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March 30th, 2017

Your Daily Download iPod Workout

If you are not a computer genius, the acquisition of another electronic device like the iPod can seem daunting. What do all these buttons mean and do I really have to read that computer jargon user's guide? Plus, the iPod range of products is a whole other dimension. Which of these accessories do you really need? Which really serve a purpose and which are just bling for your pocket gadget?

The large accessories market that has built up around the iPod is sometimes described as the iPod ecosystem. Many companies make accessories that are made to work side by side with your iPod. These include JBL, Bose, Altec, Lansing, and Kensington who make speakers that are designed specifically to work with the iPod, using the iPod's thirty pin dock connector. Other companies make add-ons that allow the iPod to record sound, recharge "on the go", play music over the radio, or be used wirelessly with a remote.

Besides technological peripherals there are also cases. People buy these accessories not only to protect their iPods but also to make fashion statements. Fashionista specialists make these cases. Some are silicone while others are hard plastic. Apple makes some too. Along with the introduction of the nano Apple introduced nano tubes (a pun on nanotubes), a silicone case with no screen, dock connector, or headphone port protection, but a cover over the click wheel and the hold switch.

Accessories for the iPod have been added to the skiing and snowboarding industry. Burton Snowboards have developed a jacket and a backpack with Softouch. This is a panel on a jacket sleeve or on a backpack strap that allows the user to control his song selection from that panel. It makes use of the iPod in the outdoors much more convenient.

The iPod's design is also a part of this ecosystem. Some sites have parts of their sites devoted to iPod concepts, things varying from completely touch screen iPods to iPods that include an integrated mobile phone.

On the market now is a new-wired remote control for the 5th Generation iPod and iPod nano. Named "iPod radio remote", it uses an iPod Shuffle-like interface to control these iPods. It also adds radio-tuning capability, with station details being displayed on the iPod screen. Support for this accessory was added in iPod firmware 1.1. The remote is connected via the iPod dock connector (as the remote port seen on previous iPods is not included on the 5th generation iPod or iPod nano), and includes a shorter pair of apple headphones to reduce clutter.

iPod docked on an iPod Hi-Fi with its speaker grill off and an Apple Remote lying beside it. The iPod Hi Fi is for immediate sale at the price of $349. The iPod Hi-Fi is an amplified loudspeaker system that docks with the iPod. The dimensions of the Hi-Fi are 17" x 6.6" x "6.9". The unit can either be plugged into the wall or run on D cell batteries. The Hi-Fi weighs slightly under 17 pounds. Integrated carrying handles allow for easier transportation of the Hi-Fi. The Hi-Fi utilizes two 80-mm wide-range cones and one 130-mm woofer cone. The Apple Leather Case for iPod is a handmade, Italian leather case, which is serious bling for your iPod. The cases come in three models (30GB, 60GB, and iPod nano). They retail for $99, which has been classified by many as "highly overpriced." Though previously there has been some off-brand merchandise that had iPod docking radio stations that worked the same way as the iPod Hi-Fi.

BMW released the first iPod automobile interface to come from an automotive company. The interface allowed drivers of late-model BMW vehicles to control their iPod through the built-in steering wheel controls and the radio head unit buttons. The iPod attached to a cable harness in the car's glove compartment and allowed the driver to create up to five unique "BMW playlists" that were displayed through the vehicle's radio head unit. Many car dealers will be integrating their car stereos with iPod soon. More than thirty percent of the cars in the United States now include iPod support. Honda will be the first to include speech-to-text capabilities that allow drivers to search for playlists, artist and album names or genre