You’ve got your iPod, you’ve got your laptop, and now you can proudly walk around showing them off just like everybody else. But we humans seem to have an inherent need to be different, so somehow stand out, and thus the idea of adding skins to your prized electronic possessions arose and a company called MusicSkins are at the forefront of this market and so we thought we’d have a look.
The first thing you’ve got to do if you want to make your device unique is have the right device, but fortunately this is a pretty easy step as there is a fairly wide range available: the Nintendo DS, Sony PSP and PSP slim, iPhones, iPods, Zunes, SanDisks, a whole variety of popular phones (10) , five different size of laptops (12, 13, 14, 15 and 17 inches), Seagate Hard Drives and most importantly four types of Guitar Hero controllers.
But, alas, despite saying it was easy I found I in fact had none of them which fortunately is more of an exception (especially considering how much I love new tech) than the rule. Mostly this is due to the fact that MusicSkins do not currently offer netbook skins (hint hint!), or at least skins for those less than 12” — so borrowing a sibling’s Nintendo DS was then next step…
Having identified your device you then need to choose your design and this is where it gets a little harder. Not only do you have the big collection of set designs to choose from (which my ‘tester’ relative cynically pointed out were mostly made up of “singers, dead people and skulls”) but there is also the ability to design your own which could add yet another level of individuality to your device.
So having acquired your skin for a small fee (ranging from around $15 to $30 depending on the skin) you are then faced with the task of applying your skin to your device, and this is not only irritating, repetitive and fiddly but surprisingly masculine (like Lego or Airfix) and satisfying because after having finally smoothed out all the air bubbles the skin fitted surprisingly well and left you with something completely different.
And that really is the great thing about these skins — it completely changes the appearance of your device and effectively gives you a new one and makes your device completely unique to you. But fortunately this isn’t a permanent thing, I found they are easy enough to peel off (not so easy that they fall of, but that you don’t need a screwdriver to do it either) which means not only can you go back to normal if you grow tired of it (or want to pass it on) but have a whole set which you could change around depending on your mood!
Overall there’s not a lot wrong with these MusicSkins, for a pretty small price you can get something that you can express yourself with, which is incredibly practical and doesn’t look like cheap stickers (in fact from a distance you can’t even tell that they are stuck on, especially if you put them on right). Not only that but they also offer some rudimentary protection — it can help with spills, scratches and knocks. Personally I was very impressed (I used the ‘hands’ design in case you’re interested) and I think that although I only tested one type of skin it was perhaps the most complex (with the screens, buttons etc) so I imagine the rest will be just as good!