iPodweek - The Best of iLounge

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This week at iLounge: We know you've seen iDog, the dog-shaped iPod speaker system, and iPAL, the iPod-ready radio. Are you ready for iWoofer? Rain Design has taken the major features from both of these accessories and put them inside a single, bizarre little body shaped like an alien dog. iWoofer's chrome feet let the unit's bottom-firing subwoofer have room to breath, while a chrome antenna picks up FM radio stations whenever your iPod's not playing music. Kids will love it.

Car installations have been on our mind a lot lately, and as always, there are different options for different cars and budgets. Of all the choices, everyone is already aware that FM transmitters really aren't that hot, but if you're driving a car without a tape deck or audio-in port, you'll need one. Thankfully, recent options boast better sound quality, less static, and easier station tuning than last year's models, and Belkin's new TuneFM is amongst the best of them, connecting to the bottom of new iPods and working equally well as an indoor or car transmitter. The company even includes a full car charger for the $50 price, a first, and there's also a dedicated version for iPod nanos.

Our favorite alternative to a transmitter is a more permanent iPod car installation solution: a direct line-quality audio input into your car's stereo system. This week, we've found a big deal cable for high-end car installs: XtremeMac's $50 RoadShow is the only cable we've seen that handles audio and video output from your iPod's bottom Dock Connector port, and simultaneously recharges the iPod while you're driving. Eight feet of cable means that your installer can hide most of the wires and keep your car looking clean.


In iPod news this week, Apple renewed its deals with the greedy record labels to keep songs on the iTunes Music Store at 99 cents each. The French DRM bill that would have forced Apple to open its FairPlay copy-protection technology was gutted in committee. An analyst said that Apple will double iPod nano storage capacity and add video playback. Plus, RCA breaks out a ton of dance music from their vaults, the iTunes Music Store turns three, and PortalPlayer says it will fight to regain Apple's iPod chip business.