I resurrected an old project: using the iPod to listen to podcasts instead of going to sleep listening to the radio. I used to listen to Radio 4 last thing at night, but these days the "comedy" isn't that funny, and then they have "today in Parliament" - so if I catch that instead it often gets my blood boiling and I'm suddenly awake, arguing with the radio. Oops, I just noticed that the BBC's link to "today in Parliament" hasn't been updated since 2004 - that says a lot.
With my current iPod accessory list, the options are either headphones or one of those short-range radio gadgets that allows me to play through a radio speaker. Not ideal as headphones are uncomfortable to wear in bed and the other system has to be switched off completely or the batteries die.
So, whilst in Tescos the other night/morning, I let my eyes fall on their range of external speakers. Most were unpleasing to the eye, others too expensive for this sort of thing. The Logic3 i-Station3 was neither. 6rms of slinky black docking station/speaker system for 25 notes. It could be set up to sync with a pc, and can run on batteries or can charge a unit through the mains connection. It even has little perspex speaker covers. Mainly, some thought has gone into the design. Manufacturer's link.
As to the 'sleep' function. I went looking for Apple software, but found that the iPod's clock already has a sleep function. Which has just kicked in, finishing the movie I was watching ("The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" recorded from TV years ago), and all it leaves is a blue light showing at the station's On/Off switch. Apple link.
Final stage is to add a shortcut to the Sleep Function to the Main Menu. Settings > Main Menu. Sadly only allows me to add the Clock to the Main Menu, and not the submenu item of Sleep Timer. iPod Manual PDF.
I can now drift off to sleep listening to podcasts instead of BBC Radio, and so their mundane regular shows lose another customer to the Internet and the world of OnDemand media. Not because I want to, but because the stuff that is being churned out at times that I am listening/watching is of variable quality. Unlike the Today show in the morning, which is great to wake up to.