Accessorize Your iPod

The iPod is great on its own, but the range of available accessories is what makes it so popular. From protective socks to advanced speaker systems, you’ll never run out of ways to accessorize your iPod. Here are a few suggestions.

One great thing about the iPod is that it’s more than a music player: it’s an entire entertainment package. While you probably use it for its main function—playing music—it can do a whole lot more. With the right accessories, you can turn your iPod into a car stereo, jogging companion, VCR, flash drive, or even a central source for your home theater. In fact, the market for iPod accessories has grown almost as big as the iPod itself.

But with all these options on the shelves, it can be hard to pick just the right accessories. You obviously don’t need them all, so how do you know which ones are right for you? Here are some suggestions to help you out.

Protection. This is usually the first accessory bought by new iPod owners. iPods are notoriously prone to scratches, so you need to dress it up when you’re on the go. Fortunately, there are lots of stylish ways to protect your iPod, from soft, colorful socks to magnetic leather cases. A popular option is the silicone skin, which fits snugly around your iPod while keeping full access to the click wheel.

Speakers. When you want to share your music, those good old earphones aren’t enough. There are lots of choices in the market, from cheap mono speakers to high-fidelity surround sound systems. Many are even designed to match the sleek, elegant look of your iPod. There are also portable speakers, which are battery-operated and ideal for short trips or family visits.

Armband. Want to take your iPod on a jog? You might want to pick up a sport armband to go with it. The armband keeps your iPod in place as you work out, protects it from moisture and impact, and gives you easy access to all the controls. Wrap them around your arm or wrist, whichever’s more comfortable. Note that one size won’t fit all—look for one that fits your iPod.

Universal dock. The dock serves as your iPod’s home base for charging, syncing, and connecting to your computer or speakers. Some can even hook up to your home audio system. Many are remote-controlled, so you can switch between songs, sync, or turn off the charging even from across the room. Apple’s universal dock fits all iPod models, except the Shuffle.

Radio remote. The radio remote turns your iPod into an FM radio, with a convenient wired remote control for switching between channels. The remote even comes with its own set of earphones, with a shorter cable to reduce the clutter. Apple’s official Radio Remote works with the classic, nano, and video iPods.

AV Cables. Cables are a must-have for those who want to hook up their iPods to speakers, TVs, and home entertainment systems. Apple offers component and composite video cables that connect to your TV, allowing you to watch your favorite videos on your TV screen. They also include a USB power adapter, so you can switch to AC power whenever you’re running low.

Car charger. ┬áIf you like listening to music in your car, you may want to get a travel charger. These chargers connect to your car’s cigarette lighter and come with a 3.5mm audio-out jack, as well as an adjustable amplifier. Make sure to get the Apple original charger or one with the “Made for iPod” logo—these are approved by the manufacturer and will not void your iPod’s warranty.