A few years ago Richard Branson announced that he had invented a machine that could store all the songs in the world. Studio executives were in state of disarray because of potential harm it could have to their businesses. In the end it turned out to be an elaborate April fools joke. However, it did stimulate the interest of Steve Jobs, who later revolutionised the music industry with iTunes. Ironically this prank from Branson could have contributed to the demise of his Virgin megastore business.

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When I was at university (many decades ago) I was very content with my record player and speaker system. I actually liked the crackle and hum, which in my opinion gave the music character. This was highlighted in the film adaptation of Nick Hornby’s wonderful High Fidelity novel starring John Cusack. These days there is no need to peruse through metres of vinyl to find that perfect song because it is all stored on a tiny MP3 device. Of course the quality isn’t as good as a CD (because it is compressed) but it is a lot more convenient.

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There are many decent iPod docking stations available on the market and one of my favourites is the B & W Zeppelin. This device not only looks cool but also has a pretty decent sound quality. However, if you want something even more exclusive, then Italian company iXoost has the answer. They make a range of handmade products (in Modena) inspired by classic automobiles. What makes them special is the attention to detail and choice of materials like wood, brushed steel and aluminium. One of my personal favourites is the XiLO Scuderia, which has speakers shaped like a car exhaust system and real carbon fiber elements.

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Like most high quality handcrafted products, the sensational XiLO Scuderia doesn’t come cheap. Therefore, you should expect pay €5,900 (approximately $6,729) for the privilege.

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