Sometimes an excellent operating system can be made even better
Belkin Australia TuneCommand for iPod
- Excellent range, Functionality, No reported interference, Multiple uses
- Doesn’t work with new models, Quite Chunky
Nano and Video iPod owners need to look elsewhere, but for everyone else, the TuneCommand should serve you well.
Price$ 59.95 (AUD)
Wireless interaction is becoming more and more a consumer fascination and when it comes to the popular iPod, this has opened a whole new world in terms of the way you listen to your music.
With this in mind, Belkin has released a wireless remote control specifically for use with the iPod. Unfortunately it doesn't work with the newer iPod nanoand iPod Videomodels, as these don't have the required control connection next to the headphone jack. But for the rest of the iPod range, TuneCommand lets you roam and play your music from virtually anywhere in your home (and many other places) delivering unprecedented levels of listening convenience.
Utilising wireless radio frequency technology, the TuneCommand Remote works with your iPod up to 35 metres away, regardless of hindrances such as walls, ceilings and windows. During testing, we were extremely impressed with this feature and had no interference problems to complain about. The remote worked flawlessly from our office, all the way into the test centre; which along the way included various walls, doors and computers. This means it is especially ideal for those who have their iPod connected to their home stereo system.
However, we found that another great use of the TuneCommand is in the car; we hooked our iPod minidirectly up to our car stereo and stored the iPod away in the glove box, using the remote for a long trip. Furthermore, the included holder can be easily attached to your dash in the car, allowing quick and easy access as well as storage. Those with new cars though. may be reluctant to use the stick backing supplied, just as we were. Still, with a car full of kids, the idea of storing your iPod out of harms way whilst still being able to control your tunes is an appealing one.
The TuneCommand is fairly chunky and is slightly larger than an iPod Shuffle. It comes in two pieces; the remote itself (which runs on an included 3V battery) and the receiver, which hooks up to your iPod via the headphone jack. Conveniently, the receiver requires no batteries, but this means it uses the power of your iPod, so you'll find yourself recharging your player more often than usual. Still, we managed about 7 hours with our mini; well below the standard battery life time, but respectable nonetheless.
The controls are very simple, much like the iPod itself. There's a Play/Pause button surrounded by Previous and Next Track and Volume Up/Down. Beneath this 4-way control is a Shuffle and Repeat button. Both of these buttons are three-tiered; Shuffle Off/Shuffle Songs/Shuffle Albums and Repeat Off/Repeat One/Repeat all. The only function you can't control without resorting to the iPod itself is changing playlists, but everything else is accessible with the remote.
Rounding out the package, the TuneCommand includes a multi-clip, surface-mount hook and lanyard, providing a variety of options for securing the unit should you wish to do so.
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