This is a quick summary post; I want to emphasize two free, open-source apps with which you can fully use iPod Shuffle, without iTunes.
iPod shuffle database builder is great little app, mere 8kB in size, that makes the Shuffle as easy to use as any other MP3 player. Copy this program to Shuffle, copy your songs to Shuffle in any way and any structure you want, start rebuild_db.exe and…done. The songs are ready to use. There’s no ownership-transfer nonsense, no troubles, nothing. All software should be as this one.
There’s also a source code included - a small Perl script for your coding pleasure.
It sure made Sean Shrum happy, as he quickly followed with Shuffler - free random auto filler, effectively replacing iTunes’s Autofill option. It requires few minutes of setup, but it’s straight-forward to use after that. This application is also very small (236kB) and can be conviently kept on the Shuffle.
There’s no more excuse to use Wind…err, iTunes. iPod Shuffle is now really the best Flash disk/player in the market.