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If you're not a fan of hiding your iPod inside a protective case, but you're still looking for a way to protect its shiny surfaces, iBumps are an interesting alternative. Put simply, iBumps are rubber pads you put on the back and, if desired, front of your iPod (or other shiny gadget) so that when you set the player down on a flat surface, it rests on the iBumps rather than its own body. The "stickiness" of the iBumps also keeps your iPod from sliding around. Together, these two features help protect your iPod's body from the types of scratches and scrapes that result, for example, when the player slides around on a desk.
Each 12-pack of iBumps contains six clear "ultra-stick" pads, designed for use on the back of your player, and six smaller pads -- in black, white, or clear -- for the front. Both sizes are quite small; just a few millimeters in diameter. They're also quite thin, which helps prevent them from catching on other objects and being pulled off. To apply iBumps, you use the included moist towelette to clean the target surface, wait until the surface dries, and then press the iBumps at the desired locations (presumably one in each corner of your iPod, which leaves two of each size as replacements). The included instructions recommend that you initially apply pressure for at least five seconds; the adhesive will set completely after 12 hours.
In my testing, iBumps stayed on well, even when, well, bumped, but could be removed if desired without leaving much residue behind (and that could be easily cleaned off). On the other hand, it should be pointed out that iBumps offer no protection against anything other than "sliding scratches." They'll be most appealing to someone who doesn't want a case but frequently uses their iPod on a desk, or on the dashboard or console of a car. For this type of iPod owner, iBumps are an inexpensive solution that may be worth a try, although it's tough to recommend them otherwise due to their limited protection.--Dan Frakes
Small pads that help protect an iPod from scratches and keep it from sliding around.