Music in Style – Apple iPod Shuffle Accessories

Apple iPod shuffle accessories are some of the best ways to make your apple iPod look cooler and new. Since these are highly durable, one tends to use them for a long time. But it is also possible, that some of the following situations may occur –

1. Your friend comments that your iPod does not match your purse
2. You get bored by seeing the same colour of the iPod everyday
3. You get love the iPod sound quality, and often wish that you could hear them out loud

All these situations are avoidable, and the solution is simple – Apple iPod Shuffle accessories. The way we all need to enhance out looks and complete ourselves with accessories, your iPod deserves the same. For example, the perfect party dress would look terrible without the right pair of earrings, and your wrist looks empty without a beautiful watch. Similarly, your iPod’s look can be enhanced and made more flattering with the help of iPod shuffle accessories.

Ipod shuffle accessories include skins, cases and speakers. All these come in a wide range of beautiful metallic colours, so you can actually feel that your iPod is brand new! The cases are meant mainly for those who travel a lot – they provide the iPod with 2 layers of protection – the outer metal casing, and the neoprene inner lining – which make your iPod more hardy and resistant to rough handling. The skin is to protect your iPod from dust, scratches and fingerprints, which will increase the longevity and preserve the beauty of your musical companion.

The speakers are a whole new thing, now. They can be easily folded into tiny compact mirror sized objects and stowed away in your bag or in your jacket pockets, and can make you the saviour of a boring party, or a surprise gathering. Even when you would like to enjoy a romantic moment with your girlfriend near a beautiful lake, or a quiet place while on a picnic, your iPod, coupled with these magnificent speakers can make the moment forever memorable.

iPod Shuffle accessories not only make your iPod look better, they give you a whole new look. In the digital age, fashionable gadgets are In Vogue.

The Top 10 Must-Have iPod Apps For Travelers and Expats

We all know that having the right tools is critical for success in any endeavor. When you travel or live overseas though, having the right tools becomes essential to completing your daily tasks. While you may be familiar with more traditional resources like guide books and maps, today I’d like to educate you on how to leverage up-and-coming technology to smooth out those rough points in your overseas adventures.

The technology that I’m referencing is Apple’s iPod applications (apps) for the iPhone and iPod Touch. These revolutionary tools can do it all if you know how to make proper use of them. But with thousand of applications available to download, the task of finding the right apps can be daunting. That’s why I’ve spent the time and energy researching them all and have consolidated my recommendations into a Top 10 list of Essential Apps for any traveler. Before we start though, a little background on iTunes for those who are not familiar.

Background on iTunes Apps

The applications referenced can be uploaded to any iPod Touch or iPhone. Traditional iPods like the Basic, Nano or Shuffle do not use applications unfortunately. All applications can be downloaded from the iTunes store. iTunes must be installed on your desktop to download the applications. Apps typically range in price from FREE to $4.99, although there are a few I will be suggesting that go as high as $14.99. All transactions are processed via credit card through iTunes and delivered instantly.

The Top 10 List of Essential Apps for Travelers

1. iMetro- $1.99 to upload. This App provides metro maps for 28 cities around the world, ensuring that you don’t need to waste your precious money on taxi fares. The metro maps are scalable, so you can zoom in or out to find your way. There are quite a few metro apps out there, but I like this one best because of the large number of maps that you get for the low cost. Another bonus: The price just fell from $4.99 to $1.99 in June!

2. Sit or Squat- FREE. This user-maintained database identifies free toilets that you can use around the world. To date, over 65,000 toilets have been identified by users. All you need to do is enter the nearest address, city, zip code or intersection and it will pull up a list of the nearest toilets. Note: Please make sure and check out the great reviews and comments for each toilet!

3. Gate Maps- $.99 to upload. This app provides airport terminal layouts for over 30 International Airports. It is an application that runs offline, which means there won’t be any charges for uploading data overseas. Savvy travelers know to check the map of their arrival airport in-flight so that they can speed off to their destination upon landing! There’s nothing better than knowing where you’re going in advance, huh?!

4. Flight Track Pro- $9.99 to upload. This Application integrates with TripIt, saving your flight itineraries to the app. Flight Track Pro then keeps you up-to-date on delays, gate changes, cancellations and more. The offline mode allows you to check your most recent flight details without the use of wifi. A bit spendy for an app, but just think of the headaches it could save you! Well worth it, in my book…

5. Packing Pro- $3.99 to upload. This handy packing check-list will make sure that you don’t end up in the Caribbean without a swimsuit! Create your own list from scratch or work from one of several custom templates.

6. Spend- $.99 to upload. Love, love, love this app! It absolutely solves the problem of how to keep track of all the daily cash transactions that occur on vacation or in everyday life overseas. Now you have a top-notch tool not only for accounting but for budgeting as well!

7. WifiTrak- $.99 to upload. This handy app locates free wifi signals nearby. Perfect for the traveler on the move!

8. HiConverter- $.99 to upload. This fantastic conversion tool incorporates all the usual bells and whistles such as temperature, currency exchange rates, distance, etc. It also includes the features of the popular App Tipulater which allows you to calculate the tip on a bill. Oh wait, did I mention that it also includes a few surprises like Clothing and Shoe size conversions? Pretty great, huh?!

9. Lingolook Flashcards- $4.99 to upload. These fabulous flashcards list 500 translations of the most common words travelers need to know to get around, all in an easy-to-use flashcard format (100 actual cards). Bonus: 300 of the translations come with an audio clip from a native speaker to help you perfect the pronunciation! The cards are available in 7 languages: Spanish, Italian, French, Japanese, Chinese, Hindi and German. The hands-down best part of this app is that it lives in the phone and requires no data transmissions overseas (saving you BIG MONEY)!

10. Lonely Planet City Guides- $14.99 to upload. Just in case you don’t feel like lugging the big guide book anymore, feel free to download a Lonely Planet CityGuide instead! For $14.99 you can access 1 of 20 major cities. Designed as a stand-alone application, this program does not require a data download, saving you roaming charges. It is GPS-enabled though so you can find your location on the application’s city maps. Amazing what innovation can do, huh?

Healthcare, Air Travel and Interoperability

The healthcare industry is notorious for its severely disconnected practices. Often, a patient finds herself caught in the middle of the shuffle. If you’ve recently received medical care or attempted to schedule a doctor’s visit, you are certainly familiar with the headaches associated with the process. The article “If Air Travel worked like Health Care” from the National Journal, accurately and humorously sums up the issues we face.

As a patient, interacting with the healthcare industry feels overwhelming and disconnected. Unfortunately, we are forced to tolerate a high level of absurdity when trying to complete relatively simple tasks. As a consumer, we would rarely accept such circumstances in any other industry, but it seems when it comes to healthcare, we have limited recourse. Patients seeking care face repetitive lines of questioning and seemingly unending wait times as the entire industry suffers from a lack of interoperability.

The patient in the National Journal article, after being sold a flight departing months past his desired travel date, after he is required to fax in a consent form, and after he must call a separate company to handle his baggage, informs the customer service representative that in a modern system, he would be sold “a safe round-trip journey, instead a series of separate procedures. It would have back-office personnel using modern IT systems to coordinate my journey behind the scenes. The systems and personnel would talk to each other automatically. At the press of a button, once I entered a password, they would be able to look up my travel history. We’d do most of this stuff online.” He’s describing the way most industries operate today, from air travel to banking to freight transportation, all of which are able to successfully communicate between systems, companies and types of data.

This article highlights, in a light-hearted way, the tension created by trying to coordinate answers to simple questions like appointment scheduling or billing inquiries while on the phone with a provider or health plan. All the healthcare stakeholders, patients, providers and health plans, are frustrated by the lack of interoperability and the high administrative costs to accomplish simple tasks like scheduling an appointment.

Providing healthcare in this disconnected manner is expensive and unsustainable. As we look to the future, health systems and health communications will need to be integrated across IT systems, providers, specialist offices, labs and health plans. Data will need to be mobile, secure and efficient. It will need to be accessible when and where it’s required by authorized personnel.