Technology

Take your iPod for a swim

Water and iPods are a perfect combination when the proper devices are used to join them.

Here are some ways you can take an MP3 player for a swim:

OtterBox for iPod has waterproof cases for most every model that also protect the media player from dirt, dust and sand.

The cases are made of heavy plastic and allow full control of the iPod ClickWheel functions. A belt clip is built onto the case, which also provides an area to store an extra headphone cable.

Standard headphones are used, with the mini stereo plug accessible from the top.

OtterBox has these waterproof cases available for iPod video, iPod nano first generation, iPod nano second generation, iPod 20GB, 30/40/60GB, mini and shuffle models.

A full waterproof package ($97.85) is available with the case, armband and waterproof H2O Audio Headphones.

I recently took a swim with my 80G video iPod. The iPod stayed dry and, while the headphones didn't produce the sound quality of my $100 v-moda vibes, it was nice to float around in my pool listening to my now-waterproof iPod with headphones on.

Users should note that these cases are designed for leisure swimming; they are not designed to withstand the pressures associated with scuba diving.

Warranties for iPods will not cover units damaged from water. Users should test these products in a sink before using in pools for longer periods of time.

The cases do not provide protection from long exposures to the sun and heat.

Be sure to wipe your hands free of suntan lotion before handling these products.

www.otterbox.com

www.v-moda.com

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Freestyle Audio's Waterproof MP3 Player is another choice for those who need tunes in the pool.

The small player ($89.99/1G) plays in up to 10 feet of water.

It only supports MP3 audio files, which makes it easy for iTunes users. It's compatible with both Mac and PC, and transferring was easy via the USB cable.

With the included headphones, the sound was OK but not great. Better sound was achieved with better headphones, but taking them in the water is the key here.

A plastic shell surrounds the player, but there is no LCD screen to display what's playing. All the controls are accessible using rubber buttons built into the sides. The buttons were responsive after pressing with extreme pressure.

An included armband makes it easy to just jump right into the water.

While it's not an iPod, it sure makes a great gadget to have around the pool

www.freestyleaudio.com

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Like any other powered device, an iPod is battery-hungry.

Other World Computing (OWC) has a battery upgrade/replacement program designed to get the iPod back to you in the least amount of time.

Once the battery is chosen for the specific iPod and paid for, OWC ships out a box designed for that specific model, along with a pre-addressed FedEx return label.

Within 24 business hours of OWC receiving the iPod, it will be on the way back with the new replacement battery.

Costs are based on the type of battery and shipping chosen.

www.macsales.com

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