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MP3 Players

Photos: Gear4's new iPod cases arrive in the Crave offices

If you've just bought your new iPod nano or iPod touch, it's time to buy some music. It's also time to buy a case, perhaps? We've got a 60-second selection you'll not want to miss (unless you hate cases).

Dropping your brand new iPod within a week of buying it is a tragic moment. More tragic even than the sound quality of Metallica's new album. Fortunately there are a plethora of case manufacturers out there ready to sheath your glossy new iPod in a range of rubbery materials, so we asked Gear4 to send us a handful.

First for the new iPod touch is the £15 JumpSuit Grip -- pictured above. This one encases the entire touch, but still allows access to all the buttons -- yeah, all two of them -- as well as the volume controls and screen. It comes in black and silver only. 

But our favourite of the five we're poked around at is the £20 X-Shield hard-backed case for the iPod touch 2G, complete with genuine leather on the reverse. We have a brown one (pictured overleaf) and a pink one (pictured over a further leaf ), but it also comes in a black edition with some funky red stitching (pictured elsewhere, because we weren't sent one of those).

We've also got a couple of cases for the new iPod nano 4G, our favourite being the oh-so-stiff £20 HyPro Air, with a brown and tan flavour. There's also a brown and red. This model also has a leather finish, but it's a synthetic leather unlike the X-Shields discussed above.

Finally we come to our other iPod nano 4G case -- the £13 JumpSuit Tread, so-called for its use of rubbery tread as used on care tires, not jumpsuits. This rubber case offers decent protection for your nano, though not the screen.

Hands-on pictures with the new iPods in these new cases are over the next few pages, and more info can be found at Gear4's Web site.

Want to win one of these snazzy cases? Listen to the Crave Podcast episode 105 this Friday to find out how. -Nate Lanxon

This will be the X-Shield. And look! Brown leather! Like Bill Gates' feet, apparently.

Here's the X-Shield for iPod touch 2G in pink leather.

Again it's the X-Shield in pink, but highlighting the ease of access to the volume controls.

At the bottom of the X-Sheild case you still get access to the dock port and headphone socket.

This is the stiff leather-esque HyPro Air case for iPod nano 2G.

And finally, the simple rubber sheath for the new nanos, known as the JumpSuit Tread.