The iPod: Beyond MP3s, beyond PDA


Wired offers an informative look into the myriad uses iPod users, and particularly people who hack the devices, have found for their pocket-size wonders.

Here are some highlights:
Jean-Olivier Lanctôt-David has figured out a way to display online news headlines on Apple's iPod digital music player.

One enterprising Japanese hacker has made a boom box out of an iPod.

VersionTracker currently lists more than two dozen different hacks for the iPod (search for iPod).

"It's got so much space and it's very easy to hack," one user told Wired. "Apple's done a great job. It's very simple. Synchronizing it is very easy. It's just a hard drive. You just copy files over. There are no weird synchronization protocols like the Palm. And you don't have to worry about space, like on a Palm. It's enormous. Who cares how much space you use?"

"If Apple opened the firmware, that would blow it open," the user told Wired. "That would change everything. That would be phenomenal."

Analysis: This could be the device that drives Firewire into the consumer product space. The overt as well as stealthy appeal of the iPod could make it the uber-hit consumer device of the year, and that's gotta be a good thing.