I stopped using my iPhone for listening to music at the gym a while back. I was always catching the cord for the earphones on the equipment as I moved around and either ripping the earphones out of my ears or yanking the iPhone out of my pocket.
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A new little accessory for the iPhone and iPod has turned up called the iLocket that looks like a neat way to keep the cords from getting tangled on equipment while you work or exercise. You unsnap the lid of the iLocket, wind the cord to your earphones around, and then click the lid shut again.
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This allows you to set the cord length to whatever you need for comfort and safety no matter what you are doing. The little thing looks like it would keep me from ripping my ears off on the bench press at the gym. The thing is cheap too at $4.19 and is available now.