On 7” iPod Video Screens, or, Why We’re Buying Discontinued Accessories
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.
- Apple has sold one billion iPhones
- Parkopedia to provide detailed parking information for Apple Maps [Updated]
- Microsoft releases Pix camera app for iPhone
- Adobe launches new Lightroom viewer for Apple TV
- Australian banks team up to push for other mobile payment apps on iPhone
- Report: iPhone 7 may feature 3D Touch home button
- Apple turning ‘Carpool Karaoke’ into an Apple Music exclusive
- Notes from Apple’s Q3 2016 earnings call
- Apple Q3 results: $42.4B revenue, 40M iPhones, 10M iPads sold
- Researchers expose security flaw in Osram smart bulbs
- Moe Bull Stand for iPad Air 2 + 9.7” iPad Pro
- Netatmo Tags for Welcome Smart Home Camera
- iDevices Socket HomeKit-enabled Light Adapter
- Koogeek Wi-Fi SmartPlug for Apple HomeKit
- Marbotic Smart Letters for iPad
- Ecoxgear Sol Jam Bluetooth Speaker
- Gumdrop Cases DropTech Case + Hand Strap for 9.7” iPad Pro
- Braven BRV-1M Bluetooth Speaker
- Braven BRV-Blade Bluetooth Speaker
- Invoxia Voice Bridge
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Photos gets Advanced Computer Vision
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Music app delivers ‘clarity and simplicity’
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Maps gets a major redesign
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 shakes up the user experience
- Inside the betas: watchOS 3 promises a real speed boost
- Inside the betas: A sneak peek at what’s new in tvOS 10
- Filling the Gap: A look at third-party HomeKit apps
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 9.2
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.3
- Opinion: Why Apple needs a dedicated HomeKit app