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I was on a bus today, and i heard the person next to me swear when they realized that their iPod was out of energy. (Considering the forty minute ride ahead, this was more than a slight problem.)
I continued thinking about this dilema, and realized that i had had much the same problem with flashlights
in the past. When you go to use them, especially if they're rarely used, half the time the batteries are dead. However, i recently purchased a flashlight with a fold-out crank on the side of it. I now have light whenever i need it, no batteries necessary.
Why can't this technology be used with iPods? Ipods don't use a lot of power, and if you had no time to charge your iPod at a computer you could just carry your hand crank with you.
The crank itself would plug into the ipod where you would normally plug it into the computer. The crank would be small, yet easy to hold. (And of course, the classic Apple white.) I have no idea how much power a crank such as this generates, but hopefully a minute of cranking would get you at least 15 minutes of music. Say goodbye to rides without tunes.
Hand Crank Flashlight
A version of the above mentioned crank. [Elk, Feb 02 2007]
Ipod Hand Crank
http://www.google.com/search?q=ipod+hand+crank&hl=en [Bluewraith, Feb 02 2007]
Cell phone crankers
A review of a couple of available phone cranks [neutrinos_shadow, Feb 02 2007]
Another form, sans-crank, + cool factor [Bluewraith, Feb 02 2007]
Eco media player
one minute cranking, 40 min playing. Music, video, stills, line in, FM [afinehowdoyoudo, Apr 15 2008]
||Baked, somewhat. Most are how-tos, but I'm sure there are commercial versions around.
||You can get them for cell phones - it wouldn't take much modification to adapt one for an i-Pod. (linky)
IMO, those crank style flashlights aren't so good - many years ago, I had a light with a squeeze-type handle to generate the juice. That way you can work it with one hand and point it where it needs to point, as opposed to stopping whatever you're doing in the dark and giving it a crank (needing two hands).
||A better Idea would be to have the Ipod accept regular batteries, as well. Dont say "but then I would have to buy batteries all the time" coz the ipod could just INCLUDE rechargeable AAA or AA batteries. you can get rechargeable AAA or AA batteries for 10 dollars for a 4 pack. The hand crank is still a good Idea, though. Bun.
||You could even market it for the hard-weather and outdoors crowd as a portable, durable, environmentally-friendly way of bringing music while on a long backpacking trip.