Each week Ross Rubin contributes Switched On, a column about technology, multimedia, and digital entertainment:
Nevertheless, as close a companion as many iPods are, there are times when they aren't packed in our pockets. Since they can hold months' worth of music, hard drive-based units in particular can serve as the main music library in the home in any number of ways -- with one-piece or, more recently, a variety of separate speaker docking speakers, through add-on docks for receivers or home theater-in-a-box systems from popular home audio companies, or via standalone media docks such as the Kensington Entertainment Dock and DLO HomeDock and HomeDock Deluxe (which added a Media Center-like television user interface).
Further taking advantage of this new role, USB remote pioneer Keyspan and iPod accessory veteran DLO have released new remote-controlled docks -- the $179 TuneView and the $129 HomeDock Music Remote. What separates these new arrivals from earlier efforts such as previous AV docks from DLO and Kensington is that they have screens that can be used for track display and navigation -- a simpler slice of Sonos.