Your new 3rd gen iTouch will look as if it is floating from its perch on this crystal-clear cradle. You don't have to buy anything to make it if you have simple tools handy. This is an easy project.
(If you click in succession on the series of pics in this step, you can see a 360 degree view of the end result.)
A connectable data & power dock mod of this idea may be possible by many handy folks familiar with this site; however this instructable will concentrate on a pure viewing cradle.
Step 1: Remove Thin Platform
The fall 2009 release of the iTouch comes in a small clear box, very sleek and 'Apple cool.' Within is a minimalistic plastic platform that grips the top and bottom of this iPod for secure packing. You can make a viewing cradle for your desktop out of this item, using nothing more than a slot cut into the lid of the box.
1. Remove the thin platform from the clear box. Leave the white cardboard flap inside. (You can continue to store manual, headphones, etc. even while using this cradle.)
Step 2: Mark Top of Box for Slot
2. Hold the bottom edge of platform about 3/4" away from one of the long edges of the top of the clear box , centering it left to right. Using a dry-erase marker, mark the length for the slot you will be cutting.
Step 3: Cut Narrow Slot
3. I used a Dremel rotary tool with a thin abrasive cutting tip to make the slot. When cutting, angle the cutter back, approx 30 degrees, away from the front edge. The slot should be barely wider than the platform you will be inserting. Make 2 passes if need be, and if you don't have a steady hand to follow the line you drew, use a straightedge for a guide while cutting. (You could also use a soldering iron with a knife-edge tip, run it along a straightedge; but that will leave melted blobs for you to scrape off.) I don't think a pure knife as a tool will give the best results, the plastic is pretty tough and the slot will probably come out poorly.
Step 4: Insert Platform in Box Lid
4. Take the platform and insert it in the slot. It should lean back at a nice viewing angle. The top of the platform has a barely visible indent, over the power-off button, so be sure to orient it that way when you use your i-Touch in cradle; otherwise it may press on button.
Step 5: Place ITouch in Platform
5. Place your uncased i-Touch into the two ledges of the platform. I find it fastest if I slip the top into the upper lip, and then snap the bottom of the i-Touch into the lower lip. This also avoids wear -and-tear on the power button.
Step 6: Enjoy!
6. Fire up a photo slideshow, or run your favorite clock app. (The clock I'm using lately stays on unless I choose to change the screen, so I don't have to continually wake up the screen. (a free app from Piaget Polo, it shows various watch images that tell live time with moving analog hands, and a sweeping second hand, too.)
I think Apple should send this box with a slot already cut into it--would make a great in-store display besides being useful for us end-users.