9 iPod Accessories You Might Not Know About

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9 iPod Accessories You Might Not Know About

 

 

The iPod is not only the best-looking and best-selling music player to date but also a springboard from which dozens of accessories have launched and soared. These products turn your iPod from a mere digital music player into multi-functional tool--that happens to play episodes of Family Guy.

 

Some attachments are so useful that it makes you wonder why Apple didn’t think of it first. In fact, some of these accessories can become so integral to your iPod that it can feel naked without them. 

 

 

 

TalkTune Stereo

 

This handy voice recorder is so common that dozens line the shelves of every Apple store—yet every time I whip it out and slap it onto my iPod, I’m literally greeted with ooos and ahs of astonishment. Yes, I’ve turned my iPod into a recorder. You may curtsey.

 

Belkin manages to get some decent sound quality in such a tiny device (although it helps to have the recorder placed near the speaker in crowded rooms), which is perfect for taping conversations, lectures, voice-memos, and promises from a reluctant spouse.

 

Students and secret blackmailers will appreciate the ease of playback: just sync your iPod, and your voice recordings automatically to your iTunes folder. Once there, consider converting your WAV voice recordings to AAC, which takes up less space on your hard drive.

 

I’ve tried a competitor’s recorder, and this one producers a cleaner sound. I carry it in my purse at all times, waiting for the right opportunity to earn some hush-money.

 

 

BluEye

 

You know who you are: you’re the one who can’t answer your cell phone in time because you’re happily engrossed in your favorite podcast. And as you’re fumbling with your earbuds, you wonder why you haven’t succumbed to the iPhone’s charms.

 

(And then you remember the EFF’s class-action suit against AT&T.)

 

Enter BluEye. And as long as you have a Bluetooth-enabled phone, this remarkable widget turns your iPod into a headset. With it, your music pauses when you get an incoming call; when clipped to your shirt, the BluEye picks up your voice on a minute but workable microphone. Now you’re talking.

 

Although I didn’t manage to utilize the best feature--getting BluEye to dial out through my iPod--it’s still a powerhouse of an accessory. Have I mentioned the FM radio yet? Although changing channels was a pain, once I selected the presets, it worked just dandy.

 

It’s only real drawback is that it sucks your battery like a chupacabra.

 

 

iKaraoke

 

Good news, crooners. You no longer have to limit your heartfelt version of Madonna’s “Papa Don’t Preach” to the karaoke bar. Now, thanks to iKaraoke, you can express yourself wherever you can find a stereo or computer with an audio-in line.

 

Griffin’s iKaraoke works as a filter, overlaying the vocal track without manipulating the original recording. Although Griffin recommends using a stereo system, I used the iKaraoke through my old PowerBook; this requires an audio intermediary, so I used FinalVinyl. Be careful. The sound levels are preset, and the only way to adjust the volume is through your Apple preferences.

 

The results are varied. For songs with fancy mixing, the iKaraoke does nothing to mute the audio track; older songs fare better. Still, there’s quite a lot of bang for a relatively small amount of buck.

 

If you like to belt out songs, you can make up your mind and keep your iKaraoke.

 

 

RockStar

 

There are times when you don’t want intruders listening to your music, because without paying for the privilege, that would be like stealing.

 

Enter RockStar, a multi-headphone splitter with one hardwire cable for your iPod. You and four friends can hook up to the RockStar and listen together, which puts you one step closer to having a hive mind. It also works in situations where speakers are impractical, like your high school cafeteria.

 

With an extra 3.5 mm cable (not included), you can plug in a second iPod and use the RockStar as a medium for mashups. You and your friends will enjoy new versions of music that only they can hear. To the groove of this new beat, the hive mind will plot world domination.

 

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