Covering Music Toys for the Truly Geeky - dummies

Covering Music Toys for the Truly Geeky

By Ryan C. Williams

Part of the fun of having new portable audio toys is adding accessories to make them do exactly what you want in exactly the way you want. This list takes a look at some of the more unique and unusual items custom-made for those hardcore enthusiasts who want something different and special.

  • SliMP3: This tiny device appeals to both geek function and fashion. The player attaches to an Ethernet connection and connects to the user’s PC, which acts as a server. It can play either MP3 files from the computer or streaming radio from Shoutcast or Live365. The device is a transparent combination of plastic and circuit boards, with a readout for artist and song information.
  • LT Laser Turntable: If you’ve ever wanted to spend as much on an audio component as your first car, this is a great place to start. The LT Laser Turntable produces audiophile-quality sound, and the laser used in the reading process does not cause the wear and tear a needle can produce when dragged across vinyl. This device is only recommended for those who want to keep their old records in really good shape.
  • Philips MCi250 Wireless Broadband Internet Micro HiFi System: Quite a name, eh? This player needs a long name to describe everything it does. Not only can this stereo system play normal CDs and receive local AM/FM stations, but it can also receive Internet radio stations over your home wireless network. You can also use the system to find out more information about the songs you hear on the radio. Finally, you can get MP3 files from your computer and listen to those as well. This device frees your audio from your computer and puts it anywhere in your house.
  • Belkin iPod Backup Battery: You’re on a long journey, and you can’t make it to a wall outlet or FireWire cord to recharge your iPod. The music can keep on going if you have this external battery backup available to you. This device claims to add 15 to 20 additional hours to the life of your iPod and may allay your fears over nasty reports about the iPod’s battery life.
  • Laks Memory Music Watch: Check the time and hear the rhymes on this combination timepiece/flash memory portable audio player. This watch carries 256MB of memory, along with an integral MP3 player and USB connection. You can even use it as a portable storage device for other files.
  • C. Crane FM Transmitter: This device is one of the many transmitters made to broadcast portable digital audio files to an FM radio anywhere, anytime. This one stands out for its ability to transmit anywhere within the listenable FM spectrum up to a distance of 70 feet. You could conceivably force everyone in the house to listen to whatever you want, and isn’t that what you’ve always wanted to do anyway?
  • Groove Bag Tote Speaker Purse for iPod: The looks of the iPod are praised almost as much as its functionality, so it’s only natural that fashion accessories would follow the technological lead. Felicidade made this bag with both style and usability in mind. The purse contains both a carrying pouch for your iPod and two small speakers that make the purse act like a portable stereo. Finally, fashion sounds as good as it looks.
  • Sonic Boom Bag: Portable audio players are great, but not everyone is the purse-carrying type. For those who fall into a different bag, this backpack features a flat-panel speaker system built into the fabric. You can place any CD player or portable audio device into the case, and a volume control is located in a carrying strap. This should be enough to keep you mobile and entertained for a long time.
  • PlusDeck 2: The PlusDeck 2 is a cool idea. This cassette player fits into the same kind of slot used for CD or DVD drives in your computer, and it can both record and play back audio through Windows XP. It even comes with its own recording software. Now you can make modern MP3 mix tapes the old-fashioned way.

Technology changes at the speed of science, so if you stay in tune with the times, you’re bound to hear of even more fun gadgets and gizmos to wow even the most hardcore enthusiast.