2014 iPad iPhone iPod Buyers' Guide from iLounge.com

M-Audio Fast Track

Alright rockstar, you’ve got the Mac. You’ve got the instruments. You’ve got the mic. The only thing holding you back from making that platinum record at this point is a way to get your tunes flowing into your computer. Enter M-Audio’s Fast Track ($150). This simple breakout box is an incredibly straightforward solution for musicians recording to their Macs. Read More

€109-€219/~$147-$295
Peripherals

Freecom Mobile Drive Mg

Ten years ago, Apple amazed people by squeezing a 5GB hard drive into an enclosure the size of a deck of cards. Thankfully, plenty of progress has been made over the past decade. Now we have accessories such as Freecom’s Mobile Drive Mg (€109-€219/~$147-$295) that can fit hundreds of times the storage space in similarly tiny enclosures. Available in capacities ranging from 320GB to 1.5TB, these 4.7” by 3.19” by 0.39” external hard drives look really nice, too. Read More

MacBook / MacBook Pro MagSafe Adapter Settlement

Remember the T-shaped MagSafe Power Adapters that Apple used to ship with MacBooks and MacBook Pros? If you ever had one, the picture above may look familiar: early MagSafes were known to fray under normal use, especially right where the cable met the magnetic connector. The only solution up until now has been to buy a new one—either another T-shaped one, or, more recently, the improved L-shaped model that now ships with all of Apple’s notebooks. If you fall into this category, good news: there’s been a class action settlement, and you may be eligible to get at least some of your cash back. Read More

Elecom Data Clip and Data Hook 4GB Flash Drives by Nendo

Accessory makers have figured out that design is the key to differentiating flash drives—otherwise, cheaper options win. Elecom clearly gets this, as it partnered up with Japenese design firm Nendo to create the Data Clip and Data Hook 4GB flash drives ($36 each). Both feature unique hook-shaped designs in a variety of colors. Read More

Belkin Universal Media Reader/Writer

When Apple added an SD card slot to the MacBook Pro a few years back, it was kind of a surprise—the company was already on a march to reduce ports and physical media interfaces, beginning its plans to remove optical drives from some of its laptops. But photographers wanted integrated memory card slots, and Apple obliged for users of the most common format. If you’re using anything other than SD, then Belkin’s new Universal Media Reader/Writer ($40) is probably just what you need. Read More

Newer Technology Voyager Q

Ever swapped out the hard drive in one of your Macs? Sure, the computer ends with with more storage space, but you end up with a silver box that doesn’t do you too much good. That is, unless you’re willing to put the drive inside of another housing and connect it to your computer again. The easiest way to do this is a dock such as Newer Technology’s Voyager Q ($80). Compatible with both 2.5” and 3.5” SATA drives, Voyager Q allows you to pop in your old drives and access the contents instantly. Newer Tech explains it succinctly: it’s like a flash drive, but with huge capacity. And an obviously bigger footprint. Read More

$60, $149-$199
Apps
Peripherals

MCE Technologies Blu-ray Player

Blu-ray Disc playback has long been a white whale for Mac owners, and if the Mac mini and MacBook Air are any indication, the chances of seeing any optical drive incorporated into future Apple machines is getting slimmer and slimmer. The drives that you can currently hook up to your Mac only allow you to author; you can’t even watch Blu-ray movies without dual-booting into Windows. Or at least that’s the way it was up until now. MCE Technologies has finally found a solution to the problem, and is now offering its Blu-ray Player software as a free add-on with its internal drive for the Mac Pro ($149) and external USB 2.0 and eSATA drive ($199). If you want to buy the software on its own, it’ll cost you $60. Read More

$999
TBD
Peripherals

Canon Pixma Pro-1

What are you supposed to do once you’ve spruced up your pictures in Pixelmator? If you’re going to print them out and you’re looking for lab-like quality, you may want to consider Canon’s upcoming Pixma Pro-1 Professional Inkjet Printer ($999). While the price tag is high, you’re going to get really impressive prints out of this new model, which boasts a 12-ink system for astounding color accuracy. Read More

M-Audio Keystation Mini 32

If you’re a musician on the go, M-Audio’s Keystation Mini 32 ($100) is an easy solution. This keyboard shrinks the company’s well-regarded line of MIDI music controllers down to an accessory that’s just longer than a MacBook Pro—really easy to toss in a bag and take with you, but still big enough to be totally useful at your workstation. There are even four customizable controls, three buttons and a knob. Read More

Amped Wireless SR600EX High Power Wireless-N 600mW Pro Smart Repeater

One thing we’ve always liked about Apple’s AirPort family of routers is just how easy it is to add a tiny Express to expand the range of a bigger Extreme. Each has a radius of about 150 feet, so most people will be more than fine. But what are you supposed to do if you need real wireless distance and power? We’re not talking feet here, but miles—one and a half miles, actually. That’s just the kind of boost that Amped Wireless’s new SR600EX High Power Wireless-N 600mW Pro Smart Repeater ($180) promises to give you. Read More

$45-$55
December 2011
Peripherals

Madminds The Tilt Cooling Stand for MacBook Pro

We don’t normally feature products that are still in the funding phase on Kickstarter, but Madminds’ The Tilt Cooling Stand for MacBook Pro ($45-$55) is just too neat not to showcase. On the surface, it’s a cooling stand, but inside, it’s something special. Made exclusively for the unibody MacBook Pro, the shape, color, and even the cooling system are designed to specifically fit Apple’s notebooks. Right now the company is offering a 15” model, and has a 13” version in development. The Tilt latches onto the bottom of your machine and while it definitely makes it a bit thicker, it certainly doesn’t look out of place. Our favorite feature is the integrated tripod thread, which allows you to mount your computer on any standard tripod. We could see that being really useful in certain settings. Read More

Belkin 7-Port Ultra-Slim USB 2.0 Metal Desktop Hub

When it comes to USB hubs, not too much has to be said: Macs always seem to have a need for extra ports. Even the iMac can use a hand from time to time. As a solution for adding extras, we really like Belkin’s 7-Port Ultra-Slim USB 2.0 Metal Desktop Hub ($50). That’s right: you can now have up to 10 USB ports on your desktop Mac, a nice number, right? Read More

$100-$150
Peripherals

Iomega Helium Portable Hard Drive

Iomega has been making sleek hard drives for years, but it’s hard to imagine the company creating anything much smaller or simpler than its new Helium Portable Hard Drive ($100-$150) anytime soon. This slab of aluminum is only 4.75” x 3.04” x .61”, and weighs just over half a pound. That’s tiny. Read More

Sonnet Fusion F2QR

We’ve seen plenty of external hard drives for Macs over the years, and while they look different from one another, they tend to have pretty similar features. Sonnet decided to do something different with its new Fusion F2QR ($569): it’s offering a RAID array in a truly portable package. There are actually two 1TB drives in this 5.9” x 6.1” x 0.95” aluminum case, capable of supporting four different storage configurations. The price isn’t cheap, but there’s definitely value in a redundant backup solution that you can carry anywhere. Read More

LaCie LaPlug

If you’re looking for one of the most affordable ways to turn any USB hard drive or flash drive into a network- or cloud-accessible device, LaCie has you covered with its new LaPlug ($75). Designed by Neil Poulton, the simple black box is deceivingly powerful. Plug your drive into the port on the front, and it instantly becomes accessible from any computer on your home network, or even remotely through a browser-based interface. Read More

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