I received an iPod (30 GB w/video) for Christmas this year and I’m having a lot of fun learning about and playing with it. One of the dilemmas facing a new iPod owner is how to actually carry the thing around. You want to be able to access most of the functionality, like skipping songs, changing the volume, or pausing the playback for a conversation, but it’s also nice to be discrete and not have to perform acrobatics just to control the thing. While I considered the options, I just started throwing my iPod in my pocket or my bag and pulling it out whenever I wanted to do anything with it. Not great, but it worked.
Some time later I remembered reading a post about using the “sleeve” that comes with the iPod, and that the scroll wheel was functional through that fabric. I wondered if it would work through the fabric of my Levi’s. I put the iPod in my front right pocket, front facing out, and tried making some circles on my pant leg. It took a couple of tries, but I was able to get the scroll to work. It wasn’t precise, but for volume control it was fine; just keep drawing until the change was complete. It didn’t matter if I was lined up perfectly, as long as I drew a clockwise circle when I wanted to increase the volume, and counterclockwise to decrease the volume. I also easily learned the positions of the Play/Pause button at the bottom of the iPod and the Previous and Skip buttons on the sides. Now I could start a playlist, a podcast, or whatever, pop the iPod in my pocket and have full start/stop, skip and volume control all by just reaching down to my right leg. This also allows me to run the headphone cord under my coat for almost invisible usage, which is great for walking around in public or riding the bus. This also works well for me when I’m working out. I can listen to my iPod without feeling pretentious with one of those armbands.
So, if you want a case that’s portable, discrete, functional, and best of all, FREE, just throw your iPod in your front pocket and try out the scroll wheel. It might just be the perfect case for you.