TuneView for iPod

TuneView for iPod

For such a pricey iPod accessory, it doesn't look very iPod-esque.


Keyspan's TuneView is an iPod dock and remote control combo that lets you listen to your music on your home entertainment system. Unlike other products of its ilk, this remote has a color LCD that lets you navigate your iPod from your La-Z-Boy. Unfortunately, the remote's dated, inelegant design detracts from the overall package.


The TuneView dock connects to your stereo's RCA connectors (cable included), or you can connect it to a TV and watch iPod video content, but you have to supply your own S-Video cable. Once it's set up, you use the remote's screen to select a playlist, album, artist, genre, song, composer, audiobook, podcast, or video. When a selection is playing, the remote displays the title, artist, album, and length, but it doesn't do album art.


There's no question that the display on the remote is useful; we just wish it was more attractive. The screen font looks dated, reminiscent of pre-Mac OS X days, and the remote itself features a giant bulge on the bottom for the battery compartment, which holds two AA batteries. Also, the remote's buttons are rather stiff, making them somewhat laborious to press.


The button layout is strange as well. There's a four-way navigation pad (shaped like a plus sign) for up, down, forward, and back, and four additional buttons are tucked inside the quadrants. These controls are for volume, play/pause, and menu. The layout takes some getting used to, especially after using the iPod's controls for so long.


The remote did impress us with its Matrix-like ability to beam through walls. Range is fantastic; we were able to control our iPod from a different room across the house - even from another floor. In fact, Keyspan says you should get 75 feet of unhindered control. The TuneView dock charges the iPod while it's playing and can also sync it to your Mac via the included USB cable.


The bottom line. The TuneView provides a great, albeit pricey, way to listen to tunes over your stereo. The functionality's pretty sweet, saving you multiple trips to your iPod. Just make sure you're willing to live with its awkward button layout and chunky shape.


COMPANY: Keyspan
CONTACT: www.keyspan.com
REQUIREMENTS: 4G or 5G iPod, iPod nano, or iPod mini; stereo, powered speakers, or TV; Mac running OS 10.4.8 for updating firmware
Remote-control screen lets you navigate your iPod from afar. Fantastic range.
Retro looks (but not in a good way). Hard-to-press buttons on the remote. Expensive.





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