iPod Shuffle

by ShadowStalker on January 18, 2005 · 3 comments

in Entertainment,Sci-Tech

I like MP3 players, but I’m not a fan of the iPod. It’s expensive, crippled, and expensive (I couldn’t think of a third thing), but I have to admit that I’m a little intrigued by the new addition to the iPod family: the iPod Shuffle.Unless Apple now manufactures enormous packs of Trident, the iPod Shuffle is smaller than a pack of gum while wielding 512 or 1024 MB.  Best of all, at only $99 it’s 60% cheaper than an iPod Mini.

For some reason, the marketing campaign is entirely focused on it’s ability to play songs in a random order.  My sources at Apple tell me that the engineers call this completely novel feature “shuffle,” which explains the player’s name.

This focus is a misstep, because it just highlights the fact that this player really can’t do anything else.  It doesn’t even have a display, something most comparable, slightly less expensive players have.  It can’t loop a single song or program a playlist.

Breaking from tradition, Apple left a firewire port off this thing, opting instead to put a USB connector in the end so they didn’t have to include a cable. Now they can sell you a special adapter cable in case you don’t have a USB port on the front of your computer. While meant to shave down the cost, this makes the player feel like a glorified flash drive, which, basically, it is.

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    “look.. it’s small. people will love it.”

    “where’s the display? where are the controls?”

    “we couldn’t fit them. it just.. automatically shuffles the music.”

    “uh.. people aren’t going to like that.”

    “no, see, we’ll tell them we did it on purpose.. we’ll make it the marketing focus.”

    if they focused on the size and whatnot, people would immediately raise all sorts of objections about the lack of functionality for playing what you.. y’know.. WANT TO HEAR.

    if they make it look like they AIMED for that, and the size is just a bonus.. all us nice complacent stupid americans will bite.

  • http://www.livejournal.com/users/shadwstalkr Shadow Stalker

    Well, I won’t buy it.

  • http://www.dadsbigplan.com .alphamonkey.

    That didn’t stop you from shoplifting one, I see from the news.

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