Logitech Harmony 670 Advanced Universal Remote
Between the DVR, the DVD player, the TV set, the CD changer, the Xbox 360, the PC and the receiver connected to them, your coffee table may be drowning in remotes. Enter, the Logitech Harmony 670 Advanced Universal Remote.
Logitech's universal remotes don't just replace the controllers that come with your A/V components, they go far beyond them.
Press the Harmony's Watch Movie activity button, and the appropriate devices turn on, switch to the right inputs, and begin playing. It takes some configuration (you'll have to install an app on your PC and tell the remote which components you have and how they're connected), but once the Harmony is dialed in, you'll never need your old controllers again. This is the way all remotes should work.
M-Audio MicroTrack 24/96. Oh, and Audacity
Okay, this is two products, but they go together. The M-Audio MicroTrack is a portable digital recorder that captures excellent audio and saves your recordings in .wav or MP3 format. You can use it to create podcasts, and it's ideal for recording phone interviews, meetings, and such. You can then play back recordings on the M-Audio or on an iPod. Audacity is free audio software that allows even audio novices to edit their recordings easily.