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ROAD & TRAVEL News and Views: iPod Travel Gift Guide

Give the Gift of Great Tunes This Holiday Season
with iPod Products Perfect for Travel

by Jessica Howell

MP3 players have swept the nation, leaving a trail of musically enhanced lives and tapping feet behind them. Topping the list of cool must-haves, the tiny devices have become accessible to the general public as competition increases and prices slowly drop with the onset of newer models.

MP3 king iPod by Apple continues its reign in 2006, accounting for over three quarters of portable music players sold, and according to Jupiter Research, shows no sign of losing momentum.

In fact, this year marked the announcement that three automakers – General Motors, Ford Motor Co. and Mazda Motor Corp. – would be teaming up with Apple to enable iPod users to link up to vehicle audio systems on most 2007 models. That means that over 70 percent of ’07 U.S. vehicles will be available as MP3 compatible, reports Apple.

For road trippers, that’s great news. And for those of us who find ourselves in airport terminals and coach class more often than on highways, iPods can be a literal lifesaver. Needless to say, the easy-to-use, multi-hued iPods have become a staple for hip backpackers and solo travelers and have consequently brought forth a plethora of travel-savvy iPod products to the market.

What’s the big deal with iPods, you ask? We asked Sheryl Connelly, Global Trends and Futuring Manager for Ford, who predicts and evaluates the future of the marketplace for not just cars, but all trends under the sun.

Connelly explains the extreme popularity of iPods as interesting. The iPod is really just an empty vessel – a device that people can load with their own music, and consequently, personality, she says. No two are exactly the same; allowing you complete self-expression and customization. Should you decide to reinvent yourself tomorrow, it’s possible. Just empty out your iPod and reload it. A simple idea, yes, but completely unique.

That said, whether you’re nine or ninety-nine, an iPod or MP3 player makes perfect sense. Add one of these great travel gadgets to your holiday gift list, or grab one for a deserving friend. Believe us, they’ll be singing your praises – and likely dancing along.

ROAD & TRAVEL iPod Gift Guide: Apple iPod Lanyard Headphones

Apple iPod Lanyard Headphones
Keep your iPod within reach and your headphones handy with Apple’s Lanyard Headphones. Earbuds are connected to a lanyard that’s easy to slip around your neck and extra convenient for navigating airports, wearing under coats and keeping in sight. Comfortable and great-sounding, these earbuds are one step up from those included with the basic iPod set-up.

Find it at the Apple Store.

ROAD & TRAVEL iPod Gift Guide: NoiseBuster Noise Canceling Headphones

NoiseBuster Noise Canceling Headphones
When you’re trying to drown out the cries of the four-year old in the next aisle, there’s no better aid than these electronic noise-canceling headphones. Padded and comfy for long rides, but not sticky or hot, these are a frequent traveler must-have. Plug directly into your iPod and then fold up for easy storage. Best of all – a great price beats out the competition.

Find it at NoiseBuster.

How to Blast It

ROAD & TRAVEL iPod Gift Guide: TriPod MP3 Player Speaker

TriPod MP3 Player Speaker
Cleverly designed to self-stand, this MP3 speaker is great for those on the go. Powered by one AAA battery, the TriPod can provide up to ten hours of music for nearby listeners and then fold up conveniently to be slipped into the smallest of carry-on case space.

Find it at Zelco.

ROAD & TRAVEL iPod Gift Guide: iSound Max Portable Speaker System

iSound Max Portable Speaker System
Designed specifically for iPod, this portable speaker system delivers great quality sound and the ultimate in set-up ease at a price that beats most competitors. Plug it in or power it by battery and plant it on a hotel desk or nightstand for an instant sound upgrade. Comes with a handy remote and surround sound effect.

Find it at iSound.

How to Protect It

ROAD & TRAVEL iPod Gift Guide: XtremeMac Tuffwrap iPod Cases

XtremeMac Tuffwrap iPod Cases
These colorful silicone cases are rugged enough to protect your iPod from scratches and dings but include thin clickwheel protectors and still earn an A for cool factor. Featuring side grips, a universal dock well for use with case on and a detachable belt clip that secures earbud cord when not in use, they're practical and pretty. A pack of three offers multiple colors so your iPod will always match your mood.

Find it at XtremeMac.

ROAD & TRAVEL iPod Gift Guide: Otterbox iPod Cases

Otterbox iPod Cases
New carry-on restrictions make checking your luggage an easier option. If you must, Otterbox makes packing your iPod securely a breeze. With options to fit all models, Otterbox keeps your iPod protected from drops in the city or the sand – and is waterproof up to 3 feet. A thin membrane keeps your ClickWheel functional while a belt clip keeps tunes in reach.

Find it at OtterBox.

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