Everybody is speaking about the 100 millionth iPod sold, so no point repeating the same thing again and again. I decided to keep my Apple/iPod posts to less than one per week. So, for this week, I want to talk about the best (in my opinion) iPod accessory: the Nike+ running kit.

It is made up by and accelerometer/transmitter that sits in (or on) your shoes, and a receiver that fits into the iPod dock connector, processes the data received from the sensor, and drives the iPod display showing the current speed, distance and other useful information about your current run. And it has a voice feedback, as well. On the Apple site there is a nice demo of the whole process.

It's supposed to work only with Nike+ compatible shoes, but it works fine with any pair of shoes: you just need to put the sensor into a pocket secured to the laces.
The sensor works better if sitting the closer to the ground as possible. So if you need to buy a new pair of shoes, buy the Nike+ ones since they have the innersole made on purpose to accommodate the sensor.

After the shoes and the armband, Nike started to sell a lot of other garments under the Nike+ brand: t-shirts, shorts, long sleeve running top and many other. The cool thing about them is that they all have a pocket for the iPod and some holes for the headphones cable: no more armband that reduce the blood circulation of your arm, and no more cables flying around while you are running.

I bought both the long sleeve top and the t-shirt, and I'm pretty happy with both:

  • the long sleeved one has the pocket on the left arm, with the iPod pointing to the hand, and the cable running along the arm and coming out near the shoulder
  • the t-shirt has the pocket on the side, with the iPod pointing to the ground, and with the cable running inside the t-shirt and coming out near the shoulder.

You cannot see the screen nor the click wheel, so you will find yourself clicking on the wrong part of the wheel, pausing the run instead of turning the volume down or changing song instead of asking for the voice feedback, but once you get used to it, and once you find the proper placement of the iPod inside the pocket, you will be able to the use it as when you can see the click wheel.

But the coolest part of the mix is the nikeplus.com website: once you have finished your training, you connect the iPod to your pc, and when you synchronize with iTunes, the data of the latest run are sent to the website. There you can see the pace of your runs, review your performances, and race against other runners in the World.

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