With a few simple steps you can customise a media player with your own logo and graphics. Richard Wentk shows you how to turn your iPod into a unique promo item.
Why use a business card when you can make more of an impact on potential clients and customers by giving them something they'll use everyday, customised with a regular reminder of your logo and URL, and perhaps also some unique content? An open source application called RockBox opens up the iPod's firmware and gives you total control over its features, look and feel.
Writing a completely new player application is an advanced project, but you don't need to do this - RockBox has done all of the hard work for you. The new player software is already written, and it's easy to install. All you have to do is reskin it to promote your brand.
In the following tutorial we'll explain how to do this on a 5G iPod. However, RockBox works on a range of players, from Apple and other manufacturers, so if you'd prefer to make your point with a different model, you can follow the same steps with just a few alterations. Because this is more of a technical than a creative tutorial, we're going to spend more time looking at how to make the technology work for you. Once you understand how easy the process is, you should have no problems converting your own branding projects into this delivery format.
Another RockBox advantage is that it converts closed players such as the iPod into a simple USB drive. Your player can still be used with iTunes, but you can also copy other kinds of content to it - video, audio, possibly even a version of your website, or your design portfolio. Not all kinds of content will be playable on every player, but if you want to make an impression, giving someone a customised piece of hardware is going to be more convincing than a CD. And best of all - RockBox is free.