Help me make my iPod my preferred music player!

Last week I posted all the reasons why I'm still using my Windows Mobile smartphone as an MP3 player instead of my 8GB iPod Touch.  It turns out that I was mistaken about who owns my device, and in fact there's nothing stopping me from buying accessories or software to make it the best it can be.  So now the question is, what should I buy? 

Despite being a blogger for this site, I am new to the iPod and am unsure where to start... but then, I suspect many readers of this site are in the same situation, so they'll benefit from whatever suggestions get posted here.  I turn to you, loyal iPhone Life readers!

Here are the limitations of the iPod Touch as an MP3 player that I am looking to overcome:

  • short battery life
  • volume controls are practically impossible to operate without looking at the screen (e.g. in my pocket, or with my eyes closed)
  • no way to remove unwanted tracks (e.g. audio books I've finished reading) without connecting to my computer
  • no way to add tracks (e.g. from CDs I am borrowing and do not own) without adding them to my computer's iTunes library
  • fragility (that is, I need a case that will protect the iPod from accidents while stlil allowing me to use it)
  • attractive nuisance (that is, I need a case that will protect the iPod from unwanted attention)

I look forward to reading your suggestions!  Thank you in advance!

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<p>Ben Stallings is a Web Developer for <em>Smartphone Magazine</em> and <em>iPhone Life</em>. He also does freelance Web development, specializing in the Drupal content-management system, under the name Interdependent Web. He lives in Emporia, Kansas.</p>