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'Smart cable' lights up your tunes

'LightSnake' can be used for a variety of devices

SoundTech Pro Audio

The idea of a "smart cable" has always seemed weird to us. (Where do they keep their brains?) But that's essentially what SoundTech is promising with its "LightSnake" line, which lights up in glowing green when in use.

The company is touting these USB cables as simple tools for garage guitarists and other amateur musicians who don't want to mess around with complicated recording equipment. (Even its name sounds like a rock band.) Dubbed a "sound card in a cable," the LightSnake requires no drivers and will work with a variety of devices ranging from MP3 players to digital cameras.

We don't play any instruments but want these glowing serpents for another reason--the next time we have to call tech support. They'll undoubtedly come in handy when we're asked the inevitable question, "Are your cables connected?" Grrr.