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50 Fun Things to Do With Your iPod 255

Ant writes "Jason Kottke's Web site has compiled a list of 50 fun things to do with your iPod besides listening to music with those white earbuds: From the article 'In the four years since its introduction, the iPod has proven to be a versatile little device. Despite a relatively closed architecture, hackers have found their way in. Content creators and software makers put information at your fingertips when you're on the go. Would-be designers have added to the fashionable stylings of the now-ubiquitous white ear buds. Hardware makers and enthusiasts have augmented the iPod with new add-on gadgets. Here are a few dozen things you can do with your iPod besides listen to music.'"
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50 Fun Things to Do With Your iPod

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  • 45-50 (Score:4, Funny)

    by biocute ( 936687 ) on Sunday January 08, 2006 @05:03PM (#14423194) Homepage
    List 45-50 are slashdotted, so here they are:

    45. Blend in with a device everyone has

    46. Untangled from useless features in cheap chinese knockoff

    47. Free of battery failure with compulsory annual replacement

    48. Go deaf

    49. Buy back from eBay the iPod you gave someone for XMas, with original receipt and no shipping cost

    50. Invitation to the iPod nano class action lawsuit
    • by Greyfox ( 87712 )
      Run a web server on it and get slashdotted!

      Actually most of those suggestions weren't particularly useful, some were repeats and #9 is patented if you follow their suggestion on how to use that particular mod. Nothing particularly earth shattering in the lot.

    • Re:45-50 (Score:5, Funny)

      by Carthag ( 643047 ) on Sunday January 08, 2006 @05:32PM (#14423342) Homepage
      My favorite thing is putting the earbuds in my nose and opening my eustachian tubes. It's as if the music is coming from within your head (well, it is, really).
    • Re:45-50 (Score:2, Interesting)

      by saskboy ( 600063 )
      "50 fun things to do with your iPod besides listening to music with those white earbuds:"

      I was going to suggest 48 too. Hearing societies recommend against using earbud style earphones since they are further down the ear canal and thus cause more damage to hearing when turned up too loud. Personally I think loud music from regular headphones will cause the same level of damage at the same perceived volume, since that's the volume that someone wants to listen at anyway, not a set number on the dial.
  • by MasterOfUniverse ( 812371 ) on Sunday January 08, 2006 @05:09PM (#14423223)
    Listen to music! Gosh its a music player for Gods sake, not second coming of a slice bread..
  • Altoid Box (Score:5, Funny)

    by superpulpsicle ( 533373 ) on Sunday January 08, 2006 @05:09PM (#14423226)
    Alright the #35 one should not count. That sounds like something fun to do with an altoid box, not an iPod.

  • A bit disappointing (Score:3, Informative)

    by carou ( 88501 ) on Sunday January 08, 2006 @05:10PM (#14423230) Homepage Journal
    There's actually only 44 things in the list, and about half of those are duplicates of each other (perfect for /. then...)
  • by Mancat ( 831487 ) on Sunday January 08, 2006 @05:14PM (#14423249) Homepage
    iBuzz: a music-activated, iPod-powered vibrator

    http://www.lovehoney.co.uk/product.cfm?id=5294 [lovehoney.co.uk]
  • audiobooks (Score:4, Interesting)

    by DarkClown ( 7673 ) on Sunday January 08, 2006 @05:15PM (#14423256) Homepage
    I love my ipod, and listening to music on it is great, but it has definitely made me an audiobook junky - it somehow feels like I'm pulling one over on The Man at work when I'm listening to a book that is actually interesting and possibly sucking my atention away from the job at hand.
    I realize that this isn't really specific to ipods, but getting one for some reason made me willing to check them out - kind of thought they seemd like a corny idea before.
    installing linux on it and playing doom was definitely fun, but the audio on the nano in linux is still [retty glitchy, so it's just kind of novel to have.
    what i'm really looking forward to, or hoping for at least, is the rumored video support for nano in a possible forthcoming firmware upgrade. the nano is just small enough to sneak by veging out on videos all day at work - the laptop is a bit sore-thumbish. hooray!
    • Second the audiobook recomendation. Spacewise, I have more audiobooks on my pod than music. I'm also an Audible [audible.com] member, so I can get most of the latest bestsellers for about $11 a book. Much better than paying $30-$50 for the cd versions.
  • by MosesJones ( 55544 ) on Sunday January 08, 2006 @05:16PM (#14423261) Homepage
    Buying one for your wife... meaning you have to upgrade your home machine to play iTunes... honest dear it just won't run on this single CPU one...

    • Ok, that was funny.

      But seriously, my father bought one... despite him taking about 3 weeks of studying to figure out how it worked.... it meant lots of upgrades to the computer for him:

      New USB2 card
      New Hard Drive (had 30GB drive, and 40GB iPod)
      Fresh Windows Install

      Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! /hates iPod
  • Linux? (Score:2, Funny)

    Will it run.....It will? Awesome!!
  • No radio (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Douglas Simmons ( 628988 ) on Sunday January 08, 2006 @05:22PM (#14423295) Homepage
    One thing you won't be able to do, at least with Apple's factory setup of the iPod, is listen to radio (unless one day they charge for satellite radio). This could be so easily added as it is seen on competitors' devices but if users aren't listening to downloaded music, rather something from a source they do not control, then they are not buying things on iTunes. Am I correct to guess that this is a marketing thing and not because they can't fit a little radio on there? If so, that should be a big criticism of the device.
    • Re:No radio (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Espen ( 96293 ) on Sunday January 08, 2006 @05:45PM (#14423393)
      One word for you: podcasts

      Now I get to listen to the radio programs I want away from the tyranny of the schedulers.
      • news broadcast

        I'm sure you'll enjoy being the first to hear on a podcast how there how such-and-such died or so-and-so plane crashed... the day after it happened.

        This applies to many things, really... don't forget that a 'podcast' is nothing more than a fancy word for easy 'subscription' to downloadable audio files. So you download the podcast, and listen to it on your way to work, etc. But once over - oh well, I guess you can listen to the same podcast again. And again. It's like having all your favorit
      • Podcasts...woop-dee-doo.

        Fun word. It's just a bloody recording! Have fun stumbling onto new stuff you like with that format.

        Maybe I want to listen to the local college radio station or a real alternative station that isn't clearchannel owned and maybe hear some new local music, eh?
        • Have fun stumbling onto new stuff you like with that format.

          There are many podcast directories you can visit to do just that.

          or a real alternative station that isn't clearchannel owned

          You'll find that much easier with podcasts (given that they are international and free, and anyone can set one up) than with Radio stations, I really don't see your point. Your local college radio station probably already has a podcast : )

          Whatever you call them, audio subscriptions are here to stay and are significantly better
      • Podcasts are nice, but actually I don't listen to podcasts on my ipod. I listen on my PC at work or at home. I don't think they are as closely connected to iPods as people make out.
    • Re:No radio (Score:3, Insightful)

      Or it could be that there aren't enough users interested in radio to justify the cost of adding it. Yeah, it might increase sales a little bit, but is the slight increase of sales really worth adding seldom-used radios to the other millions of iPods that you would have sold regardless? I know conspiracy theories are popular here, but can you actually make a business justification for adding a radio? Even if a radio adds only $5 of cost per iPod, if you are selling millions iPods, then you are adding an e
    • Re:No radio (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Trurl's Machine ( 651488 ) on Sunday January 08, 2006 @07:40PM (#14423854) Journal
      One thing you won't be able to do, at least with Apple's factory setup of the iPod, is listen to radio (unless one day they charge for satellite radio). This could be so easily added as it is seen on competitors' devices but if users aren't listening to downloaded music, rather something from a source they do not control, then they are not buying things on iTunes. Am I correct to guess that this is a marketing thing and not because they can't fit a little radio on there? If so, that should be a big criticism of the device.

      That would explain why the "competitor's devices" are now a runaway success and iPod is just a miserable failure...

      ..or rather is it the othey way round? Well, if it is - then this should be a pretty good answer for your "big criticism". The market demand for radio-equipped digital music players is too small for Apple to bother. Apple's strategy seems to be "sell a basic device with ginormous offer of all kind of add-ons (among them - FM receivers [griffintechnology.com]). The "competitors devices" seem to be based on an entirely opposite strategy - "sell a device with all features that we can fit... and no add-ons". It seems that the first one works better on the market, would you agree?
      • I'd rather spend the $300 on a feature-packed player than spend $300 on an iPod, and then an additional $200+ on accessories just to even come close to those offered by its competitors. The iPod would be fine if it cost ~$100, but instead it is overpriced, mainly due to the massive amount of marketing.
    • Re:No radio (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      If so, that should be a big criticism of the device.

      What, exactly, would that criticism be? That it doesn't have a radio? Plenty of devices don't have radios. My toaster, for instance. My laptop. My cellphone. Hell, my CD player doesn't have a radio, even though it would be "so easy" to fit one on there.
  • hungry? (Score:3, Funny)

    by AkA lexC ( 939709 ) on Sunday January 08, 2006 @05:24PM (#14423302) Homepage
    Im fairly sure you could swallow the nano with little effort.
  • Number 28...FYI (Score:2, Informative)

    by IAAP ( 937607 )
    FTFA: Get religion

    Take the Book of God anywhere with BiblePlayer, listen to the Quran on your walk to the office, or discover the wisdom of the Torah on the train.

    And you can also get meditation instruction, Dharma talks, etc... - Here [buddhanet.net] ...FYI

    I like to learn about Asian philosophy.

    • Sorry... (Score:2, Funny)

      by IAAP ( 937607 )
      I didn't mean to Karma Whore.

      Get it?

      Karma whore referring to a Buddhist Site!

      I kill me!

  • Emergency Boot Drive (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 08, 2006 @05:46PM (#14423400)
    I use my iPod for music, audiobooks, podcasting, and storing notes. But one other thing I use it for is an emergency boot drive.

    I cloned my start-up disk onto my iPod minus unecessary files and use it as an emergency boot drive. If I need to repair/maintain the start-up disk, I can do it with my iPod which has all the utilities I need. I've repaired my friends' Macs this way too. It's faster and more flexible than booting from CD.

    Plus, I often simply boot from my iPod when I'm using my school's Macs or friends'. (With permission, of course.) I get to run my apps with my environment which I can sync back and forth with my Mac.

    Unfortunately, now that all iPods no longer support FireWire, this will be my last iPod that can be bootable.
    • Unfortunately, now that all iPods no longer support FireWire, this will be my last iPod that can be bootable.

      Wait, ipods no longer support firewire?!? I thought Apple was the #1 firewire cheerleader... What happened?

      I'm confused because I had vaguely been thinking of adding a firewire card to my circa 1999 PC as a way to add an external harddrive (the idea being that it would be compatible with any new system I bought while still being convenient and reasonably fast), and that I could also buy and ipod an
  • by __aaclcg7560 ( 824291 ) on Sunday January 08, 2006 @05:46PM (#14423401)
    I was at the gym this morning in what apparently was Sports Bra Sunday since a lot of women were wearing them without a shirt. One woman had an regular iPod sitting in the front middle of the sports bra while running on the treadmill. I'm not sure if that's the most practical place to put it or she was too cheap to get an arm-band or waist iPod holder.
  • Website? (Score:4, Funny)

    by ruiner13 ( 527499 ) on Sunday January 08, 2006 @05:48PM (#14423409) Homepage
    Is their website running on an iPod? If so, i'd take it off the list now :)
  • by aftk2 ( 556992 ) on Sunday January 08, 2006 @05:49PM (#14423413) Homepage Journal
    Since it didn't make it.

    iPod bartender and iPod bartender shuffle [electricstate.com]

    (I think something similar did make it, but mine is free.)
  • iBirdPod (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dpbsmith ( 263124 ) on Sunday January 08, 2006 @06:05PM (#14423466) Homepage
    ...is a very interesting offbeat iPod product.

    Stokes' Field Guide to Bird Songs, which I've owned for a number of years, is a three-CD set of recordings of about 300 bird songs. iBirdPod "software" is nothing more than a very elaborate script--I think it's just AppleScript but I'm not sure--that loads these CDs into iTunes (and thence to your iPod), but makes extremely clever (ab)use of the title, artist, and album fields, the playlists, and the feature that allows the user to define starting and ending times for each track.

    For example, the track named "Towhee, Eastern" is by "artist" "drink your teeeee, towhee," from "album" "Pipilo erythrophthalmus."

    It's contained in playlists "birdPod-All-alpha" (which includes every bird alphabetically by common name), "birdPod-All-phylo" (which includes every bird alphabetically by scientific name), "birdPod-Forest" (which includes only forest birds), "birdPod-Shrub-Brush," "birdPod-Sparrows" and "birdPod-Urban."

    Every track is "cued up" to start at the very beginning of the most common song... particularly useful since the Stokes CD's sometimes double up two or three songs in one track.

    So, if you're in a forest setting you can call up the "birdPod-Forest" playlist and you hear a bird calling something like "Drink your tea," scroll through the "artists" until you get to "drink your tea," and play the song to confirm it. Or if you read about Pipilo erythrophthalmus you can scroll through birdPod-All-phylo, read off that it's the towhee, play the song, and make a mental note that the mnemonic for remembering the song is "Drink your teeeeee."

    When I learned about it, my first reaction was what? they're charging money for that? I could do all that myself. Then I remembered why I didn't have my Stokes CD's on my iPod already... and I made a quick mental estimate of just how long it would take me to organize the songs... and decided it was money well spent.
  • #51. Use your iPod for anything other than a web server.

    http://www.networkmirror.com/FCHBZyg5Fudct_vH/www. kottke.org/plus/50-ways-ipod/index.html [networkmirror.com]
  • by Twid ( 67847 ) on Sunday January 08, 2006 @06:25PM (#14423544) Homepage
    51. Clean your iPod with brasso based on a slashdot comment. Take pics and post about it [dailey.info] on your weblog. Get an amazing amount of traffic. Watch the adsense dollars flow in.

    I'm not saying I'm retiring soon or anything, but it was surprising to see the checks from google show up. Bonus! :)

  • Frankly, I'm more interested in using my ipod to, well, listen to things. Not that all of this isn't cool, but most people buy the things to use them as mp3 players. There are thousands upon thousands of podcasts out there, and the signal-to-noise ratio is better than you might think. (Meaning: there are lots of good casts).

    That said, suggest some good podcasts ;^) What is slashdot listening to?
  • #5: Listen to your mp3 collection in the car

    "Griffin and Kensington (among others) sell FM transmitters for the iPod. Just tune your radio to the proper frequency and out comes your music collection."

    Those FM broadcasters usually sound pretty bad. I have a standard Sony CD deck in my car, and on the back it has an "AUX" input for a CD changer I guess. I bought one of those cables that has RCA plugs on one end and a mini-headphone jack on the other from Radio Shack. So now I have a cable that just kind of
    • Some car manufacturers are starting to put connectors in their systems. Scion is one that I know of that does it. Hopefully the manufacturers will learn that trendy young kids aren't the only people who like to have their music on the go.
    • You can get wired FM modulators that are usually a huge improvement in quality over the wireless ones (although still limited to FM audio quality).

      Alternatively, some cars, like mine, come with a factory head unit that supports an external CD changer. Those basically include a couple of control lines, and some line-level audio lines. You can get third part boxes that sit on that cable and pretend to be a changer, whilst actually just accepting a line in from whatever you plug into them. In my case, the h
    • The original Griffin iTrips worked very, very well on 87.9 FM; the new dock-connector based ones are not as good, even on 87.9 FM (which many radios can tune, but which can't be used for broadcast in the States).
  • how do they count? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by AlgorithMan ( 937244 )
    Despite the fact that there are only 44 things (with an excuse that is at least quite funny) did you notice that there are more like 20-25 things you can do with your iPod - many of them (podcasting, record stuff, use it as a mirror, read texts, disguise it in some way, broadcast radio signals) are mentioned multiple times...

    but how about this one: get arrested for installing linux on it
    or this one: die from age while waiting for the unbeleivalble slow software to have uploaded your music on it
    and this
  • I own one (Score:2, Insightful)

    A mini (which had the best case, most reasonable size/capacity/price). I have had it for a year, and have replaced the battery myself just this Xmas. While it is nice and all, it is NOT a device worthy of the hordes of gibbering idiots that worship the damn thing. I have crashed the OS several time, had it freeze on me several times, had it corrupt data, had the battery not last half the expected lifetime, given up on iTunes (ml_ipod for Winamp for teh win - and yes, I prefer Winamp as a media player becaus
  • Stealing Cars? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by MoonPost ( 931388 )
    So if you can imitate the signal form the TV remotes, then you should be able to imitate the signal from car keys too?
  • #57 - Pacemaker -- You can raise and lower you heart rate with the scroll wheel. Note: required a slight modification of the ear buds.
  • by xsspd2004 ( 801486 ) on Sunday January 08, 2006 @07:51PM (#14423891)
    Okay, I know it is against the [ignorant and out of touch] law in the US, but why not watch real movies on your iPod? That's why I bought the stupid thing.

    My recipe goes like this:

    1. Clone DVD to get the VOB files to my hard disk.
    2. MergeVOB to get them into one huge file.
    3. Videora iPod converter to do the MP4 converting.
    On my rather dated machine the process takes about an hour 40, but the movies are only 700mb and that doesn't make much dent in my 60GB

    Okay, now here's the kicker. I bought the movies legally on DVD and still have the case and all, why is this illegal? That's just stupid I don't care who you are. I should be able to put the disc in and iTunes should rip it for me, just like a CD.

    • If I were Steve Jobs, that exact feature is what I would announce this Tuesday. Imagine if iTunes could rip your DVDs automatically, and apply Fairplay to the rips so that you could share with 1 or 2 other computers. If anyone could get the RIAA to agree to that, SJ could.

      Of course, the only way to make this work would be to increase fees to rental agencies like NetFlix and Blockbuster. Less people would be buying movies, so that's how the RIAA would have to make back their money. The good news is th

  • IPDA (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Belseth ( 835595 ) on Sunday January 08, 2006 @08:18PM (#14424006)
    Seems a lot of the features are trying to turn an Ipod into a PDA. If some one would just make a PDA with a proper hard drive that has an Ipod style menuing system there wouldn't seem much of a fight for functionality. Ipods are still largely a single use device. I use my PDA all day long and would be lost without it. I'm guessing cost is the big factor holding it up. Personally I'm pretty happy with the 1 gig card on my PDA. I store a lot of stuff on it and have yet to use up 10% of the memory. If it breaks I can pull out the card and drop it into a new one and be up and running in minutes.
  • iWhine (Score:5, Insightful)

    by naChoZ ( 61273 ) on Sunday January 08, 2006 @08:19PM (#14424010) Homepage Journal
    Being half deaf on the left, I wish someone would figure out a "hack" for balance control. Pretty sad such an obvious control would have to be a hack though...
  • goodbye-pod (Score:5, Insightful)

    by drwho ( 4190 ) on Sunday January 08, 2006 @08:46PM (#14424122) Homepage Journal
    I am so tired of hearing iPod this, iPod that -- these devices are not the first, nor the best, the portable MP3 players. I am also surprised that so many people here in slashdot, who tend to be quite reactionary about privacy and public disclosure rights, seem to blithely surrender to iTunes, that software which rules your music collection -- one which is in some ways spyware (reporting back to apple what you listen to) and is subject to the whims of Apple and its cohorts. At what point will MP3s become unsupported unless digitally signed by some Authorized Party such as Apple or the RIAA? I live my Creative MUVO much better - just drag and drop your music, no sweat, no software, no Big Brother. And, unlike the iPod shuffle which I was misguided enough to get my girlfriend for Christmas, it doesn't require software (iTunes) which caused the CD drive of her computer to no longer be recognized by the OS. I returned it to the store, and am going to buy her a MUVO.

    • by Greyfox ( 87712 )
      My ipod has never seen the inside of itunes. Every single song on it was loaded with gtkpod. Breaking my old Palm address file into files 1 per address didn't take long -- awk did it in a line of code. I can put backup files on it too, though that's of limited use since my Windows machine at work can't read the Apple-formatted drive. It's still a handy 60 gig drive I can just happen to listen to music on, though.
  • is the one thing they didn't mention and which I think would be the most fun. Especially if it is somebody else's ipod...
  • Very old page (Score:4, Insightful)

    by l00k ( 910333 ) on Sunday January 08, 2006 @08:55PM (#14424157)
    Erm, this has been on the net since at least May last year. A give away is "..With the recently introduced iPod Photo.."

    Some things that aren't inluded in that list:

    1. Convert large text files and into notes for use on iPod [ambience.sk]
    2. Rip DVD Movies To Your iPod Using Free Software [diveintomark.org]
    3. Use your iPod Photo or Nano as a Yahoo! Maps directions viewer [ipodiway.com]
    4. How-To: Get TV shows off of your TiVo and onto your iPod [engadget.com]
    And that's just from clicking through del.icio.us search results for iPod a few times.
  • Overhyped? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TechForensics ( 944258 ) on Sunday January 08, 2006 @09:18PM (#14424254) Homepage Journal
    The IPod has a stellar "coolness" factor, but I tell everyone considering one to get an Ipaq instead. Maybe a bit less memory in most configurations, but WiFi, Bluetooth, Web browsing; or interface to your GPS, remote-control just about any IR device, print, use Word, Excel, read Ebooks, receive streamed video from your home server.... and of course, Solitaire. If you're not flush with extra cash, why get a less-capable device for more money?

Money may buy friendship but money cannot buy love.