The ubiquity of iPods has led to a ridiculous glut of accessories, some useful, most not. The best of them have essentially become a seamless part of the iPod experience, but they'll all cost you — and it really starts to add up. The expansion of the iPod universe, however, is twofold; more official products are followed closely by nearly as many unofficial ones. In other words, you can fully accessorise your iPod or iPhone, old or new, pretty much for free.
A case will usually be the first thing people buy for their pods, and the first thing they'll lose. Luckily, they're just about the easiest thing to replace yourself. The most obvious solution is a custom-tailored sock, chosen to suit your taste in colour and aroma and fitted to suit your choice in iPod. For a more refined look, sewing together some inner tube and suede will make for a stylish pouch, while utilitarians can opt for the quick, versatile rubber-only approach. If you're just too quirky for a regular case, the venerable Altoid Nano case might get the attention you crave, while the legitimately natty cut-up record sleeve case will do the job just as well, if not better.
If you're handy with a soldering iron and have some old audio equipment lying around, there's no reason to dump dollars on a full-fledged iPod speaker dock when you can just build one yourself. Construction homemade unamplified speakers — which sound surprisingly good — is much less of an ordeal. Disposable cups and sheets of printer paper make great little megaphones for your earbuds, and lend themselves well to mounting as a part of a kid-friendly makeshift home stereo.
Docks and Stands
Apple gives iPod/iPhone buyers just about everything they need to throw together a huge variety of charging and sync docks — even the commercial ones are pretty much just the sync wire with some plastic trim. This hack starts small: fantastic iPhone and iPod Touch docks can be made with nothing but a binder clip. The possibilities for LEGO docks are limitless, but generally end up looking like an iThrone. This paperclip box dock provides a good template for chopping an iPod cable into just about anything of a similar shape. The paper clips themselves can be twisted into a 20-second stand, just as a business card can be origamically (?) reshaped into the same.
In the commercial world, this space is inhabited by the shrouded likes of Brando. But who doesn't love that stuff? If you're looking for a jury-rigged AA iPod charging solutions, there's no reason to surrender your credit card number to an iffy Chinese e-commerce site. The same goes for the iPhone 3D image viewing apparatus, though I'm not even sure there's buyable analogue for that, Chinese or not. iPhone macro lenses are cool, but almost certainly not worth paying for. Last, and probably least, even though you can't put a price on security, you can reduce the cost of paranoia.
Dealzmodo Hacks are intended to help you sustain your crippling gadget addiction through tighter times. If you come across any on your own that are particularly useful, send it to our tips line (Subject: Dealzmodo Hack). Check back every Thursday for free DIY tricks to breathe new life into hardware that you already own.