Apple's introduction of its outstanding iPod mini MP3 player has created a dilemma. Many iPod mini buyers will undoubtedly already be fanatical iPod owners—and let's face it, compared to the new mini, the original is big, heavy, and not terribly cool anymore.
The mini, with its 4-GB drive (that's about 70 hours of nonstop music), boasts the perfect size and capacity for a portable music player. But the full-size iPods still have a place in our lives. Use your mini on the go—and your big clunker as your home stereo. All you need is a superb set of speakers (with subwoofer, of course), and a device that allows you to control your iPod from the comfort of your red lacquered Eames chair. With a capacity of up to 40 GB, an iPod can easily accommodate your entire music library, as well as those of friends, family members, coworkers, and perhaps the entire population of Swaziland.
Get yourself a set of Harman/Kardon Soundsticks II satellite speakers and subwoofer ($199 at any Apple store), and a NaviPod wireless remote ($49). Set up the speakers all fancylike in your den, plug the transmitter portion of the NaviPod system into your iPod, plug the speakers' 1/8-inch jack into the dock, and you're ready to go. (If you'll be using this setup as your iPod's charging station, you'll also need a FireWire cable and AC adapter. Most savvy folks charge their iPods at their computers, though.)
Then sit back and use the NaviPod's tiny disc-shaped remote to adjust volume, navigate tracks, and pause and restart your music. The Harman/Kardon speakers produce deep, luscious bass and clear, crisp singing highs. They make all your music sound thrilling—from Bach's cantatas to Black Sabbath's "Valhalla."
A version of this article appeared in the Table of Contents - May 2004 issue of Fast Company magazine.