Disclaimer: I got these for free to try out, although I'll be giving away both things at the Gnomedex conference in June. The iPod player I got before I set my policy of not accepting free stuff. The U3 drive I got because I didn't have time to sit through Nathan's demo and wanted to try it out. When I received them I made no promises to them about the coverage I would give them, or even IF there would be coverage coming. If I ever have a conflict of interest, I will disclose that to my readers.
So, last night, Nathan Gold, developer evangelist for U3, shows me a new kind of USB Thumb Drive. He had one loaded up, gave it to me, and said "try this out."
I'm playing with it now. It's a 1GB flash memory drive that plugs into my USB port. But it isn't a normal memory key. When you plug it in it automatically adds a new menu in the system tray. That pulls up a ton of software that Nathan put on my key for me.
Turns out it fools my PC into thinking it's a CD-ROM drive that auto starts.
This is a radical way to distribute test software. Why? Cause I unplug my key and any software I run disappears along with it (and any traces, including any temp files I've downloaded — I got the Maxthon browser on the key, for instance. As soon as I unplug it everything goes away, even registry entries).
Whoa. More details on the U3 site.
Maryam has an iPod Nano, so back when I was at CES, when I saw the Xitel HiFi-Link for iPod, I wanted to try it to see if it was really good. Lots of my friends have iPods, so thought this was unique.
It's a box that you hook up to your AV system at home that lets you dock a Nano and play the music off of it onto your AV system.
It does exactly what it says it'll do, is well designed (looks just as stylish as Maryam's iPod) and sounds awesome on our AV system. If you're looking for a way to connect your iPod to your AV system, this is worth considering.
On both of these products I'll buy one after giving these away at Gnomedex.