12.27.20 - Mark
As I mentioned in an earlier post there is a plethora of accessories out there for the iPod - a whole industry worth. And most of it is junk. When I went into the Apple Store in Chicago there was this thing called a TuneDoc Car Holder from Belkin. For this junk name there is an equally junk product. For a mere $30 you can buy a glorified travel cup, chopped in half and a iPod holder merged into everything. Thats it. No charging feature, no wireless transmitter, nada.
Fast-forward a few days, a thousand miles and into a walmart automotive section. There are these smoking accessories that are pretty much the same thing a plastic/rubber-ish cup with an ashtray on top. Cost $2. I bought it and took it home - half of that Belkin thing. Now I've got plexiglas floating around just waiting for a use, but a .10" thick piece about 8"x4" has a retail value of under a dollar. Wow I'm up to $3.
Now the plexiglas is flat but place it over a piece of wood about the width of an iPod (or a little bit wider) and heat the edges up with a generic heat gun while applying pressure with hammer and in a few minutes I had a nice little iPod holder. Bend it again so the back side creates an angle ~160degrees and round off the edges with a Dremel sanding bit and wow I've got both parts of the belkin junk for a 1/10 of the cost. Cut a quick slit into the ashtray, insert plexiglas, and then iPod and I was done. I added a metal coat hook (upside down) to one side of it because of a broken cup holder in the family van, but that only added a couple dollars to the total cost.
I may post a picture and a write up, but I spent 5 dollar and two hours creating a thing that, if branded as an iPod accessory, could sell for at least 5 times the cost. Now thats one example, but there are more. People are taking simple junk, some of it handed out for nothing, branding it for an iPod and selling it for a killing.
Another example is the iPod backup power packs. Belkin (and others) are creating battery backpacks for the iPods, nothing special, just some correct wiring and injection molding plastics. geeks like myself are wiring up some firewire ports to a set of 9v batteries and sticking everything into a tin of mints. Cost $10 (including mints) Cost of the commercial iPod Accessories junk $60.
I'm not sure if I'm making this a rant on the over-consumerism of America or on how people in the cult of white earbuds are paying too much for junk that isn't special and is available for less if they can make do without the iPod branding. In either case its ridiculous.
Now. How can I get in on this action...