Once you get your iPod loaded with music, you’ll want to take it with you without worrying about scuffs and scratches.
Apple used to include a basic black sheath-type case (with belt clip) for some models, but now sells it separately on its site and in stores. Unless you use a remote control, however, you have to keep taking the player out of the case to operate the controls—which is not only a drag but also an opportunity to drop the iPod on the sidewalk. An iPod taking a face plant onto the concrete is a horrible sight.
The first iPod Nanos rolling off the Apple assembly line proved to be especially scratch-prone, and although a thin pocket protector-style cover is included with Nanos and iPods now, this slip case is mainly there to protect the Pod when it’s not in use, as it completely covers the screen and click wheel.
When selecting a case, keep in mind the situations in which you tend to use your iPod. If you use the iPod for running, you may prefer a waterproof neoprene case with an armband; if you take it on business trips, you may prefer a more professional-looking covering. Some cases make the scroll wheel and controls easy to get to, while others conceal the front of the iPod to protect it. So take into account how often you use the controls for changing volume, skipping songs, or checking addresses.
There are tons of cases out there for every iPod model, but the cases vary as much as the iPod designs do. For example, the video-playing iPods have bigger screens ...