On 7” iPod Video Screens, or, Why We’re Buying Discontinued Accessories
Published: Monday, February 2, 2009
Of the thousands of iPod accessories we have used over the past seven and a half years, there’s none—seriously, none—that has done more good for us in more situations than an add-on video screen. Memorex created the iFlip. Sonic Impact made the Video-55. Philips made some, too. There was probably no device that inspired more discussion amongst friends and family members, seemed as necessary wherever we travelled, or did more to relieve our early video iPod eyestrain. Turning those little 2.5” and 2” screens into 7” or 8.4” screens transformed little iPods into big entertainment devices, and true substitutes for portable DVD players.
You may or may not know what happened next: Apple quietly changed the video-out functionality in iPod models, rendering them all incompatible with these accessories. Manufacturers were stuck with warehouses of video screens they couldn’t sell, and also had to try and find a way to explain to new iPod buyers what had happened. Memorex and Sonic Impact apparently were hit so hard that they never released versions for the new iPods; Philips churned out a crummy sequel that we still can’t bring ourselves to use. Thus, a year and a half have passed, and nothing good has emerged as a replacement. In a word, it has been awful.
As our iFlip unit has weathered two years of use as a constant travel companion, and then as a way to display educational videos in the car, it has been tossed around, discharged, recharged, and kicked by baby feet. This weekend, on a trip back from California, and after many warning signs over the last six months, it finally gave up the ghost; the battery of the old iPod inside is on its way, too. But there’s nothing new we can buy as a proper replacement for them both. So we found ourselves placing an unusual order this weekend. Memorex and others were forced to liquidate their incompatible video accessories at low prices, and thus, the $200 iFlip fell to $149, $99, and then $49. Left with no other great options, we went to PC Connection and paid $13 a piece for two replacement iFlips. Yes, that’s $26 for two, coming to a grand total of $43.51 after shipping and tax. We’ll replace the iPod’s battery when it dies, but really, we’d prefer to be using something newer and better instead.
During this year’s Expo, we took the time to ask Memorex to look past the iFlip’s troubles—which weren’t its fault—and make another. If Sonic Impact had been there, we would have said the same thing to its representatives, and frankly, we’d encourage any company with decent design chops to come up with its own options, too. As nice as the iPod touch and iPhone’s 3.5” displays are, and even if Apple has bigger-screened devices in the marketplace, a high-quality, reasonably priced combination of add-on 8” screen, battery, and speakers strikes us as an absolute gimme for iPod and iPhone users. Developers: make it and we’ll be the first ones in line to try it. Now is the time. At a point when video content is now readily available all over the world, iPod and iPhone owners need video accessories more than ever.
If you have a comment, news tip, advertising inquiry, or coverage request, a question about iPods or accessories, or if you sell or market products, read iLounge's Comments + Questions policies before posting, and fully identify yourself if you do. We will delete comments containing advertising, astroturfing, trolling, personal attacks, offensive language, or other objectionable content, then ban and/or publicly identify violators. Wondering why we're talking about something other than iPods? Check the Archives: Backstage has been here and kicking it since 2004.
- Lightning developer leaves Apple, redesigns Square Reader
- China Mobile opens iPhone preorders on Dec. 12
- Apple, others call for govt. surveillance reform
- New apps aim to fix iOS 7 wallpaper issues
- iLounge Weekly coming Monday, new giveaway
- Apple quietly releases 74% iOS 7 adoption estimate
- Razer iOS controller leaked
- U.S. Apple Stores now using iBeacon
- Apps: Assassin’s Creed Pirates, Doctor Who: Legacy, Double Dragon Trilogy + Foursquare 7.0
- Apple patent reveals ‘smart dock’ for Siri use
- CM4 Slite Card Case for iPhone 5c
- Newer Technology NuGuard KX for iPad Air + iPad mini
- The Joy Factory aXtion Bold for iPad Air
- OtterBox Defender Series Case for iPad Air + iPad mini with Retina display
- Tabu Lumen TL800 App Enabled LED Color Smart Bulb
- Wren V5BT Bluetooth Wireless Speaker
- Incipio offGRID Pro Battery Case for iPhone 5
- Belkin WeMo Insight Switch
- STM Studio for iPad Air
- Urban Armor Gear Composite Case for iPad Air
- Syncing multiple iCloud data with a family Mac
- iMessages come in from email address instead of phone number
- Whether to include specific apps in iCloud backups
- Passcode entry field not appearing on iPhone
- Custom ringtones assignments don’t sync to iCloud
- Resuming incomplete iCloud backups
- Adding multiple photos to a Shared Photo Stream
- Quality of videos sent via Messages
- Text messages being delivered to wrong iPhone
- Problems logging in to iTunes Store