Or how to keep your original iPod Shuffle clean and still useable with minimum expense
First off, credit to Derek who posted the idea way back in August '05.
I found a ridiculous deal on 1G iPod Shuffles at Brand Smart back in November '05 (more than 35% off list; apparently they figured out they were losing money becuase they now price them at market.)
I couldn't justify (still can't) the cost of a bigger digital music player, but at the price I found them, and with this home-made cover and a cassette deck adapter, both my better-half and I have music in our pockets (and with some decent water-proof headphones, music to take into the pool for work-outs) and in the car for less than the price of the cheapest hard-drive based player (not including any accessories for the bigger players.) By the time these cases wear out, I'll have saved-up for two water-proof Otterbox covers (part of taking them swimming.)
Parts needed - an iPod Shuffle (1st generation), some travel-size Band-Aid cases (most places that carry Band-Aids), a small piece of foam (0.25"/0.65 mm thick), some scissors, and a small drill bit or other augering tool:
An unmodified open case as viewed from the inside:
Carefully remove the labels (you will need to take it slowly, they rip easily and are very sticky...):
Cut off the back upper tab and get a feel for the plastic:
Round the edges:
Use the notch to center drilling a hole through the bottom side front face, big enough for a headphone jack to fit through, widening the notch made in the previous step:
Cut a similar hole through the pre-existing shelf-peg merchandising hole on the top side tab (careful not to split the tab):
The two holes should line-up to allow a U-shaped mini-streo jack (most headphones) to fit though:
With the headphone connected, the case is secured closed. Fortunately, the plastic is maleable enough to allow the button to be pressed if there is some kind of padding (I used 0.25"/0.65 mm thick anti-static foam) to put the button up against the inside face of the bottom of the case.
To fit the laynyard as well carefully cut grooves in the top lip of the rear of the bottom side of the case, remove material around the hinge and on the bottom lip of the inside of the top case:
The white plastic is translucent enough to see the LED if the case is shaded - the LED is not visible in direct sunlight, but the audio feedback is usually sufficient to tell whether a click was succesful.
For the user-interface challenged, a marker can be used to show the appropriate places to click:
Of course, this case is neither water, nor crush proof, but at about $1, it is cheaper than the silicone sleeves and other random cases on the market and still lets the shuffle be manipulated as designed.
Some things really are simple. Sorry for the blurry pictures - no macro lense for my camera.