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Hardware Hacking Businesses Media Media (Apple) Apple

Shufflephones 2.0 147

Posted by timothy
from the status-symbology dept.
Photo_Designer writes "After hacking my first pair of headphones to accept an iPod Shuffle, I just couldn't keep my hands off my other set of headphones and hacked an iPod shuffle adapter inside them, too. This version also includes an all-new expansion jack which allows sharing your music on the go, plugging your Shuffle into a stereo with a patch cable (without removing it from the phones), and also allows the headphones to be used as regular phones with the shuffle removed or turned off."
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Shufflephones 2.0

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  • How come no-one (Score:3, Insightful)

    by odaen (766778) on Monday March 21, 2005 @08:35AM (#11997677)
    Has got round to putting the buttons on the outside. Surely you don't want to remove your headphones whenever a song you don't feel like comes on. Now do this mod with a Zen Micro and I'm interested.
    • Re:How come no-one (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Why would I put a song I didn't like on my shuffle?
      • Come on (Score:1, Redundant)

        Why would I put a song I didn't like on my shuffle?

        You're right, why does the shuffle come with any controls other than "volume" and "play?"

  • I... (Score:5, Funny)

    by matticus (93537) on Monday March 21, 2005 @08:35AM (#11997682) Homepage
    I can't help but laugh at how funny people would look wearing headphones tethered to each other's ears. Is this a new trend? Love will bind us together, and also our headphones?
    • Hardly - when the original walkmans hit it big in the early 80s, this was quite a popular thing to do for awhile.
    • How about those 'pointy shoes' that even guys wear now! I'd rather been seen with a big audiophile-headphone.
    • Bluetooth (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Is this a new trend?

      Only until Bluetooth becomes more popular. Then you'll have a hack for your iPod that broadcasts the audio via BT and anyone with a BT headset can listen in.

  • by EvilCabbage (589836) on Monday March 21, 2005 @08:36AM (#11997687) Homepage
    Apart from bashing me in the side of the head, and making it essentially impossible to interact with the volume or track selection without taking them off, are there other bad points I'm missing in this?
  • It might sell... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by two-tail (803696) on Monday March 21, 2005 @08:37AM (#11997690)
    A worthwhile retail product. Although I'd prefer one that has the shuffle buttons on the outer case of the headphones. Of course, that means that someone next to you could sneak up behind you and change tracks! (would be nice if the new jack was line-level; better for stereo connections)
    • Too bad iPods don't have line out connections.
      • They may not have a direct line out connection, but a line-out connection can be provided through the Dock interface. The docks distributed with the 3rd-generation iPods (when they first came out) included line out connections.

        Supposedly one could determine which three lines from a dock connection provide the line out signal & run them into a headphone jack.
        • Supposedly one could determine which three lines from a dock connection provide the line out signal & run them into a headphone jack.
          If you hold the iPod in your hand, screen towards you, pin 1 is the leftmost pin. Pins 2,3 and 4 are ground, right and left respectively.
    • Re:It might sell... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by ciroknight (601098) on Monday March 21, 2005 @08:59AM (#11997800)
      I agree wholeheartedly. One of the most annoying parts about having an iPod is the headphone cable. Where I'm usually towing around my iBook, it gets entangled almost every time I take it off/put it on. I'd love to have a pair of headphones with a set of iPod buttons on the side of them, and with a built-in iPod Shuffle dock in the bottom (sorta so it would just slide up and plug into a female USB port inside). Sell 'em for $40-$50 bucks a pop and they'll sell like wildfire. Of course, all you'd have to do to steal one then would be nab someone's headphones.. and an option for a fullsized iPod would be rediculous..
      • by ciroknight (601098) on Monday March 21, 2005 @09:22AM (#11997925)
        Grr, I effing hate that /. doesn't have an edit post button, but...

        What if they built Bluetooth 2 into the iPod? I know it wouldn't be effective for transfering songs because it's so damned slow, but what it would be effective for is WIRELESS BLUETOOTH HEADPHONES. That way there's no need to over-engineer a pair of headphones and you can keep the iPod in your pocket. They could even build a little module that plugs into the "iTrip" port on the current iPods to give them bluetooth. Beats the hell out of carrying around a pair of AM/FM headphones, an iTrip and an iPod.
      • Smartwrap [ipodx.co.uk]. Has saved my cord from being thrown out with the tangle frustration.
      • If you don't mind earbud-type phones such as the ones that come with the iPod, check out boxwave.com - BoxWave primarily focuses on PDA accessories for travelers, and their main products are their mini* series of retracting cables. They sell earbud phones with retracting cables, so that you can have the thing fully retracted in a tiny little package when in your laptop bag.
    • Re:It might sell... (Score:2, Informative)

      by springbox (853816)
      TDK already made hardware [cnet.com] that is more compact than this. It's an audio player (have to convert MP3s or WMAs to a special format) that has 128MB of flash memory.. Anyway, it might not be the ideal solution, but you still can get the same effect of "singing along with headphones that don't appear to be plugged into anything."
    • Ya, this would be perfect if you could somehow hold the controls in your hand, like a remote control for the headphones. That might be hard to do wirelessly, but with a wire it might just work. Then you could switch tracks easily AND adjust the volume without having to take off your headphones!
  • by CdBee (742846)
    I saw "Apple" and "..phone.." and thought the iPhone had been announced at last, with a silly name...
    • Yeah, they call them head phones, because they're only for stoners.
    • Re:Dammit! (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      The new iPhone Shuffle from Apple - randomly dials numbers from your contact list when you go to make a call.

      Hmm, useful.
    • And as with the mouse, will have half as many buttons as you expect a phone to have. Steve Jobs will call it insanely great. Logitech, et al, will provide a version with twice as many buttons as you expect. It will be met with deafening silence by Apple.

      The very concept that the iPod still has wires all about it is kind of funny though. OTOH, maybe Apple is worried about people sharing iPods with Bluetooth? Somewhat silly thought but not beyond anything else.
  • Next Up (Score:5, Funny)

    by LittleGuernica (736577) on Monday March 21, 2005 @08:41AM (#11997707) Homepage
    Thats looks pretty useless...no easy access to controls and the comfort of a plastic stick to your ear blocking the headphones.. Looks like a great time waster though.. Next up, he will mod a Mac mini into his beard, which will then monitor the bacteria accumulation in it and send an email when it's time to take a shower..
  • by lisaparratt (752068) on Monday March 21, 2005 @08:41AM (#11997708)
    I know I'm only a girl, and therefore stereotypically bad with tools, but isn't a ground down screwdriver called an awl?
  • by zecg (521666) on Monday March 21, 2005 @08:43AM (#11997722)
    I have hacked my girlfriend to accept me hacking all her stuff to accept iPod Shuffle.
  • Hey! (Score:1, Funny)

    by B1ackDragon (543470)
    No need to demolish perfectly useful equipment for small parts (3.5mm stereo jack) any more my friend...

    Just buy a few from Digi-Key [digikey.com] and be set for life!
  • Factory production? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by TERdON (862570) on Monday March 21, 2005 @08:48AM (#11997754) Homepage
    Interesting solution, but not very neat. Not having the cable for the player seems great. It would be more interesting to see factory-made headphones with included flash mp3 player. That would make a more fancy solution. However, I'm not sure that would really happen - most people who use headphones are rather nittpicky about the quality of them...
    • well there's always the oakley thump sunglasses [oakley.com] - not so helpful in the dark, but certainly more practical than the hack. Pity about the capacity of course ;-)
    • I think somebody already made one. Not really sure who, but I think it was RCA. Now if they could make something smaller, so it could be easy to hide in a hoodie.
    • Actually, I just took a crack at opening my Sony MDR-V6 [amazon.com] phones, and there's enough space in the one side to hold the working guts of the shuffle, plus a pair of small batteries. The usb connector would probably have to be swapped for a mini-female type, and the off-shuffle-cont switch replaced with a mini-type on the side. With some minor metal work, a circular hole could be cut in the aluminum shell for the original play button, but the new guts would need some positive retention to provide resistance fo
  • In the pictures I see these headphones use the type of cheap speakers as found in small transistor radios, instead of proper headphone drivers.

    It's a funny idea, but don't expect anywhere near decent audio quality.

  • ouch (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Keruo (771880) on Monday March 21, 2005 @09:00AM (#11997809)
    I bet his ears hurt after few hours of listening, that ipod stuck between the cushion must feel awful.

    He should use something like this [atruereview.com] instead
  • Street cred? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BrK (39585) on Monday March 21, 2005 @09:07AM (#11997850) Homepage
    How exactly do old-ass headphones give you "street cred".

    Not to mention this whole "hack" is so non-Apple. There is no "style" to it, and it's cumbersome. Not to mention that the Shuffle in one of the ear cups probably affects the sound quality a bit.

    I'm also a little tired of the "hack" moniker being thrown around so readily. Soldering a couple of wires together is not a "hack" in most cases, it's just... well... soldering.

    Take the shuffle apart, integrate its electronics into the headphones, and port the controls and I/O to the outside, keeping the same layout so that the headphones have a "hint of shuffle" to them (maybe even paint the headphones a nice eggshell white). THAT would be closer to a hack, IMO.
    • Re:Street cred? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by reaper (10065) on Monday March 21, 2005 @09:58AM (#11998161) Homepage Journal
      I'm also a little tired of the "hack" moniker being thrown around so readily. Soldering a couple of wires together is not a "hack" in most cases, it's just... well... soldering.

      Dude, this is a hack in the purest sense of the word. Dirty, cheap, and barely viable for the desired outcome, and done with stuff lying around. Back in the long-long ago times, on alt.hack, every post had to have a hack listed, so even though some people listed these elaborate hacks, a lot of them were of the "duct taped this contraption to that one, and you could use it to hold a cup of coffee!" variety.

      No one ever questioned the validity of those hacks.

      • I'm familiar with alt.hack as well. But I'd like the think that we have progressed a little. I know there are 1000 bits that can be taped, glued, and/or soldered together to make other interesting bits, but that doesn't mean they are noteworthy.

        We either need a new word that is like hack++ to differentiate the real interesting hacks from the lame ones, or we need a word that would be more like --hack for the entry-level hacks.

        • Or we need to ignore whiney elitist bitches and enjoy the neat stuff that people do.
        • We've already got 'kludge' for the entry-level stuff.

          But, as others pointed out, there's nothing beautiful about a traditional hack. Think programming with an axe, if you like.

          Mind you, to do that, you often need to know a lot about how all the pieces you're hitting with that axe all fit together.

          Something elegant is called a 'product'.

    • Re:Street cred? (Score:3, Interesting)

      Saying that this is no "hack" is like going into a muesem, pointing at the all-black canvas, and saying, "Hey, that's not art. I could do that."

      Point is, you *didn't* do it and someone else did.

      What, you paint a bunch of haystacks at sunset and that's art? But some guy's splotch painting *isn't* art?

      Says you.

      *shrug*

      The guy that did this, did it. Whether or not it's a "hack" (according to your definition) is beside the point.
      • You seem to be basing your point on the idea that I'm standing idly by and bitching. All I'm saying is that I think this particular "hack" is a little bit trivial to be called a "hack". As someone else pointed out, it might be better to apply "kludge" to this one.

        FTR, I've done a number of hardware and software "hacks" myself. Had I wanted to accomplish a set of cordless headphones, *I* would have done it by way of an RF transmitter/receiver pair so that the Shuffle is still accessable and controllable.
      • Re:Street cred? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Shotgun (30919) on Monday March 21, 2005 @12:16PM (#11999746)
        OK. This isn't a hack worthy of a /. article, and the all black canvas isn't 'art' worthy of being hung in a museum either. Both are aptly described as 'lame'.

        The former soldered a few wires into a set of headphones that most people would be embarassed to wear in public unless they were using a chainsaw to cut down trees. He didn't even have to design an impedance matching circuit.

        The latter is just boring. Something to be expeceted from the lazy kid in a high school class as he tries to throw together a 4-week assignment on the final night.

        I agree. This is a hack. Just a very un-notable one.
  • Goddammit! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by agraupe (769778)
    This is a pretty cool hack, but I'm getting more and more pissed about this iPod Shuffle. About a year ago, I bought a Creative MuVo. I figured, hey, it's about a quarter of the price, works easily with linux, and can double as a flash drive. Suddenly, everyone has an iPod or some other non-flash-based player, and I look like an idiot. What the fuck did apple do to have such control over the mp3 player market? I mean, being rather satisfied with my current player, I can't imagine what the shuffle does
    • Why does this piss you off?
    • Re:Goddammit! (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Because ...

      1) It works well with iTunes and the MuVo doesn't work so well. Last time I tried I rendered a MuVo unusable and had to reformat it with a Windows only program. There wasn't a Mac or Linux program to reformat it.

      2) it's cheaper than the competition

      3) It's got style

      4) It's got marketing

      5) It works with the best online store

      6) It's got a really simple no fuss interface

      7) It's got better software - iTunes

      I've not tried it yet, but iTunes can downshift the bitrate to 128 AAC when it copies MP
    • Re:Goddammit! (Score:3, Insightful)

      If your player works for you, what's to be angry about? Has anyone denied you admittance to a restaurant because your player wasn't an iPod? Been turned down for a job because your earphone wires weren't white?

      From your reference to "zealous fanboys", I might guess that Apple's success is sticking in your craw. I hope I'm wrong about that, because if that's the case, it would indicate that you've got unresolved personal issues.
    • iPod shuffle is a piece of crap, and the people who have it are all idiots. I mean, the darn thing doesn't even let you choose the album to play. One must be a real bumbling bee to buy sumthing like that:-)
      • I'm not sure what you mean by "doesn't let you choose an album to play". You don't have to put it in shuffle mode. You can set up a playlist in iTunes and forward or back to whatever songs you want.

        I actually also own a 10-gig old school 'pod - but I use the shuffle around the house or when I'm exersizing, where I want something small and sturdy that I can set and forget. It fills a need that I had - for a small portable device for exersizing. Buying a product that does exactly what I need it to do doe

    • Re:Goddammit! (Score:5, Informative)

      by 2nd Post! (213333) <gundbear@NoSpam.pacbell.net> on Monday March 21, 2005 @11:09AM (#11998882) Homepage
      Several points:
      When has cheaper ever meant better? Cheaper, by definition, means cheaper. Do you like looking cheap? Being called cheap? Would you date someone cheap?

      The iPod, as a non flash based player, has one advantages:
      Storage capacity
      Price

      The iPod, as a non Creative part, has two advantages:
      UI
      Software

      And then you ask, "What did Apple do to have such control...?" Some would answer 'marketing', and that's correct. Apple has adverts on TV and in print. The Practice had an episode two years ago where one lawyer said in court, "I would hate to live in a world where we are all plugged into iPods and ignoring each other. A little bit of noise is good sometimes."

      Then you ask what the Shuffle does better: It's cheaper. $89 for 256mb from Creative or $99 for 512mb from Apple. It uses iTunes, which is free if you want to see why it's better than Creative Nomad Exlorer (or whatever they call it now).

      Finally you ask, "Why do people act like Apple was the first people to make mp3 players?"

      The answer is, Apple was the first to make a portable high capacity high usability mp3 player.

      The Apple iPod did four great things when it was released that no one else had ever done:
      Make something the size of a pack of cigarettes that could store more than 256mb; it could store 5gb. The local competitor was the Creative Nomad, which was the size of a 4 CD box and weighed over a pound, and was far from portable.
      It used Firewire. Synching an iPod took less than 10 minutes to upload 5gb of music. The Creative Nomad, using USB, could upload 500mb in 10 minutes.
      It had a phenomenal UI, which could be used one handed. The Nomad, on the other hand, could not. It had a folder based UI display, and even today the Nomad 3 has 11 buttons on it's face to control it's UI. The iPod, still, only has five.
      It had phenomenal software, in iTunes. Not only could you upload 5gb of music, the software allowed you to manage many multiple gbs easily because it handled all the cataloging, database management, playlist generation, ripping, and encoding.

      Imagine how powerful this is, and this is something Creative only gained this year but Apple has had for two or three: A playlist generator.

      I want:
      Not country
      Songs played less than 4 times
      Songs not played in the last week

      That's what Apple offered, in iTunes, that no one else had. iTunes ALSO offered (new at the time, I'm sure everyone has most of these now):
      Streaming shared online libraries. iTunes users can see and play each other's libraries
      Automatic tagging
      Streaming to wireless speakers (Airport Express)
      Automatic ripping
      Automatic synching
      Music search via ID3 tags
      Album art
      CD burning (remember 'Rip, Mix, Burn'?)

      I think the MuVo works with iTunes; give it a shot!
    • Two words:

      white spraypaint.
    • Suddenly, everyone has an iPod or some other non-flash-based player, and I look like an idiot.

      If image is what you are primarily concerned with you have answered your own question: Why does apple, traditionally the company of great expense an zealous fanboys, suddenly have such mass market appeal, compared to its competitors?

      I would like to note however that Apple is not succeeding on image alone. Interface and usability go along way.

      Why do people act like Apple was the first people to make mp3 players?

  • Only a fellow geek could convince himself that street cred was something you could achieve with a soldering iron, a pair of headphones, and an ipod. :-) Listen UP Mother Boards You've been a cold Solder JOINT cover your EARS, try not to HEAR this is one you can't SKIRT I got an iron with your NAME An I'm not talkin 'bout your SHIRT
  • I thought we were about to see a new mobile that had no screen and would pick the next person to phone at random.
  • Weak... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RaZ0r (145723) on Monday March 21, 2005 @10:14AM (#11998308) Homepage
    This mod is WEAK!

    I expected to see some complicated mod that provided controls for the iPod in the headphones.

    This guy simply soldered a headphone jack into his expensive headphones and stuffed his iPod shuffle inside the headphones, which restricts access to the controls.

    WEAK.
  • Or did anyone else get that familiar "goatse shudder" when you reached the frame that said "preparing to insert the Shuffle"? Just wondering. ;P
  • Where do you source the headphones from? Finding a decent pair of headphones in this neck of the woods (I.e. Suffolk, the UK) is a task in itself - I very nearly bought a _very_ nice pair of Bayer DT-109's for "only" £139.99. They would outlive me, but.....I don't want to spend £139.99 on a pair of fsckin' headphones!

    Would the next logical progression of this would be to find a random bluetooth headset; wire it into a decent headset; and then have a converter that would plug nicely over the i
  • I have found that people seem content with simply reposting stories that appear on hackaday.com. I understand that that is the essence of slashdot (i.e. finding interesting stories and aggregating them in one relevant place), but almost EVERY story from hackaday makes it to the front page of slashdot.

    Perhaps people can just start checking two sites every day?
    • Or, better yet, put another site in their RSS client....much more efficient, less bandwidth wasting (and you can 'accidentally' subscribe to RSS feed of new torrents from empornium at the same time ;-))

  • One thing that I am surprised about, is that not one manufacturer of these devices have come up with the obvious, and made MP3 headphones.

    Insanely stupid of them not to.
  • Why didn't this guy just buy a $2 miniplug "Y" splitter from Radio Shack, and stuff his Shuffle inside those big 'phones? Instead of spending a few hours over a couple of days and sacrificing a little radio he could have stuffed in the other side of the 'phones, with a second $2 "Y" splitter?
  • I hacked my IPod shuffle into my pants. (It's called a pocket)
  • iPod shuffle: $99 (Besy Buy). MURA SP-503 headphones: $1 (Goodwill) Lice and earmites from ratty old headphones that God-know-who wore before you, priceless.
  • Back in my day A hack was technical accomplishment of upmost geekdom -- that could not be easily reproduced without the possibility of electronic destruction of thousands of dollars and the possibility of bodily injury.

    Nowdays all these apple fanboys can tie a piece of string to some streamlined apple hardware....and it is considered a hack of remarkable accomplishments.

    95% of the "iHacks" would have been laughed off of the internet 3 or 4 years ago when people were really hacking stuff.
  • Apple and Cingular have merged to produce the new Shufflephone. When set on shuffle I found myself reconnecting with old friends I forgot were in my phonebook.
  • Here are some more modding (and disassembly instructions) for different portable music players [repair4player.org] and accessories.

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