I know it goes against sense to advocate, in a world with a zillion iPod accessories, for more accessories—and yet… watch me now!
The iPod-lovin’ world is still rejoicing over this fall’s release of both the Nilla-wafer -sized iPod nano and the, er, digestive-biscuit -sized video iPod.
Look, I love my video iPod. I’ve loaded it up with Farscape , Futurama , and numerous other TV shows beginning with F… all ripped from my own DVDs. I’ve used TiVoTool to toss some shows from my hacked TiVo onto the pile. I may never read again, but at least I’ll die with a glazed look in my eyes and a reality TV show lodged in my heart.
But still, the release of these hot new iPods has blown a chill wind into my soul. Or at least, knocked me out of my routine and made me a bit grumpy. That’s because both models no longer offer that little nub next to the headphone jack that Apple lovingly called the “remote connector.” And with it died Apple’s excellent wired remote control, along with half a zillion iPod accessories that relied on it.
In the past few months, and much to my surprise, I have discovered that I am not in the mainstream when it comes to Apple’s iPod remote control. It turns out, after several conversations with members of the iPod intelligentsia, that the remote control is seen as pointless and dispensable by many iPod users. It’s as superfluous as a ninja in an ’80s comic book.
I don’t get it. To say that I love the Apple remote does it a disservice; I have integrated the Apple remote into my personal lifestyle. I carry my PowerBook, iPod, and various other items back and forth between work and home in a lovely Brenthaven backpack. The backpack’s got a lovely neoprene pocket for the iPod, keeping it nice and comfy as I walk to and from the bus stop. With the remote attached (and threaded through a conveniently-placed hole in the side of the backpack), I can control my iPod as I walk—volume up and down depending on mood, pause when someone stops to talk to me, and next track to banish songs that displease me to the cornfield.
Okay, so that remote is gone now. Which brings me to the part where I put out a plea to all the iPod accessory developers out there: please, I beg you, come up with a facsimile for the Apple remote that attaches to the iPod’s Dock connector rather than the now-abandoned remote connector.
There are some hopeful signs out there. Griffin’s iFM is a wired remote, but it’s also an FM receiver, and I don’t need that. Griffin’s AirClick is more in the ballpark, but the fact that it’s wireless gives me two fears: first, that I’ll need to keep changing its batteries, and second, that the remote will just fall off my backpack and I’ll lose it forever.
I suspect there’s an AirClick in my future, but let me put in a plea to Griffin and all the other iPod accessory builders out there: replicate the Apple remote, wire and all. There have to be more remote-control addicts out here—it can’t just be me, surely! Apple has hooked us on its remote control, and not even a virgin mary statue can give us relief!
Now, while I’m addressing the amassed iPod accessory universe, I’ve got one more request. Last week I took a couple of coast-to-coast airplane flights with my new video iPod. So I’m watching my second TV show in a row, and notice that my arm muscles are starting to feel… funny. It’s probably related to the fact that I’ve been holding the iPod at eye level for almost two hours.
So, here’s the deal, guys. You need to create an iPod holder, something that lets you set the iPod on a surface such as an airline tray table, although it should be adjustable so that it’ll work at the gym or anywhere else you want to watch your iPod with your arms free. While you’re at it, offer a version that has a built-in rechargeable battery, so that people on long plane trips will be able to watch more than three hours of video.
(You can also make an around-the-neck model that looks like a harmonica holder if you like, but I refuse to buy one.)
There, I said it. The world is not full of iPod accessories. There are more, many more, waiting to be born. These two are the ones I’d put down my own money to buy today. If you’ve got any that you’d like to see, feel free to post them in the forum thread attached to this story.