iPod Bonus

After my successful releases and launch of the new King Design web site a couple weeks back, I decided I should give myself a much deserved little bonus. :)

One of the nice things about working for yourself is the opportunity to do things the way you thought they should be done when someone else was making the calls. I always thought that my employers should do a better job rewarding employees after big release pushes, etc. so that’s what I did. My release bonus is a 40gb iPod photo – I got it this weekend.

Yes I just upgraded the battery on my old 20gb iPod, but the opportunity to get a deal on the (discontinued) 40gb iPod photo seemed like a nice one to take advantage of. The 40gb iPod photo includes both USB and FireWire cables, plus the little dock – items that have been removed from the current iPod releases to reduce the base cost.

So far, I’ve enjoyed the upgrade. In particular, these are things I really like having:

  • Rating songs from the iPod. I’m going to rate my entire collection and use the ratings to get rid of the stuff I don’t really listen to.
  • Songs played on the iPod get sync’ed back to iTunes – data you can use with smart playlists.
  • The color screen is more visible in low light. I didn’t think I’d really care about the color screen, but I was wrong.
  • The dock connector port means I can use cool new toys – TBD.
  • I can use the USB cable to connect the dock to my USB hub, no need to plug in and disconnect the FireWire cable to my PowerBook every time. Also, I can keep the FireWire cable in my travel bag.
  • The response time is a little faster than with the older iPod.

Now that I have some options, I’m trying to decide on:

  1. the most usable case, and
  2. the best way to hook up the iPod while in the car.

I’ve had an iSkin on my 2G iPod since I got it from Jason (bought it from him in 2003 when he upgraded to a 3G), mainly because he already had it. While the added bulk isn’t something I’d choose, it’s really nice to not have such a slipperly little device. Egrips are another option, and one that might work better with some of the car audio options, but they don’t offer the same protection. I really like the ability to dock the iPod while using the Speck rubber skin.

As for car audio options, the DLO TransPod seems like a pretty awesome set-up. Especially nice is the line-out option should I end up with the ability to take advantage of that. Of course, with such a tight fit, I doubt any of the rubber skin cases or any case would work with it (hence the consideration of Egrips). Having a docked iPod makes it harder to use the click wheel as well.

Something like the PodFreq would allow me to use my thumb on the click wheel a lot more easily than a docked set up would, but it seems a little clunky.

I know that the Kensington FM Transmitter/Auto Charger works pretty well. It even pauses your iPod when you turn off the car. Unfortunately, I’m trying to avoid supporting Kensington. I don’t know of another similar product, but I’m guessing there probably is one.

The comments are open, bring on the iPod accessory recommendations. :)