Thanks to the enormous success of Apple's iPod there are now thousands of great iPod accessories to choose from... quite a few of which should never have left the fevered brain of their creators. Here are 10 of our least favourites.
Oh, and if you've got any other accessories you particularly despise, be sure to tell us about it in the comments at the bottom. On with the list...
1. SpongeBob SquarePants Eyeball Speaker Dock
Plug your iPod into SpongeBob's head and his boggly eyes will start to wobble and move around in time to the music. Not only is SpongeBob's head made of actual sponge, but you can even pop the eyes out for even more hilarious / disturbing fun. Your kids may well need to see a psychotherapist afterwards.
2. iCarta +
Sometimes something is so bad it has to be good. This is just bad. First unveiled at CES 2007, the iCarta is an iPod / iPhone dock combined with a 'bathroom tissue' holder, enabling you to listen to music, while covering embarrassing noises at the same time. Like the original iCarta (also still for sale at ATech's online shop), this one comes with four moisture-proof speakers - two of which are mounted in the toilet roll holder's fold-out arms. This new '+' version adds a built-in rechargeable battery, so you don't have to have a power point in your bathroom to use it. ATech says the battery should last eight hours between recharges. Should be enough toilet time for anyone.
3. Griffin Technology iKaraoke
And you thought those tinny phone speakers you have to listen to on the bus were bad... The iKaraoke (opens in new tab)is a microphone / processor for the iPhone, iPod touch, iPod nano - or any other iPod come to that - that enables you to sing along to your favourite tracks. The processor bit cleverly removes the lead vocal so you can warble over the top and, of course, the iKaraoke is portable - so it goes wherever you go. Erm, hurrah!
4. Giant earphone speakers
Iconic they maybe, but the earphones Apple supplies with its iPods are just too small for anyone with proper-sized ears - which is why we prefer these giant ones instead (opens in new tab). Around 500 times the size of the original, they're powered by three AAA batteries and come with a USB cable, so you can also plug them into your PC, as well as most iPods. They're big, they're loud, they're proud. Don't blame us if you get mugged.
5. Edifier iPod alarm clock
These retro alarm clocks with built-in iPod dock are so good, IWOOT is giving you the chance to get three for the price of two (opens in new tab). Which must count for something, surely? Available in black, white or pink (see, you can have one of each), the clocks come with a 9-minute snooze function, fake bells - which are actually speakers through which sound is transmitted - and a mains adaptor. Its dock is also adjustable using a dial, which enables you to alter its depth to accommodate anything from a slim iPod mini to a portly 60GB iPod video. That's quite clever. Unfortunately, the Edifier iPod clock docks are also incompatible with new iPod nanos and classic. Oh well.
6. Ixos XMI608 Disco Cube
We don't quite know whether to laugh or cry (opens in new tab). On the one hand Ixos is famous for making high quality speaker cables and interconnects for audio / videophiles, and on the other it's churning stuff out like this. At least it does exactly what it says on the tin. Fire up your iPod and you're greeted with a nightclub-style light show with the side panels pulsing in time to the music. Sound quality should be good, thanks to the inclusion of two 2W satellites and a 3W sub, but the Disco Cube has also fallen heavily in price - from the original £75 to just £21.95 now. Oops. That could be something to do with the fact that the Disco Cube isn't compatible with the iPhone, iPod touch or iPod shuffle and because it looks a bit rubbish.