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 Music coming to Sonos Dec. 15 through public beta program
- Apple to drop headphone jack from next iPhone?
- Amazon Instant Video app could hit Apple TV ‘within a few weeks’
- Some Apple Music and iTunes Match services may be illegal in the U.K.
- Australian banks accused of anti-competitive behavior over Apple Pay lockout
- Happy Thanksgiving 2015 from iLounge!
- Apple reaches deal with UnionPay to bring Apple Pay to China
- DisneyLife subscription-based app launches in the U.K.
- Apple buys motion capture company Faceshift
- Apple CarPlay included in 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage
- Urban Armor Gear Composite Case for iPad Pro
- Parrot Hydrofoil Drone
- Apple Pencil for iPad Pro
- IK Multimedia iRig Pro DUO
- CableJive HeroDock
- Phiaton BT 330 NC Headphones
- Ecoxgear EcoPebble Powerbank + Speaker
- Lunatik Taktik 360 for iPhone 6/6s
- Belkin Charge Dock for Apple Watch + iPhone
- SwitchEasy Aero, N+, Nude, Play for iPhone 6s/iPhone 6s Plus
- Under the Radar: 10 ‘hidden’ details about the new Apple TV
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.0
- Under the Radar: A closer look at smaller iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus changes
- A First Look at iOS 9’s Transit in Apple Maps (Updated for watchOS 2)
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iTunes 12.2
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 8.4 + Apple Music
- CE Week 2015: IK Multimedia, Monowear’s Apple Watch bands + More
- Live From CE Week 2015: Brand New iPad, iPhone + Mac Accessories!
- Opinion: The ‘Grand Experiment’ of shifting to Google Photos
- Will removing a credit card from Safari also remove it from Apple Pay?