The form of a device influences how we're likely to use it.
If you're studying a foreign language, then you know the importance of regular daily exposure. This is even more important if you're trying to retain language skills you already possess. But it can be hard to schedule review sessions throughout a week, particularly when you're also trying to learn new things as well... there's less than a thousand minutes in a day.
Any audio program in general, in fact, whether podcast or audio book or lecture series -- suppose there was an easy way you could get at least half-an-hour of it a day? Without throwing off the rest of the things you want to do?
Sony has a tool which may help, "NWZ-W202", the "W-series Walkman MP3 player". (Websearch only gives a Sony press release and PR images, but here's link with Sony product copy at Amazon.)
$60, two gigabytes, MP3 etc. Two earpieces connected by a band, they say it weighs less than two ounces. There are bigger, cheaper audio players. But the big advantage here is the form-factor.
It takes less than five seconds to set up, less than two seconds to shut down. It has no cords or separate pieces.
You can use this while dressing, washing the dishes, brushing your teeth, folding clothes, cooking, sweeping, unpacking the groceries... it is much easier to use throughout the day than any other audio player I've ever seen. It's a very practical way to claim minutes from your day.
Putting it on: Hold it so that you can see the red "R" and the white "L' on each earpiece. Put it behind your head, then hang them on your ears. Settle the speaker near your ear canal. Let your right thumb flick the job switch to the back. In two seconds you'll hear the startup tone; in five seconds you'll start hearing your material.
Taking it off: Just take it off your ears and connect the magnetic latches between the two earpieces. The device will automatically shut off when it's off your head and magnetically connected.
Comfort? Some people say they run with it. I wouldn't trust it that far myself. But it is one of the most comfortable earsets I've worn.
UI? Pretty clean. Right earpiece has a small pause/stop/forward/rewind toggle, easy to use. Pushing this in triggers "zap mode", with 3-second previews of each track -- push in again to select a track. Also has small "+" and "-" volume pushbuttons. Left earpiece has a small "shuffle on/off" button. Easy to load up through a variety of computer software.
Durability? Don't know. I break a lot of earbuds and such, but this looks a bit stronger, and less exposed to damage, than other audio players I've tried.
Most of the Amazon comments on this focus about running. None seem to make the point that it's so quick to put on and take off, that you can use it far more often than other types of audio players. If you've only got five minutes of chores, then this is still worthwhile to put on.
I've got Cantonese textbooks and Malay phrasebooks on mine, and with the way spoken-voice compresses, there's still lots of space available. Courseware which doesn't work for intensive repeated audio-only exposure becomes more useful when shuffled among other material, listened to casually as you're getting packed up for the day.
The big reason I'm excited by this audio player is that it is giving me a half hour, an hour through the day that I didn't think existed.
Brushing your teeth, without pursuing your goals... not as much fun as if you are!