Many people believe the iPod Shuffle is simply a cheaper alternative to the real McCoy of an iPod Nano or an iPod Classic, but if all you can afford is an iPod Shuffle, there's still plenty you can do with it.
You can do about a million things - or, as Kottke.org shows, 50 - but the bottom line is that the iPod Shuffle is a bare-bones, simple alternative that delivers good access to music and podcasts without any of the frills.
Many people enjoy this; for those of you who don't, here's a bit of a refresher course on what the iPod Shuffle can do.
1. Listen to talk radio after it's already broadcast.
One of the great things about the iPod Shuffle is that it can function like TiVo for the radio. What do I mean by this? Quite simply, you can download podcasts to your favorite radio broadcasts and listen to them with a day's delay. Many people find that they're working while their favorite radio shows are on the air, but by subscribing to your favorite show's podcast on iTunes, you can easily cycle through new podcasts as if you were listening to the radio on a daily basis. It's a great substitute for the radio and it won't require that you alter your schedule.
2. Move up through the iPod ranks.
If you're smart and you want the thrills of the more expensive versions of the iPod you can leverage your iPod shuffle to get you better deals. How? Simple bartering. Don't believe you can be that trade-savvy? Check out FreeLamborghini.com, one man's quest to turn two pennies into a Lamborghini simply by making a series of wise trades and transactions. Suddenly turning an iPod Shuffle into an iPod Nano doesn't sound like such a wacky idea.
3. Design your own workout album and time yourself by it.
If you need some good songs for working out and want to make sure you get at least a good 45 minutes at the gym, put together a nice inspiring playlist that's around 45 minutes, clear out the old songs from your shuffle, and press "play" when it's time to get cracking. You'll have a watch-free, creative way to time yourself; you'll know when to stop when you hear your first song for the second time.