One of the first problems I noticed when I started using my new nano was when I put it in my pocket or take it out, it is likely to change the volume or skip forwards or backwards as the buttons are accidentally pushed. There is a switch on the bottom that locks the controls, but that means if you want to skip a song, you have to unswitch, skip, and switch again. Not terrible. Kind of inconvenient though, plus I usually already have stuff in my pockets.
One popular case is an armband that goes around your upper arm and the iPod slides in there. That’s fine for running, but a little overly sporty for me and it seems like you couldn’t see the screen clearly without taking it out of the case. So I was looking for something that would give me quick and easy access to the controls and let me see the screen. Putting it on a necklace or lanyard would work pretty well.
Apple makes lanyard headphones where a necklace and headphones are incorporated, but I like my Sennheiser earbuds. Still, that is most of the concept. The lanyard plugs securely into the dock connector on the bottom (some say the Apple lanyard isn’t all that secure, but if it snaps in you shouldn’t be able to remove the connector without squeezing the buttons on the side) and hangs upside-down, but that is right-side up when you pick it up to look at it. I found a do-it-yourself version of a lanyard made from an old iPod cable which I have a couple of. But I can still use those cables for charging from an AC adapter and in the car (the 3G nano charges via a firewire cable just like all previous iPods) while my new cable charges from the USB port on the computer. One nice thing about the wider 3G nano is that the dock connector is in the middle of the bottom instead of off to one side like with the earlier ones, so it hangs straight down.
Off to E-bay. I found a user there that sells just the thing sold by E-bay user ipod-accessories-deals, who it turns out is in North Carolina, and not surprisingly with cheap electronic-related items like this, seems to be from China (based on the name I sent the funds to via PayPal). Because they make a lot of their money on postage and he (she?) offered free shipping on a second item, I ordered one in iPod white and the other in black (also available in pink with a white dock connector). It arrived two days later and I had two lanyards for less than $10.
It meets all of my requirements: the iPod is readily accessible, held securely, no case (this nano is too small to put in a case so I have put screen protectors over the screen and the easily scratched and finger-printed chrome back), and it looks decent. It might be nice to get one of those cord wrap things the DIY guy uses since this introduces a lot of slack in my headphone cord (though I think I could make my own).