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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Using the iPod as a mirror

The iPod is so popular these days, that people are find new uses for it that have not been designed by Apple... For example, some people think that an iPod is the ideal substitute for a small mirror. In fact, the iPod has a very shiny back surface and this is not such a difficult feat. But I doubt that this is the best way to use the iPod...

In this web page, called the mirror project, users post images of the iPod being used as a mirror. The nice thing is that you can use it to take pictures of yourself using a digital camera. See bellow some of the pictures found in the web page:


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Sunday, January 22, 2006

iPod repair services

The iPod is a great and useful device, which is remarkably resistant. But accidents happen, and the iPod may eventually need a fix. Falling from high tables, while running, or being victim of your dog -- these are all situations when you iPod will need a repair.

Luckily, there are already several places where you can be able to get help for your iPod. In this post I list the most common ways you can repair your player.

Apple: Clearly, the first place you can go in order to fix you iPod is the Apple authorized network. The iPod comes from Apple with a limited service guarantee, which includes 90 days of phone support and one year of service included. All other requests will be charged to you. You can also buy an Applecare package, which extends the basic warranty to two years, both for phone support, service and hardware warranty. It is a really good plan if you want to have piece of mind -- if any problem happens Apple will fix it.

PDAsmart. If you don't have Applecare, may Apple is not the best way to fix the problems in your iPod. Several other smaller companies have setup good service plans for the iPod, which are able to solve most of the problems that you may encounter. One of these places can be visited in the web at

The guys at PDAsmart have expertise in all versions of the iPod, as well as other types of PDAs and music players. This is a good place if you have gadgets of different types and want to work with only one repair shop. The guys from PDAsmart have a nice policy: you can send your PDA for examination without any commitment. If you think the price to fix the problem is to high, they can send you back the iPod and you owe nothing other than the mailing costs.

iPodresq: In the website you will find one of the most complete services to repair your iPod. They do all kinds of repairs, such changing logic boards, screens, and scroll wheels. According to the web site, they can do those repairs to any type of iPod (all generations). Some of the services, such as LCD replacement can be done in one day.

Methodshop: Another place that provides support for iPods can be found in the website at These guys are associated with ipodmods.,com, and they offer not only repair services, but also customization -- so you can do both at the same time. They can make changes such as changing panels, replacing batteries, hard drives, etc.

Techrestore: Finally, another service for repairing iPods that looks very friendly and responsive is available at These guys offer a very nice option of having your iPod repaired in just one working day. When you request the service, they send you a box in the next day, which can be used to ship your iPod. Most services are completed in the same day, and delivered to your door in the next working day. It is really a very convenient service, because you don't even need to go to a post office location.

As you see, there are several options if you want to have your iPod repaired. These are just some of the most well known companies and services, but there are certainly a large number of small companies that provide repair services for all styles of iPod players. If you know of a good one that I didn't mention, leave the information in the comments section bellow. If you had a personal experience (positive or negative) with some of these services, let us know too!

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Dell selling iPod competitors

iPod DellDell, which once was one of the Apple's ally, is now selling the closest competitor to the Apple iPod video -- the Creative Labs Zen Vision.

Dell is selling the product in the price range of $249 to $349, although the capacity of the players is still not at the same level of Apple's offer.

It is interesting to see that Dell has chosen to compete with Apple using a third part player, since they probably have capacity to produce cheap mp3 player units. Probably Dell figured out that it would be difficult to compete with the iPod on volume and decided to stay out of this area, and just observe what Creative Labs can do.

Improved ear phones for the iPod

The ear phones that came with the iPod are of good quality, but are certainly not at the same level of more expensive models. One that has been recently announced for iPod users is the "E500 Sound IsolatingTM Earphones". These ear phones have a special format and technology that allows them to isolate the user from most of the outside noise. Some of the features of the earphone are described in the company's website:
Unparalleled Acoustic Accuracy: The E500 is the first in Shure's earphone line to utilize 3 miniature precision-engineered drivers -- one tweeter and two woofers -- to offer the most accurate audio reproduction for the ultimate in precision highs and the richest lows.
Sound Isolating Design/Personalized Fit and Comfort: Proven more effective than noise-cancellation, Shure's sound isolating earphones block 30-37dB of outside noise with a good seal. Leveraging soft, flexible sleeves that contour to the inside of the ear for the best possible fit and maximum comfort during wear, the E500 blocks outside noise to prevent it from interfering with the audio experience.
Low-Profile Industrial Design: This is miniature technology at its best with sleek styling, bronze metallic casing, and a unique over-the-ear design to keep cables out of the way.
Premium Accessories Kit: With 8 pair of sleeve options for a personalized fit, the E500 also offers modular cables for portable and home stereo listening.

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Creating an iPod charger for your car

An iPod charger for your car can be bought from many places. Some products sell for as cheap as $9 on Froogle. However, if you have the necessary equipment and little bit of time you can create your own iPod charger for free.

To do this, you just need to use this set of easy instructions. In ten steps you can take a normal USB cable (with the correct ending, of course), a common charger, and use them to power your iPod.

If nothing else, you can at least impress your friends with your manual abilities.

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Saturday, January 21, 2006

Dress your iPod with iPod hood

After a sequence of posts about clothes you can wear with your iPod, let us talk a little about cloths that your iPod can use.

A company called fredflare is selling a nice iPod accessory that will make great success with fashion-oriented iPod fans. The iPod hood is a protective piece of cloth in the format of a hood, that you can use in your iPod and save from scratches and other minor accidents.

The iPod hood also looks very fashionable. It will probably be more popular among girls, but it also comes in the color blue :-)

Related posts:
Koyono Coat: new iPod accessory
iPod Jeans from Levi Strauss
Wear the iPod with iPod Jacket

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Another iPod killer, anyone?

Apple in the news provides an interesting description of the reasons why the iPod is not been "killed" by competing mp3 players.

According to Steve Jobs, in a interview given during the MacWorld expo, only Microsoft would be able to lauch such an iPod killer. And according to the article, this doesn't seem very probable.


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Friday, January 20, 2006

How to disguise your iPod as a box of Altoids

You heard, that is it! If you have an iPod, you can easily disguise it in a simple case of Altoids, and nobody will notice. Here are pictures with the easy set of instructions:

  1. Find an empty box of Altoids;
  2. Make a small hole on the top;
  3. Use some tape to fix the iPod inside the box (use some protective paper to avoid marks).

That's it! Of course, most people don't really want to disguise the iPod, but it is a nice trick to show to your friends.

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Fake iPod is sold in Asia

Apple is a very innovative company, so if you buy an Apple product you expect to have the latest technology. Some times this is not the case: in Asia, you run the risk of buying a fake iPod.

See the latest fake produced in Macau. They have a wheel that just resembles the original one, and are in fact much thicker than the original iPod. Of course, to its credit it seems to have a larger screen, but who knows if it really works. Notice also the iPod symbol in rainbow-like colors: nothing close from the real iPod color scheme.

Link via Engadget

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Tuesday, January 17, 2006

PED2: a support for your iPod

Thought out has released a very cool iPod accessory, the PED2. PED2 is what they call "a device pedestal for now and the future", in other words, an iPod Stand. The nice thing about PED2 is its design, which resembles the support of the new iMacs.

The PED2 can also be used with other devices other than the iPod. Thus, you can have a support for the iPod, another for the Blackberry, another for the smart phone, and anything else that can be carried around and connected to your computer.

The PED2 sells for $39.99. The company has several models of supports which may be interesting to check.

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Monday, January 16, 2006

Koyono Coat: new iPod accessory

Continuing with the interest in weareable accessories for the iPod, Koyono recently released a new coat that is integrated with the iPod.

As the other models, the coat has buttons that can be used to control the iPod. The main advantage of this accessory is that, having internal buttons, you can use it as a normal coat. This way you can control your iPod without get too much attention (different of other models).


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Sunday, January 15, 2006

The Internals of an iPod nano

The great majority of iPod nano owners will never want to open its case -- with such a small device, it would be difficult and risky.... But you can see exactly what is inside the iPod nano with this picture.

Thanks to the guys of PC watch.

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Using iPod nano to Play Half Life

Now you can use your iPod nano to play Half Life! Sounds increadible, but can be done.

Link: iPod Nano Games - Half Life - Google Video, Best Google videos

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iPod Jeans from Levi Strauss

Continuing with coverage of wearable iPod, Jackets aren't the only option. You may feel more inclined to give a try to iPod Jeans from Levi Strauss.

The famous jeans company is now creating designs adapted to the iPod. The announcements describes the product as:
"The Levi's(R) RedWire(TM) DLX Jean is the latest extension of the Levi's(R) brand leadership position by merging fashion and technology that provides consumers with the most innovative way to enhance their portable, digital music lifestyle," said Robert Hanson, Levi's(R) U.S. brand president. "In designing the jeans we considered both function and fashion -- the result is a uniquely functional, yet stylish, great fitting jean."

Design features include:
* Easy Pocket Storage -- An iPod docking cradle is built into the jeans and is "invisibly" housed within a side pocket. The Levi's(R) design team took special care to ensure the iPod unit remains neatly and securely stored in the jean, while the iPod "bump" in the pocket is virtually eliminated. The cradle is equipped with sophisticated technology housed in a red conductive ribbon that allows users to quickly and easily remove their iPod from the pocket to view its screen while staying connected. The jean is machine washable once the iPod is removed.
* "Hip" Controls -- A special joystick remote control is externally designed into the jeans' watch pocket to enable operation of the iPod. Four-way controls allow the wearer to easily play/pause, track forward, track back and adjust the volume control without ever removing the iPod from the pocket.
* Handy Wire Retractor -- A handy retractable headphone unit has been built directly into the jean to help prevent tangles and efficiently manage the iPod earphone wires.

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Related posts:
Wear the iPod with iPod Jacket

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Wear the iPod with iPod Jacket

Using the iPod as a fashion element is a well known trend. However, you can now actually wear the iPod, with the help of the Kenpo Jacket for iPod.

This new interesting accessory for the iPod is complete Jacket, with space for the iPod. It also has controls on the leaves, that allow you to skip music and change the sound volume.

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Related posts:
iPod jeans from Levi Strauss

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Reseting the iPod

The iPod is a very reliable Gadget, and work most of the time without any problems. There are, however, occasions when the iPod can simple freeze. This may happen due to some problem with the content (music), or due to a programming error.

If this ever happens, first make sure that the iPod hold button is not on. What may look like a frozen iPod may be no more than the device locked into an unusual position.

To restart you just need to do the following: Turn the hold switch on and off. Then, press at the same time the menu and select buttons. Keep then pressed, in a few seconds the Apple symbol will appear, indicating that the iPod was restarted.

If you have an older iPod, you can have similar results by pressing the play/pause menu for a few seconds.

For more detailed instructions, check this page.

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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Improved video content for the iPod

Another great announcement from this MacWorld expo, is the new availability of content for the iPod. Steve Jobs introduced the news sport videos made available by ESPN in the iTunes

A second source of video content is Saturday Night Live, which is becoming available with classical episodes, as well as the new ones.

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iPod gets a new FM tuner

Well, afterwall the MacWorld didn't bring any shaking innovation to the iPod world, only the certainty that the current geneation of iPod products is really ground breaking.

There are, however, some goodies for iPod fans that are worth notice. First, Radio Remove, the new iPod FM tuner, is a nice addition to the list of great iPod accessories. It is sleaky, and very well designed. Different from the normal accessories for the iPod, the FM tuner attachs diretly to the phones, leaving the iPod free of an extra accessory - in a sense, it works an extension of the phone chord.

Radio remote works as a good remote controler for the iPod. Changing music, sound volumes, or radio stations is much easier to do with the scroll interface, similar to the one in the iPod shuffle.

The Radio Remote also has a nice interface that can be accessed directly from the iPod. It would be great if other products could use a similar trick -- although this is difficult to replicate since only Apple at this point can directly program the iPod.

Look at the iPod web page for all features of Radio Remote.

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Saturday, January 07, 2006

iPod becomes a target for Asian copycats

A new gang of competitors to the iPod are set to arrive during this month. Due in part to its success, the iPod will certainly be copycated by other companies, especially the ones in Asia that make this practice their main business.

As described by the financial express, a number of Asian companies are doing this right now. For example, sony is presenting in the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas a portable device that is meant to succeed the PSP, which is capable of playing music and video.

The South Korean Sunsung also has similar plans. Other companies, such as the Chinese Honhai and Humax will be presenting their personal players in the near future.

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Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The fictional iPod video

Funny but true: do you know that there are lots of designs for the iPod video that were not produced? Well, they are not really from Apple, but from several other people that imagined how the new iPod video could be, before it was released.

To see some of most interesting desingns, check the Google video web page and search for ipod video. You will see some of the nice designs bellow:

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iPod video gets even more content from Disney

Disney announced today that more video content from its subsidiaries (ABC, ESPN, Disney Channel) will be made available to be sold on the iTunes store. The news provide more room for Steve Jobs to push his plans for the iPod video.

The MSNBC web site greated the news as a signal that Disney is trying to please Steve Jobs, who owns most of the Pixar studio.

These are, however, still better news for the iPod video owners, who now have a large selection of TV programs to choose from in the iTunes store.

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Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Creating black headphones for iPod nano

iPod nano looks gorgeous in black. However, somebody noticed that it still comes with the white headphones, which does not fit perfectly. To change this, the hack a day website show how to make your own black iPod headphones.

More important, you can have some manual exercise and maybe make some money doing the same for your friends...

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