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MP3 Players

Face-hugger: Arcam rLead

Arcam's off to see the wizard, the wonderful wizard of Pod. Because, because, because, because... because of the wonderful things he does

Like Ridley Scott's famous alien, the rLead runs an umbilical cord from an acid-for-blood creature (the iPod) into an unsuspecting host (your Arcam Solo hi-fi). Unlike the alien, the rLead's relationship with your Arcam is symbiotic -- the Arcam gains control of the iPod, and the iPod seamlessly interacts with your existing Arcam remote.

If you're a Solo owner looking for a way to link your iPod to your hi-fi, Arcam has nailed it with this rLead. One end plugs into the dock port on the base of your iPod, and the other end attaches to the phono connectors and RS-232 port on the rear of the Solo. If you're sober enough to get your key in the door, you shouldn't have trouble setting this system up.

There's no stand for the connector, so the iPod looks slightly inelegant just slouched on the top of a table with a cable spooling out. But then we were never fans of the podium of aggrandisement that is bundled with most of these docks -- better to keep it subtle. Disappointingly, the rLead doesn't charge the iPod during use.

The rLead is available now for £60 -- we would have preferred a more expensive price point on this, er, cable. Come on Arcam, keep up the audiophile spirit! -CS