I've just discovered that when your iPod is connected in manual mode you can access the music via iTunes and play it through your PC's speakers.
To set your iPod up you'll need to go into iTunes>preference>iPod selelct Manually manager songs. This does mean that you songs don't get automatically updated. Once you've done this right click on your iPod from the Source list and choose open.
If you're wondering why you would this - saves copying all your music to you laptop when you are on the road :o)