There are many silly things in this world: Smart Cars, proprietary hardware, Paris Hilton, avocados, electric ovens, Vegetarians, unfitted bed sheets, store cards, non-electric toothbrushes, Robbie Williams, Labour, Conservative and Liberal parties, white socks, Phillip Neville, Western Foreign Policy, Nokia handsets, Manga, Foxtons, the non-string bikini, cricket, rugby and fox hunting, the adjectives used in press releases, the world’s obsession with bagels, iPod covers, K-Fed, marmalade, Ben Sherman shirts, non-stick pans, Luton, obviously Spode and most definitely the ban on iTrips.
Now while the others sadly remain of this earth, at least industry regulation snail Ofcom has decided to reconsider the ban on the iTrip. Over the last few years the mini iPod accessory – which broadcasts a short range FM signal of the player’s audio that can be tuned into by a nearby radio – has gained almost cult status because of its bad boy rep. Ironically this tag actually eclipses the fact that the popular little device is crap.
Still that hasn’t stopped it selling by the bucket load (as it so often the case) or preventing a multitude of imitators turning up (I’ve read SanDisk’s version for its Sansa player is the best – below – but I haven’t tried it to know for certain).
So how soon can we expect common sense to prevail in this depressing legal farce? Well, according to quotes attributed to Clayton Hirst (an evil Ofcom minion) by the BBC, it may take a while. He admitted the organisation was “working with other European administrations to develop a common set of standards to allow some low-power devices to be sold and used in the UK", but then ruined it all by saying some of the devices on sale "may not meet these technical standards, designed to minimise interference to other radio users. As a result, they are unlikely to be authorised for use in the UK in the future."
So the next time your radio waves are sabotaged by the dulcet toes of Corinne Bailey Rae broadcast by the iTrip of some unassuming hippy chick pottering down the street in her Mini you’ll know Clayton Hirst was right. Except that’s never going to happen.
More things that are silly in this world: Clayton Hirst, Ofcom, Minis, petrol prices, grapefruits, perms, Gary Neville, Death Tax, the 70mph motorway speed limit, KFC, Ben Affleck movies, Ben Affleck, polyester, corduroy, felt, corded telephones, Licensing Laws, still Spode…