NaNO Shuffle

by Francois Joseph de Kermadec

Since its introduction, and despite its wild commercial success, the iPod Shuffle has been criticized, mocked even by some computer cognoscenti. People who knew best said it lacked a screen, an FM tuner, was too expensive, that its shape was uninspired or its battery life too short. Yet, to me, the iPod Shuffle still is the best iPod ever.


Aristotle Pagaltzis
2006-02-08 10:59:21
The shuffle is primarily ideal for people who don’t have their music collection live on their iPod. I fill mine up with audiobooks, so a screen would be utterly useless to me anyway. However, the Shuffle actually allows you to seek – you can skip around within a song. You’d be surprised at the number of cheap flash MP3 players which don’t let you. And while the controls might be uninspired, they are also unannoying. You’d be surprised at the number of cheap flash MP3 players whose controls are massively fiddly. Boring design is a mark of success; the Shuffle just does what it’s supposed to, nothing more, nothing less, no muss, no fuss.

And now that the 512MB models are $69, they’re a steal. At $99 they were a tad costly, but now I don’t know why anyone would buy any other flash player in that price range.

2006-02-08 11:10:28
I loved my Shuffle. Two simple reasons:

1.) Couldn't afford an iPod that was over $200 - or, at least, couldn't justify spending that much money on something I could easily do without

2.) Beautiful integration with iTunes

For those of us who didn't have deep pockets and didn't want to take the chance on an super-expensive toy we might be tired of in a few weeks, the Shuffle was a welcome entry-level mp3 player. The array of functions may not have been there, but the ease of use and seamless integration were.

... And less than a year later, I have purchased a new 30 Gig iPod.

2006-02-08 12:45:16
For me the suffle is an exclamation-mark for simplicity and "toolness". It's really a tool for me. It nicely fits everywhere, and does exactly ONE thing: playing music. It does not ring for a phonecall it does not ask for less sunlight because of an unreadable display, it does not play video. It exactly what I need.

Possible Improvements:
Some smoother shape, different colors, a button for play-inorder/play-random/playrepeatonesond-endlessly which has more grip would be perfect, and a white LED instead of a green/orange one would be much nicer.
having 2 or 4 GB would be a plus.

Apple should refurbish it! It is the most pleasurable device I had in a long time from apple. It just works!

It's great, and hey this was the first product I ordered directly after the keynote. I regregt not a single second ordering that early.

All those feature-fanatics out there: Go get the biggest iPod and do not forget to pick up the latest cellphone and pda too.

my 2 cent.

2006-02-08 13:53:50
The Shuffle is still a rip-off to me, as those features found on the "Crappy Mp3" flash players that everyone yawns about are pretty useful. Especially FM Radio, for those days where weather conditions change in a heartbeat.

If both were $20 lower, then they'd be out of Rip-off land, IMHO: without the LCD, adding an FM Radio to it would be difficult; and features-wise, it'd become comparable to those with said features. (Think about it: At that point, you would be paying for said features.) Even then, however, it'd still not be worth it for me, as I like to carry a lot more than even the Nano 4G can carry.

Small Paul
2006-02-08 15:54:08
I love my Shuffle. My 2G iPod was great for taking my entire music collection with me, for long journeys. Now I live in Central London, I have no long journeys. The Shuffle is perfect for taking some music with me: usually new stuff I haven't listened to much yet, occasionally stuff in the right mood for wherever I'll be. It's small enough to take everywhere (bars, clubs - very handy for late night journeys home alone), and, as you say, sturdy enough not to worry about damaging it.

Plus - and this is what probably did it - it's a flash RAM drive too. Can't say that for the nano. Having a little flash drive combined with my Apple-elegant music player is just too useful to give up.

And it's cheap. I could get my model today for £70. That's 1 GB. Pretty sweet, say I.

2006-02-08 19:49:48
For practical use in the gym, for instance, the shuffle is best because it's controls are simple, can be operated without looking at a display and with one hand. It is also much sturdier. Ultimately, it's not that much more expensive than a 1GB USB flash drive, and it doubles as one. Of all the iPods in my collection, I expect the shuffle to out-live them all.
Christopher Allen
2006-02-10 00:00:23
One thing my gal loves about her Shuffle is that she can change the volume in the dark without looking at it. She often listens to it in situations where the ambient sound level varies a lot, or sometimes when going to sleep -- both situations requiring adjustment of sound level.
2006-02-11 05:18:35
for you people that have no use for a shuffle... please keep your comments to yourself and stick with your screen! you have plenty of models to choose from but there is just one model that is cheap enough and simple enough for me!! there are plenty of us that dont WANT a screen no matter how cheap it can be made! i'm a 62 year old gramma... not real hip.. and dont care about carrying around my music collection!! i only want 100 songs at a time that i EASILY (important for grammas) switch out depending on my mood to keep me happy as i take my exercise walks!! so pleeeease leave my shuffle alone.... i NEED it to stay simple! and i will never up-grade! i'm so afraid you all will bash it out of existance! and that's just NOT FAIR!!