50 Fun Things To Do With Your iPod

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.

Note: This page is a bit outdated; it was published just after the first iPod shuffle came out and before the release of a video-capable iPod.


Make your own pirate radio station

Just expose the antenna on your iTrip FM transmitter and you can broadcast your iPod's music library to any radio a short distance away. Useful for silencing loud radios or just messing with people.


Find good NYC pizza

The piPod software will guide you and your musical friend to some of the best pizza places in New York City.

iPod Hoodie

Dress it up

If Apple's iPod Socks don't catch your fancy, there's always the iPod Hoodie, complete with drawstring enclosures. Either is perfect for a cozy afternoon nap on the couch.


Record audio without extra hardware

Rather than buying the iTalk for $40, you can install a program called Podzilla on your iPod and use a regular old microphone to record high quality audio.


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.

iPod photo

Store your photos on the go

If you're out shooting and don't have enough room on your camera's memory card for all the photos you want to take, offload them to your iPod with Media Reader, erase the card, and shoot away.


Call your friends

Combine the iPod with early 1990s mobile phone tech, and you can play music and make calls with the same slim device. Fits neatly in the pocket of some very large pants.


Share your music with complete strangers

Approach someone with the signature white ear buds, smile, and trade headphone jacks to get an earful of your new friend's music.


Find your way in the dark

Griffin's iBeam turns your iPod into a laser pointer (for presentations, annoying people at the movies, or exercising your cat) or a flashlight. If only it would shine the currently playing song info.


Look at yourself in the mirror

The backs of the larger iPods are very shiny and make pretty good mirrors. Here are some folks who've documented this feature.


Get it a tattoo

As your iPod gets older and grow more rebellious, it'll eventually want to get a tattoo. O'Reilly is happy to help with this guide to creating your own iPod tattoos. No word on any available piercings.


Record your vocal thoughts

With the iTalk or Belkin Voice Recorder, your iPod has audio-in capability as well. Record notes to yourself, interviews for later transcription, or just ramble into it and share it with the world (see podcasting below).


Build yourself a portable jukebox

Pair your iPod with a Tivoli PAL (Portable Audio Lab) unit and take your tunes anywhere, sans headphones.


Listen to text

If you're sufficiently clever about Linux, you can install a text-to-speech app on your iPod, making it possible to listen to your menus or text files through your ear buds.


Modify the look and feel of the iPod OS

iPod Wizard lets you modify the graphics and fonts that come with your iPod so that, for example, you're greeted by the Lego logo when you start it up.

Hand crank

Live off the grid and charge your iPod shuffle by hand

Phil Torrone made a hand-cranked contraption for charging your iPod shuffle. It's still in the experimental stages so there's no word on how many cranks it takes for a full recharge.


Get mugged

Thieves in several cities have reportedly been targeting folks wearing the iPod's signature white headphones and stealing their iPods. Look at this as an excuse to get some better headphones.


Mix drinks at the bar

Podtender contains recipes for over 900 mixed drinks.


Read the Constitution

Brush up on US historical documents by perusing the US Constitution to your iPod "while listening to Avril Lavigne and Method Man".


Murder someone

HeadlinedNews.com recently reported that "Memphis woman was arrested and charged with first-degree murder after she bludgeoned her boyfriend to death with an iPod" but was later revealed to be a hoax. Still, the 60GB iPod Photo is a hefty chunk of metal...


Keep track of your appointments

All iPods, except for the shuffle, come with calendaring functionality built in, so you can sync your desktop calendar to your iPod and keep track of where you're supposed to be and when if you're out and about.


Get inspired

American Rhetoric has made available audio versions of many famous political speeches, including MLK's "I Have a Dream" and JFK's "Ich bin ein Berliner".


Read your favorite weblogs

Keep track of the news and what your friends are up to by putting their RSS feeds on your iPod.


Cook a nice dinner

The PodGourmet software contains 260 recipes for the discerning chef. There's even a vegan version available with an additional 277 recipes.


Make a RAID array

Unsatisfied with just listening to music on his new iPod shuffle, Jim Wright enlisted some friends' shuffles and made a RAID array out of them. "As far as the Mac is concerned, it's just another drive on the system."

Play movies

Play movies

Well, not real movies, but by scrolling through thousands of screen caps from a movie while playing the audio from the same movie, you can kinda sorta simulate the effect.


Run your favorite Linux apps

Linux runs on everything these days, and the iPod is no exception. Not sure how many existing applications run on Linux for the iPod, but I'm sure efforts are underway to port many useful apps.


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.


DJ at a club

No need for turntables at some clubs these days. Some DJs just play from their iPods and some clubs even invite patrons to plug-in and play something from their own personal iPods.


Change the channel on your TV

Using Griffin's TotalRemote software and IR device and a bit of elbow grease, you can set up your iPod as a remote for any number of devices, including your TV, DVD player, Xbox, and Roomba.


Relive the good old Walkman days

If you pull the guts out of an old Sony Walkman, you can stow your iPod in there and wear it around pretending it's 1987 all over again. Hipster chic!


Jam to Meatloaf for all eternity

I guess if you're going to be buried in a box six feet beneath the ground for the rest of time, you may as well bring along some music to keep yourself occupied...until the battery runs out.


Take photos of it with famous landmarks

For whatever reason, lots of people like taking photos of their iPods in various locations around the world, including Stonehenge, the Sydney Opera House, and dozens of other places.


Explore alternative energy sources

Solio is a solar powered charger for the iPod that also works with popular mobile phones and PDAs. Wouldn't it be cool if the entire back panel of the iPod were a solar cell so you'd never need a charger?


Disguise it as breath mints

The iPod shuffle is so small that it fits nicely within a case of Altoids. Punch a hole in the top for your headphones, and people watching you listen to an Altoids tin will think there's something curiously wrong with you.


View your photos

With the recently introduced iPod Photo, you can store up to 25,000 photos in your pocket. Take it to grandma's house for a little slideshow of the grandkids' latest adventures or take it along to dump your digital photos onto when your camera's memory card gets full.


Make free phone calls

Drop some phone tones on your iPod, make number playlists to dial, and play them back to dial phones. Not sure if this still works on modern pay phones or what, but if you've ever wanted to build a red, blue, or green box, this is an easy way to do it.

Put on your makeup

Put on your makeup

The mirrored surface on the reverse of the larger iPods makes for a good emergency make-up mirror, as this woman demonstrates (second photo down).



Using a voice recorder attachment, you can record your thoughts on your iPod, dump it to your computer, publish it to your web site in such a way that people can download your musings to their iTunes Library, sync that with their iPod, and listen to you babble about something on their way to work. It's called podcasting and hopefully it'll get much easier than that.


Add a (much) larger hard drive

If the hard drive in your iPod dies, it turns out that with the proper converter, you can just replace it with a normal-sized 3.5" hard drive. Not that you'd want to, but still cool!


Sell it on eBay and use the profits to buy a Chinese knockoff

The iPod is too popular not to have inspired Asian knockoffs. Here's a Chinese version of the iPod mini. It's got a USB 2.0 connector, plays MP3s and WMA files, and contains a built-in FM tuner. I'd love to see what the OS looks like and how exactly the navigation works...cause it doesn't really look like that wheel scrolls.


View stereoscopic images

With two iPod Photos aligned in the proper manner, you can view stereoscopic (3-D) images just like our forebears did in Victorian England. Save this one for the next time you have friends over for tea in the parlor.

Wake up to your mp3 collection

Wake up to your mp3 collection

Using an iPod with iTrip and a normal radio alarm clock, tune the radio to the frequency the iTrip is broadcasting to, set the wake-up times on both devices for the same time, and your music will play through the alarm clock when it goes off.


Look up old friends

Keep track of your contacts on the iPod with built-in software. Supports standard vCard files.

Note: Actual number of fun things you can do with your iPod may not equal 50. No refunds.