SciTech

Companies capitalize on iPod industry with accessories

This weekend marked the 30th anniversary of the founding of Apple, a company known for the style and innovation of its products. Among these products is the Apple iPod, which revolutionized the music industry. In just a few short years, the iPod has redefined the portable music experience. Convenient for music lovers, this modern breakthrough in technology has garnered praise for its sleek design, compactness, and efficient song management. As a result of the boom of the iPod industry, many companies have chosen to capitalize on the iPod by providing accessories.

Released in late 2001, the iPod immediately attracted much attention. It exists today in three different models: the standard iPod, the iPod shuffle, and the newest addition, the iPod nano. They share many of the same physical features, and differ mainly in size. The iPod nano, however, differs in its flash memory and a substantially improved screen resolution. Each comes packaged with iTunes software that uses firmware flashing to interact with the device. This remains the only software endorsed by Apple. The most recent generations no longer provide a FireWire cable for connection purposes and instead use the more popular USB 2.0 standard. The amount of available drive space also separates these different types.

The popularity of the iPod opened the door to high sales for many iPod accessories to improve the convenience and comfortability of the iPod. A wide variety of accessories are used for all sorts of purposes, from adding new capabilities to protecting iPods from damage.

An interesting accessory is the recent “shuffle beanie” from Pakatun, designed for the iPod shuffle. This product attempts to resolve the arrangement of cords that has bothered runners and other iPod enthusiasts for quite some time. The beanie provides a convenient pocket to safely secure an iPod shuffle while simultaneously keeping the wearer’s ears warm, and, most importantly, preventing disastrous tangles. Given the versatility of a pocket, rumors have speculated that other iPod models could be smuggled in this hidden compartment. The company touts their product as something revolutionary, and as providing a new type of freedom.

Another unique accessory is the specially designed iPod sock used to protect iPods. These flashy sleeves come in six bright colors. Besides making any ’80s icon jealous, these socks offer adequate cushioning and protection of any version of the iPod.

Also available are the Iconz cases: These use elaborate artwork to decoratre the entire face of an iPod. Some examples of the logos appearing on these cases include Superman, and several baseball teams, and the Simpsons characters,

For those easily inspired by their iPod, the MicroMemo digital voice recorder is the ultimate accessory. MicroMemo is an XtremeMac product. The device utilizes the iPod’s high-fidelity audio capabilities to record 16-bit audio.

The MicroMemo features a microphone with a flexible neck that comes in handy for a variety of recording tasks. It connects via the dock connector at the bottom of the iPod, and includes a built-in speaker for instant headphoneless playback. The device runs on the iPod’s battery.

Other accessories — including leather cases, integrated car components, and custom-designed speakers — exhibit how much of an impact the iPod has made on society, and how many people won’t leave home without one. Though non are entirely necessary, each accessory demonstrates the popularity of the iPod. These unique accessories serve to enhance the iPod experience.