Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Gifts for Valentine's Day - Five iPod accessories (II)

1. Scosche KickBack

Although plenty of other MP3 players--the Sansas, Zunes, and Zens in particular--have cases made specially for them, no one gets the attention that the iPod does. One of my favorite protective holders is the Scosche KickBack for the iPod Touch. It offers a hard, polycarbonate case that wraps around the majority of the player and a protective film for the screen. The best part, however, is the built-in kickstand for wide-screen video viewing: a must for any frequent flier. Now, if only the company would come out with a version for the second-gen Touch, I'd be set.

2. FitNow Lose It!

No doubt about it, Apps are a major draw for the iPod Touch (and iPhone). It's not the reason I finally caved and snapped up an iPod Touch (the only iPod I can stand), but it was certainly a contributing factor. For a gym rat such as myself, the health and wellness section of the iTunes App Store is a boon, but I don't need new workouts--just a good calorie tracking software. FitNow's Lose It is easy to use and gets the job done. And for my favorite price: free!

3. Pandora 2.0

Since its release in July of 2008, the Pandora Internet radio iPhone app has been one of our favorites and a consistent top download from Apple's iTunes App Store. Pandora's uncluttered and intuitive interface, coupled with its unique knack for song recommendations, makes it an ideal no-fuss app for anyone looking to add streaming music capabilities to their iPhone or iPod Touch. Pandora added many new features to version 2.0 of its iPhone app, but its clean, intuitive Now Playing screen remains unchanged. In version 2.0, Pandora adds several new features without undermining the simplicity that made the original app so great.

4. 2008 Audio A5

OK, so maybe calling a car an iPod accessory is a bit of a stretch, but it provides yet another example of the level of integration offered to the reigning king of MP3 players. Although the 2008 Audio A5 includes connection cables for a variety of audio devices, the car's multimedia systems is clearly optimized to offer a superior browsing experience with the iPod. So, how's about a $40K MP3 player accessory for my next birthday?

5. GelaSkins

Yes, it's a sticker. And maybe that's girly to some, but plenty of others share my enthusiasm for Gelaskins, artistic skins that offer some minimal protection for the iPod while helping it stand out from the crowd. These stickers use 3M technology, meaning they won't leave a nasty, sticky residue on the player, which is great if you get sick of one design and want to move on to the next. Well worth the $15 price tag, in my opinion.

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