Before I get flamed more on posting my various iPod Nano adventures
here, I should explain that for me, music is a required precursor element for proper coding - like caffein and a short deadline. So, the importance of these topics to coding is paramount (at least to me) and should not be disabused by those who would police topics on this site. :P
After receiving my new iPod Nano (4gb/white) for xmas, I rapidly felt a need to accessorize. First, I wanted to be able to wear the iPod during exercise or while on-the-go. My preference has always been some sort of lanyard neck-band because I really didnt feel comfortable with something worn on the wrist or arm - plus I already had a pager and phone on my belt, so I couldnt fathom adding yet another belt clip. My preference was Apple's Lanyard Headphones, but for $39 they were overpriced, and the sound quality of the headphones wasnt acceptable.
Also, after a short period of use I noticed that the clear polyurethane coating on top of the iPod Nano has a tendency to accumulate scratches. This is mostly a problem on and around the screen, which inevitably lead me to researching some kind of a screen protector.
There are numerous screen-protectors on the market like those used for PDA's, cellphones, and camera LCD's, however, in this case, I wanted something to protect the whole iPod.
My first attempt, was to buy a black-leather case with a built-in screen-protector. I had seen several at Fry's, Best Buy, and the like, but most were pricey at around $30. So instead I searched and found one on an eBay Store for a lower price. The case was identical to the ones I had tried at the local stores, it was very durable, provided excellent protection, included a simple lanyard, and had a nice magnetic snap to close the case. Upon receiving it, the case seemed perfect. I used it for a little over two weeks, and the case functioned as-advertised.
However, after a while the bulk of the leather case began to be bothersome. The resulting form-factor of adding this case was nearly double the thickness of the original iPod Nano. This took away one of the major reasons why I wanted it in the first place so, I began to research other products.
I looked at the so-called hard-plastic cases, adhesive skins, and silicone "grips", but each lacked something. The hard-plastic cases were very utilitarian and had multiple wearing options, but they were too - umm - plasticky. The adhesive skins were neat, but they lacked the lanyard and clips. The silicone grips were the best form-factor, but I couldnt find one that offered good accessibility to the controls and ports while continuing to provide wearability via a lanyard or clip.
Finally, I stumbled onto the "Loop Nano" on the site of the designer/manufacturer Sumajin. This case is a durable silicone-grip style case which completely covers the iPod except for the screen, ports, and "hold" switch. In addition, it includes a seperate plastic screen-protector, and a simple rope-lanyard that attaches by weaving it through holes in the back of the silicone case. The silicone grip case comes in multiple transluscent colors including clear, white, black, purple, red, pink, orange, yellow, and blue. At the price of $14.00 (plus s&h) it was economical, stylish, minimal form-factor, and didn't overly change or detract from the original iPod Nano design.
The only downsides I found were; the rope lanyard was a bit plain and without connectors (I just tied mine in a knot in back), and the lanyard attached to the top instead of the bottom - so it is harder to read the screen when worn. Otherwise it was perfect.
In addition, while shopping the Sumajin website I bought their SmartWrap and SyncWrap products. These were intriguing when I first spotted them, but became much much more when I received them and started using them at home. Simply stated, they offer you the ability to wrap-up your iPod cords in a stylish way without detracting from their useability. Think of the simplicity of paperclips, but for headphones and USB sync cables.
So, for now, I have my primary set of iPod Nano accessories. The only thing still left to research is better (but economical) ear-bud headphones - I'm currently looking into the Shure E2c Sound Isolating Earphones, and the Ultimate Ears Super FI3 Studio Earphones.
I am a long-time user of the Maxthon tabbed-browser, which is mostly just a shell that hosts IE. Today, when loading up my browser, it included the following interesting announcement:
Maxthon News - Let's meet in Las Vegas
Upon the official invitation by Microsoft, the Maxthon Team will join the International CES 2006 show on Jan 5 to Jan 8, 2006, Las Vegas, USA.
As the sole browser partner of Microsoft, we will share our understanding on how to improve user's internet browsing experience there, and present a whole new full-featured Maxthon Browser.
If you happen to be there, please pay a visit to our booth. Your advices and feedbacks are priceless to us. We want to say "Thank You" to all our users. Without your constant support and feedback we can't be there.
As always, Let's make it better!
I have long felt that the IE team should pay attention to Maxthon, and possibly look into licensing or acquiring them outright. So, it is interesting to see the words "sole browser partner" and such. Obviously this is marketing spin by the guys at Maxthon, but its encouraging to see nonetheless.
"Ignorance most definitely is not bliss! However, much can be said of being ignorant of your own ignorance." - Lance Hunt
It appears that my USB hub was the cause of my previous iPod Nano freeze. In fact, this explains why my Dell Axim X5 was freezing-up too. After depositing my Belkin 4-port in the trash, I moved on to enjoying my new toy...
I installed the iPod drivers, installed iTunes and plugged in the Nano again. Everything worked. However, the next day I came to work and plugged-in everything, the 4GB Nano showed up at 164GB in iTunes and failed to sync. After upgrading to the latest version ( instead of the CD install ) everything worked again. But, later I rebooted my laptop and it did it again.
So, for now, I love the Nano, and hate iTunes. Its time to put in a call to Apple and see what they say.