iPod Shuffle – Yay & Nay


The iPod Shuffle is lame. It’s overpriced. Is it that great?

In recent days these things have been mentioned with more and more frequency (or so it seems through my perusal of the web and rss feeds). Obviously it’s a hot topic, especially for the Apple fanatics out there (just look at the comments on Josh’s recent post). I’m a staunch Apple supporter. I love their products and tell anyone about them who’s willing to give me a few minutes’ time. But I won’t be buying an iPod Shuffle – it fills no void for me.

The size and price are pretty good compared to most of the competition (the competitiion being flash mp3 players and not just plain-jane usb flash memory), although challengers will abound. Tons have already been sold in just a couple short weeks. But let’s be realistic here: what’s the real reason people are buying them?

Gadget freaks, Apple freaks, mp3 player freaks, and the occassional jogger are probably the current consumers of the iPod Shuffle. Don’t get me wrong, that’s all well and good, but these people may not sustain the iPod Shuffle as a hot item.

Gadget Freaks – It’s small, it can be used as flash storage and and mp3 player, and it’s relatively cheap. I’m buying one!
Apple Freaks – it’s branded “iPod” and it’s from Apple. No brainer! I’m getting 2!
MP3 Player Freaks – I know people who collect mp3 players. (why? I don’t exactly know) It’s another mp3 player out there – gotta have it.
The Joggers – this is the group that this product makes the most sense for. Or rather those who work out a lot and want some music while doing it, that comes in a light form factor. Good sense purchase here.

In the end, Apple will sell millions of these things. For an Apple product it’s super cheap! Apple is Apple after all, and people will buy it because it’s branded Apple iPod …I’m sure that’s what they’re banking on (in part at least). We also know that kids are suckers for what their friends have, so soon, I’m sure every kid will have a ‘Shuffle in their pocket, hanging from their backpack, clipped to their A&F hoodie, etc, etc. I’m sure they’ll get their share of the low-end flash mp3 player market if only because they are Apple Computer.

But soon, I’m sure the competition will up their game, people will start comparing features, price, etc, and Apple will have to innovate once again to keep their Shuffle from being a flop. But what am I saying? It’s Apple after all. They’ll Think Different yet again and blow us away in again in a year or so.


nick santilli

Hey Kevin – the point you missed was that there’s nothing wrong with buying the Apple name. right on. But iPod came from nothing. NOW it’s an icon. People WILL buy the ‘Shuffle because it’s got the all-powerful and hip iPod monicker.

I think you’re splitting hairs with the argument that you’d rather take a shuffle on shuffle play for light(er) listening than the iPod. But I suppose there are people who will ‘accessorize’ on each outing depending on their business – and that extends to their mp3 player.

For ME, it just doesn’t add up. I can’t see spending the money when I’ve already got a 30gb iPod with all my music.
I really do hope that Apple makes a killing with the ‘Shuffle. I bet they will, but my point still stands that it doesn’t make SENSE for many people. that’ll start to sink in over time is my thinking, but then again I’m simple minded…

Kevin Ballard

Once again, you guys don’t get it. I don’t fit into any of the categories mentioned here (well, I do love gadgets, but I have very little money so I don’t impulse-buy, and I love Apple but I own an iPod because it’s the best MP3 player, not because it’s branded iPod). Yet, had I $99 to spare, I’d seriously consider buying one. Why? Several reasons.

1) It’s really small and light. It’s much easier to carry around than my 40GB iPod (which sees most of its use in the car).

2) It’s all shuffle. I rarely use shuffle because I have 40GB of music on my iPod and I don’t like hearing my half-hour HHGTG radio shows showing up in shuffle, or similar things. But with the iPod shuffle, since it’s so much smaller it’s relatively easy to populate it with stuff that does make sense in shuffle, and so when I want to listen to some randomized light music, I could just grab the shuffle. See point #1 for why a playlist on the 40GB iPod isn’t adequate.

3) If I ever get off of my lazy ass and decide to start exercising, I’d be all set for music


I think it’s cool, yet I’m not buying it.
And isn’t that just fine? Why all this thrashing around about the Shuffle.
Of course it will cool off. Of course the competition will try to compete. Of course Apple will try to come up with something new an innovative.But the Shuffle is just one teeny little part of a whole system/platform that makes it desirable and hard for the competition to compete with even if they do come out with more features.

nick santilli

Yeah – I’m remarking on my post first:
Don’t leave silly flames here. There’s no good argument that the iPod Shuffle fills some holy grail void for consumers. Apple was late to market in the flash player arena. They’ve just done it in their own style with their own [shuffle] twist.

It’s NOT a perfect product no matter your argument. Yet TONS will be sold.
This is just my take on the iPod Shuffle. I think it’s cool, yet I’m not buying it. How long before the cool factor wears off and Apple has to SELL it?
Just something to think about.

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