a good idea!" After all, I spend about half of my daily bus commute home untangling my headphone wires from the mess they got themselves into when I tossed them unceremoniously in my bag that morning. It'd be nice to have them organised.
However, I then read the specs on this $15 accessory, and I see now that I never should have called it cute. Apparently what I saw as earbud storage is actually earbud "body armour," made of "ballistic nylon" and "able to stand up to the everyday dangers of the urban jungle." This is a tough earbud holder, an earbud holder for earbuds that lead exciting, dangerous lives. Or perhaps an earbud holder for the slightly paranoid. -[Star C. Foster]
Read (via Uncrate)
Looks like the infamous Audi-Oh is in for some competition this holiday season, as Love Labs is set to launch the iBuzz - a vibrating bullet that - you guessed it - works in sync with your iPod. It's not an elitist about it though - despite the tiny "i" it will apparently work with any music source.
Although it will be available in the UK shortly, it's not currently slated for US or Canadian delivery; so you'll have to look to Katie and the other Shiny ladies if you're after a review. - [Star C. Foster]
Read (thanks, Mike!)
SCOTTeVest - Clothing for the Gadget Obsessed
SCOTTeVEST, creators of "Technology Enabled Clothing" (that is, clothing with lots of pockets designed to hold all your gear as well as special places to tuck your wires so they are useable without you looking like the Borg), have expanded their clothing line to appeal to the "iPod generation." New items include baseball caps, hoodies, cargo pants, shorts, and the Tactical VC jacket - which has a volume control for the wearer's devices built into the jacket design.
I rarely leave the house without my mobile, camera and MP3 player - so the plethora of pockets and tech-friendly design certainly does seem useful...but why are the designs all so blokey? Don't they know we gals like our gadgets too? - [Star C. Foster]
Hook up your iPod to your stereo wirelessly
All my CDs are now stored away in cupboards and under the bed, leaving me with my iriver hooked up to my stereo. It's only when you pump the sound out through some proper speakers that you realise just how piss poor compressed audio sounds. But no matter, I have tonnes more space for other clutter now and I can access my entire music library on one little jukebox. And now Belkin's taken the whole thing a step further with this Wireless set up that lets
you hook up your iPod to your home entertainment system without the faff of cables. The TuneStage means you can play tunes on your hi-fi from virtually anywhere in the home. It uses a Bluetooth transmitter connected to the iPod and a receiver plugged in to the home stereo system. Recommended Retail Price is £99.99.
I've been trying to puzzle this one out. On the one hand I understand the wireless listening appeal of the mTune headset - just pop your Nano into the special slot and you can dance like a maniac to your playlist without getting caught up in any wires.
On the other hand...doesn't having to tote around such a sizeable pair of headphones rather defeat the teeny-tininess that was the allure of the diminutive Nano in the first place? - [Star C. Foster]
MIXX Ipod Holders
Gemma over at The Bag Lady has brought these rather fetching iPod cases to my attention. The MIXX cases are currently only for iPods and iPod minis, so you nano owners will have to go naked for a while longer until they run up some new designs. They come with handy loops for attaching to jeans, bags or whatever, and they come in a variety of different prints and patterns.
Podstar's Devlish Nano Cases
Is your Nano naughty? (Or does it want to be?) Then the silicon Diabolo case from Podstar might be the Nano cover for you.
The Podstar Diabolo isn't on the market just yet - but when it is, it will be available in two colors, four designs, and will include a screen protector. And, perhaps more importantly, the bad-girl image you'll be giving your Nano should help counterbalance any inferiority issues it may have due to being the smallest kid on the iPod block (and no one will suspect that you've got it playing "Sunshine and Lollipops" on infinite loop, either). - [Star C. Foster]
Read (via Cool Hunting)
Creative's Zen Sleek Photo launches
Creative has just announced the launch of its latest MP3 player, the Zen Sleek Photo. The 20GB MP3 player and photo viewer has an impressive-looking screen, offering similar stuff to its predecessor, the Zen Sleek, with the added benefit of photo and music subscription support straight out of the box. It's compatible with Napster to Go, HMV Digital and Virgin Digital and will apparently give you up to 19 hours playback from a single battery charge. There's far more personalisation available than on most other players, with customisable themes and colour schemes and photo wallpapers. The 1.7-inch screen not only supports 262k colours, it's also one of the newer OLED types, making it far more pleasing on the eye. Pricing isn't available just yet, so more news as and when.
The CarClip is a clear, acrylic iPod holder designed to dangle your iPod Mini or Nano from your rearview mirror - presumably making it easier for you to choose your music while you're meant to be driving.
iPod Video, colour, Gen 3 & 4 owners don't despair - your holders are in the design stage; soon enough everyone can have their iPods at driver's eye-level, and music on their mind instead of their eyes on the road. -[Star C. Foster]
The uSport Headband
I'll admit to not being the most fashion conscious girl on the block...I'll even admit to occassionally wearing my gym clothes in places that are not the gym (my local pizza place, for example, is very familiar with my gray and blue sweatpants). However, the day you see me sporting a sweatband with an iPod Shuffle tucked inside, you'll know I've given up on fashion (and maybe life) all together. - [Star C. Foster]
Tivoli iSongBook iPod Sound System
I would have thought the iPod, being an iPod, was portable enough - but if you want to be able to tote it around and
force your musical taste share the benefit of your musical choices with those in your immediate vicinity, the iSongBook might be for you.
A portable Radio / iPod speaker combination, the Tivoli iSongBook has two speakers (one detachable), alarm capability, a universal iPod dock and a remote control for your tune controlling pleasure.
The iSongBook from Tivoli will run you $329.99...putting it in the same price range as the iPod itself. - [Star C. Foster]
First Ever "iPod"?
This Phonotransistor TP1 has a faint whiff of iPod about it, which is pretty impressive considering it was made way back in 1959. Designed by Braun, the Phonotransitor was a compact pocket receiver and miniaturised record player that was meant to be portable. It's not entirely clear from the pic how big this actually was in reality (big enough for a full-size LP? A 45? Something smaller? Not sure), but those round parts and aluminium frame certainly hint at what was to come. Braun's design tour may play up the Walkman/iPod link, but since they've since stuck to hand whisks and electric razors, they shouldn't be *too* pleased with themselves.
Read (Follow Braun Design World > Design Evolution > Start) [thanks Karen!]
Win an MP3 Player/Pedometer from MSI!
Last chance to win that MEGA PLAYER 521s so get yourself over to the comp entry page quick-smart. The MP3 player from MSI doesn't just play tunes and FM radio, it also works as a pedometer, stopwatch, voice recorder and USB memory device. In order to be in the running for one of these jogging buddies, you'll need to get yourself over to this special webpage, read the literature and answer a simple question.
Hello Kitty rip off MP3 player
I can't decide if this little kitty from Trust & Star should be written off as a creepier, be-mouted version of Hello Kitty, or if those sluttish red lips and long eyelashes give her a certain kitschy appeal. Aw, who am I kidding? She's highly unnerving with that fixed grin, so I'll be saying goodbye, not hello, to this cut-price Kitty.
I-Dog in Pink and Blue!
Another quick one, this time about the cute little SEGA iDog that I nearly popped an artery over a few month's back. The big news is that it will be coming your way soon in pink and blue colour alternatives. Hardly big news really, I know, but it does give me an opportunity to post a pic of the cute little pooch again.
Read [via I4U]
iDog iPod Speaker available in UK
Tele Dog Cellphone alert
MP3 player for a tenner
If you can't quite scrape together the cash for an iPod shuffle, this Ecoman could be a the perfect pov alternative. Since my "savings account" is actually what I like to call my overdraft limit (I'll pay for it out of my "savings account"!), this is probably the best I could afford. They've kept the price down by leaving out rechargeable batteries (it runs on one standard AAA battery, which'll last you 8 hours) and, err, storage space. Instead of built in memory, you'll have to fork out for an SD card to put in it. But since they're only about £20 these days, it's still not going to nudge you too far into the red.
Ebuyer [via Tech Digest]
PodGear’s iPod nano accessories
PodGear's PocketParty speakers are here for the iPod nano. The tiny speaker set adds an extra watt of sound to the diminutive player and provides an impressive ten hours of playback. It will set you back £24.99. Not very exciting write up from me is it? But inspiration fails me when writing my 4millionth iPod accessory story. Will try harder next time. I promise.
Find out about the other new PodGear iPod accessories (including a TV cable for the new iPod) on the lovely Tech Digest.
iTrip FM Transmitter for the iPod Nano
Remember the Nano, the tiny little iPod-that-could everyone was mad about before we were all blinded by the iPod with video? Well, Griffin Technologies hasn't forgotten the Nano, and they've announced a version of their iTrip FM transmitter to work specifically with it.
Designed to be complement the Nano's thin footprint, the iTrip for Nano displays radio station info on the Nano's screen, can recieve in mono or stereo and allows you to adjust the volume using the Nano's controls.
iTrip for the Nano will be availble in November for $49.99. -[Star C. Foster]
Toshiba's new Gigabeats
I've got snow-blindness from staring at so many Apple iPod stories over the past few weeks. So to redress the balance a bit, and to give my eyes a rest, here's new of Toshiba's latest gigabeat MP3 players. The X20 and X60 are 20GB and 60GB players are are upgrades of the previous F-Series models, which - I realise to my horror - I haven't done a story on before. Very remiss of me, and I can only apologise and tell you that these new players are 20% smaller than the old ones, and they'll be out soon.
Creative's Zen MicroPhoto goes on sale
Those of you not currently conducting a love affair with Apple may like to hear about the rather nice Creative Zen MicroPhoto which has just gone on sale in the UK. The little 8GB player has room for thousands of images or up to 4,000 songs so you can keep your favourite photos and your favourite tunes all in the same place. It's also got a radio and one of those nice organic LED (OLED) screens making it the perfect thing for a bit of portable photo viewing. There's 10 whole colours to choose from, which should be more than enough for anyone. Yours for a smidge under £200.
Qoolqee waterproof MP3 Player
Perfect for anyone who's ever dropped one of their gadgets down the toilet (I know a couple of people who've lost their tech to the cistern, but maybe I'm hanging with the wrong sorts), the Qoolqee (hint: it's pronounced cool key) is both water resistant and shock proof - so it won't die of fright when you drop it down the WC (ho ho). The Qoolqee X3 will cost you between £69.99 and £109.99 depending on memory (up to 1GB).
PEZ MP3 Player
OK, so it's not particular girly, feminine or classy. Hell, it's not even particularly nice, but how could I resist posting up this MP3 player which some mad soul has fitted inside a PEZ Pal Boy sweetie dispenser thing? You've got to respect someone who's gone to all that trouble only to produce something that looks like a... well.. like a plastic PEZ sweetie dispenser. It's 512MB (approx 120 songs), and comes pre-loaded with a collection of Indie music. I find myself wanting one against my will. $100 and it's all yours - but there's only a limited number, mind.
Video iPod of sorts launched
So this is what we've all been working late for then. The new iPod, with a wider display than previous iPods, but not quite wide enough to make it the "video" iPod everyone's been expecting. But you'll be able to watch MPEG4 movies on it and it's also thinner than the current iPods. The new version of iTunes (6.0) will also offer video downloads. The US download price is $1.95 a pop, so we're expecting they'll be £1 each in the UK - if the service even makes it outside of the US. 30 and 60gig models are available. Apparently, Madonna is holed up somewhere in the BBC building waiting to do another live link up and the Tech Digest boys are predicting a special edition Madge iPod.
IPOS Z5 - MP3 and Video Player
Shiny reader Annie Paterson wrote in to wax rhapsodic about her IOPS Z5; an ultra-colorful, teeny-tiny, MP3/Video player. (IOPS refers to it as a "music vitamin" - but in those colours, they remind me more of musical M & M's.) Available in 512MB and 1G models, the IOPS supports MP3, OGG and WMA music files and can playback MPEG4, WMV, AVI and DIVX video (converted to MP4) on its full-color, OLED display.
According to the product page at Advanced MP3 Players, it has a Lyrics Display function as well - which might make it tiniest personal karaoke device ever. -(Star C. Foster)
Read (Thanks, Annie!)
Pendant player glues on a Swarovski
The N11 pendant music player, upgrade of the iRiver N10, still hasn't made its way over to this end of the planet. But over in Korea, they're all laughing and pointing at us while they plug themselves into the necklace MP3 player and admire their Swarovski crystals glinting in the sunlight. Since I never quite plucked up the courage to wander into the street wearing my N10 as a piece of jewellery, I'm not feeling too sore about their spangly special edition N11s. Still, pull your finger out, iRiver, and get the N11 on shelf over here.
Win! MSI Megaplayer 521!
There's nothing quite like a product comp for making me feel all smug and self-congratulatory, which is why I've been badgering the lovely people at MSI to hand over one of their new MEGA PLAYER 521s. The MP3 player doesn't just play tunes and FM radio, it also works as a pedometer, stopwatch, voice recorder and USB memory device. In order to be in the running for one of these jogging buddies, you'll need to get yourself over to this special webpage, read the literature and answer a simple question. It's like GCSE English Comprehension all over again!
Douglas J. X Diamond-Encrusted MP3 Player
Today I have learned a valuable lesson: never underestimate the power of excess. Here I was thinking the XK1, with its single diamond, was at the zenith of needlessly bejeweled MP3 players - when along comes the Presidential from Douglas J.. For a mere £25,000 you can be one of the privileged few to own a gold (white or yellow, your choice) MP3 player with your choice of diamond configuration. And it'll be delivered to your door by private escort, natch.
I'd like to tell you more about the Presidential, but it's so exclusive that it costs £50 just to get a look at the informational booklet. And, well, diamonds are nice and all, but a girl's got to eat. - [Star C. Foster]
Philips Tune In
This little concept device wasn't actually on show in working order, mainly because it's quite a bit leap for tech design. The idea is that this portable MP3 player has a radar on it that seeks out other Tune In devices in your vicinity. When it finds another player, it can pick up the broadcasts from that device and tap into the tunes stored on it. So, if you're sat on a Tube and someone else has a Tune In near you, you can listen to their songs. The product demo people were pretty vague about how this would actually happen (mainly because they were all out of work actors) but it's an interesting idea that could work around the current file sharing laws.
The coloured dots show you how close another Tune In person is, and also represents different types of music, which you can tap to tune into. No mention about what happens when Mr Groovy Tunes next to you wanders off when you're mid-way through listening to his copy of Take That's Back for Good (ironically, of course...), but the opportunity to rifle through a complete stranger's music collection has a certain nosey parker appeal to it.
iDockCovers - Wooden Stands for the iPod
iDockCovers are fancy wooden iPod stands designed to cover your iDock and fancy the place up a bit. (You know, like those dolls with the long, crocheted skirts people sometimes use to disguise the extra roll of toilet tissue...but for your iPod.) Availble in a variety of wood and faux-stone finishes, iDockCovers are designed to allow full access to all the necesssary ports. If you don't have an iDock they'll throw add a "MockDock" to the base for free - so the iDockless can still have a wooden iPod stand (if that's your thing), even if it isn't hiding anything. - (Star C. Foster)
Read (thanks, Meredyth!)
Sansa m200 Flash-Based MP3 PLAYERS
Sandisk is offering a new MP3 player, the m200. Available with 512 MB - 4G of flash memory, the m200 series supports MP3 and Windows media files, has an LCD screen, a voice-recorder and FM tuner, the largest can hold about 64 hours of MP3s - approximately 19 hours of which you can play back on a single AAA battery.
The m200 also incorporates Windows' PlaysForSure, which will help users ensure the music they download (from certain legitimate music subscription services) will actually play on the m200.
The Sandisk m200 ranges from $79 - $119, and is already available here in the US. Europeans looking to pick one up will have to be patient and hold out until the begining of November. - (Star C. Foster)
Sanyo enters MP3 market
Sanyo has recently joined the hoards of music player creators out there with the launch of the HDP-M3000, a pocket sized MP3 player with 6GB hard drive and up to 12 hours playback time. The small white It supports both MP3 and WMA (including DRM tracks), has full dot matrix LCD display, earphones and an integrated microphone. It is likely to retail for around £120 which is very reasonable indeed.
World's smallest MP3 player #403
Yes, it's time for yet another "world's smallest MP3 payer". We haven't had one for a while, so it seems only right that we talk about the latest miniature music maker. The Support Plus Q-Be really is a tiddler with measuring just 24mm cubed. There’s just about enough room for an OLED Screen and tiny control buttons and as well as WMA and MP3 files, there's a built-in voice recorder and clock. It'll cost you £84.99 for the 512MB, while the 1GB goes for £109.99 and is available from the usual suspects, including Dixons and Currys and these places.
First DAB radio & MP3 player
I had an email the other day from a reader looking for an MP3 player that also had a digital radio. I had a little run-around and came back with nothing, but now Morphy Richards has come to my aid with this DAB MP3 Player. As far as I'm aware, it's the first portable MP3 player to come with a digital radio, making it a very appealing little gadget indeed. It is available with a 256MB or a 512MB capacity and - joy of joys - will let you simply drag and drop music files onto the player without having to faff about with installing software. And if you go out of DAB signal range (which is inevitable), you can tune into normal FM radio instead. It'll cost you£139.99 for the 256MB product and £159.99 for the 512MB.
Oregon's wireless speakers for the iPod
I may be just about the only person in the world not to own an iPod, but even I can't help letting a little speck of drool escape from my mouth at the sight of Oregon Scientific's wireless hi-fi system. Thankfully, it will work with other players, but the Music Sphere system has been designed with the iPod in mind, and it even has the iBall version with a matching iPod dock/charger. The rounded speaker connects wirelessly to a base station that will feed it music from a CD player, computer, radio or MP3 player. Apparently it will work at distances up to 30 metres.As well as the iBall version, there's also the WRS368 Music Sphere, which can accommodate up to three sources at a time.
Sadly, the LED display on the speaker unit doesn’t offer track listing, so you’ll have to return to your music player to find out what you're listening to. The Tech Digest gang saw the speaker in the flesh yesterday and tell me that it sounds much better than FM style streaming devices (this one uses Frequency Hopping Shared Spectrum (FHSS) wireless). The price is good too with the iBall going for £199.99 and the WRS368 Music Sphere at £179.99. Both are on sale next week both in the US and the UK.
Creative Divi Cam 426 Multi-Use Camera
I have nothing against multi-functional gadgets, so long as their multiple functions make some sort of cohesive sense. I understand the logic involved in combining a still cam with a cam corder - and I can even understand adding in a voice recorder function, since if you're filming (MPEG-4) video, you'll be wanting a microphone anyway.
Where the Creative Divi CAM 426 loses me is with the addition of an MP3 player. Being an urban commuter, my MP3 player is practially embedded in my ears. Even with Creative's promise that their Li-ion battery will allow you to "watch up to 100 minutes of video, listen to 160 minutes of songs, and view up to 500 pictures" I'm pretty sure I'd suck up my daily battery allowance listening to tunes, and then find myself camera-less at the critical moment when I had my next celebrity sighting (or, you know, desire to snap myself making a funny face).
Gadgets of tomorrow do not need to be all things to all people. That being said, I'm totally with Katie on Radio Toaster
being a good idea. And I'm not ill, so I know it's not the fever
talking (although it may be my own week's worth of washing up
influencing me). - [Star C. Foster]
Sony's WALKMAN - the Grandaddy of all personal music devices - is back and this time it means business. The new WALKMAN players come with a nifty, seamless EL display, support MP3s and ATRAC3plus (with a promise of future codec support) are are being released in two sizes (The NW-A1000 6G and and NW-A3000 20G). They also come in a variety of colours (with matching headphones, natch.)
Clearly trying to give the mighty iEmpire a run for its money after yesterday's iPod nano launch, the NEW WALKMAN offers its own specialized shuffle functions (the year based "Time Machine Shuffle" and the it's-quite-obvious-what-it-does "My Favorites Shuffle"); its own music library management system (the CONNECT Player); and is being released in tandem with "a whole range of design-matching accessories."
And let us not ignore their attachment to ALL CAPS - clearly a slap in the face to the lower case i's currently dominating the market.-[Star C. Foster]
Apple's iPod Nano goes on sale
Apple's new ultra skinny iPod nano is the product of an unholy union between the shuffle and the mini, using flash memory like the shuffle, but sticking with the (slimmed down) design of the mini. It comes with either 2GB (£139/$199) or 4GB (£179/$249) of storage and comes with a nice new colour screen so you can view pics. It is available in three days in the UK. Looks like Apple's gone and done it again with this rather lovely player. As you can see, it's slimmer than a pencil (remember those?!) and it weighs just 1.5 ounces. The only downer is the rather rubbish fourteen-hour battery life. Boo to that.
In other news, Engadget has details of a Harry Potter iPod with a Hogwarts crest etched on the back and all the audiobooks pre-loaded. Madonna's back catalogue is finally up on iTunes (Steve Jobs rang Madge for a chat during the presentation) and the new iTunes 5 software has a better shuffle facility called "smart shuffle".
Motorola/Apple ROKR iTunes phone
When the iTunes Moto-Apple phone was finally unveiled I was sat in a vault in London Bridge staring at Microsoft's latest batch of mice and keyboards (more of that later). The ROKR E1 handset is, of course, a white number, though the design is suprisingly sedate considering the two companies involved in its creation. It's also set a few bottom lips a-quiver at its capped storage capacity, which limits listeners to just 100 tracks no matter how large your memory card. This is due to some sort of "licensing issues", which is fast becoming the standard excuse for any crap aspect of a music player. Tracks are loaded randomly as per the iPod shuffle, or you can sit and do it by hand if you feel moved to do so.
There will be no over the air downloads - so no buying tracks straight from the iTunes store (since that would annoy the network providers who have their own music stores). It costs $249 from the Apple Store (US) and is available in North America via Cingular. It'll be out with the Carphone Warehouse in mid-September, then with O2, followed by Orange, Virgin Mobile, BT Mobile and other top retailers throughout September and October. Not Vodafone for some reason.
Diamond-encrusted MP3 Player
Fancy carrying an MP3 player that's got a real diamond stuck to the front of it? Personally, I have more pressing things to spend my money on, such as food and electricity, but if you've got spare cash poking from every orifice, Adamond will be happy to relieve you of some. The XK1 is a pretty standard MP3 player, with sizes starting at 256MB and ending at 1GB, and prices starting at £75. If you want the diamond version, you can choose from 0.11 to 0.5 carat with prices starting at £145 for the 0.11 diamond. Features include dual earphones, MP3 direct encoding via line-in, radio and built-in microphone, and a USB connector to plug straight into your computer. The company also makes the ZK1, the first 2GB flash player to appear on the market.
Saitek's new audio range
Saitek has been coming up with a lot of new products recently, but these latest bits of kit are part of a whole new audio range. Rather than do the usual and just mimic what's already around, the designers seem to have been given free rein on the look of the products. First thing they seem to have done is dusted down the black crayon - unused since Apple's colour-free reign began - creating these curvy black, orange and red speakers. The Audio A-200 on the left is a portable speaker system that you can plug into your laptop, MP3 player, or anything else with a 3.5mm audio jack, while the rather more phallic looking on the right is the A-250 wireless speaker set. You can use this to listen to all the music stored on your PC, or internet radio wirelessly from anywhere in and around your house. It will work on both batteries or from an AC adapter. Both provide stereo sound delivered through two 3W tweeters and a 3W sub-woofer and both will work on 4 AAA batteries or via the supplied AC adapter.
The A-200 will cost you £79.99, while the A-250 will set you back £99.99. Also in the range are a set of stero headphones for just under £20 and a set of wireless headphones for £79.99. They'll all be available from October.
More info here
Top 15 tunes for your vibrator
It's Friday afternoon and what better time to drag this site down into the gutter? Remember that inspired Audio-Oh vibrator that buzzes in time to your music player? Well, the wags over at Grand Opening, the company responsible, have compiled a list of the songs that will apparently provide the best vibrational experience when using the Audi-Oh. Personally, I can't imagine how anyone could find buzzing along to Cyndi Lauper in the least bit erotic, but thankfully there's room in this world for all types. Keep reading for the top 15 songs to get your rocks off to.
1. American Woman - Lenny Kravitz
2. I Love Rock n' Roll - Joan Jett
3. Family Affair - Mary J. Blige
4. Come Out And Play - Offspring
5. The Distance - Cake
6. Kiss - Prince
7. My Sharona - The Knack
8. Just a Lil Bit - 50 Cent
9. She-Bop - Cyndi Lauper
10. Coin Operated Boy - Dresden Dolls
11. You Spin Me Round - Dead or Alive
12. Gonna Make You Sweat - C & C Music Factory
13. Mony Mony - Billy Idol
14. In This World - Moby
15. Lust For Life - Iggy Pop
foofpod Cloth iPod sleeve
Look, I know I've been a bit hard on the iPod in the past...but with all the luxury gear on the market designed solely to to stop it being scratched in your bag, it's quite difficult not to anthropomorphize it into a Vicious Gadget Diva for whom only the best will do. (Ok, ok. I'm also a bit jealous that every Tom, Dick and Harry in the universe isn't busy slapping fur, leather and sparkly bits together to make custom kit for me.)
But maybe your iPod is doesn't suffer from delusions of digital grandeur. Maybe it knows that underneath it all, it's just an MP3 player (there, I've said it) and although it does need protection from the bumps and bruises of everyday life - it doesn't require that touch of mink. For these gadgets, there are foofpods - cloth iPods sleeves that come in a variety of whimsical styles and colors, and that will provide a snug-fitting (as in won't-topple-out-on-its-own) protection for 3 & 4G iPods, the iPod photo, and (in some cases) the iPod mini.
Shuffle knock-off for Canadians
Not sure how many Shiny readers are from Canada, but I'm willing to bet that 90 percent of the Brit readers have Canadian relatives (if not, it'll be Australian - it's always one or the other). I certainly get a visit every 10 years or so from anorak-sporting relations who wee themselves every time they spot a mediaeval wall. Not that that has anything at all to do with this Centrios 512MB music player with FM radio, which is on sale in Canada for $129.99, but I needed a Canadian link, and it was either that or a tale about how one of my old language lecturers used to make my Canadian friend say "blue" to all the other students so we could hear her funny pronunciation. Again, nothing to do with this iPod shuffle imposter, but what's to say really? It supports MP3, WMA-DRM and WAV formats, has an OLED scrren and will let you make voice recordings. The usual stuff.
The Source (thanks Fido!)
Tunebox speaker system for your iPod shuffle
I can't find any mention on the website if this little speaker system for your shuffle takes batteries, which means that TuneBox won't be accompanying you for the final few lazy days in the park that are left of this summer. Still, if you rather fancy listening to your iPod shuffle's random playlist out loud in your home, these speakers may be what you're after. The speakers will charge your shuffle as it plays (via a DC power cable), and apparently provide a "powerful, dynamic sound with unexpected clarity. Griffin's TuneBox is available now for $39.99.
Sirius S50 Mobile Satellite Radio Player
This September, Sirius Satellite Radio will be offering a new, personal player for listeners...the Sirius S50. It has 1G of flash memory, can play MP3s, record Sirius content, and comes with a car dock. The $359.99 price tag seems steep to me, considering the player only offers six hours of battery life, restricts users to using only about 512MB of that flash storage for non-Sirius MP3 and WMAs, and the fact it can only receive live Sirius content when the player is docked. -[Star C. Foster]
TechnoTunes MP3 Watches
I'm still not sold on the idea of an MP3 watch (I like the Dick Tracy aspect, but I'm still not so keen on attaching headphones to my wrist), but I will admit my interest has been piqued by the TechnoTunes watch. The nine hour playtime isn't especially stellar, but I do appreciate the fact that, in addition to being able to hold about sixty songs, it 's USB compatibility makes it a useful data storage/transport device (and ergo, a good prop when you want to play Super Top Secret Spy).
Logitech Wireless Music Transmitter
The Logitech Wireless Music System for PC is a nice solution for those of us who store our music on our PCs, but would sometimes like to listen to it in rooms other than our office (not everyone has a laptop you know...and a desktop computer is a bit clunky to drag around just to listen to the latest White Stripes album). Plug the transmitter into your computer, the receiver in to your stero or speakers, and viola, music. And, of course, there's a remote control so you don't have to go running up and down the stairs to skip those tracks you don't like.
And before you worry about having to re-rip your music to some new, mysterious format, this system works with iTunes, Windows Media Player, WinAmp and a number of other exisiting media players. Rockin'. -[Star C. Foster]
iJoy Massage Chair
Wow, they really will slap a lowercase "i" and a set of speakers on anything these days...even furniture. Case in point: the iJoy ZipConnect Robotic Massage Chair. For just shy of a grand, you too can own a massage chair with a built-in speakers and sub-woofer.
Despite the nominal "i", the iJoy can accomodate any audio source "with a headphone jack," however, for an extra ten dollars, you can add on a Zipconnect charger/player for your iPod or Shuffle.
Best I can tell, the massage function is meant to benefit the human who parks their posterior in the seat and not to the MP3 player...but with the way iPod accessories seem to be catering more to machine than man these days, one can never be too sure. - [Star C. Foster]
Kapo Super Monkie Radio
I find very little practical use for an huggable FM radio housed in a giant pink monkey head....but now that I've seen the Kapo Super Monkey Radio I'm having a hard-time picturing my life without one. I want to hug it and squeeze it and pinch its voluming controlling ears. I want to cuddle it and search for a listenable local radio station by playing with its hair. (I can't help it. I have a thing for monkeys - especially super cute ones.) - [Star C. Foster]
This tech toy will set you back abou $30, and is just too adorable for words. (via Gizmodo)
Frost French Motorola 'Pinktooth' Headset
Yes, you read that right, they really have called this special editon HS801 Bluetooth headset the 'Pinktooth'. Motorola has teamed up with FrostFrench who've created some limited edition skinny scarves to put in the box with the limited editon pink headset. Designed by Sadie Frost and Jemima French - members of that interbreeding (ex)Cool Britannia set that infest Primrose Hill - the scarf and headset gift box is available from The Carphone Warehouse. The skinny scarf - part of the uniform of any self-respecting boho type (eg Sadie's nemesis, Sienna Miller) - is apparently worth £70, while the headset and scarf will set you back just £49.99. Meanwhile, the HS801 will give you up to 90 hours standby and 4 hours talktime. Incidentally, FrostFrench seem to be rather partial to teaming up with tech types for product launches - this isn't their first foray into the gadget world.
tux iPod Stand
Sure, it's an MP3 player - but is it art? Plasticsmith's tux for the iPod (and iPod mini) is an flame-polished acryllic display stand. Available with either a black or white base, and with either an upright or tilted display it will hold you iPod and, er..display it.
After all, any gadget that's accustomed to be carted about town in the lap of luxury certainly deserves something more than being casually tossed onto a computer desk once you've returned home. - [Star C. Foster]
JVC's flash players go on sale
Speaking of flash music players, JVC’s latest digital music players, the XA-MP51 and XA-MP101 will be on sale this week for £99 and £129.99 respectively. The MP51 flash memory-based player offers 512MB, while the MP101 comes with 1GB of storage. They both also feature an integrated FM tuner. They support playback of MP3, WMA and downloaded WMA-DRM files, offer four-line dot matrix backlit displays, and feature voice recording facilities. The models are powered by one AAA battery which will apparently last for 17 hours' playback.
Sony's WALKMAN Bean flash player
Sony's opted to try a bit of novelty value with its latest player. The new flash players are bean-shaped - hence the name - and come in black, white, pink or blue. Capacities are 512MB and 1GB and you'll be able to transfer tracks onto the player using the same Sonic Stage software all the Walkman's use (ie. the one that runs so slowly and causes my laptop to over-heat and die every time I try to use it). There's no cable involved - like the iPod shuffle it has a USB connector built in, which will pop up when you need it. Oh, and they've squeezed on a 1-line Organic LED display, which is nice. Battery life is quoted ambitiously at 50 hours, and they're both set to be in stores from September. No pricing details as yet.
Burberry Gold iPod Case
Everytime I think I've seen the be-all-end-all of iPod carrying cases, someone else comes out with a newer, slightly more ridiculous luxury accessory. This time its Burberry, who has taken their plaid iPod case and done it up in gold leather. Perfect for the preppy Bond villain...and perhaps more than a bit silly for the rest of us. [Star C. Foster]
BeeTune MP3 Player With Infrared
This new MP3 player is scheduled for imminent release in the UK and is currently travelling under the codename, "BeeTune."
I can't say I blame its for adopting an assumed identity - because all though BeeTune's FM radio, voice recorder and variety of colors are all innocuous enough, the fact that it will allow users to share music via infrared technology will likely mean recording industry watchdogs will be stalking it at every turn.
In the UK, the BeeTune will probably set you back between £70 and £120, depending on your preferred storage size (128MB to 1GB). I'm willing to bet the RIAA does its darndest to make sure it never makes it to the US. - [Star C. Foster]
(via Chip Chick )
i-deck speaker dock for your iPod
Boxing up your CDs for under-bed storage will leave you feeling incredibly smug about your sudden clutter-free existence. If you haven't done it already I heartily recommend it. Then all you have to do is hook up your music player to your sound system and you can play drunken DJ when your friends come round far more efficiently. Or, you could go for something like this Monitor Audio i-deck, which (if you've been paying attention) you'll know is about the 4000th one we've posted up here. The i-deck pumps up the volume on your iPod, playing your songs through the speakers, as well as connecting up to your computer so you can keep transfering tracks onto your player. It will fit the iPod mini, Photo and standard iPod and you get a remote control thrown into the package as well. Yours for £249.
iriver's latest necklace MP3 player
Remember the N10 music player from iriver? The tiny little flash player was designed to be worn as a necklace for those days when you wanted to listen to music and accessorise. It was actually a pretty neat little player, which is probably why the company has apparently decided to upgrade it. The N11 looks pretty much identical to the N10 from what I can see, but there's an extra 2 hours on the battery life, bringing it up to 13 hours. There's also an FM radio, support for Ogg Vorbis file formats, tweaked voice recording and that seems to be your lot. Apparently it will be with us in the next couple of months.
MPIO releases world's smallest digital player
We're finding it increasingly difficult to get excited when yet another company claims to have come up with the "world's smallest" whatnot. Sure, smaller is better, but it's not the size that matters but what you do with it that counts (a sentence surely every lady has uttered at some point in her life). The MPIO One has a small 65k colour screen and can play MPEG4, DivX, AVI, and WMV movie formats. It can also play JPEG photo slideshows and OGG, WMA and MP3 audio files. The player weighs a miniscule 35g and measures a just 32 x 55mm. All very nice etc, but hands up anyone that wants to watch a movie on a screen that's only 1 inch big. The players are available now for £119 for the 256MB version, £139 for the 512MB, and £179 for the 1GB version. Also included is software to transcode movies on your PC.
iPod My Baby
Babies are cute. iPods are cute. Babies are fun to dress up. iPods are fun to dress up. Ergo, I can see how dressing up babies like iPods might seem like the next logical step in a never-ending spiral of cuteness. However, I'm here to caution you against it.
Oh, sure, a baby in an ipod My Baby onesie may be the most adorable thing ever...but one must consider the consequences. Think about how your relationship with your parents might differ if in a photo album somewhere there existed baby photos of you dressed as a CD...or (horror of horrors) an 8-track cassette. - [Star C. Foster]
Ball-shaped Music Players
Nothing much to say about these little MB-900 music players, not least because the 128-512MB flash players aren't currently available, but how could I pass up the opportunity to write about such nice balls? Sadly, however, they're not making me think smutty thoughts, but are rather reminding me of balmy evenings spent playing boules in the south of France. Which is a sure sign that I'm getting old. They've got OLED screens on them, an FM tuner and voice recording facility.
BenQ's Flowery Qube Z2 Phone
When I see stuff like these BenQ Qube mobile phones appearing on sale in Taiwan I tend to feel a foot stampy attack coming on. But before I start channelling Veruca Salt, let me first tell you what's got me all petulant. These neat little flowery mobile phones (PTO for more pics) aren't just odd-looking mobiles, they also come with a 1.3-megapixel camera and have been designed to double up as MP3 players,with miniSD storage, 3D sound and an integrated FM radio. Sure, they'd be a nightmare to text on (see over for pic of the back), but that doesn't stop me coveting one.
Mink iPod Case
Kimono Case for your iPod
These Kimono cases apparently express the "Tranquil Harmony" that is the essence of Kyoto, the cultural centre of Japan.' Thankfully, you're not obliged to listen to any of that god-awful Geisha girl caterwauling on your Kimono-covered iPod - there's not a ounce of "Tranquil Harmony" to be found in one of those tunes. The cases are $40 a pop and are made of leather and cotton. And very nice they are too.
Kimono Case (thanks Caz!)
Portable Karaoke Microphone from Panasonic
Good news for rock-star wannabes (like me) who find that the occasional forays to the local karaoke clubs aren't enough: Akhibara News is reporting a new portatable Karaoke microphone from Panasonic. Load the mic's SD card with the MP3s and lyrics for the songs you love best, chuck it in your purse and you'll be able to terrorise...er...treat your friends and family by turning their TV into your own personal karaoke machine at a moment's notice.
Sadly, the Panasonic site is in Japanese, so I have no idea when this will be available stateside. But here's fair warning to my friends and family: either get your vocal chords warmed-up or your earplugs ready, because this is likely to find it's way into my bag. - [Star C. Foster]
MP3 Players for Kids
We all know that TV is the best baby sitter in the world. Can't be arsed to play yet another game of "horsey" with your children (in which you, weeping silently on all fours, adopt the role of horsey)? Put them in front of the TV and they sit, slack jawed, zombie-eyed and silent, staring in wonder at the screen for hours at a time. Now there's a new parenting aid in town in the guise of Bush's idrop music player. Designed specifically for kids, these multi-coloured creations not only come with 128MB of memory and their own sticker sheet, they also come pre-loaded with a bedtime story, saving you the hassle of having to read to them at night. This is great. Soon you won't have to actually see your children for days at a time.
Why in the world you would ever want a pen with a radio built it is not entirely clear, but that's not a question troubling the minds of the Q-Ying Gifts and Toys Company employees - they keep on making those Radio Pens regardless. Plug the headphones into the top of the pen, scan for a station, and get listening to your favourite shows. Since I spent the best part of 20 minutes yesterday trying (and failing) to hand write a short, legible note without my fingers cramping up - and without the aid of spell-checker, I'm not really target audience for this one. But then again, is anyone in the world really crying out for a pen-radio? Answers on a (neatly typed) postcard.
Is it curtains for Rio?
Well that's just typical. I go and have my photo taken with a lovely Rio Carbon Pearl strapped round my neck and a company called SigmaTel (the guys who make the chipset for the iPod shuffle) goes and buys them up, making the future of one of the oldest music player manufacturers look extremely unsettled. It's too soon to start digging a hole, but it may be worth getting the priest robed up for last rites. That's made my rainy day just that little bit more overcast.
Griffin's Many-Coloured iPod Cases
Writing endless iPod accessory stories is an incredibly unfulfilling way to spend your day - there's only so many crap gags about muffs, skins and pouches a person can conceive in a lifetime. Still, I shouldn't moan - after all, writing the stories may be dull, but finding out about new bags and cases is one of my most favourite past-times (even more enjoyable than crocheting - never let it be said that I don't know how to party). Still, though, how much do you really need me to tell you? Griffin Technology's Chameleon cases for the iPod mini are tough polyvinyl skins that come in a variety of bright colours and patterns, cost $14.99 and won't interfere with your usual iPod usage. There, that tells you pretty much all you need to know. Oh, except that you'll be able to buy them here soon.
ipop for your iPod
MobiBLU's tiny MP3 player arrives
Remember that really rather unattractive pic of the woman wearing a music player as an earring? Well, the latest in a long line of "world's smallest" MP3 players has arrived in the UK, going on sale with Advanced MP3 Players . MobiBLU's DAH-1500 cube-shaped model is actually one inch in height and length and weighs a feather-light 18g, nevertheless the maker has still managed to find room for a cracking OLED screen. It will playback MP3 and WMA files, features an FM radio, has a battery life of fifteen hours and is available in six different colours. Techie Diva also has details of some cases for the player, with the likes of Hello Kitty and Snoopy making those teeny players that little bit cuter. Prices are £79.99 for the 256MB, £99.99 for the 512MB and £129.99 for the 1GB model.
iDog iPod Speaker available in UK
Remember the iDog that I nearly peed my pants over a few months back? Well, good news, it will be out in the UK this Autumn. The iDog starts life as a puppy, requiring regular "meals" of music, which you'll have to feed it every hour (already I'm going off it - you need to actually look after the thing?). You can attach it to your music player, PC, Video Game system or stereo and it will play music like a normal speaker. It's also equipped with 8 emotions, ranging from happy to angry, which it can express by moving its ears, rotating its head and flashing its 7-colour face LEDs. If he doesn't like your music, he'll go all grumpy. Plus, it will play stored mysic sequences and melodies - although there's no mention of how much memory its got for this. It's going to cost £29.95 and will be available from October.
iPod Cozy Cuties
The excellently-named Doug Kwong Gordon emailed to let us know about the iPod Cozy Cuties he's been knocking up for his Frosty Cream Clothing company. Made from felt and fleece, the cases cost $17 a pop and have been designed so you can still listen to your music even when the head is Velcroed into place. Obviously, you're not limited to just storing your iPod in there - any similarly shaped player can benefit from the protection of Horatio "the ladies' man", Babs "the plucky one" or Chauncy "the bad boy".
[Edit: having just re-read this, I now suspect (from my in depth knowledge of the Dirty Dancing script - sad but true) that "knocking up" doesn't have quite the same meaning in the US as it does over here. Much hilarity must surely now ensue.
Make your own iPod Covers
Today's shaping up to be a bit of an iPod accessories day. Not my fault (apologies to those of you that really couldn't care less about the white status symbol): it's just that everyone and his uncle seems to be currently beavering away at some form of outer-wear for the player. The Wrappers people have just got in touch to tell me about their latest wheeze: sticking your face on your iPod cover. Basically, you send in the photo or painting (or whatever) over to them and they transform your design into a stitched, durable case. The ARTY cases cost £32, which includes P&P worldwide.
I'd love to show you a pic of the case, but Typepad seems to be having a wobbler right now. And we're back.]
Lacquer iPod mini case
This is a very neat little case from those barking Solid Alliance guys over in Japan (remember the USB Ghost Detector and those Sushi USB memory keys). It's actually reasonably sane by their standards, coming in the shape of a lacquer medicine box that is traditionally hung from a kimono sash. The case is actually made from lacquer too, which apparently means it should get shinier with age and will naturally repel germs. Shame it's only available in Japan at the moment.
Sony Ericsson's Walkman phone on sale
So Sony Ericsson's W800i Walkman phone is all boxed up and ready for sale. It should be on shelf on Friday 12th August, with the Orange Store on Oxford Street staying open till 12 midnight so it can be the first to sell the phone. On a Friday night in town at 12, I'm guessing the only people purchasing mobile phones will be lost drunk people searching in vain for a public lavatory. Still, Sony Ericsson and Orange seem pretty convinced that this is going to be the Harry Potter of the mobile phone world, even if the handset does only have 512MB of storage space. It does have some things going for it, though, including excellent battery life (30 hours) and lots of entertainment facilities. Plus, you can always swap the memory stick for a spare if you get tired of hearing the same songs. Speaking of which, master of recycling music, Jay Kay, will be on hand to perform a special private gig to mark the launch.
Pink Muff Dock for your iPod
While the word muff has provided me with countless opportunities for a good snigger, I'm going to write this story without one smutty joke, just to prove that I really can rise above innuendo and write sensible stories about pink muffs. This little $20 beanbag comes in a selection of colours. The Dock name is a bit of a misnomer since you can't actually use it to connect up to your computer, so it's more of a snazzy stand really. See! I managed that one without a single rude euphemism! For those that felt the story was the worse for it, you can get a full helping of rude mimsy gags on this past effort.
Incase iPod Journals
I swear I'm not deliberately picking out these things, but somehow, after the uber-naff cellphone wallets of last week, I've managed to stumble across the iPod equivalent. These are much cooler, though. The iPod journals from Incase are limited edition leather and suede organisers with a protective pocket for your iPod and headphones, and the usual card and money slots. The case is available from 80s Purple in three colourways, and even comes with its own, um, microfibre case. It's a bit like a Russian Doll, isn't it? Shown is the pinstripe 'suit' design, which costs $75. [Gemma Cartwright]
DLO Mini Fling iPod mini cases
Personally, I'm finding these DLO Mini Fling cases a tiny bit vomitous, but if your heart is set on having a metallic flip case for your iPod mini, you'll probably be thrilled to bits at the very sight of these shiny items.There's a bit of storage in the backside for all your gubbins and a mirror under the flap means you can admire yourself as often as you please. They're $34.99 from Everything iPod.
The Audi-Oh - Vibrator for your iPod
Yes, that's right, someone's created a wearable vibrator that works in harmony with your music player. Strap the silicone butterfly in place, plug it into your favourite music player and get jiggy with the musical beat. It will also work in rhythm with external noises from stereos or club sound systems, so you'll be able to get into the groove and get off on it all at the same time. Ah the joys of modern living! If that's not an example of technology making life better, I don't know what is. Get yours from the excellently-named Grand Opening for $69.95.
Grand Opening (Thanks Samantha!)
Jeans for your iPod
I'm going to go out on a limb here and predict that jeans are going to be the new fashion this year. I know, I know, call me reckless, call me crazy, but I just have a hunch that it's a fashion trend people are going to go for. Not only will we all be wearing this brand new clothing craze, we'll be able to kit our iPods out with a set of denims courtesy of FabriX. And paint splattered ones no less. Honestly, it's so versatile, I really think this denim trend could be here to stay.
Healthy MP3 Player
Stubbornly hanging on to the "if it's too loud, you're too old" mentality, I doubt my volume knob will turn anytime soon; which is why I've turned a curious eye towards this 128mb MP3 player. Apparently, along with playing music, it produces alpha waves that are said to do some mysterious good for the brain. And if I insist on going through life with those headphones all but glued to my head, I might as well try and do something good for the wobbly bits inside. - [Star C. Foster]
[via Ahihabara News]
Frontier Labs Nex3 players
These SD memory card-based Nex3 flash players from Frontier Labs look like cute little items. Kind of throwaway, and maybe a bit "plastic pedometer" or "free with Happy Meals", but I'm drawn to them anyway. I wouldn't go so far as to call them "Lucking Fovely" as they do on the Frontier Labs site (FL - geddit!), because that would be just plain vulgar of me. Bot Nad is more like it.
Woodi MP3 with built in speakers
This WOODI CA-S550 looks very similar to Philips' Shoqbox (above right) which is already out over here. Like that portable player, the Woodi can play MP3s stored on its 256MB-1GB memory, making it just super for picnics and sunbathing (although it looks like we've had our 5 minutes of sunshine over in the UK for this year). Unlike the Shoqbox, which uses a rechargeable battery (that lasts a fair while in my experience), the CA-S550 runs on AA batteries. Personally I prefer rechargable because I only ever seem to have run down AAs in the house, but I know some people vote AA every time. There's no mention of whether this one has a line in so you can plug in your proper MP3 player for a larger selection of tunes, or whether it's got a radio on board, but I'm guessing not. The Shoqbox has both and it also has impressively loud speakers on board... Are you getting the hint that I like my Shoqbox?!
No word on whether this WOODI player will ever leave its native Korea, but you never know.
Soft Calf Music Holder
Close your eyes a moment - and imagine a soft, Italian, suede-lined, calf leather jacket. Mmm...lovely to touch, and terribly stylish. Well, before your imagination takes off down the catwalk with you, I have to tell you, this jacket isn't for you; it's for your iPod.
(Sigh. I suppose it's just as well. It's summer here, and it'd be a pity to let a jacket like that pine away in the back of the closet.)
Available in black, cherry and aquamarine, the Marc Jacobs Collection Soft Calf Music Holder has the ever important square and circle openings to allow you navigate your songlist while leaving your iPod ensconced in its little lap of luxury. -[Star C. Foster]
aigo Zodiac MP3 Players
I'm a Gemini. This means my birthstone is the moonstone; my birth flower, lavender; and my ideal MP3 player colour is mustard. The latter being the designation of the
aigo F850 MP3 player, which is being offered in 12 fashion colours - one for each sign in the Zodiac: lemon yellow (Aries), bright green (Taurus), mustard (Gemini), powder blue (Cancer), red (Leo), Cream (Virgo), lime green (Libra), lilac (Scorpio), Pink (Sagittarius), Orange (Capricorn), canary yellow (Aquarius) and pale blue (Pisces).
In addition to cosmic coordination, the F850 offers MP3, WMA and WAV support; FM radio, 10 hours battery life; a voice recorder and a line-in function, which will let you transfer music from cassette, CD or other archaic sources you might have gathering dust in the closet.
The 512MB aigo F850 is available for £79.99 (inc VAT) and the 1G for only £99.99. No word on whether you're better off ordering the player that matches your star sign - or the one for the sign you're most compatible with. Universal harmony is a tricky thing. - [Star C. Foster]
Paul Frank iPod cases
There's not much to say about these that you can't already glean yourself from the pictures. Julius the Monkey has been joined by two other Paul Frank designs to create this trio of iPod cases. If you can find these creations on the website you're a better man than me.
NHJ C@ndi: Super tiny cusomisable players
These teensy c@ndi players from NHJ are being billed as the smallest players in the world. Whether that's strictly true or not is open to debate, but there's no doubt that they're mighty minute. Available in a selection of colours, you can also customise the casing yourself using the c@ndi sticker paper and some free software. There's also various accessories you can get, including the soft Jelly Bean skin coating and a key chain. They're available in 128, 256, 512MB and 1GB sizes, with prices starting from £29. You don't get a screen, so it works on the same principle as the iPod shuffle, but sadly you only get 5 hours of battery life. Cute though - and great for those of you that like to match everything.
Exspect Stereo Speakerbag
We'll gloss over the fact that this Stereo Speakerbag from Exspect has been given the nickname of "Funbags" due to its titilating shape and push right on with the fact that for less than £40 you can get yourself a portable speaker to plug your music player into, along with space to store your CDs (if you haven't yet embraced the delights of digital music files) and the player as well. Plus, you can inflate the case to create a headrest that you can lie on with music pumping straight to your ears. After all, as Cornershop so rightly pointed out, everyone needs a bosom for a pillow. And Exspect has taken that to its logical conclusion and come up with the perfect sunbathing aid.
Turn your iPod into a portable movie player
Fancy watching movies on your iPod? You'll be needing one of these Nyko Movie Players then. Slide your player into place and you can watch films on the 3.6-inch screen. Not only that, but you can record video straight onto the player from a camera or TV, making this a pretty nifty portable video recorder and player. It's got two stereo speakers on it plus two headphone jacks so you can listen out loud or in private, and if you use your iPod (or iPod mini or photo) to store pics, you'll be able to view them in larger format than the photo can manage. There's loads more detail over at iPod Lounge since they actually got their hands on the prototype. There's no current exact price or release date, but it should be around $199 to $249 and out in October/November time.
The Ignitek iCarrier is a remote-controlled, three-way tower speaker system able to accomodate iPods of all sizes (no word on whether it can contain the iPod's growing ego as well).
I have to say, it does looks fabulously sleek; I appreciate it's simple lines and the fact that it takes up less than a square foot of floor space. Still...everytime I look at it I my primal brain itches. I half-expect a gaggle of bone-weilding monkeys will show up and demand that Thus Spake Zarathustra be played on infinite loop. -[Star C. Foster]
NEVADA ND-01 portable DAB digital radio
It's widely agreed that DAB is the best thing to happen on Planet Radio since Simon Bates left the building. Only problem is, most DAB radios still cost £150 and have to be plugged into the mains. Glory be, then for the Nevada ND-01, the first DAB radio that you can carry around in your pocket - and it costs less than 80 quid.
The ND-01 weighs less than half a tin of beans and comes with high-quality headphones and rechargeable batteries. Best of all, unlike other portable radios it won't keep changing to a different local pirate station every 30 seconds. Its DAB technology means crystal-clear digital sound wherever you are. It also has 12 memory settings for ease of finding your favourite station after a heavy night at the pub. It runs for up to eight hours from its batteries or from the mains, and you can also use normal AA batteries. Get it for £79.95 from John Lewis. [Jane Hoskyn aka Lady Muck]
iriver's answer to the iPod shuffle
iriver's press release for its new T20 series of flash music players makes a big song and dance out of the fact that its memory stick-style flash players come with a screen built in - unlike a certain un-named rival (who could it be?). The players are available in either 512MB or 1GB capacities and support MP3, WMA, ASF and Ogg Vorbis file formats. There's a line in for real time MP3 encoding, a microphone for recording voice notes and an alarm clock. And, of course, there's that screen - a four-line, blue-backlit LCD display.
The USB connector is tucked away under the lid, and you'll get 14 hours of music play back. It weighs more than the iPod shuffle (30g to the shuffle's 22g) and while far squatter, is also chunkier, measuring 58 x 27 x 14mm. You'll get 14 hours of battery life compared to the 12 hours quoted by Apple for the shuffle. The 1GB light gold version is set at £132 while the red 512 MB version will be £99 when they hit the stores in July - so pricier than the shuffles.
The Queen's got an iPod
A slightly less important story than the one with me in appeared in the The Sun today. Apparently, the Queen has gone and got herself a iPod. Obviously, she didn't pop down to Dixons on ladies' night, but instead sent some flunkey along to purchase the player for her. By all accounts it's the silver iPod mini. Presumably it had to be the silver since the more regal gold one's not available anymore. According to Tech Digest, the Queen already has a mobile, which she uses to text her grandchildren. It doesn't matter how many times this story is reported, there's no way I'm going to believe for a second that the queen sends texts and listens to MP3s. 1 smply cnt blieve its tru.
Lipstick Shaped MP3 Player
Little-known fact about the blokes who make gadgets - they think that women will only buy something if it's shaped like a lipstick. Sigh.
The lipstick vibrator was a clever idea, mainly for airport security-related reasons. Also your mum wouldn't have a seizure if she found it in your bag. The world really did need the lipstick-shaped vibrator, and we are grateful. But the world really, really doesn’t need the lipstick-shaped 512MB MP3 player. Not even Ann Widdecombe's mum would be too concerned to find a (gasp!) MP3 player shaped MP3 player in her daughter's handbag.
There is a large and spendthrift proportion of the fairer sex that will buy anything if it's the right shade of pink (like Gemma), and the rather masculine hard-on nature of most MP3 players may not be their thing. So the lipstick MP3 player is sure to have its fans. To say that I'm among them would, however, be a stretch. [Jane Hoskyn]
For those of you not happy with the earmuff-style iMuffs, there's another iPod to phone bluetooth gadget on the market. The d.muse iBlue bridges your iPod photo or 3G/4G iPod and mobile phone so you don't get caught up in a tangle of wires every time your phone rings while you're listening to the new Coldplay album. Plug one of these babies into your iPod and all you need to do is press a button to switch off the music and answer your phone using the earphones as a hands-free kit. When the call ends, the music stars up again. All this for $69.99. [Gemma Cartwright]
Artwhizz HangPhones for your iPod
I have been known to hang my flash music player round my neck using the special earphone-necklace combo the manufacturer thoughtfully provided. I'd feel a bit of a div parading round with it on show though so I always hide it under an item of clothing. Which is why I'm not entirely sure I'd want to take up the HangPhones offer of attaching an iPod or iPod mini round my neck. I'm not sure I could come up with an adequate excuse for the unsightly bulge it would produce under my cardie. Still, if you rather fancy wearing your Apple round your neck, the HangPhones from Artwhizz should do the trick. They're available in black and white and the company also makes some see-through cases that work in conjunction with the earphones.
rock it! iPod Case
For those music-toting occasions that are less-than-formal, you can wrap your iPod in that ironic retro-chic that's all the rage these days. With exterior choices of "casette tape" or "boombox" (both suede-lined), you can have the modern-day technology and still rock-it old school. (Never mind the fact those pesky ear-buds might give you away.)
Dior's "Black Tie" iPod Case
Having been to a fair number of tedious Balls in my youth, I can appreciate the benefits of taking your iPod along with you to drown out the drunken, droning haw-hawing of your Sloaney companions. Luckily, Dior has been thoughtful enough to provide an iPod case suited to the occasion, namely the Black Tie case. This has the dual benefit of passing the necessary dress codes to get you in and retaining your designer credentials among the Carolines and Tarquins in your acquaintance. Sadly, my education was subsidised and I'm not sure Dior offers a bursary on its items. $215 from eLuxury.
Boxing Bag with iPod Holder
This Tanner Krolle special edition boxing bag comes with with an iPod mini holder attached to the shoulder strap. You can whip it off and use it separately should the mood take you, and for once it's something that's actually available in Britain. It'll cost you £694 mind. The Italian leather bag comes in black, dark brown and cream.
iGuy - Daft iPod Case
Let's face it, your iPod is pretty sure of itself: it knows it's cooler than you, and everyone else around it for that matter. So teach it a lesson by dressing it in this get up, turning your oh-so-trendy white monument to minimalism into a goofy iGuy with arms, legs and an added key holding menial task facility. That'll learn it. There's currently a model for the standard sized iPods, but a mini is apparently on its way later in the month. It’s yours for $34.95 from here.
Sony NW-HD5 now on sale in UK
I'm rather partial to Sony's Network Walkman range, so I was very near punching the air with pent up excitement when I heard that the latest in the family, the NW-HD5, has finally gone on sale in the UK. Your best price currently looks like £183.99 from Amazon, which makes the 20GB more than £6 cheaper than its equivalent iPod. It's also smaller than its rivals and and offers an impressive thirty hours of MP3 playback before the battery dies. It's available in silver, black and red.
If you've been holding out on purchasing an MP3 player due to their lack of customizability - prepare to fire-up your earbuds. With it's 5 gig hardrive, USB 2 compatability and 16 hours of playtime, the Creative Zen Neeon is pretty standard on the inside - but outside, it's your party. The Neeon comes in 10 different body colors, offers 7 backscreen color options, and there are 16 different decorative face-sticker styles available; allowing you to play MP3 dress-up all day. - [Star C. Foster]
[via Akihabara News ]
iMuffs - Wireless iPod Headphones
I'm a big fan of ear muffs, so I've spent more than a fair portion of my adult life being sniggered at while grown men shout "Oi! Nice muff!" at me from across the street. The sad thing is, each one truly believes that he's the first one to have ever thought of the gag. But, stoic that I am, I live with the torment through the winter months. Still, even I have to concede that the word "muff" is intrinsically funny, which is why I'm so glad that these iMuffs exist in the world. Bluetooth lets you hook up to your iPod without involving any wires and you can sync it with your mobile to make and take calls as well.
Solar Powered Handbag
Not quite big enough to stuff your laptop into, but there should be room in this handbag for all your other tech gear, including mobile phone, PDA and music player. As to whether there's enough (decent) weather in the UK to actually power anything via the solar panel remains to be seen. But in my experience english sunshine doesn't cut the mustard so this one's strictly from our more sunkissed gadget-loving cousins. They're available for import if anyone fancies buying a job lot.
Archos Gmini XS 100 Coming your way
French company Archos' smallest hard drive music player, the Gmini XS 100 is soon to hit these shores. The official launch date has just been given as "the end of May", which is a bit vague, but these Continentals don't like to rush things. Pricing has been given at £139.99, for which you'll get 3GB of memory, support for MP3, WMA, WAV files and a choice of 4 colours. It'll sync with Windows Media Player 10 and the screen is a blue backlit number instead of the usual colour one.
Update: Your iPod Wrappers
Remember the iPod shuffle Wrappers people were asking for suggestions on designs? Well, they've been as good as their word and produced a couple of Wrappers inspired by vintage chewing gum packs. Like the other designs they're £10 a pop and limited editions. There's also a design inspired by the gadget loving Paris Hilton.
Hip Tunes iPod mini belt
And me being me, I've selected the tackiest item on display in the June issue of CE Lifestyles to post on here. These faux-leather Hip Tunes belts have been designed especially for your iPod or iPod mini, providing a big buckled holster for your player, as well as a back pocket to stuff your earbuds, keys, money or any other detritus into (mine would be full of half used tissues). They're available in a variety of colours and will set you back $29.95.
Ashley over at Tech Digest has managed to get his mitts on the Samsung YH-820 5GB hard drive player for a review. And he's decreed the following: it's got a neat colour screen, stylish light design and decent overall playback of MP3 and WMA files. But the battery life is "rather pathetic". I had a quick go with it yesterday, but I couldn't tell you much about it - we were on a noisy road which isn't the best testing ground. What I can say is that it's a lot smaller than this picture makes it look.
iRiver 6GB H10 Arrives In The UK
There seems to be a theme running through today's post titles. Here's another product that's pitched up in the UK. The 6GB version of the H10 will be here at the end of May for around about £200. Its main feature (aside from the extra Gigabyte of storage) is really the colour screen that displays 262k colours, making it just dandy for viewing your digital pics inspite of its iPod mini-esque proportions.There's also a built-in FM tuner for the day that your own music bores you, and it's compatible with Media Player 10, which I'm personally rather partial to. Other than red, you can go for "midnight blue", "neo silver" and "slate grey". Because really there's not enough slate grey things in the world.
Noreve available in the UK
The people from Please Can I Have One emailed me to say that UK iPod fanciers can also enjoy the benefits of the vastly over-priced Noreve iPod Love cases I featured yesterday. They'll set you back a wacking great £979. My gob is well and truly smacked at that figure. If you too find the concept of paying that much for a case hard to compute, you'll be relieved to hear that Noreve also has a selection of sensibly priced cases that start at just £20, such as these iPod shuffle cases. There are also cases for the full iPod range, the iAudio M3 and X5, the Creative Zen Micro and the iRiver 300 series. Plans for a case for the Sony PSP are also afoot.
Noreve $1,800 Leather iPod Love Case
Want to pay six times more for your iPod case than you did for your iPod? Noreve's iPod Love case is a limited edition leather case (just 20 are being made) with a velvet interior, a white gold heart encrusted with 44 WSI quality diamonds and a 25 day wait (while they put one together specially for you). Each one is signed and numbered by S. Schaming of Saint-Tropez Schaming Jewellery (who? should I know this?). They're also available in black, white, grey, beige, baby blue, ocean blue, or red. There's a word to describe cases like these. It starts in V and ends in ulgar.
Archos Gmini XS 100
There's no colour screen on the latest Archos Gmini players so there'll be no photo viewing or video watching or any of that usual Archos business going on. But you will be able to listen to MP3, WMA (DRM) and WAV audio stored on the 3GB hard drive. 3GB's a bit of an unusual capacity, but it'll be cheaper than the ($199) 4GB iPod when it launches in June at $179.95. Available in grey, black, blue and pink.
Why are only 4% of downloads done by women?
The Guardian had a piece in on Friday about why only 4% of legal music downloads are done by women. There seem to be lots of theories as to why women are reluctant to download tracks off the internet (one of them being that the figures are just plain wrong), but it doesn't really come as a huge surprise to me. Finding out about file types, compatibility and downloading the various software pieces is hardly the most thrilling past time, and even I was pretty late to disover the joys of digital music - in spite of the fact that I spend my days surround by endless reams of gadgetry. The piece also muses on whether downloading and digital filing is all a bit too clinical for ladies, who like to get a good grope of their purchases first; it also points out that the actual downloading market is very small still and there's a chance that families are all just using one downloading account. Oh, and we got a nice name-check as well, along with the lovely Popgadget girls. Comments are open if you want to opinionate.
Samsung's latest MP3 Players
Three new Samsung MP3 players have just arrived in the UK. First up is the £249 H-925 (pictured) an Audio/Photo player with 20GB of storage and a high quality 262K colour screen. Next comes the £169 YH-820, a very small 5GB hard disK player to rival the iPod mini. Unlike the mini, however, it's got a colour screen so you can view photos. Finally, there's the YP-T7, a little flash player, again with a colour screen that can display pics. The 512MB version is set to cost £129.99 and the 1GB version will set you back £159.99.
Chewbacca iPod Case: Mk II
Remember that Chewbacca iPod case I wrote such a pithy piece on recently? Well, looks like they have been multiplying after all. Paag Pak also has a furry iPod muff called the Chewbacca - though this Chewie specimen seems to be a tad more albino than the other one. It'll probably look like big white man dreadlocks after the first month of use, but I can't help being drawn to its warm and fuzzy appearance. The Chewbacca Puff will set you back $30 for which you'll also get the respect and admiration of your peers.
iPod Speaker Bags
Remember those iPod Speaker Tote bags? Well, they're back. Good job too - I've been struggling to live a full life without them. Japanese company BrightonNet is responsible for these special white vinyl bags that slots for your iPod and feature integrated speakers. Unfortunately, they're only on sale in Japan but it's only a matter of time till somebody imports them.
iPod shuffle cases
After the Wrappers I put up the other day, another reader got in touch to say she also makes cases for the iPod shuffle. These are slightly different to the Wrappers, with a little matching neckstrap so you can adorn your body and keep your shuffle scratch-free at the same time. Lovely selection of designs and, like the Wrappers, pretty exclusive since only a couple are made in each design. Jocelyn's selling her cases on eBay for $6 a pop. It's nice to see that Shiny readers are keeping the arts and crafts movement alive and well - with a tech twist.
Hello Kitty NHJ V@MP Player
Hello Kitty; she's an adorable, bow-wearing cat who's apparently willing to put her calm, comforting face on just about anything: Bluetooth headsets, memory cards, and even the odd MP3 player . (And apparently no one has signed her to an exclusive deal.) The "Hello Kitty Edition" of the V@mp VP-525D flash player offers 256MB internal memory, an SD card slot, and some plastic color panels for color-coordinating your LCD display with your outfit. (A gal who wears a bow with that much panache would never allow you to make a fashion faux pas.) I don't know what it is about that cat - she may have the most rentable face around, but she's just so cute that her mug plastered on anything does make it more desirable. She's just so darn collectable. [Star C. Foster]
Like many MP3 players on the market these days, the DHH-100-5 from MobiBlu offers file storage and transfer capability (via USB 2.0), an integrated voice recorder, and a hard drive sufficiently large to hold enough music to get us through the day and then some (5GB). What makes this player stand out is the built-in stereo speakers (good for listening to your tunes at home or letting the folks on the bus know you're singing along to something other than the voices in your head); and the SD/MCC slot, which allows users to copy data from other digital devices (such as a camera) onto the DHH-100-5, thereby freeing up the cards for new data - great for those times when your music player is in your pocket, and your extra memory card is buried somewhere at the bottom of your bag (that sort of thing can't only happen to me). The Gadgeteer gals have a very thorough review on their site. [Star C. Foster] [and the award for longest ever sentence on Shiny Shiny goes to: Ms Star C Foster! -ed]
Creative Zen's Nano Plus
Creative Zen's Nano Plus flash player looks like it's going to be pretty run-of-the mill for the personal audio player market: 15 hour playtime, FM tuner, and a storage capacity for either 256MB, 512MB or 1GB worth of your favorite tunes. Where it does stand apart is its availability in 10 colors. If you're looking for fashion vs. features this May, this might be the MP3 player for you. [Star C. Foster]
Oregon's new MP3 player for swimmers
Oregon Scientific has upgraded its waterproof MP-120 music player so that it now comes with 512MB of storage space - four times as much as it used to. It'll be out in June and Ashley over at Tech Digest, who gave the last one a go, tells me that it works well but you need to make sure it's securely attached to your goggles and that the earbuds don't pop out when you're doing your laps. You may recall that Ministry of Sound unveiled a similar waterproof player last week.
Evergreen MP3 Watches
Do you and your partner share everything, all the way down to your MP3 collection - only to find yourself bickering about who gets to wear the MP3 related jewelry? Then Evergreen has just the thing for you: its 256MB MP3 watch now comes in fashion colours for couples; yep - you guessed it - pink or blue. (Let's be honest, no one uses their watch to tell time anymore - we all use our mobiles - so we might as well put watches to good use.) Now instead of arguing over who gets the 10 hours music playback on their wrist - you can tiff over who has to wear the pink one. (After all, pink does not go with every outfit.) Ain't the marriage of technology and romance grand? [Star C. Foster]
Rafe iPod mini metallic case
For those who thought the C. Ronson iPod hoodie was a bit much (everyone, then?), why not dress up your MP3 player with this much nicer Rafe iPod mini metallic case instead? At $75, it's not exactly cheap, but who are we kidding, anyone with an iPod mini is interested in style, not affordability. This little leather number comes in blue, yellow or pink and has an appliqued heart, butterfly and flower in silver. And you could use it for your phone if you've yet to give in to the temptation of Apple.
That is the worst pun I've ever come up with.[Gemma Cartwright]
iPod shuffle wrappers
Keep your iPod shuffle under wraps with one of these smart covers. The Wrappers are hand made, embroidered overcoats for your music player that provide a bit more colour and a bit of protection as well. They're all available as limited editions so you can be sure that there are only about 5 or 10 other covers the same as yours in this world. Apparently, the most complex designs come complete with over 25,000 stitches, and you can have up to 10 different colours in one design.
Their creators emailed to ask whether any Shiny readers would like to suggest some ideas for designs - such as song titles or the face of your favourite revolutionary leader - and they've foolishly agreed to make one of the suggestions. You can email Freddie and Debbie with your creative input here or - and I hesitate to say this - you can post your suggestions to the comments below.
Ministry of Sound Waterproof MP3
The MOSMP016 waterproof player will be just super during these April showers (for which read: perpetual downpours"). It's got 256MB of memory, an FM radio and voice recording so you can record notes for your latest literary masterpiece midway through your 25th lap of the pool. That's what I always do. It comes preloaded with Ministry's latest Chill Out Sessions 2005. How many of those have there been now? All that relaxing music and yet the nation continues to remain on edge. Available from July, price to be announced.
Ladybird shaped MP3 Player
Ooh, this would go nicely with the ladybird USB memory dongle (if only it were still available). Those spots are the control buttons, which is pretty neat, and the head comes off to reveal the USB connector. Shame the features are a bit cack (128 or 256MB, just 256Kbps playback and USB 1.1) but since we'll probably never see the Ladybird (or Ladybug if you will) over here, it's all academic anyway.
Koss Lip Gloss earphones
It's all I can do to stop my hair getting covered in lip gunk when there's even a hint of a breeze, so god knows what sort of state these earbuds would be after a day spent stored next to four pots of goo and a brush that keeps escaping its niche (because they always do). And at $10, you're going to get below par sound quality and lip gloss you could put wallpaper up with.
Even I couldn't get my tongue in my cheek far enough to pull this one off. But if you really must, you can buy this C. Ronson iPod Hoodie in blue or pink for $24 here.
Product Page [Fred Flare]
Sony's latest Walkman
Continuing in a long line of iPod "killers", Sony's latest Walkman - The NW-HD5 - is set for worldwide release in May. The 20GB player is smaller and lighter than the 20GB iPod and has much more battery power, offering thirty hours of MP3 playback. It will be available in black, silver and red and will leave you down £200 (£10 less than its equivalent iPod). All in all a nice little player. For some reason I can't seem to get enthusiastic about it, but I'm guessing that, like the lovely NW-HD3, you have to hold it in your hand to feel the (non-existent) girth before you can get excited.
Read more about it on Tech Digest
DAH-1500 MP3 Player from MobiBlu
I'm intrigued by the advance info on MobiBlu's DAH-1500 MP3 player that is making the rounds; it's got a teeny tiny foot print - (24mm x 24 mm x 24mm!) and yet still promises an FM radio, an OLED display and impressive 20 hours of battery life.
But what, exactly, does one do with an MP3 player that square and small? Toss it in your bag and (if you're as unorganized as I am) it's lost forever?; put it in your pocket and the corners are going to poke at you all day?
I'm afraid I'd have the overwhelming urge to paint numbers on it and use it to play Dungeons and Dragons ("My musical dagger does MP3 damage plus 1!").
I'm just kidding. I wouldn't treat my gear that way.
Know what else I wouldn't do? Hang it from my earlobes. Ouch. [Star C. Foster]
iCub: Speakers for your iPod
If you're one of life's classy ladies with a penchant for stylish gadgetry, this iPod speaker may have tweaked your interest glands. The iCub from Focal is an upmarket iPod speaker offering 400watt power, subwoofer and remote control. It can connect to any MP3, digital audio, CD or DVD audio system - but the iPod bit makes a nice marketing hook. Unfortunately, there's no smart dock built into it though. It'll cost you £450.
DLO Caps for your Shuffle
Love your iPod Shuffle but wish it were a bit less...bland? Now can you break away from the minimalist shuffle crowd with DLO's Cool Caps; colourful replacement USB connector caps and lanyards. Caps and lanyards are all interchangeable, offering for "endless" (Or, by my count, 25) colour combinations. After all, the iPod shuffle is already choosing your play list for you - do you really want it dictating your style as well? [Star C. Foster]
Shave your legs with your iPod
Picture the scene: you're out and about, shaking your super cool backside in time to your super cool iPod when - shock horror! - you notice your pit/leg/bush/beard stubble has got out of control. Never fear! Just plug in PodGear's new PodShave or PodShave Lady (compatible with the iPod and iPod mini) and whirr off any unsightly fuzz. It even collects the clippings in a useful vacuum collector. Available now for £19.99 at iPodWorld
Solar Powered Bag
Think back to all those times when your MP3 player / Phone / PDA has run out of battery with no plug sockets nearby to charge it back up. This $200 solar-powered bag solves the problem. The solar panel on the front charges up in sunlight (or indoors if you've got a couple more hours to spare) and then you have portable power for all your gadgetry needs. What it lacks in style it makes up for in ingenuity, and you easily make back the initial cost after you've used it for about 6 months. Get it from Solar Style.
LG Speaker MP3 Player thing
Take a normal flash MP3 player and a set of speakers, make a burrow for the player that connects it right into the woofer of the speakers and throw some shapes on the
living room dance floor. Neat idea that removes the need for those pesky wires that are the blight of my gadget filled life, but with the players only at 128MB and 512MB currently, they're more useless than a laxative at a curry convention. Also, while I've got my grumpy face on, unless you're stinking rich, this is likely to be a bit of a frivolous purchase when you can just plug your hard drive players, flash players - and anything else you fancy -into your hi-fi.
Art Deco iPod Shuffle dock
First it was the Nokia Art Deco phones and now the iPod is having a 1920s redesign with the help of the DecoDock. The retro white columns illuminate when the iPod Shuffle is plugged in, connecting the player to your computer (just like any normal USB docking station). It’ll be available in the US shortly for both Mac and PC owners at the pretty reasonable price of $28.
PodBrix Briwear 1000 t-shirt
Neat idea: stick a magnet on a t-shirt that can hold an iPod Shuffle, add one of your cute legomen figures and offer it to the public. And it looks like the public has gone mad for the tops - PodBrix has sold out of the first batch already. I was going to suggest that they come up with something a bit more fitted for the female market, but then I actually pictured it and realised where the Shuffle would end up, and suddently it doesn't seem like such a neat idea after all. I think maybe I'll be sticking to a neck strap. But I've written this now, so I'm going to post it up regardless.
Piel Frama Ostrich Leather Case for iPod mini
Did we wake up in some parallel universe today? First we hear that Colleen McLoughlin's going to be on the cover of Vogue. Then the Piel Frama ostrich leather iPod case lands on our desk. Blink hard, shake head… yep, it's still there. Now, whether you think your iPod mini needs a £50 case made out of ostrich leather probably depends on whether you're the kind of girl who regards a £200 handbag as a necessity. If you do, act fast: these things are proving very popular. Colleen herself would surely love the top-grade leather craftsmanship, rotatable belt clip, soft leather lining and credit card slots – not to mention the cut-out sections for unhindered access to those all-important controls and connection ports. Of course, if you're the kind of girl who regards a £200 handbag as a waste of good beer money (80 pints!), then you will know that an ostrich leather iPod pouch is a very silly thing indeed. Apart from anything else, if you have an iPod, you want to show it off. Not hide its lovely shininess inside something that looks like one of those £1 manicure sets you get from Auntie Sue every Christmas. Still, it's your money… [Lady Muck]
Sony's pendant player
For fear of turning into Shiny Sony I'll just quickly tell you about this other Network Walkman launch. This time the NW-E100 range (256MB NW-E103 512MB NW-E105 and the 1GB NW-E107) are pendant style players for hanging round your neck. They come in six different colours and should give 70 hours' playback from just one AAA battery. Out in April.
Sony's answer to the iPod Shuffle
Sony's got all carried away and announced 4 new Network Walkmans all with the usual array of unmemorable number and letter combo names (when are manufacturers going to start calling their gadgets things like Glenda and Cedric? Maybe then I wouldn't let myself down when having my gadget credentials tested by the boys). The NW-E505 and NW-E507 Network Walkmans come with 512MB and 1GB of memory (respectively) and there are also the 512MB NW-E405 and the 1GB NW-E407. All four players support MP3s (as well as ATRAC3, ATRAC3plus, WMA, and WAV). The 500s have FM radio while the 400s (pictured) don't, but that's about the only difference really. All three have a neat quick charge feature which lets you gain three hours' of battery life for just 3 minutes spent plugged into your computer's USB port. They'll be here in April.
iRacer MP3: Looks a bit like a car
MPeye has pushed the boat out a bit with this MP3 Player, designing it to resemble a flashy little sports car. Sort of. The screen protector slides away to reveal a blue lit screen. Two built in speakers provide a bit of stereo sound and the FM radio means you can listen to the Archers once the MP3s have run out. The inclusion of an LED flash-light is a neat little idea as well. We're not entirely sure how much memory the iRacer 1000 has - the site's all in Korean you see.
iPod Shuffle Speakers
Want to listen to your iPod on the move? Well, now you can using... No hang on a minute. Let's start again. Want to listen to your iPod on the move OUT LOUD? Well now you can using PodGear's PocketParty speakers for hard disk iPods and the PocketParty Shuffle speakers for the little flash player. Alternatively, there's the larger and less portable Shuffle Station, which runs from the mains or from 4xAAA batteries, charging the iPod Shuffle at the same time. The normal Pocket Party is £25 and available now; PocketParty Shuffle is also £25 and will be out late April; and the Shuffle Station is £35, available mid March 2005.
Time, gentlemen, please
In days of yore, no self-respecting man would be seen at the private members' club without an antique pocket-watch. So it must come as a relief to today's aspiring gentry that they can now combine this sartorial staple with cutting-edge technology, courtesy of Samsung's Yepp YP-W3, a watch/digital music player combo. The YP-W3 is a real beauty --- all smooth lines and brushed-metal, with subtle diamante flecks around the face. The flash player offers 1GB of storage, keeps on ticking for 13 hours on a single charge, and supports a whole host of music types, including the excellent open-source Ogg Vorbis format. The display flits seamlessly between an analogue-effect, turquoise-backed watch face and a digitised menu screen, and it certainly has all the feel and styling of a traditional pocket-watch. Apparently, there are plans afoot for a bling-tastic, gold-plated version. The perfect way to accessorise a smoking jacket, a fine scotch, and a well-groomed 'tache (until waxing day, that is). Hopefully we'll see it over here eventually. [Claudine Beaumont]
Chewbacca iPod Case
When still quite sane, my grandmother harvested the moulting hair from her two Pekenese yipyap doglets and had it knitted into a dress for my sister to wear. It was all she could do to keep from vomiting when forced to try it on for size. This $16.50 Chewie Pod Pouch is a similar prospect, but people will think you're kooky if you wear it our in public - not sick in the head. Having said that, I wouldn't be surprised if it smells of wet dog when damp. Also, best not to take it out in the rain in case it multiplies..
If you like to have a musical accompaniment for everything you do in life, this waterproof overcoat for your iPod should appeal. Made by a company called, fittingly, H2O Audio, this SV imini Waterproof iPod mini case should protect your music player down to 3m (10ft). It's available on pre-order for $149.95 (out 25th March). This seems fairly pricey to us, but waterproof cases usually are, and you get a waterproof headset with silicone earplugs included in the pack. Neoprene armbands to attach it to your muscular and shapely swimmer's arms can be bought seperately.
Sony Ericsson's Walkman Mobile
Sony Ericsson got us all excited the other week by promising the imminent arrival of its first Walkman mobile phone. And here it is. Not the most beautious mobile we've ever seen, but it's far from shabby. The orange edges are branded by Sony's Walkman logo and you can store around 150 tracks on the memory card that comes included (512MB as standard, but you can bump this up to 2GB if you're so inclined). You can listen to music on a lot of mobiles already, but this one's neat feature is that you can play songs even if the phone is off. Other top notch features include: a highly impressive 2-megapixel camera and flashlight, high res (262K) screen, Bluetooth and up to 30 hours' of music playback.
iPod Shuffle Accessories
XtremeMac is a company whose sole raison d'etre is the Apple iPod, creating endless add-ons and gizmos to accompany everyone's favourite music player. There are all sorts of products on offer, including a headphone line splitter so you and your best friend can stay joined at the ear at all times; the AirPlay for picking up radio; and a selection of various covers, skins and shields to provide a bit of colourful protection. A five-pack of these silicone rubber Bumperz will set you back $19.95.
JVC's earphone Pick n' Mix
These Gumy earphones from JVC aren't the most top spec things on offer, but they certainly look nice and bright and that's good enough for us. The soft to touch earbuds will be on point of sale pick n' mix style displays in shops so that people pick up a pair on a whim - just like sweeties... only these are Gumy Ears not Gummy Bears (see what we did there?!). They cost around £6. We've got a pair and they do the job nicely. Also on show were the HA-E63 headphones which will set you back a few quid more.
Hello Kitty iPod mini
I've said it before, I'll say it again, these teddy iPod mini holder things are just plain wrong. They creep me out and they should be stopped. The fact that they've been plastered with the name of Hello Kitty doesn't make the blind bears any less menacing. Ok, so if you buy the kit you get a 6GB pink iPod mini with a Hello Kitty face on the back of it (click for extra pic) along with all sorts of other HK and Be@rBrick accessories, but don't let that sway you. It's evil and it wants to take over your house. Buy a HK transfer instead and stick that on the back of your plain old iPod mini. It'll be a darn sight cheaper and you'll be able to sleep safe at night without the eyeless bear stares.
iPod Mini: more memory, lower prices
Good news for those who want to get an iPod Mini but don't want to have to spend £180 on a fashion statement. Apple has dropped the price of the 4GB player by £40 to a more reasonable £139 and introduced a new step-up model with 6GB of memory for £169. Both second-generation models come with increased battery life of up to 18 hours, USB charging and four different colours to choose from (*bling* is apparently well and truly over - the gold one's been given the boot).
Apple debuts new iPod Photo
The 30 Gig model is also a little slimmer than previous iPod Photos players, although other than that tweak the only real story appears to be the price of the players which brings them a step closer to rival non colour screen jukeboxes.
Both models hold up to 25,000 digital photos and feature the ability to import photos from your digital camera via the new iPod Camera Connector for instant viewing and slide show playback on iPod photo.
Apple has also introduced a new accessory in the iPod Camera Connector. It enables users to connect their digital camera to iPod photo and import their photos into the iPod. It will be available in late March for £19.
Customise your iPod Shuffle
You'll be delighted to learn that you can now get skins for your iPod Shuffle same as you can all the others. ShuffleArt is offering the vinyl stickers for sale, which means you just need to lay the designs over your Shuffle's casing for immediate - and removable - customisation. The skins cost $12 on pre-order now. There's only a limited selection, unfortunately, but hopefully there should be more along soon. These ones all look a bit too graphic design for our tastes.
Metal iPod Shuffle Case
How's about this shiny case for your iPod Shuffle then? iPod Lounge member, Helix, knocked one up in his workshop and made such a nice job of it that he's now offering them for sale to the general public. It sounds like they're going to be in short supply, so if you want one of his aluminium cases, you'll need to email him to get on the waiting list. No pricing details or anything like that, so keep checking the iPod Lounge site for more details. Also, check out Eris's site for pics of a metal case for normal iPods that looks more like full body armour - you'd need a truck to carry that about with you.
Never leave your phone in the loo again
Proporta, sellers of fine quality PDA and phone cases, emailed us to tell us all about the Freedom Keepsafe that's just gone on sale. Stick the smaller device to your phone/music player/laptop/gadget/small child, and keep the larger one on you at all times. If you or the gadget go further than 6 metres away from each other all hell breaks loose - by which we mean, your gizmo will start beeping (we admit we're given to hyperbole). Great for forgetful people, useful for security reasons, ideal if you have children that like to mindlessly wander. Yours for £19.95. (By the way, we promise we're not going to start making a habit of putting up these blurry images).
Nike Philips non-jogging jogging music player
Please do not adjust your monitor: that picture really is out of focus. Don't blame us, blame Shiny Media's Ashley Norris - he's the one who took the photo. Presumably whilst half cut. We're naming and shaming. Still, we wouldn't put it up if we didn't think you'd like to know about it. This Nike-Philips sports music player is a hard drive player (as per iPod and all those other jukeboxes) that won't hop or skip as you jump about. Unlike other hard drive players, the PSA610 doesn't keep spinning while you're listening to music so it won't jog when you're out on a run. This one comes with 3GB of memory and will sell for £180 when it arrives next summer. Bit unkind of Philips to tell us all about it if it's not going to be here for a year, but never mind.
Anyway, if you want to know more, read Ashley's drunken report from Rome here.
We're jumping on the bandwagon!!
Yes, normally we'd be flicking a V to Valentine's Day, but then Panasonic told us about its new red version of the 5-megapixel LUMIX DMC-FX7 digital camera, and we thought: "now there's an easy piece to write on a Friday afternoon! Red gadgets!" You know when American comedy shows do a cheeky bit of budget-saving every few seasons by having their shiny-toothed actors reminiscing about past events so they can just replay old clips? Well, that's what we've done. But with gadgets. You can call it lazy journalism; we prefer to refer to it as "reliving classic moments from Shiny's past". (By the way, more details of Panasonic's new cameras can be found on Tech Digest)
Right, that'll do. It's been fun trawling through the archives. Have a lovely weekend. And if you haven't got a loved one to cuddle, treat yourself to one of these red gadgets instead.
Sony's personal DAB
Sony's latest personal DAB Walkman is its smallest yet and good looking to boot. The XDR-M1 DAB FM Walkman comes with a larger-than-usual four-line backlit LCD display providing station information and the time. One unusual feature is the inclusion of a text storage facility, which lets you record the name of a song to save you forgetting it.As ever, Sony aren't quoting prices, but it shouldn't be much more than £120 we reckon.
Rio Forge 512MB launched
The latest version of the Rio Forge has just arrived in Europe. With an RRP of £129, the Forge now comes with a 512MB capacity. The flash device is Rio's sporty player, with durable strainless steel face plates and protective rubber grips. The SD/MMC memory card slot means that the capacity can be exanded up to 1.5 gigabytes, and there's some nice features such as the FM tuner that also lets you record straight to memory. A Stopwatch and lap timer, along with armband and sport clip earphones, make this a nice little sporting companion.
Hello Kitty MP3 player
After the excitement of the Hello Kitty Clamshell, we're back to HK products that are strictly for the kids. No amount of irony is going to save you from looking like a div carrying this around with you. Having said that, we were nearly persuaded otherwise when we realised that Kitty's various face parts (or "features" as we believe they're sometimes called) double up as the control buttons. We'd always assumed that the designers just got hold of a gadget and slapped the kitschy cat's face on it, but it looks like they've really thought about this one. We're guessing job satisfaction abounds in HK HQ.
iPod Mini Bear Cradle
There's something vaguely creepy about these blind iPod Mini cradle bears. They look like an army of faceless Mickey Mice primed and ready to take over the world. But if you're rather partial to the metallic Mickeys, you'll have to hunt them down on import since they're only available in Japan at the moment.
Yoshida iPod Cases
Japanese company, Yoshida, has launched a range of customised iPod cases. They've done the usual and got a load of celebrity designers and artists in on the act, giving them leave to charge an arm and a leg for one ($228 for this Genevieve Gauckler number).
Colette in Paris is stocking them. We couldn't figure out if they ship to the UK because the overly trendy and loud flash site was impossible to navigate and we had to switch off before we chewed off our own arm in frustration.
Picture the scene: you're baking rock cakes in the kitchen listening to the Archers* when the doorbell goes. It's the milkman! Come for his daily chit chat that helps to relieve the tedious ennui of the day. But he's early and now you'll never know if the drainage problem in the lower field got fixed in time for the Archer family's annual naked pagan dance of the flames**.
Lucky for you, then, that the Genus PR1 DAB radio exists. The radio is one of the first of its kind to let you pause and rewind live radio, holding up to 20 minutes' worth of airtime in its memory for you to spool back through. It's also got a bog-standard FM radio and a CD player. It'll cost you £149 from John Lewis and the like.
*NB for Americans and other non-UK types: The Archers is a radio soap opera about farming life. It's been going since time immemorial and is impossible to listen to, since it's painfully obvious that the actors are standing next to people tapping coconuts together, and rattling yoghurt pots to produce unconvincing sound effects.
**Which is what we like to imagine happens in The Archers.
Porsche DAB Radios
Eton Radios has hooked up with Porsche Design to create its latest two DAB radios. They certainly look different to the usual DAB fare, but whether you like them or not really depends on how much you like big silver circles. For our part, we’re rather partial to them, so the goggle-eyed look is working for us. There are two different versions available - the P1731 for leaving on your sideboard, and the P1732 for carrying to cricket matches, sunbathing sessions and other outdoor events that require radios.
The P1732 is only 2cm deep, while the P1731 comes with two full-range speakers and a powered subwoofer. Recommended manufacturer prices are £99.99 for the P1732 and £149.99 for the P1731 – not cheap, but that’s what happens when you get Porsche Design in on the act. They’ll be out in May 2005.
iPod Shuffle Jewellery
Don't fancy walking round with a big white stick hanging at your throat? Turn your iPod Shuffle into a proper necklace with the help of freshwater pearls, shells and wire. Elizabeth Hitchcock is doing just that, and has come up with this rather elaborate mesh creation. Check out her site for more information in the coming weeks.
Remote Control for your iPod
The perfect gadget for lazy people everywhere: a remote control for your iPod (or iPod mini or Mac). Griffin's AirClick is no use if you've got your iPod docked on one of the many iPod speaker dock sets available, but if it's plugged into a stereo, or those tinny little speakers that connect through the headphone socket, you'll be able to switch tracks and control the settings without moving a muscle. Well, except the muscle in your finger that lets you press the button, but let's not be pedantic. $39.99, available on pre-order now.
iPod Shuffle released
Brits will be waking up tomorrow into a world that has a flash-based iPod music player. Yes, Apple has finally caved in and designed a portable music player that weighs pretty much nothing and won't jump when you go for those jogs you keep telling everyone you're going to start going on. The iPod Shuffle player is unlike all other tiny flash players in that it doesn't come with an LCD preview screen for seeing what's playing and selecting the next track. The idea being that most of us listen to our iPods on Shuffle anyway so why not do the same with a flash player. If you're one of those people who can't bear random (what's a polite way of saying "control freak"?) you can flick the switch to hear your tunes in order. The iPod Shuffle is out now in the US ($99 for the 512MB/120 tracks version; $149 for the 1GB version/240 tracks version) so we'll be expecting it here sometime before Christmas 2007 if the iPod mini farrago was anything to go by.
Update: We were wrong! The UK site is up and it sounds like they're ready to order now and should be shipped to you within 2 weeks. Prices are £69 for 512MB and £99.01 (1p?!) for the 1GB. Read
Click for more pics
Other accessories include a dock that you can leave permanently plugged into your computer, a sports case that you can wear round your neck, and a battery add-on. The price for all the items (including the arm band) is £19.
Cassette deck for your iPod
Griffin’s SmartDeck Intelligent Cassette for the iPod lets you control your iPod using the buttons and knobs on your tape deck. Stick the cassette into the deck, plug in your iPod, and you can use the stereo speakers to play music back. Pause, rewind, fast forward and change the volume using your stereo's controls. Great for those who want to play an iPod through the car tape player. It'll be out later this year for $24.99.
Philips Micro Jukebox
When we heard that the Philips GoGear Hdd084 was designed to be worn round the neck like a pendant, we were expecting something a little more, well, pendant-looking. Philips has stuck with the usual rectangle design style that seems to be almost obligitory for portable jukeboxes these days. It's nice though, and small, measuring less than the credit card you'll be using to pay for it. At 3GB, it's got less storage capacity than the iPod mini, but more than a flash-memory player. In layman's terms there's enough space for around 1500 tracks. RRP in the USA is $179. No UK pricing yet.
Also out is the Philips PS110, a kind of portable digital audio system. It's a strange thing really, resembling a fifties radio. It's got an FM radio and a pair of speakers, but with only 256MB of memory, you're not going to be able to store a huge number of music files on there. Click for a pic.
Rio's latest player
If Rio's new ce2100 looks very similar to its old Rio Carbon, that's probably because it is the same. The player comes with half the amount of memory though - 2.5GB the Carbon's 5GB. As ever with these things, however, it's unlikely to be half the price when it arrives here in the coming months. The company has also got out on a limb and launched a Pearl version of the Carbon so you can now have it in white or black.
Samsung's Flashy new player
The YP-T7 is large for a flash player, but small for a device sporting a colour screen. Available in sizes up to 1GB, Samsung's latest Yepp includes an FM radio and can be used to read e-books. Apparently you can also control it using voice commands. We're guessing this one will be staying over in Korea, but you never know.
Burton Beanie Review
Hats off to the Gadgeteer gals. They've done a *very* rigorous review of the Burton Headphone Beanie. Those interested in buying one will be glad to hear that it gets a full thumbs up, with no "cons" listed and numerous "pros". We were especially relieved to note that: "the chances of the headset being knocked off the wearer while engaged in vigorous outdoor activity is virtually nil." There's a fabulous pic of the reviewer wearing the hat and looking, quite rightly, rather pleased with herself. We want one. But, alas, we haven't found it for sale in the UK yet.
Probably because we never leave the flat and it doesn't seem to be available online.
Cheap alternative to the iPod
We're guessing that some of you out there are a *bit* cheap - we should know, we can smell our own. So if you're not willing to fork out your hard earned shoe/food/drugs/clothes money (delete as applicable) on an iPod, you can always go for this cheaper option instead. The GP-2000 (previously the CoCoPod until Apple got its knickers in a twist), is a 20GB player priced at just £140 (down from £240). It's true to say that it's just on the wrong side of chunky, but we were pretty impressed with it when we had a go. It's also got an SD/MMC card reader so you can transfer photos and whatnot, and an FM radio. It supports MP3, WAV and WMA file formats.
Aigo's Rocket Launch
Aigo may be relatively new to the UK market, but the company is certainly making up for it now, with a new music player announced pretty much every week as far as we can tell. The latest is this rather nice looking F660 is, apparently, a "rocket in your pocket". But before your imagination has a chance to ascend to the top shelf, the press release brings you back to cleaner territory with the information that the F660 is made from the same magnesium alloy casing that missiles and rockets are made from.
As with all Aigo's players, the F660 comes with an FM radio and sizes are 128MB for £79.99 or 256MB for £99.99. The Organic LED screen has a two-colour mirror effect and there's also a voice recorder.
Paul Smith Roberts Radio
Roberts make some of the nicest radios around, and they're even better now that the Revival ones are available with Digital DAB on them. We're not sure about this one from Paul Smith, however. All the ingredients we usually like are there - garish multicolour swirly pattern that looks like a boiled sweet from the seaside and the fantastic Roberts design - but the colours don't really make the best of the classic 50's style and for once in our lives we can honestly say we'd rather have a more demure brown leather or a claret one (see). Also, it may be limited edition and designer, but if you pay £245 for a non-digital radio your brain's as swirly as that pattern.
Singing in the Shower
You are cordially invited to join us dancing naked in the shower this Christmas. We'll be singing like idiots along with Magic FM in a vain attempt to use up the endless supplies of stinky shower gels we receive from distant relatives. The Shower Radio from I Want One of Those will be helping us in this endeavour as will the microphone-shaped sponge that will smell of mildew within a week but will remain in our loving care nevertheless. The radio suckers onto the wall of your shower, while the big twiddle knob lets you turn the volume up and down as you would the temperature on your shower. The Singing in The Shower set will cost you £18.99 - a small price to pay for in-shower entertainment.
Sony's colourful Walkmans
Good news in the world of personal music players. Sony has decided to launch its colourful new range of Network Walkmans over here the in the UK. The NW-HD3 players will support MP3 tracks (previous Sony players didn't) so there's no fiddle-faddling around trying to convert files and, best of all, there's a selection of four colours to choose from. Red, pink, silver and black versions will all be on sale in the next few days/weeks but for some reason the blue one isn't being released here. Shame. (We're never happy see - usually we'd want the pink or red, but now we know we can't have it, the blue one's looking the most appealing.)
Pep up your iPod mini
If you've now realised your foolish mistake in buying the boring old silver iPod mini just like everyone else, you can stick these skins on to regain a little bit of individuality. Adhesive vinyl covers allow you to have a Blue Peter-style sticky back plastic moment and the waterproof covering ads a bit of protection. If you then realise you've made another foolish mistake with the tie-dye cover (or, more accurately, *when* you realise you've made another foolish mistake with the tie-dye cover) you can whip the casing off no worries and spend the rest of your life trying to wipe the glue residue off.
Sony Walkman Leather Case
This smart, leather case from Vaja has been designed especially for your Sony Walkman NW-HD1, with all the holes in the right places so you can keep listening to music with the player protected in its swanky overcoat. Innovacases is selling the case for $54.90 (no UK price quoted - even on the UK site, strangely). If you want it to be even more smart, you can pay extra to customise your case, with a whole load of different colour options to choose from and addtional things like name and logo embossing and a choice of linings.
There's something slightly disconcerting about the name of this radio. The Torso Radio sounds more like something that gets washed up onto the beach after a vicious shark attack than something you stick on your sideboard for your listening pleasure (yes, we've been watching too many films again). Also, unless we've been sadly misled all these years, we're pretty sure that it's anatomically inaccurate.
Other than sniggering jokes about its packet, there's not much to say about the radio. Apparently, it delivers "superb reception and sound reproduction", although we're not entirely sure where that sound eminates from. Its backside maybe?
Yours for £5 from EFX.co.uk
Bling your own Ring
For $95 you can buy pouches of stick-on Swarovski crystals in the colours of your choice from LA-based Bling Ring. Pink crystals are in such demand this summer that there was a worldwide shortage. Lazy Los Angeleans can’t be arsed to use the UHU themselves though. Instead they courier their mobiles (and iPods and laptops) to Bling Ring’s workshop for a VIP bling makeover by the experts.
Pendant music player just got bigger
IRiver's N10 necklace music player has just been bumped up to 1GB over in Korea. The mugger-friendly jewellery MP3 player is already out in the UK, so we're expecting the 1GB version will reach us pretty soon as well. We've had one of the 256MB models in to have a go with and were pleasantly surprised. It's nice looking, small and does a pretty good job of pretending to be a pendant - although you'd have to be into big, bold, chunky jewellery if you wanted wear this out.
The earphones work as the necklace part, but with the thick rubbery wires round your neck you'll look a bit Avril Levigne. IRiver's also supplied a separate neckstrap so you can wear it just as jewellery without listening to music if you fancy. Even if you never wear it round your neck, this is a nice looking little player, and once the 1GB version's here, you'll be able to get a sensible amount of music on it.
Pink Tivoli Radio
Using the tried and tested method of just dying a gadget pink and hoping the ladies go for it, Tivoli has launched a pink version of its PAL Model One radio. Aside from being pink, the radio (which isn't DAB digital unfortunately) is rechargeable, offering 20 hours of music from a single charge apparently. You can also connect it to your CD player etc, and it's got a smart tuning feature that should ensure you automatically get the best reception possible wherever you take it. It'll set you back £129.99 from places like Harrods, Selfridges and John Lewis. Incidentally, we thought the Tivoli was a Rock club for the posh kids in Cheshire.
Tiny Pendant MP3 player... again
This week's award for World's Smallest MP3 Player goes to DISC-O. The 15g device looks more like one of the those flying saucer sweets than a music player. Gadgets.co.uk, the company selling it over in the UK, is hedging its bets by settling for "probably" the world's smallest player, which is sensible since there's bound to be something even smaller just around the corner. The DISC-O is available in 64MB or 128MB capacities with support for both MP3 and WMA files.
Like many other recent players, the DISC-O is designed to be worn round the neck like a piece of jewellery. The 64MB version costs £39.99, while the 128MB variety will set you back £59.99. It's available in Silver/Black, Silver/White and Pink/White colour variations.
Burberry iPod Photo case
We all know that Burberry plaid is strictly for those who consider gym-wear to be appropriate clothing for any occasion. Whatever you delight in calling them - Chavs, Scallies, Pikeys - Burberry knock-offs are part of every weekend football hooligan's uniform. Lucky for them, then, that Burberry is now selling a choice of plaid cases for the iPod Photo. We're not sure if you can get the cheaper version down the market just yet, but it's only a matter of time.
Garfield MP3 Player
The best thing about MP3 players is not the music - oh no - it's the fact that you can stick them anywhere. Including, it appears, up a cat's backside. The Music Buddy Garfield MP3 player is a 128MB flash player surrounded by a layer of soft toy (nice to know they've found a use for the leftover Garfield toys everyone was sticking to their car windows in the 80's). You control the player by giving Garfield's leg a good squeeze, apparently.
24-carat gold music player
We were wrong when we said that you just need to paint something pink and we'd want it: you just need to cover everything in 24-carat gold and we'll want it. This MP-400 Excentrique flash music player from Jens of Sweden has 1GB of memory, costs $1100 and is gloss black and 24-carat gold. Stick diamonds on something and we'll want it even more. We have no taste, us.
U2's Black iPod
Not content with jumping about like fools in the current iPod ads, U2 has collaborated with Apple to produce a black Special Edition iPod. The 20GB iPod is apparently inspired by the design of the band's latest album, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb . Whatever, the bright red scroll wheel seems a tad unnecessary to us - what was wrong with having it all totally black? Plus, the earbuds are white, so it's all a bit of a mish-mash. We haven't actually seen one yet, though, so maybe it's more dazzling in the flesh.
U2 fans will be delighted to hear that the iPod comes with the signatures of the boys laser-engraved onto the back. There's also a free poster of the band and £40 off the band's music on iTunes. It will cost £248.99 (since the normal 20GB version is £219, we're guessing you do have to pay for those free extras after all).
iPod mini cases
Ooh, just noticed that Macattire is also selling these Acme Made iPod mini cases. The Wallets are certainly different from the norm in that they look like something Filofax usually makes. The cases are designed to match the colour of your iPod and there's space for storing earphones and an extra pouch for slipping cards into. The exterior is made from Italian box leather, with a "microsuede" interior.
Robbie Williams: card man of pop
Everyone's favourite chunky pop god, Robbie Williams, has been getting into a bit of technology in between dating older ladies and getting bad tats. His Greatest Hits album is being launched on MMC memory card as well as the usual formats. This means you'll be able to plug the card straight into your (card compatible) mobiles and listen to the Robster merrily punning his way through all his best-selling pop numbers, wherever you may be.
Available exclusively through The Carphone Warehouse, the card is compatible with most high-end Nokias. While most of are more than capable of buying the album and ripping it to memory card as MP3 files, Carphone Warehouse has obviously decided that there's a large enough market of lazy people/technophobes out there to warrant creating the cards. And since we'd put ourselves firmly into the "lazy people" category, we're all for it. Carphone Warehouse is in talks with EMI to bring out more cards from other artists in time for Christmas.
Sony's colourful music players
Sony's updated its hard drive music player over in Japan. The NW-HD1 is already out here, but this new one, the NW-HD2, is worth holding out for if you'd prefer something a little more colourful. The player will be available in blue and pink, as well as plain old silver for the less adventurous. Apart from that, there's no real difference between the HD1 and the HD2, so expect to pay around £269-ish for it when it turns up here next year.
Burton Headphone Beanie
You should be able to find them in the UK in all the usual ski shops. $40.
Griffin Technology's latest addition to its iPod accessories range is this kit that plugs into the top of everyone's favourite music player. The pack consists of a torch plug-in and a laser pointer plug-in. Ideal for those "bring your own iPod" nights down in some trendy Shoreditch pub. Yours for just $19.99.
Gem-encrusted iPod Mini
Bored of the smooth, minimalist lines of your iPod? Why not cover it with plastic beads?! (or whatever these things are). We can't decide if this is just naff, or so naff that it passes naff and comes out the other side as tasteful. Somehow we suspect the former.
Pocket full of Sonys
Same half-faced girl again. This time she’s in more casual wear. That’s because she’s skipping out to the tunes on her Sony VAIO Pocket music player. It’s a 20 or 40GB player (with room for up to 20,000 songs on the 40GB) set to go up against Apple’s all-conquering iPod.
It beats the iPod for battery life (20 hours compared to eight for the iPod) and there’s also a little colour screen for viewing any photos you might have saved onto it.
You’ll be able to get your hands on one in October. We’re not sure of pricing yet, but we reckon it’ll be around £300.
MP3 player with a twist
Memory card readers may not be the most thrilling gadgets in the world, but if you like to get snap happy with your digital camera, they can make life a whole lot easier. So it’s nice to see a company actually taking the trouble to make their card readers look a bit more interesting than the usual boring plastic cubes.
Let’s is a new brand to Europe from a Hong Kong-based company called MateStar. The company’s got a couple of new products on the way, including this SD Card reader. The SD-35 doesn’t just read memory cards, however: it’s also a portable MP3 player, which means you can transfer songs to and from the device as well as use the reader to copy images, music, or whatever you fancy across to your computer. Nothing like a good bit of multi-tasking.
The SD-35 should be available later this month. Prices still to be confirmed.
Pendant music player
Keeping up with the latest fad for music players that also double as “jewellery”, iriver’s N10 27g music player is designed for wearing round the neck. The earphones form the necklace part, while the player acts as the pendant, a mirrored surface making the player look shiny even when it’s switched off.
The N10’s 128MB, 256MB and 512MB capacities keeps it in line with similar flash-based MP3/WMA players out there, while 12 hours of battery life should supply enough power to keep you going.
Prices are currently set at £99 for 128MB, £129 for 256MB and £167 for 512MB. These players are going to have to get much cheaper, though, so that we can all afford to buy new ones when muggers whip them off our necks every time we go out.
Oregon's tiny new music player
Oregon Scientific's name may give off a faint whiff of the classroom, but that hasn't stopped the designers from coming up with this itty bitty MP3 player. The MP100 is a mere slip of a thing, not much bigger than a couple of Munchie chocolates side by side (hey, it was the only thing we could think of, ok?).
There's not loads of room for songs on its 128MB of memory, but there's enough for around 2 hours of MP3 files or 4 hours of WMA files. It costs £80 and is available now.
Plays CDs, that's all
OK, we admit, we're lying. Who would want a jumpy old portable CD player (even if it is a CD-ReWriter as well) when you can have a jumpy new portable hard disk player like the iPod? Even so, these Kenwood CD players from Japan are both cheap (approx £50) and shinily cheerful.
Plus, they appear to have some sort of large button or knob on the front, which is just fine by us.
More Music Pendants
Other companies, like BenQ have already released necklace-style pendant mp3 players, but the Sony AD-EMPZ claims to be the smallest of them all. It weighs less than half an ounce, but has 256mb of storage and offers 8 hours of playback with the rechargeable battery.
Typically enough, neither of them are available in the UK currently.
Pick up Sticks
See, we told you everyone has been launching multi-coloured ranges. Nothing to do with the influence of the iPod Minis, of course. These little Rainbow Stix from the Ministry of Sound are available in pink, blue, silver, gold, and green (hmm, same as the iPod Minis…) and cost around £69.99.
They’re a lot smaller than the iPods, though, with 128MB of internal memory that will store up to 30 tracks. Songs can be downloaded to the Stix via a USB connection from your computer. If you can’t be bothered to do that, though, Ministry of Sound is supplying the MP3 players with its DanceNation 2004 album at no extra cost.
The Rainbow XS Stix aren’t up on the MoS website yet, but will be available to buy soon.
You may recall the punorific piece we wrote a while ago about the Eratech BeatSounds egg-shaped MP3 player.
Well now there's a red version available. The D Cube Collo is currently only available in Japan, but hopefully one of the gadget sites will pick it up over here.
Silver iPod tops the polls
It seems that some people have missed the point of the iPod Mini. Unimpressed that Apple offers the lovely little players in a fabulous array of colours, most people appear to be opting for the boring old silver version.
Amazon has done a survey of all its pre-orders and discovered that the silver is by far the most popular. Not that we’ve got anything against silver, but every gadget under the sun comes in silver – and the iPod Mini is not like every other gadget.
Still, it turns out that pink is the next in line in the popularity stakes, so there’s obviously a fair proportion of sales going to women. We’re tempted to go for gold or green ourselves, just to be different (some might say unpopular, but we never pay attention to those people).
Those results in full:
You can preorder your Mini from Amazon now.
Retro Radios Go Digital
Regular readers may remember the lovely pink 1950’s Roberts Revival R250 radios that we featured a while back. At the time we moaned that they didn’t come with DAB digital functionality. And it seems that the gods of radio heard our prayers, because Roberts has just launched the Revival DAB portable radio.
It’s currently only available in burgundy leather, but there should be new colours coming along later in the year. So now you can indulge your Gaydar and Planet Rock digital station addictions in style.
It will set you back £150. Read all about it here.
Ipod Mini Finally Arrives
Talk about making an entrance. Apple has finally confirmed that the iPod Mini will be on sale in the UK on 24th July.
But there’s a chance that Apple may have arrived a little late for its own party, with some hefty competition from Sony and Philips’ music players. This may explain the price, which is lower than the predicted £200, at £179.
The 4GB iPod Minis will hold up to 1,000 songs and are available in five colours: pink, gold, blue, green and silver.
Sony’s new Walkman
Sony’s planning on giving Apple a run for its money with the launch of its latest Walkman. The NW-HD1 should be in the US in August, arriving in Europe a month later.
The 20GB hard disk drive is smaller than the iPod, but slightly larger than the 4GB iPod Mini. There’s space for up to 13,000 tracks on it, and Sony reckons it will last for 30 hours – more than four times longer than the iPod.
It should cost less than £300.
Read more here
We know a man who mocks his female acquaintances for calling headphones “ear plugs” and cables “wires” (he’s obviously never heard the term “wireless”). Here at Shiny Shiny we would never make such silly technological errors.
These rather fetching over the ear MDR-Q66LW ear plugs from Sony in Japan have retractable wires that wind up into the casing at the touch of a button.
Read more here
Watch and listen
This rather fetching watch from Japan has up to 256MB of space for holding MP3s. The waterproof “Analog MP3 Watch” can be connected to your computer via a plug-in USB lead. Currently only available in Japan.
Another iPod alternative
If you haven’t already set your heart on one of the colourful little iPod Minis you could always go for this Ministry of Sound version. The SI Series Jukebox has 1.5GB of storage space and comes supplied with Ministry of Sound music already loaded.
The Jukebox is available at the end of June from Argos and should cost around £150. This may be cheaper than the iPod Mini, which is set to be about £200, but you get 4GB on that and can take your pick with the colour. Then again, at least you know there won’t be a massive waiting list for this one – even if Argos isn’t quite as appealing as John Lewis.
Although the Samsung Yepp YP-55 might only be one of the smallest MP3 Players in the world (see below for the current smallest), we found ourselves wishing we’d gone to Specsavers when we got our hands on the little blighter. Tech Digest has got a full review.
Apparently, although the sound quality was good, some of the features were harder to use than they could have been. Read the review here.
It seems that barely a week goes by without some gadget manufacturer claiming to have produced the world’s smallest MP3 player. What they seem to lose sight of is that, although we like our gadgets small, we’d rather have an MP3 player that can store a decent number of tunes on it than one that we can lose down the back of the sofa.
The BenQ Joybee 102 is currently the world’s smallest MP3 player (just a few days before, that title belonged to the Samsung Yepp YP-T5). While the 128MB and 256MB devices won’t provide you with a vast number of tunes, they should see you through your daily commute and a visit to the gym. So long as you don’t spend too long in the gym… Hey! Suddenly, we don’t mind so much about the lack of storage space!
No news on a UK launch, but we’d expect to see it here fairly soon.
We’ve promised ourselves that we’re going to write this whole piece without making any awful egg-related puns. Here goes. EraTech, a Korean company, has launched this Mork from Ork-friendly music player. The Beat Sounds EMP-ZII plays MP3s and also displays digital images on its porthole screen.
The tiny size of the player makes it incredibly portable and, thus, totally free range. Memory capacity is a maximum of 512MB.
Although it’s available in Korea now, there’s no word on whether we’ll ever see the little thing over here. We hope to lay our hands on it soon though – judging by these pics, it’s totally egg-cellent. Sorry, we cracked. Gah! Now we can’t stop! It’s a living shell; it’s beyond a yolk; we’re utterly beaten.
For more info cluck here.
Sony's 'iPod' Reviewed
The Guardian has one of the first reviews of Sony's iPod rival. The VGF-AP1 should be arriving in the UK in Autumn, although pricing has yet to be confirmed. First impressions seem to be that the VGF-AP1 is an impressive gadget, offering great battery life and some nice features. But it may just be a bit too big to topple the dominance of the iPod.
Read the review here
DAB of Colour
Call us predictable, but the fact is if it’s pink and it’s a gadget, it’s going on Shiny Shiny. This Intempto KT-01 portable DAB digital radio is no exception. Inside the powder pink casing is a dual band DAB and FM radio, an alarm clock and …err, that’s about it actually. But it’s pink! What’s not to like. Also available in grey and wood for those who don’t like pink…
More info here
Although you may have to wait a while for your iPod Mini, you could always start buying your accessories now to keep yourself occupied. We suspect these fluffy Mini SportSuit Safari cases are from some surplus pile of glasses cases somewhere, but that doesn’t mean we think any less of them.
Available to buy here
Very expensive MD player
If you’ve got more money than you know what to do with, you could always fritter away a few pounds on this new MiniDisc player from Sony. The 017 is part of Sony’s ultra-expensive Qualia range and will set you back a cool £1200.
The player is covered in a substance called palladium (apparently nothing to do with the Royal Variety Performance), which is very tricky to use. Rather begs the question: why use it then?
If you’re still feeling flush after forking out for the MD player, you can buy the matching headphones for £1700. Impossibly trendy and unnavigable website here
If you feel the need to justify all your purchases, you could always tell yourself that this Flash MP3 player will save you space in your handbag. Not only does the MP-130 play MP3s (with up to 512MB of space available which is around ten hours of music) and FM radio, the display will also transform into a mirror, so you don’t have to carry a separate one with you!
…well, it’s not available in the UK yet, so you should have plenty of time to come up with a better excuse to buy it.
More info here
Last week Gizmodo had a story about a Pooh Bear MP3 player (with the player presumably stuffed up his Pooh Hole), which comes with a maximum 128MB of space and 8-hour playback time.
Now, however, there’s a new toy in town in the form of this blue teddy bear. The bear can apparently hold a maximum of 256MB of MP3s or WMA files, although since no one has any idea of where you can buy these things from, it may be a while before we can find out the full specs. Until then, you’ll just have to grin and bear it. (Ho ho).
Read more here
iPod speaker bag
Let the world know your music player of choice is the iPod, and inflict your musical tastes on the unsuspecting as well, with the $144.95 Groove Bag Tote Speaker Purse.
A bit too casual for you? Not to worry, the pleather/cotton bag also comes in the "Triplet" style which has built-in handles on the body and is suggested for nights on the town when you're in your "elegant evening wear". Click here for more.
It looks like the speakers operate off the iPod's relatively scanty battery, so it's unlikely the party can go on all night but that will probably be just fine with all your friends. We figure a little bit of portable DJing will go a long way.
The Felicidade iPod accessories can be purchased at ioCombo
Aiwa in colour
Lots of funky-looking audio accessories will apparently soon be jetting in Japan.
The Aiwa HP-SC21 headphones are ultra lightweight (just 11g) and feature the flexible Aiwa clip "Swoops" which fall comfortably over the ear. The silver headphones will be available soon in the US and hopefully the candy-colored models, just announced in Japan, will follow.
The SC-DP300 portable folding speakers look more like powder compacts and are just as purse-sized. They collapse down to less than an inch (22mm), weigh just 200g, and don't require batteries. Available now in Japan, the rest of the world will have to wait.
For Aiwa accessories in Japan click here
Gucci case for the iPod
We don’t want to brag (as they are about as rare in the UK as Victoria Beckham smiles) but we actually own one of those Apple iPod mini music players in pink which we scored via Ebay about a month ago.
So we have no need of this Gucci case for the original iPod which has just gone on sale via the fashion house’s website for $195.
Spotted by the eagle-eyed team at Gizmodo
Cowon iAudio M3
If you want an MP3 hard drive player that can carry a decent number of tracks, but don’t want to pay iPod prices (or just fancy something a bit different from the crowd), the Cowon iAudio M3 has finally reached these shores and will be available from Monday 19th April.
The iAudio is smaller and lighter than the iPod and costs less, at £280 for 20 Gigabytes (space for about 5000 tunes). It’s also got an FM radio.
Sing like an M-Bird
We’d like to say that we’ve never done Karaoke here at Shiny Shiny. We’d like to, but unfortunately, we’d be lying. Who knows what strange things happen in our synapses after a few too many glasses of Ouzo Collapso, but we suddenly find ourselves convinced that we are Whitney Houston (pre Bobby Brown).
So when we saw this new music player, called the M-Bird, we went cold all over. As well as being an iPod-like MP3 player (although, with just 512MB of memory - or enough for about ten hours of tunes - considerably less storage space than an iPod Mini), the M-Bird is also a handheld Karaoke machine, displaying the song lyrics on screen. Thankfully, it’s only just been released in Korea, so the world won’t be subjected to our drunken caterwauling for a while yet.
iPod mini misery for UK
Really bad news I am afraid. The Apple iPod mini, which is not only the coolest music player on sale but is also available in pink, isn’t coming to the UK now until July.
Apparently demand for the player, which also comes in gold, green, blue and rather tacky silver, has exceeded supply in the US. So the UK and the rest of the world will have to wait a few more months for mini to arrive here.
The £200 players not only look gorgeous. They can store around a thousand songs and work with both PCs and Macs.
One of Shiny’s writers has managed to nab one in an auction on Ebay, so we’ll have a full review in a couple of days.
More info from here
World's smallest MP3 player
We’d show you the MP3 player, but the battery got in the way! Yes Samsung has announced it is to deliver the world’s smallest MP3 player, which it claims is only slightly larger than an AA battery.
The YP-T5 which was announced last week in Korea, is 5.4cm tall, weighs 24 grams and is available in three storage capacities, (128, 256 and 512MB).
It has the option of recording external sources, like a CD player, direct to MP3 on the player and can also moonlight as a voice recorder.
In spite of its size Samsung has managed to cram a small LED screen into the player that offers traditional MP3 player style information such as track ID. There's no news yet on a UK launch.
Music for the gym
As well know those hours in the gym are an essential part of every girls’ life, but we’d by lying if we said that pounding away on the running machine was anything but deadly boring.
So we kind of like the idea of the Dual Sports MP3 player available from MP3 Plus. It can hold about four hours of tunes and there’s also no moving parts so you jog and it doesn’t. It also comes with a built-in heart rate monitor. The deal being when you get back to your home using the accompanying software you can check out information such as average heart beat and how many calories have been burnt during exercise can be viewed in chart form.
It comes with a strap for attaching the player to your home and a further device for strapping the heart monitor to your chest. Also on board is an FM tuner (and the option of recording radio on to the memory) and an SD (Secure Digital) card slot so you can add more memory/tunes.
We tested it to discover the impact of Britney's Toxic on our ticker and the results weren’t good.
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