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Tech Buying Guide: Extras

Sunday, November 21, 2004; Page F07

What if the object of your gift-giving already has all these gadgets? First, hope you don't have to take the person's tech-support calls, then think of things that can make a digital camera, MP3 player or handheld better. Most digital-camera users can always use a bigger memory card -- but you need to make sure you buy the right format for the camera in question. The same caveat applies for extra camera batteries.

With MP3 players, a variety of add-ons can extend their reach. A pal with a new iPod might appreciate Apple's iPod Dock, which plugs it into a stereo, or FM adapters that play an iPod's tunes through a car stereo. (Similar adapters are available for other MP3 players.) If this friend is an audiophile, consider better headphones. Last, folks who have started downloading music at the iTunes or Napster online music stores might enjoy a gift certificate; Apple's are sold on its Web site, while Napster's can be bought only by downloading the software needed to access its online store.

Have friends with handheld organizers or smart phones? Most rely on SD Cards to store such larger files as MP3s, so a new card -- 256 MB is a good size -- should not go unappreciated. Another option would be an extra docking cradle or recharger, for people prone to syncing handhelds to more than one PC. A screen protector is a good, cheap idea; a carrying case can be not so cheap if it carries the right label, but fashion is like that sometimes.

-- Rob Pegoraro

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