The 2008 Futurelooks iPod Accessory Mini Round Up

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Cygnett GrooveToons iPod Alarm Clock

While I'm the kind of person who can only wake up to an incredibly annoying buzzer, there are others out there who prefer the voice of the local radio DJ. If you don't fall into either of these categories, the vast majority of mass market alarm clocks just won't suit your needs. Wouldn't it be nice to wake up to your own selected playlist?

The 2008 Futurelooks iPod Accessory Mini Round Up

With the GrooveToons speaker and alarm clock system from Cygnett, you can. It doesn't have an alarm clock or a display of its own, relying instead on your iPod nano to provide both of those necessities. There is a single speaker in the back though, as well as a power button, snooze button, and a pair of volume buttons. I found the speaker to be quite loud and the audio quality was decent, given the nature of this device.

The 2008 Futurelooks iPod Accessory Mini Round Up

I do have a few gripes with GrooveToons, however. First, the packaging says that it will work with all three generations of iPod nano, but only the first two gens fit in the dock. If you want to use a third-gen nano (or any other audio device), you'll need to use the 3.5mm auxiliary jack. It's also a little frustrating having to rely on the iPod for the display and alarm settings, because it means that you don't have the "clock" part of the usual "clock radio" equation. Oh and because the nano doesn't do radio, you don't have the "radio" part either. And those googly eyes bother me too. It's like they see right through me.

The Cygnett GrooveToons iPod speaker and alarm clock system retails for about $50.

iLuv i707 iPod FM Transmitter with Car Adapter

The 2008 Futurelooks iPod Accessory Mini Round Up

Yes, I know that I already talked about another FM transmitter in this guide, but the iLuv i707 offers a completely different form factor for those who prefer it. While the Griffin iTrip Auto Smartscan is basically one long cable with a controller in the middle, the iLuv i707 iPod FM Transmitter with Car Adapter provides a handy dock for your portable media player instead.

The 2008 Futurelooks iPod Accessory Mini Round Up

Thanks to the added extension arm and the ability to adjust it to fit your car as needed, this dock-style FM transmitter may provide you with a better view of the iPod display and, thus, makes it easier for you to see what's coming through your speakers. And yes, your iPod gets charged through the car's 12V cigarette jack while its tunes are being transmitted over the FM radio. Somewhat surprisingly, audio quality on the iLuv i707 was actually superior to the iTrip. I was thoroughly impressed. You can only program two frequencies into memory, but as soon as you find a suitable frequency on the FM dial, you'll probably stick to it. It's chunkier, to be sure, but the iLuv i707 is definitely a solid FM transmitter for those in the market for one. Retail price is $79.99.

The Never-Ending Onslaught of iPod Goodies

As long as Apple continues to pump out and popularize its iPod line of portable media players, companies like Griffin, iLuv, Cygnett, and Cellpoint are going to keep making accessories for them. They've got a huge variety of cases, FM transmitters, alarm clocks, speaker docks, headphones, screen protectors, and all sorts of other goodies that will continue to gobble away at the cash in your wallet. I just hope that they provide a little innovation once in a while, because a lot of the gear seems awfully similar, don't you think?

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Michael Kwan is freelance writer and professional gadget geek. He's been reporting on the world of technology for years, playing countless console games along the way too. Be sure to check out his personal blog, Beyond the Rhetoric, for posts on freelance writing, personal development, entertainment, video games, and more. Follow him on Twitter too: @michaelkwan

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