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In-Depth Review

BruddyClip for iPod shuffle

Following the iPod shuffle's debut, Bruddy Designs was one of the first companies to bring to the table a complementary accessory for the music player. The BruddyClip (formerly known as the ShuffleMate) is a minimalist iPod shuffle companion constructed from durable clear plastic designed to both show off your iPod shuffle and offer basic protection from scrapes and bumps. It features a built-in clip for attaching your iPods shuffle to clothes, a belt, or a cap, while an included Bulldog Clip accommodates more versatile clipping needs.

The idea and price tag are perfect, but the execution is less so. The BruddyClip grabs onto your iPod shuffle solely through friction, which means it's a bit of a tight squeeze inserting or removing your shuffle from the BruddyClip's grip. Don't even think about inserting your iPod shuffle into the BruddyClip if it's wrapped in a sticker or a skin -- we did and it destroyed my little piece of ShuffleArt. Not only that, but one edge of the sample unit wasn't quite as smooth as it should have been, resulting in a millimeter wide and deep gash down the majority of the length of iPod shuffle. Presumably this is an exception and not the rule.

The BruddyClip's best feature is its "wire management," small protrusions in the plastic clip barely narrower than the iPod's headphone cable that allow you to wrap excess cable around the BruddyClip and keep it tucked down neatly. Along with keeping things tidy when you're not using your iPod shuffle, the wire management comes in handy if you decide to clip your iPod near the top of your shirt, although I frankly found that less than comfortable.

At US$14.95 the BruddyClip is priced right for shuffle owners who find its feature set appealing. In my use I found simply keeping the naked shuffle in our pocket along with the extra headphone cord to be simpler than dealing with the BruddyClip's tenacious grip on the iPod shuffle and its stiff built-in clip that made removing or clipping the BruddyClip to our belt or shorts a two-handed affair.

Just The Facts

BruddyClip from Bruddy Designs

MSRP $14.95

Pros:Convenient wire management, low price

Cons:Sometimes more trouble than its worth, not particularly sexy, incompatible with sticker'd shuffles

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