We’ve previously reviewed Moshi’s faux faceplate iGlaze nano (iLounge rating: B), which allowed iPod owners to change the front color of a nano from original white or black to pink, chrome, black, white, or U2-style red and black coloration. Now Moshi has released iGlaze video ($30), which offers fifth-generation iPod owners the same ability, minus the all-black version: pink, white, chrome, and U2-style red and black are available. With only one exception, we liked the video version of iGlaze as much as its predecessor – unfortunately, the exception is serious, so you’ll have to decide whether you’re willing to take a risk on this design.
As with iGlaze nano, installation of iGlaze video is a snap. Clean off your fifth-generation iPod’s face, peel off one sticker from iGlaze’s back, apply to your iPod’s face, and then peel off another sticker on its front.
That’s it – your iPod suddenly has a new .7mm face plate and most likely a new color, with integrated screen protection and a fully usable Click Wheel. The only hints that the face plate isn’t an authentic Apple piece are two in number: there’s a tiny Moshi logo at the bottom of the plate, and the finished iPod’s added thickness is just enough to throw off the perfect fit of precision-made 30GB or 60GB cases; one-size-fits-all cases will work without a problem.
Though it would be easy to conclude this brief review on that note, which we could have reached after 10 minutes of testing, there are two issues prospective buyers need to be aware of – both dealing with what happens when you’ve actually used iGlaze for some time. Because we were interested in seeing how the adhesive would perform over a more extended period of use, we continued to test iGlaze video for more than two weeks, and on a positive note, the face plate remained secure during that time: Moshi’s multiple rubber cement-like adhesive pads worked very well to keep the new plate looking like part of the original iPod. Regrettably, though, at some point during the process, the adhesive formed such a good bond with the iPod that we came dangerously close to damaging Apple’s Click Wheel when removing Moshi’s cover: pulling the cover off gently revealed the underbelly of Apple’s own part, which would have snapped off if we hadn’t even more carefully replaced it.
We hadn’t had this issue with the smaller iGlaze nano, but found it troubling here.
Additionally, when we successfully removed iGlaze video from the iPod’s face, we found that the adhesive pads for two of the parts had become un-reusable. The company suggests that iGlaze can be removed, stored, and re-attached at a later date, and to some extent, this is true, but you’ll need to do the removing soon after the installation – otherwise, some of adhesive pads will deform during the detachment process. We had no problem placing and re-placing iGlaze a couple of times during its initial calibration process, but when it came time to fully remove it many days later, the pads on the center Click Wheel button and the bottom of the larger face plate became unsuitable for reinstallation. In other words, don’t plan to re-apply it more than once – parts of the adhesive probably won’t survive the process.
When rating iGlaze video, we had the following dilemma: rate it harshly because it has the potential to damage your $300-$400 iPod, or take into consideration the fact that Moshi warns – albeit too lightly, suggesting only the prospect of damage to the $30 plate – that installation and removal of the plate should be handled with care and caution? Ultimately, we felt that the product deserves our limited recommendation: if you plan to install it and not remove it more than during its initial calibration process, or are willing to use the suggested (or greater) level of care when taking it off after a long-term application, then consider it a good option.