The iPod Belt Buckle - Fashion or Faux-Pas? | iLounge Backstage

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The iPod Belt Buckle - Fashion or Faux-Pas?

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By Jeremy Horwitz

Editor-in-Chief, iLounge
Published: Wednesday, January 18, 2006
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We already know that wearable iPod accessories are going to be big this year. But which ones are worth covering, and which are just novelties? Today’s Backstage puts the question to you - comments are very much appreciated.

Late last September, we saw a prototype of the first iPod-related belt buckle (below), which Core Cases dropped by our Portable Media Expo booth to show off. As Core explained at the time, the idea was still under development, and the design wasn’t totally finished. The company initially planned to release the buckle without a belt, and let you attach it to whatever you preferred. We held on to the prototype, figuring that a changed final version would eventually appear - hopefully with a belt.

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Last week, Core dropped off final samples of two different belt buckles - large and small sizes, each depicting the fourth-generation iPod. (The larger-screened 5G was introduced a week after we saw the first prototype, and we suspect that the changes weren’t significant enough in Core’s view to merit a redesign of the buckle.) Rather than using the earlier all-metal design, these new buckles (below) feature hard plastic white and gray iPods against a metal belt surface. They’re still not up on the company’s web site for sale.

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Then there’s TuneBuckle ($50), which was announced at Macworld San Francisco, but was semi-lost in the (ahem) show floor shuffle. It’s a belt buckle that holds the iPod nano in a metal frame, providing access to its full face and headphone port. This one comes with a belt (ranging in size from 26 to 46) in either white or black colors. The top shot is from the company’s web site, the bottom is ours.

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The show floor was abuzz with the claim that the TuneBuckle team created a white-belt version of the product specifically for Apple CEO Steve Jobs, and presented it to Apple representatives at the Expo. We also heard that the company is considering a second version that fully encases the nano. Of course, our questions were these: will people actually wear these belt buckles? Or are they just gimmicks? Do they merit further coverage on iLounge, or should they remain a part of Backstage?

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One reader has already made the point that “if they had used a redneck with a beer gut for a model,” people wouldn’t think the idea was cool. We anxiously await your thoughts.

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Comments

1

I think it kind of depends.
If alot of people start wearing it, the syle will snowball just like the lanyards.

Posted by Jonathan Keim on January 18, 2006 at 11:21 AM (PDT)

2

Steve Jobs said “...we’ll really have the personal computer when we can wear it like a t-shirt…” but I don’t think this is what he had in mind.

This has the advantage of holding your Nano so it’s clearly in view but probably not too ergonomic when it comes to seeing the screen to make selections. Also, if you’re in a high crime area it exhibits your iPod which could potentially make the wearer a target.

From a fashion point of view it seems pretty dicey, as well.

Posted by R1D1 on January 18, 2006 at 11:53 AM (PDT)

3

Back in 2003, I used to carry all my gadgets on my belt in fancy cases, pager, cell phone, iPod, etc.  It actually became a hassle to have all this crap hanging off me.  Then a friend of mine, discussing an unrelated topic, opined “The only reason people wear all their stuff out in the open like that is so they can show off and feel important.  It’s like waving a sign that says mug me.”  She was right, and since then I’ve kept all my gadgets in coat or pants pockets with minimal cases meant for protection.  I don’t really feel like showing off.  That’s not why I have the things I do.  So in this case, that belt buckle is just a prime example of showing off.  Flashy toys for shallow people - buy ‘em if you need ‘em.

Posted by Jason on January 18, 2006 at 1:54 PM (PDT)

4

Scarlett Johanssen wearing on e- hip, cool, sexy.

Me wearing one - dweeb with a wire going towards his crotch.

See photo above - sexy stomach and half shirt - you can wear one though if you have man hands - you should keep them out of sight grin

Posted by jbelkin on January 18, 2006 at 11:04 PM (PDT)

5

More like flashy fashion for functional people.  This is a lot more than conspicuous consumption, it’s conspicupus cool function.

Posted by Mark J Sampson on January 19, 2006 at 5:31 AM (PDT)

6

I have yet to find a good solution for carrying iPod without a bag

Posted by omega on January 19, 2006 at 6:48 AM (PDT)

7

I think people are over analyzing the fashion aspect of this.  i’m glad this has come around, I’m an IT pro and always have my nano connected listening to industry podcasts or tunes to drown out the stupid questions from my users.  I’ve found that sliding the nano in my belt loop keeps it accessable but that position doesn’t protect it at all.  I can’t wait to get my buckle.  not necessarily for fashion but to protect it and remain convenient.

Posted by Jon Q on January 19, 2006 at 6:52 AM (PDT)

8

Jon Q illustrates why the iPod belt buckle will never be anything more than a ridiculous sideshow attraction: any fashion trend that appeals to IT pros isn’t a fashion trend at all.

I mean, ####.  It looks dumb on the MODEL.

Posted by dasmb on January 19, 2006 at 7:08 AM (PDT)

9

hummm… I’m not an IT pro and I think it’s refreshing to see someone has elevated the tech accessory to the fashion level. There’s no other cool wearable for the ipod’s out there right now.

fyi- there is a hairy gut on their web site which makes it even better!

Posted by tdog on January 19, 2006 at 8:12 AM (PDT)

10

If someone steals your iPod, will your pants fall down?

Posted by Magic Rabbits in Aberdeen, Scotland on January 20, 2006 at 2:43 PM (PDT)

11

Maybe for the young…the very young.

Posted by Black Beauty on January 23, 2006 at 6:56 PM (PDT)

12

what happens when you go to the toilet?

it’s a little dangerous, it could fall into the toilet

Posted by DOA on January 24, 2006 at 12:58 PM (PDT)

13

I think it is good for active sports like skating or snowboarding. It provides an alternative to costly integrtated jackets or pants.

Posted by Justin on February 3, 2006 at 5:55 PM (PDT)

14

The only thing that has stopped me from preordering is the price. It is going to be big!!!! I have a lanyard case and it is uncomfortable and looks girlish. Now a nano is small and thin and fits in a pocket but then it limits that pocket to things that will not scratch or break it. A belt clip is always getting caught when you sit in a car or a seat with arms you have to be extra careful. I have a iPod Video and a Sumo case for it and barely ever carry it with me because I have a large Cellular, a Nokia 7610, which I carry in a sideways case on my belt usually for easy access. Now with the Belt buckle nano case I could carry my cellular on my belt, my nano in it and not have to worry about having my pockets full of stuff. I am getting one as soon as I can be sure my nano will be safe from damage in it.

Posted by Ramon on February 6, 2006 at 12:33 AM (PDT)

15

does anyone own one of these and what do they think?

i’d like to know how many guys out there purchased one.

thanks,
eric

Posted by eric on July 18, 2006 at 12:14 AM (PDT)

16

I am a fashion nut and I will say that this thing is awesome.  I dont have a nano but I want one because of this.  I have been using a bag from here:
http://actontreadway.com/ to hold my regular ipod and it works well, but this is small!  As far as showing it off…nope, my shirts are always untucked- no one will see it.

Posted by alvin on September 8, 2006 at 4:44 PM (PDT)

17

Rednecks are not the only group of people with beer guts? They put knifes on their belts and probably don’t have a earring.

Posted by Neil on July 10, 2009 at 6:09 PM (PDT)

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.

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