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Guitar Pro 5

The intuitive interface lets you focus on your music. Guitar Pro is a favorite among guitarists for composing and sharing musical scores, and it has a resource-rich workshop for honing your guitar chops. But until recently, it was only available for that other operating system. Version 5 now runs on the Mac.

The iPlayaz (left) has a more of an urban style, and the Beetle ZipConnect (right) is for peace-lovin' hippie types. You'll run into bumper-to-bumper traffic when you cruise through the iPod speaker market. To pull away from the rest of the pack, the Beetle ZipConnect and Chub City iPlayaz VW Beetle hope to win your business by appealing to enthusiasts who love their Volkswagen Beetles as much as they love their iPods.

Audio Control 1

Have it your way - the big knob and three buttons on top can be extensively customized. The Audio Kontrol 1 from Native Instruments is close to being the perfect hardware and software bundle for musicians or audio geeks who want an easy way to connect a guitar, microphone, and MIDI synthesizer to a Mac.

Cube Travel Speakers

Not your average $20 iPod speakers.  Travel versions of gadgets such as hair dryers and irons often fall short compared to their standard, full-size counterparts. We were happy to discover that this wasn’t the case—at least not overall—with the Cube Travel Speakers from Pacific Rim Technologies.

AudioStation

This iPod speaker stand may be pricey, but it's worth it. By combining cool features with great sound, Logitech's AudioStation is set to compete with the likes of Apple's iPod Hi-Fi and Bose's SoundDock. We found it to be a worthy competitor.

disko

Call colorful attention to your 'Pod's clickwheel.  The disko elicits two distinct reactions: You either think that the LEDs within the polycarbonate case that encircle the iPod clickwheel are cute, or you giggle at them and squeal, "How cheesy!" Give the disko a good tilt to start the light show - the LEDs are motion activated, and there's no connection between their behavior and the rhythm of your music.

Active Sport

You'd better be somewhat beefy. This easy-to-put-on armband fits both generations of the iPod nano (a bigger version that fits all 5G iPods is available for $34.95), and it works with the Nike + iPod Sport Kit - it even includes a handy shoelace pouch for the sensor half of the Kit. With the armband's sewn-in soft-plastic screen protector, your nano won't get scratched; more importantly, you'll be able to see your nano's display, a boon for Sport Kit users. The pocket behind the nano pouch holds a key or some cash.

Vibe

Lookin' good, soundin' good.  iPod earbuds are instantly recognizable - they also instantly tell the observer that you're using an iPod. V-Moda's Vibe e­arphones may not convey such status (which might be a good thing), but they certainly are eye-catching. And they sound as good as they look.

FM8

FM8 finds its roots in the Yamaha DX7 synthesizer. FM (Frequency Modulation) synthesis is the foundation of the incredibly popular Yamaha DX7 synthesizer, which ruled the '80s music charts and is best remembered for the clear, bell-like sounds accompanying any number of corny dance hits. Native Instruments pushed this idea to the limit with FM8 - and while it's not exactly our one-stop, desert-island sound plug-in, this thing has more useful sounds than you can shake from a rain stick.

Leslie Ayers's picture

Yunyu's a girl with a message and a Mac. Yunyu, a 27-year-old Singapore-born resident of Sydney, Australia, looks a lot like the Japanese anime characters she admires. Her long dark hair and big brown eyes give her a girlish but haunted air. You'd never guess that she used to work in IT.