iPod Giveaway #3: alt.shuffle

An iPod is many things. A music player, an audiobook reader, a status symbol. Through creative advertising and exceptional product design, Apple has turned this little plastic brick of engineering into a cultural phenomenon. What Apple hasn’t told you, however, is that before they settled on “personal music player” as the official function of an iPod, the Apple team considered thousands of alternative brand concepts ranging contemporary shaving device to table-leg evener. The aim of this third monthly Mike Industries iPod-A-Month Creativity Competition is to submit the most creative alternative use of an iPod.

Entries may be submitted as text, video, audio, a web site, or a 418×418 GIF/JPEG image. As usual, there aren’t any hard rules except to stay away from overtly offensive material. The contest will end at midnight Pacific Time July 1st.

Once again, Dennis Lloyd and iPodLounge.com have volunteered to add a pair of $150 Etymotic ER-6i earbuds and a sport case to the original Mike Industries prize of one iPod Shuffle. Thanks again iPodLounge!

And a big thanks as well to Josh Armstrong who came up with the idea for this contest. I will be shipping Josh his Shuffle shortly. Don’t forget that the submission pool is open until the end of the year.

Good luck to all entrants. The official name for this contest is “Best Alternative, Unintended Use of iPod”.

Important note: All images must be submitted as 418×418 GIFs or JPEGs and must remain under about 80k in size. Any image that is not precisely 418×418 and under 80k will be deleted. Use a standard <img src="http://yourserver/yourimage.jpg" /> tag to enter any images into the comments section below.

109 comments on “iPod Giveaway #3: alt.shuffle”. Leave your own?
  1. Magnus says:

    I just had to do this one before anyone else :P

  2. Sage Olson says:

    Does it have to be an iPod shuffle?

  3. Reed Morse says:

    Sage – I don’t think so. Doesn’t say so in the rules.

  4. Leo Kennis says:

    Great contest idea…too bad I’m in the middle of finishing my first year of university. Well, good luck to anyone, let’s hope this contest produces some more “Einstein with shuffle-quality” pictures!

  5. John says:

    I was thinking what went well with the whole “ipod” theme while staying away from actually just including a blank ipod and I think I found it :)

    Hope you guys like this and its my first entry into any of Mikes competitions so don’t be too harsh on me.

  6. Mike D. says:

    Sage: Yeah, I suppose you can use any sort of iPod you wish if it fits your entry better. Unless the context of your entry requires a non-Shuffle though, I’d try and use a Shuffle.

  7. Osman says:

    While you are playing chess, you can use ipod shuffle instead of missing piece! :P :)

  8. John says:

    This will probably get asked somewhere between now and the end of this contest, but are we only allowed one entry per applicant? I didn’t notice anything in the description warning us we are only allow to submit one entry so I’m assuming if we don’t go overboard a single visitor can have more than one submission?

  9. Martin says:

    What’s better than taking a coke/beer out in the summer-sun while listening to your iPod?

  10. Chris says:

    John – It is ok to enter more the one (it has been on the other 2 contests anyway)

  11. Martin says:

    Use it to make people look at you!

  12. Cheryl - doh! says:
  13. Nathan says:

    Maybe not the most original, but certainly practical…

  14. Chris says:

    Look cool even when lost… yes it’s the iMlost

  15. Thomas says:

    Although the pack of gum is something often associated with the size of the shuffle, I feel a bit more nostalgic and think of the PEZ dispenser. I did a quick ‘toon of steve to top it off.

  16. Bahari Bin Haron says:

    Useless in those “dark” moments.

  17. tiberius says:

    Could be alternatively used as an “Object of Seduction”

  18. Philip says:

    Osman, I like that chess set you took a picture of. Looks like some neat pieces!

    the “iMlost” – best name yet!

  19. B-J says:

    There just isn’t enough tech stuff for the ladies.

    99 % accurate randomness? I’m not sure I would recommend such a product, after all.

  20. Dom says:

    I’ll have one of these please:

  21. Dom says:

    Note to lab – make drool-proof edition.

  22. Chad says:

    I have no creative skill, therefore, a textual description that someone else can run with (I’m sure someone already is…)

    The “iDoctor”. In addition to random tunes while filling out the paperwork, the iDoctor acts as a stethoscope, otoscope and ophthalmoscope.

    Next up on the iDoctor, “Heartbeat” by Wham!

  23. It’s probablt too offensive, but hell, I had fun doing it.

  24. Mikael says:

    My last try didn’t work out that great. So lets hope it works now.

    The perfect way to totally ruin your social life… by getting a robot friend! Thank you Apple :)

  25. Nathan says:

    For when you need to keep an eye on things…

  26. Nathan says:

    Sorry can’t help myself, last one I promise…

  27. Tiberius says:

    Be stealthy

  28. Tiberius says:

    yea, two in a row, I’m addicted

  29. Simone Merli says:

    Shuffle your composition with “iPod Shuffle, random music generator”.

  30. Matthew Smith says:

    Before the iPod Shuffle was introduced, the now-familiar design was considered for the new Apple Stores. The new stores were to be quite a considerable upgrade from the current stores that are found throughout the world.

  31. Charlie D. says:

    The iPod splint: Suddenly breaking a finger doesn’t seem so bad

    View this and all my entries at http://homepage.mac.com/animeniac06/ipod/

  32. dizchik says:

    is this only eligible for residents in the US?

  33. Andres says:

    I got it! an mp3 player!

  34. Andres says:

    No? How about a paperweight?

  35. joshua says:

    Just a clarification before I create an entry. The contest title is “Best Alternative, Unintended Use of iPod”, and your original description is along that lines, i.e. alternative ways to use an iPod in it’s current shape and form. Can you elaborate if that is the intended contest.

    So far, most entries are along the lines of alternative products with an iPod form-factor.

    Or does the distinction not matter?

  36. Daniel Foley says:

    Last one for today, I swear.

  37. Charlie D. says:

    The iPod folio: When you really want to get a potential employer’s attention.

    View this and all my entries at

  38. Charlie D. says:

    US troops unleash new R.A.I.D. on Iraqi insurgents

    Associated Press – June 22, 2005

    Baghdad – The US military has unleashed a new non-violent weapon to aid in the suppression and securing of insurgent strongholds.

    The weapon, code-named R.A.I.D. (Repressive Aural Immobilization Device), is produced from the popular iPod shuffle consumer device. The R.A.I.D. adds a miniature speaker and amplifier to the iPod device, allowing it to produce sounds of over 120 decibels.

    The R.A.I.D.’s are activated and lobbed into enemy-held areas. The device then begins blaring offensive and discouraging noises: high-pitched screeches, gunfire, explosions and the like. This cacophony causes enemy troops to abandon their weapons, cover their ears and flee from their stations. The 12 hour battery life of the iPod component prevents subsequent incursions and ensures ample time for soldiers equipped with hearing protection to take and secure the mission objective.

    “I feel this may be one of the better non-violent weapons we’ve been developing,” said Major James Cooke, head of the Aural Division of the US Department of Defense Non-Violent Weapon Research Department. “It may also double as a morale-booster. Troops would be issued a R.A.I.D. like any other piece of equipment and could enjoy their own music. Then before embarking on a mission, they could link up to a field computer and install the ‘battle playlist.'”

    Wednesday’s field test was a success, according to First Lieutenant Timothy McNamara, officer leading the test. The devices not only deafen enemy troops, but confuse them with the sounds of weapon fire. “When strategically deployed, it sounded to the insurgents as though they were surrounded and being fired upon by several units. We actually had a few surrender without the need to fire a single shot,” said McNamara.

    Cooke believes this successful field test of the R.A.I.D. has helped solidify its future inclusion into the US military’s arsenal of non-violent weaponry. “Hopefully in the future these devices will find their way into civilian enforcement as well for use in situations like riot control.”

    The iPod shuffle, released earlier this year, is the latest addition to the popular iPod digital music player line released by Apple Computer.

    –View this and all my entries at

  39. Mike B. says:

    people need not live in fear on the subways anymore, with the iBlade you can now sport those styling white earbuds without caution.

  40. Charlie D. says:

    Just in case anyone wonders…

    Entry 57 (US troops unleash new R.A.I.D. on Iraqi insurgents) is a parody and is in no way associated with the Associated Press, http://www.ap.org. All characters and situations within the story are fictitious and any resemblance to real characters (living or dead) or real situations is purely coincidental. I apologize for any confusion or misunderstanding that may have occurred.

  41. Charlie D. says:

    Last one for today, I swear :)

    iPod pipette: Make your lab partners jealous.

    View this and all my entries at

  42. Jason says:

    Talk Different: iTalk

  43. William Stuart Michelson says:

    Hey someone, I seem to be having some troubles posting an image here, can anyone help? I tried to simply attach it. and it is within the 418×418 parameters.

    Does my image need to be hosted somehwere else for this to work?


  44. Jason says:

    Yes, your image needs to be hosted.

  45. Erik says:

    iLax: Unpause Your Life

  46. Tiberius says:

    The iHal, a mini talking car computer

    I assume everyone saw 2001: A Space Odyssey…

  47. Ed M. says:

    One might use an iPod Shuffle as a golf tee…

  48. Melissa Gray says:

    So unoriginal, but hey! I’d love a mobile-slash-iPod.

  49. Sorry for the code errors.

    A medical use for the i-pod shuffle.

  50. B-J says:

    Tattoos and Polaroids? He should’ve used an iPod Photo instead!

    Oh boy, first a blatant copy of a well known brand, now a screenshot of a blockbuser movie; law suits in 3… 2…

    OK, I’m just goofin’ around here. Maybe I shouldn’t have submitted this; it’s such a lousy edit anyway.

  51. Richard says:

    Sometimes, you just need a ruler, for all those little things in life

  52. Steve says:

    Lest we forget
    (sorry Mike – thought I’d sized it right the first time – second try:)

  53. MikeD says:

    Cause I live in Tucson, AZ (AKA God’s Microwave)

  54. Nathan says:

    A revolutionary new game is sweeping across the globe, iBall – conceived by the ITTAOTW (International Table Tennis Association of the World) is a bold attempt to bring a more random and enjoyable experience to Table Tennis players worldwide.

    The unique rectangular shape of the iBall and its ability to bring a large portion of uncertainty to any game is key the overwhelming success of the sport. Without that uncertainty Table Tennis would simply be a matter of hitting the ball back and forward over the net, but the iBall could end up anywhere, now that’s random.

  55. Pierre Nel says:

    Intel Marketing Tool ;-)

  56. Charlie D. says:

    iPod spy: The spy kit revitalized.

    View this and all my entries at

  57. mikael says:

    In a long long time
    In town far far away
    The iPod Shuffle had turned out usefull as a brick.

  58. Ty Hatch says:

    Doomed from the start. It didn’t fit into any product lines, name didn’t start with “i” (The name was waaay too long anyway.)

  59. Nice Paul says:

    The contest is alternative ways to use an iPod in it’s current shape and form. So far, most entries are along the lines of alternative products with an iPod form-factor.

    I think you’re right that most entries (including my own) have misinterpretted the brief. The example image given is an alternative way to use an iPod shuffle in its existing form.

    That said, I couldn’t resist this pun-fest…

  60. Charlie D. says:

    iPod reader: Read a book. Anywhere.

    View this and all my entries at

  61. Yuto T. says:

    Only one of my many great ideas. The rest of them will not be done due to lack of energy.

  62. Steve says:

    iPod Mixer

  63. James says:

    For whenever you feel the need for a small, thin waffle.

  64. Adarsh Dilip says:

    I’m not sure how many of you watched Steve Jobs at the WWDC2005 in San Francisco – but if you had looked carefully, he was holding a small gadget during his entire keynote speech. Maybe it was curiosity, but I happened to have one of them neat little Casio EX-Z750 and with a little zooming in, look what I found:

    Looks like Steve Jobs came up with the most creative alternative use of an iPod shuffle !!

  65. MartinPartin says:

    The best alternative use is to give it away to make more site-traffic on your homepage!

    Adn don’t say this isn’t true, because it’s what you do with it, and we all love you for it :P!

  66. Mike B. says:

    iBreath mouth spray, freshen your breath on the go with random flavors of minty freshness.

    Never worry about having bad breath anymore.

  67. Paul S. says:


    Is it possible to insert a Flash movie in a comment, or should I post a link to it on my site?

    Thanks in advance! And nice pictures from everyone!

  68. Mike B. says:

    replace your doorbell with an ipod shuffle that is wirelessly integrated into your home theater system. Dock includes locking system with key, power supply, Plastic weather proof shield and wireless attachment for home stereo system. Never have to listen to the same old boring doorbell tone again.

    A different song everytime your doorbell is rung

  69. Do you want to try? :P

  70. Ok… sorry; on the previous comment, the preview showed correctly the results of the ’embed’ tag for including a Flash clip, but as seen, the post method didn’t work as well as the preview…

    So here is the link to my site, with my contribution for the giveaway:

    Hope you like it!

  71. Yuto T. says:

    my other entry. enjoy

  72. ayse says:

    iJenga. Have fun!

  73. Omer says:

    iLock… Fully secure! :)

  74. B-J says:

    Flags are outdated. Get with the program.

  75. iPlanet, home of the future:

  76. Matthew Smith says:
  77. Yuto T. says:

    I wish I can get one of these… its the ultimate iPod accessory!
    Features: Mic, built-in speakers, a/v out, mem card reader, file transfer to ipod, ipod charger, and 4 or 8gigs of flash mem. exPod: the iPod extention.

  78. Joe D'Andrea says:

    iControl: The remote. Simplified.

    At last, take full charge of your digital and analog life. With iControl, you’re in control.

    Master your domain.

    Control all your A/V components, your HVAC, the microwave, the oven and stovetop, the bread machine, the dishwasher, the washer/dryer … that ancient Magnavox Astro-Sonic cabinet stereo gathering dust in your basement, your car stereo, the garage doors … the windows (and Windows) … your indoor and outdoor lighting, the backyard grill, the jacuzzi. All this and more in the palm of your hand.

    It doesn’t learn. It knows!

    Just about anything and everything answers to your beck and call with the slightest touch of a finger. It’s even BorgXGrid compatible.

    Show ’em who’s boss.

    iControl gives new meaning to the phrase Bluetooth compatible, swiftly conquering anything and everything in its path. We kid you not.

    Dismantle it? Good luck. Anyone who tries will be greeted with an ear-shattering piezoelectric signal and tazer attack bar none.

    Light your fire.

    That’s right, now you can spontaneously light a fire, with or without a fireplace, within up to a ten foot radius! Try doing that with an iRiver.

    It’s not magic. It’s iControl*.

    Best of all, it fits in the palm of your hand, with the elegance and simplicity you’ve come to expect, nay, demand.

    * “Do not taunt iControl.”

  79. Matthew says:

    Made so the user would have to buy two (which doubles profits) and tie them together to form a pricey jumprope. It was figured that the sheer cost of it would make it a ‘have to buy’ item. However this original design for the shuffle was quickly dumped as they relized they’ld have to fight for the copyright on the name.

  80. Erik says:


  81. Mike B. says:

    With iDrum you can control the music playing in the background. With the ability to bring in backup music on demand you can now mix up your own background music while you play the drums. With the wifi transmitter and included software you can record the tracks chosen onto the computer. The wireless transmitter also doubles as a remote and will work with any 802.11 b/g network enabled device. The reciever can be plugged into your car or home stereo for additional enjoyment of your music.

    iDrum……..Drum to your own beat

  82. iPod toothbrush

    So there’s this contest. Every month, they give away an iPod shuffle (and an extremely nice pair of headphones). This month’s contest is to come up with the most creative alternative use of an iPod. Entries can be a description,…

  83. […] “joshua” was right when he questioned whether most entries in the third monthly iPod-A-Month Creativity Competition correctly followed […]

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