Billion-dollar idea

I love the internets! I’ve uncovered a billion-dollar idea, and here I am just giving it away for free.

Accessories for iPods are, it’s been said, is a billion-dollar industry.

Consider this. Last year, Apple sold 32 million iPods, or one every second. But for every $3 spent on an iPod, at least $1 is spent on an accessory, estimates Steve Baker, an analyst for the NPD Group, a research firm. That works out to three or four additional purchases per iPod.

There are cases, and stickers, and add-ons, and car kits… you name it. However, there’s one simple item that, it seems, no one has yet made.

I’ve got a beautiful iPod (30GB Video model in iconic white), and I keep it in a case. It’s been in a case since the day I took it out of the package. First I had one of those gel cases, but it didn’t have screen protection so I cobbled something up from some cell phone screen protectors. But I didn’t like that solution – it hid the iPod too much and the clear plastic over the screen made it hard to see.

Also, I have a Griffin iTrip, which lets me play my iPod over any FM radio. I don’t own a car, but I use FlexCar, so the iTrip was the perfect solution for me. It gave me a temporary connection to whichever car I was using at the time.*

But the iTrip doesn’t fit into the dock connector when it’s in the case. I have to take it out of the case to use it. Up ’til now I’ve used the old gel case, which I’ve modified to accept the iTrip – but that means the screen, the most important part to keep scratch-free, is exposed. My solution to that? Put the whole thing into a ZipLoc bag. Ugly but functional.

What I’d like is a simple connector, adapter, or cable that had a male dock connector on one end to plug into the iPod, and a female dock connector on the other that would accept the iTrip, and would allow me to use the iTrip without taking the iPod, the beautiful beautiful scratch-free iPod, out of it’s protective clear case.

I asked the geniuses at the Apple Store. They’d never heard of such a thing. I’ve looked online. Couldn’t find it. In the forums on iLounge, I found a thread that suggests that I could make one from an old dock. Yeah, I suppose I could do that. If I wanted to drop another $40 on a new dock just to tear it apart. Ugh. And if I’m going to do that, why not just buy the iTrip Auto, which already does what I want? I mean, besides the fact that that little doohicky costs seventy smackers and would be yet another cable I had to carry around, rather than a cheap little adapter…

Why doesn’t someone just, y’know, make something like this, already? I know there’s folk out there who would buy one?

* And if this doesn’t prove the point about accessories, I don’t know what will. In addition to my $300 iPod, I’ve bought not one but two cases and a radio transmitter that I infrequently use. Actually, the iTrip is my third one – I’ve had two previous models, for earlier iPods. Of course, neither of those fit my newest iPod… which can only be solved with the application of mo’ money.