NAB Notebook: The big iPod catalog in the sky

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It takes a scant hour and 10 minutes to fly from San Francisco to Las Vegas. But between boarding, taxiing, waiting to take off, flying, and waiting to get to the gate after landing on my way to the National Association of Broadcaster trade show, I was in my seat for nearly two hours. Even after watching the latest episode of Alias (available at the iTunes Music Store ) on my fifth-generation iPod, that still left me with some time to kill. So I reached in the seat pocket in front of me for the most useful item airlines keep there—no, not the plane’s safety instruction card or air sickness bag, but the SkyMall catalog.

For those who don’t travel much, these airplane catalogs are actually mini-showcases of many different companies’ wares. (You can even order from the plane!) And while everyone certainly needs a $200 Murphy bed for pets, a $300 counterfeit bill detector, a $530, 28-gallon coffee table/aquarium, and a $1,750 replica of King Tut’s throne, what I found most interesting was the array of iPod-related products—some of which that I hadn’t even heard of.

I saw Icuiti’s $549 DV920 googles, which you hook up to a video iPod for watching movies through the glasses as if you were viewing them on a 42-inch screen ($549). The glasses sound—and look—similar to MicroOptical’s Myvu, which debuted at Macworld Expo this past January.

As for speakers, I found Bose’s ubiquitous SoundDock iPod speakers ($300) and Sharper Images’s $200 iTower Speaker System —but how about the iJoy Massage Chair, which features speakers and a subwoofer built into a $1,000 massage chair. Both the iTower and iJoy are part of the ZipConnect line of products, which work with any line input (as well as dock-connected iPods with a $10 iPod module ).

Other products that caught my eye in the SkyMall catalog included Biztrans Technology’s $70 iPod nano speakers and $35 generic portable speakers; mStation’s $299 large Tower speakers and $150 Orb desktop speaker; and Energizer’s $35 ER-i25 extended battery for 4G and 5G iPods.

After the flight, I took the SkyMall catalog with me just to make sure we know about all these products for upcoming Playlist reviews. And who knows? I might need Skymall’s Lineater Kit for keeping my dryer vent free and clear.

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