Apple's iPod is becoming a pawn in people's private lives, popping up in lonely hearts columns, problem pages, and personal ads.

A Wired report examines examples of how iPods have become must-have accessories. There is the case of the boyfriend asking whether he should break up with his girlfriend after she told him she'd have preferred an iPod mini to the expensive handbag he bought her.

Wired says classified ads show that iPods have become a new currency. It reports how one man offered an iPod to a girl if she met his parents, posing as his girlfriend. Others are advertising other favours in return for iPods.

In one girl asks: "Where are you, my iPod man?". Another lonely heart advertises herself as "enjoying playing with my iPod".