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Strange iPod Accessories 136

abb_road writes "The desire to customize the iPod, when combined with the desire to make a quick buck, can lead to some very strange iPod accessories. While sales of iPods are lower than predicted, the accessory market is still going strong. 'In fact, iPod add-ons have gone, shall we say, fringe. There's a growing list of weird and wacky accessories that range from a leather thong case (it's not what you think) to a dock that doubles as a toilet-tissue holder.'"
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Strange iPod Accessories

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  • Win one... (Score:4, Funny)

    by mark0 ( 750639 ) on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @01:35PM (#15744633)
    "While sales of iPods are lower than predicted" I bet this is because most people believe they'll eventually win one. I don't think I've gone through an entire day in the last two years without seeing a marketing gimmick that promises to give one away...
    • Re:Win one... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by timster ( 32400 ) on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @01:55PM (#15744786)
      More like "submitter is making stuff up".

      In fact, Apple sold 8.5 million iPods in the quarter ending April 1, which of course doesn't include the holiday quarter. This is an increase of 61% over the same quarter in 2005.

      To include the holiday season: for the six months ending on 4/1 they sold 22.5 million, which is an increase of 128% over the same period in 2005.

      True, "predicted" is sort of a weasel word; some people predicted more, and some people predicted less. I'm not aware of a published consensus estimate of iPod unit sales.
      • Re:Win one... (Score:2, Insightful)

        by courtarro ( 786894 )

        True, "predicted" is sort of a weasel word; some people predicted more, and some people predicted less.

        It's the sort of phrase that sounds meaningful but doesn't necessarily contain any substance. It goes along with the Fox News statement "some people say..." that makes the viewer think there are people who hold a certain belief without providing any actual facts to confirm.

        • My favorite is the word "seemingly". I can't even begin to count how many times I've used that word in an essay just in order to cover my ass if I'm wrong.

          "I said SEEMINGLY! Of course I knew it wasn't the case..."
      • Re:Win one... (Score:4, Informative)

        by phookz ( 944746 ) on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @02:41PM (#15745149)

        More like "submitter is using data from TFA".

        According to TFA, Credit Suisse analysts say Apple has shipped 7.75 million device in fiscal Q3, compared with an earlier forecast of 8.25 million.

        Is this accurate? I don't know, but I think it's unfair to claim the submitter is making up the statement when it's clearly there in TFA.

        • by kfg ( 145172 ) *
          I think it's unfair to claim the submitter is making up the statement . . .

          But. . .but, that would imply that market analysts are just making stuff up!

          KFG
        • Re:Win one... (Score:5, Informative)

          by kalidasa ( 577403 ) on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @04:56PM (#15746189) Journal
          According to Apple's own fiscal results report this morning, they shipped 8.11 devices, a significant increase over last year.
          • According to Apple's own fiscal results report this morning, they shipped 8.11 devices, a significant increase over last year. Wow. I hope they sell 10 whole ones next quarter.
          • According to Apple's own fiscal results report this morning, they shipped 8.11 devices, a significant increase over last year.

            I hope I'm not the unlucky sod to open his iPod box and find 1/9th of a device inside!
        • More like "submitter is making stuff up".

          More like "submitter is using data from TFA".


          More like "sumbitter was actually using quotes to denote a, you know, quote."

          P.S. I said this out loud first....
  • by gasmonso ( 929871 ) on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @01:35PM (#15744636) Homepage

    A leather thong? Is this part of the iPod S&M series? Sweet!

    http://religiousfreaks.com/ [religiousfreaks.com]
    • Some might say that using an iPod is masochism enough without all the leather shit ;)

      (note: not me. I like my iPod. Just not putting videos onto it from DVDs, what a pain...)
    • Any chance you could move your signature to the offical signature field so that my Slashdot "hide signatures" preference makes a difference? It's pretty lame self-promotion.
  • I got an idea for the next big iPod accessory! It's called the Aquarium iHopper. It will be able to jump not just your home tank with your goldfish, but also the ones at Sea World filled with ferocious, man-eating sharks!

    Okay, I think I tried too hard with that one... :(
  • by alamandrax ( 692121 ) on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @01:37PM (#15744644) Journal

    Is this really what we're supposed be looking for?

    Next thing you know, you'll be covering cooking eggs on over heated laptop models.

    Oh. Wait.

  • Meanwhile (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MrSquirrel ( 976630 ) on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @01:38PM (#15744653)
    Creative and the other mp3 players get no accessories. This is an overlooked market (last time I checked, Creative holds 5% of the mp3 player market... don't say that's too small, because remember -- that's about the percentage that Apple holds in the computer market) and it makes me sad (then again, maybe I don't want any accessories if manufacturers are going to make a leather thong for my Zen).
    • "This is an overlooked market (last time I checked, Creative holds 5% of the mp3 player market... don't say that's too small, because remember -- that's about the percentage that Apple holds in the computer market)"

      I don't think the percentages have anything to do with it. The accessory manufacturers are going to go after the iPod demographic because those are the types of people most likely to spend more $ on kitchy add-ons, since they (knowingly and sometimes proudly) paid the "Apple premium" for their i
      • by kfg ( 145172 ) * on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @02:08PM (#15744869)
        . . .except the bullet-proof case, *drool*

        Tell me where you are - so I can not go there.

        KFG

      • I don't think the percentages have anything to do with it. The accessory manufacturers are going to go after the iPod demographic because those are the types of people most likely to spend more $ on .


        s/iPod/PC
        s/accessory\ manufacturers/virus\ writures/

        The argument goes one way and not the other???
      • Re:Meanwhile (Score:3, Insightful)

        by nolife ( 233813 )
        The accessory manufacturers are going to go after the iPod demographic because those are the types of people most likely to spend more $ on kitchy add-ons, since they (knowingly and sometimes proudly) paid the "Apple premium" for their iPod

        I completely disagree. Making an accessory for an iPod is a good market decision regardless of the amount of disposable income of those who own one may have. I'm sure people with a car valued at over $100K have a lot of disposable income as well but generating enough in
      • I'm going to guess that most women, based on the ones that I personally know, would buy an iPod over the MP3 player of another manufacturer.

        To add one more data point in support of your conjecture, my wife owns an iPod, I own a Phillips GoGear. I had the GoGear first, but she NEEDED an iPod, because, well, I don't know. So now, we get to store all of our music twice, since my MP3 player requires MP3s (go figure), and her iPod uses Apple's AAC (or whatever) format.
        • Uhm, no...the iPod plays MP3s and you can even use iTunes to rip CDs into MP3 format.
          • As far as I know, you can't convert anything downloaded from iTunes to MP3. But I haven't really looked into it; this is just what my wife tells me. I'd be quite pleased to learn otherwise.
            • From what I've heard, the common way it to burn a CD with the iTunes songs, and then rip that CD back to MP3. I think there are even programs that allows you to do it without burning a CD, but not sure on that, since my MP3 player is just a cheap pen drive that plays MP3s... :)
              • Original CD - very good quality.
                Lossy compression from original CD - quite good quality
                CD burned from the lossy compression of original CD - quite good quality (same).
                Lossy compression of CD burned from the lossy compression of original CD - horrible quality.

                If you're recompressing from one lossy format to another using decompression to audio spectrum and recompression with repeated loss, you totally trash the quality. There are programs that allow conversion without decompressing to audio between some form
    • by kfg ( 145172 ) *
      This is an overlooked market . . .

      Then why are you overlooking it? Get out there and do it.

      Here, I'll start you out. Go to K-Mart and buy two placemats made out of the same stuff as the iSticky Pad, for the same price.

      Cut a couple dozen ZenSticky pads out of them and sell them to your Zen owning friends for 5 bucks each, nearly half what the poor iPod suckers have to pay for one of those things.

      Shhhhhhhh! Don't tell anybody about the placemats.

      Profit!

      KFG
      • He has a better chance profiting selling Zen accessories, than joining you and a thousand other manufacturers already making mee-too Ipod accessories, all alike.
        • You're absolutely right, Sir. I retract my advice that he "Go out there and do it" and instead suggest that he, ummmmmmm, "Go out there and do it."

          Is that better?

          And personally I'm leaning toward SanDisk accessories. I think I'll start with the SDShirtPocket and then move on to the SDPatchCord.

          KFG
          • Really, so your sarcasm-laden "advice" is actually support for niche-market sales?

            I'd like to hire you as a consultant, complete with NDA, I must keep all this good advice to myself and out of the hands of my competitors.
    • Re:Meanwhile (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Golias ( 176380 ) on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @02:13PM (#15744904)
      Writing software for a Mac and/or Linux is a very different proposition from fabricating hardware for a niche music player.

      As expensive as software development is, it doesn't really compare with tooling a factory for making hardware that works with a specific MP3 player, then programming the firmware for said device.

      The iPod has been using pretty much the same dock connector for a couple years now, so if you make a gadget for the iPod dock connector there's damn near 50 Million potential customers out there.

      Creative has clawed it's way to be the biggest of "the rest of them" with the Zen, at least in terms of this year's sales, but I wouldn't be surprised if somebody came out with a statistic that said there were more iRivers out there than Zens. If you are going to go after the "not an iPod" market, your best bet is to make generic gadgets which plug into the headphone jack of any player, and don't rely on the manufacturer-specific features on one niche player.

      The iPod is far from perfect. It needs more RAM, and still lacks gapless playback (a major buzz-kill, IMHO), but between its market dominance and it's dock connector with standardized pin-outs, it's no surprise that it's what most manufacturers are building accessories for.

      If I'm the CEO of "SuperCoolOggAndMP3Players, inc.", I'd be talking to Apple about licensing the iPod dock for my player. It probably would not be a cheap deal, but it would give me a leg up over Creative and all the other also-rans out there, including the upcoming player from Microsoft.
      • ...I wouldn't be surprised if somebody came out with a statistic that said there were more iRivers out there than Zens.

        They'll get my iRiver HP120 when they pry it from my cold, dead hands.

    • Hi, well, the problem is the other players still suck. Period. Ok, if you want a MUSIC PLAYER that can do full HD video on its 2 inch screen, but they just dont sell compared to the iPod. Pick any iPod, any one at all say the original 5GB, firewire, Mac Only, no Music Store iPod. Still sold more than your top of the line Zen and what have you.

      While im on it, why do the other music players look like shit still? Dont they learn "sex sells"?
    • here's some more stuff somewhat related to what you're talking about... I'm visiting NYC for some training and there are iPod ads everywhere. Even the street vendors are now selling iPod accessories (granted, some of the stuff can work with any device with an audio jack, but they all have likenesses of iPods on them). And in the malls at the kiosks where they sell phone accessories they now sell iPod stuff as well. Back home I bought a small folding set of speakers at a local supermarket for $12. Again, it'
  • After reading the article and watching the slideshow, I was confused as to how the gloves were an iPod assessory; it just didn't fit with the other stuff. Any thoughts?
    • They are specially designed to allow you to operate the iPod while wearing the gloves. (Which is otherwise quite difficult, due to the iPod's touch-sensitive design.)

      But I've got to say: a whole article on weird iPod accessories, and these are the best they can do?
    • The touch wheel doesn't work when you're wearing normal gloves, but supposedly it does with the "ipod gloves". It's useful if you're out skiing or something with your ipod.

      In my case, during the winter here, it often gets to -30F overnight, and so when I get in the car to go to work in the morning, it's too cold to not wear gloves, but I can't control some functions of the ipod with gloves. It doesn't bother me enough to go get special gloves for that purpose, but I'm sure there are people who would.
  • How is the wallet "strange"? I also don't think the belt is a bad item either. I could see a hipster chick wearing the belt or having the wallet.
    • Re:Strange? (Score:5, Funny)

      by 93,000 ( 150453 ) on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @01:49PM (#15744732)
      The wallet didn't strike me as strange either. Though upon further thought I now think it's a bad idea, as a theif can now steal everything valuable on your person in one convienent pakage:

      CROOK: Gimme your wallet!
      YOU THINK: Crap, that has my iPod in it!

      -or-

      CROOK: Gimme your iPod!
      YOU THINK: Crap, that has my wallet in it!
      • The wallet didn't strike me as strange either. Though upon further thought I now think it's a bad idea, as a theif can now steal everything valuable on your person in one convienent pakage:

        I had an iWallet (yes, really) for my trusty old 2nd generation iPod. It had an unbreakable belt clip from which it could be detached really easily if you knew how, but not if you didn't. Unfortunately it's way too big for my current 5th generation iPod, and when I sit down, it sometimes spontaneously falls out of the

    • In addition, the iSticky pad thing works pretty well and isn't so strange at all. Seriously- is it that odd to have a pad on your dash that keeps your ipod/phone/radar detector in place???? I didn't think so.
    • I also don't think the belt is a bad item either.

      Yeah, 'cause that's what every guy wants - for people to look at his crotch and say "Wow it's so tiny!"

  • by Linker3000 ( 626634 ) on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @01:43PM (#15744684) Journal
    Woah - notice that the 'Sticky pad' is not just a 'Sticky pad' - it's a 'Sticky pad *XL*'. Once upon a time, it would have been the 'Sticky pad 2000', but after the turn of the millennium, that's old-hat and so now it's gotta be an 'XL' - that will add approximately $15 to the cost of anything. Stand by for the incredibly-similar-looking 'XL Pro' design that will be $5 more.

    Oh, then there's the 'woolly' pouch thingy that's nothing special - but wait - it was 'created' by a 'designer' so that'll add $20 at least.

    Gotta love consumerism!
    • the Sticky Pad works. I have one, now granted I got it on a real mark down from a seller who had overstocked, so it was far cheaper then retail but. Put one of those suckers ont he dash and the iPod (and almost anythign else you put there) STAYS there! it works.
    • I think you're stretching your sarcasm a bit thin there, chuckles.

      The "XL" would appear to be referring to the size of the pad, rather than just a meanless marketing suffix. And I agree that a wooly-bag is less than a necessity, but I fail to see why 'air quotes' are warranted around "created" or "designer". Hand-crafted items are far from unique to the ipod industry.

      Almost all of these items have a practical application to someone... except the toilet paper holder and the thong, of course.

    • Stand by for the incredibly-similar-looking 'XL Pro' design that will be $5 more.

      Followed by the "XL Sport"; which is smaller, with a fin and an extra sticker and costs $7.98 more.

    • 10 years ago it would've been the "Super Sticky Pad" (thanks to Nintendo making "super" a meaningless prefix). Nowadays I think that "Sticky Pad Extreme" would be more likely.
      • Nowadays I think that "Sticky Pad Extreme" would be more likely.

        or the iSticky...or maybe iPad? iStickypad seems a bit long, but I guess that could happen too...
  • by ackthpt ( 218170 ) * on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @01:43PM (#15744687) Homepage Journal

    I'm guessing those who get the Powder Room Player sit down for number one.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Make sure you stop by the University of Bonn's laser tweezing center for an iBrazilian.
  • iPood (Score:1, Redundant)

    by digitaldc ( 879047 ) *
    leather thong case (it's not what you think) to a dock that doubles as a toilet-tissue holder

    Sorry, you must be thinking of accessories for the iPood.
  • by certel ( 849946 )
    I'm definitely getting me one of those toilet roll holders!
  • by fudgefactor7 ( 581449 ) on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @01:58PM (#15744807)
    No iPod is complete without this [extraneo.it]... you know your iPod screams for a goatse.cx skin!
  • Scratchproof screen. Manageble (God forbid user definable) file structure.
  • by Bob of Dole ( 453013 ) on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @01:59PM (#15744817) Journal
    It's not officially weird until there is an iPod vibrator.

    And there should be an iPod vibrator. Japan, get your head in the game!
  • iPod Shoulder Bag (Score:2, Insightful)

    by yderf ( 764618 )
    I could see how the shoulder bag could seem strange, but my friend's wife has one and they use it to take their ipod to the beach, works great.
  • by grapeape ( 137008 ) <mpope7.kc@rr@com> on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @02:01PM (#15744833) Homepage
    How is it that sales are always supposed to increase for a gadget? Doesnt the market eventually reach a point where most of the people that want one, have one? After that the market is mostly maintenance and upgrade? My understanding is thats basically what has the PC market stagnant how is the mp3 player industry any different?
    • Yes, this does happen. That's when the business changes from being a very valuable and covetted business to being a "mature" business. If you want to have a "hot stock", you need a good rate of growth.

      For example, look at Microsoft. They are very profitable, but because they have now reached the status of "mature business", their growth rate isn't as high as it once was. This has caused their stock price to remain very steady for a while now. Back when they were growing their revenues rapidly, the stock pri
  • I found the Tunebuckle [tunebuckle.com] to be an interesting gimmick though it wasn't for sale where they claimed it was and a shop I *did* find selling the item offered the belt for $60. Not really an impulse buy. The gloves were not a bad idea, but with this week's temperatures Winter seems like a forgotten dream. Overall, though, the list seemed like it was simply trying to get linked to digg and slashdot, which it did.

    Maybe I should talk my daughter into knitting a goofy hat to hold an iPod. I can see it now. The click
    • This list is even more insipid than I first thought. They didn't just put together an iPod article for page load whoring, they put it together hastily. I found the "Tunebuckle" (page 7) over at the featured website [mycellworld.com] AND at the price point or $19.95. Oh, sure, you can spend $60 if you want a Tunebuckle [tunebuckle.com], but why do that when you can buy THIS [mycellworld.com] beauty for only $19.95?

      One wonders if they spent any time at all putting the list together. Certainly there are odder iPod Accessories than leather wallets and function
  • by LuminaireX ( 949185 ) on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @02:09PM (#15744880)
    http://www.boingboing.net/2005/11/16/ibuzz_ipod_vi brator.html [boingboing.net] The sorostitutes at Arizona State are going nuts over these.
  • There is a commercial from a company called ISI (I think) that advertises starting your own "iPod Accessories" business. (It sounds like it might be an off-shoot of Invention Submission Corporation.)

    I thought it was a parody commercial when I first heard it.
  • by Elladan ( 17598 ) on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @02:25PM (#15744999)
    That article didn't even come close to talking about the strangest iPod accessories. I mean, come on!

    How about the iBuzz [babeland.com]?

    Now that's a strange iPod accessory.
    • Egads! That is scary stuff. Next they'll be making them for interfacing with Japanese love sims. Lister's groin attachment suddenly doesn't seem so much science fiction.

      I wonder if that judge [breitbart.com] would have gotten in so much trouble if he had used one of these things instead of his pump? Nevermind. I don't want to think about it.
  • That belt is giving me "Captain N" flashbacks.

    When does the hurting stop?
  • weird and wacky accessories that range from a leather thong case (it's not what you think)
    Just looked at it and ... that's exactly what I thought. Why? What did you think when you saw "leather thong case"? ... check that, maybe I just don't need to expose myself to that answer.
    • When I won an iPod Shuffle I hit the web to find ways to use it. One of the "Best 50 accessories" list, had mention of using an Altoids mints tin as a carrying case. I had a tin sitting around, and it fits perfectly with the headphones coiled beside it and the carrying strap even. If you drill a hole in the end of the tin, you can listen to music in the can, while people think something is "curiously wrong with you". [It's a joke based on the marketing slogan, Curiously Strong mints.] I tried it with an iPo
  • Come on now, I've never seen any accessory or gadget that is useful, funny, and can create conversation and jokes like this one...

    Drum roll please.... the.. ICOPULATE !!

    http://www.thinkgeek.com/stuff/41/icopulate.shtml [thinkgeek.com]

    Oh yeah, its bumpy, it's pink, and it's functional!

    Now if someone would just integrate the icopulate and the ibuzz.... oh wait bad gift idea for your girlfriend...you'll wonder why she stops calling...hmmmm :P
  • FTA: ...to a dock that doubles as a toilet-tissue holder.'"
    When asking to borrow a friend's iPod, one must now ask if they have one of these little accessories. If your friend does, in fact, have one in his favorite upstairs bathroom. Do not, I repeat, Do not touch his iPod!
  • iPod Gloves (Score:3, Interesting)

    by philipgar ( 595691 ) <pcg2@[ ]igh.edu ['leh' in gap]> on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @03:43PM (#15745671) Homepage
    While most of the products on that page are ridiculous or overkill, those ipod gloves look tempting. For anyone who lives in really cold enviornments, and uses their ipod they'll know the feeling. When it's below zero outside the thought of taking off gloves to control an iPod is not fun at all. Even the 10 seconds it takes to adjust an iPod is extremely uncomfortable. I actually bought a pair of hunting mittens for the purpose of iPod control (so I could just leave my finger tips exposed when I want to control my iPod. However even this option wasn't very good, as I find mittens to be too bulky to work with, and besides I could barely get them under the handle of my coffee mug with my hands in them. I'm seriously considering these gloves for next winter. Of course that does make me wonder what the effects of subzero temperatures are on an iPod itself. I know from experience that you can't wrap up the headphones outside for fear of snapping them in that weather.

    Phil
    • I would have to agree... How many times did I just set my iPod to repeat mode (the same play list over and over) just so I wouldn't have to deep freeze the flesh on my hands! Some of these ideas are actually good... I personally thought the belt buckled looked cool... but then I'm a geek.
    • I agree with you. I use my ipod when snowboarding and it is a pain to have to take off my gloves all the time. It's probably the major cause of so many gloves lying on the ground below the chair runs.
  • Personally, I think the gloves that let you use the click wheel are pretty cool. The wallet isn't bad either. Anyway, just more examples of the 'long tail' which is a good thing.
  • The "iPod Paper" is not paper at all. It is a rubber grip mat for your dashboard. The author must have interpreted "sticky pad" as iPod post-it notes.
  • What bugs me are the "iPod" devices that aren't just for iPods. (IE, iPod cassete adaptors that work with any portable device.) I think everyone who jumped on the "internet-compatible mouspad" bandwagon is jumping on this one as well.
  • Most fun accessory (Score:2, Interesting)

    by sivartis ( 634876 )
    A couple of the accessories on that list were kinda cool, actually. The wallet for the Nano, the lock, the sticky paper. But they forgot what may be the most amazing accessory: the iBuzz, a vibrator (with attachable rubber spike ring) that pulses to the beat of whatever is playing on the iPod. I kid you not. http://www.ibuzzusa.com/ [ibuzzusa.com]. I've yet to buy my own, but then again, I don't know what good it will do me without owning an actual iPod.
    • ok, I got beat to the insertion of this particular note. :-) I blame slow typing, trying to get the URL to link (I haven't posted that often, and myspace does it automatically), and previewing it twice before I submitted it. Now I know better...
  • I was looking at the weekly ad for Target on Sunday and came across an iPod compatible microwave [shoplocal.com]. I can see the usefulness behind some of the others on the list, but this one left me scratching my head (maybe it is the crappy looking implementation).
  • Thong Wrong (Score:2, Insightful)

    by cpopin ( 671433 )
    How do you access the iPod wheel?
  • I don't really need the toilet paper player, because I make my own music in the bathroom!

    'Specially after eating burritos.
  • ...accessories that range from a leather thong case (it's not what you think)...

    What the hell?? It was exactly what I thought it was...? What was I supposed to think it was?
     
    Am I perverted or is the writer of the article perverted?

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