IPod Shuffle

Out of all the apple announcements this week, I can’t think of any more contrasting than the iPod Shuffle and the Mac mini. The Mac mini I think makes tons of sense for Apple. A low price point machine can’t help but increase their market share. And it’s cheap enough that some users frustrated with the spyware and viruses on their PC might just throw away $500 at a chance to actually read their email and browse the web in peace (at least, they may think that’s what will happen :). Heck, I almost sold myself on the idea just writing about until I thought – what a minute, what else would it be good for other than email and the web? And I can buy a $200 box from AMD and do the same thing. But I digress.

My real gripe is that the iPod shuffle just degrades the iPod name. The iPod was actually revolutionary – the shuffle is an MP3 player circa 1999. The crazy thing is, I think Apple will probably get away with this – they have enough of a brand name, I think people will actually spend $100 to buy something called an iPod. Regardless of how much better the competing $100 MP3 players are. Or that they can get an equivalent MP3 player for $60. Or less. At the $100 price point, people start making foolish decisions. Like the family that bought a digital camera for their daughter and son-in-law who didn’t own a computer. Still don’t understand that one. Don’t want to name names to protect the idio… I mean innocents. Guess 2005 will either enlighten me on why the shuffle really is a good thing or on how many innocents there really are in the world.

Anyone else’s opinion?

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16 Comments

  1. Hi there. My initial reaction to the iPod shuffle was the same as yours. "Why would they revert back to a technology that has already been done? What features are they adding that don’t already exist in that market-space? Why didn’t they add at least a one-line LCD to the thing?" Then I saw Steve Jobs keynote on the Apple website. He talks about iPod market share relative to the other players for years 2003 and 2004. In 2004 the iPod jumped from 35% to 61% (Could be off with the actuals here…but 30s to 60s is good enough). So basically the flash based players market share was reduced to half. So Apple’s take is lets go for the remaining major piece of the market.

  2. Hi there. My initial reaction to the iPod shuffle was the same as yours. "Why would they revert back to a technology that has already been done? What features are they adding that don’t already exist in that market-space? Why didn’t they add at least a one-line LCD to the thing?" Then I saw Steve Jobs keynote on the Apple website. He talks about iPod market share relative to the other players for years 2003 and 2004. In 2004 the iPod jumped from 35% to 61% (Could be off with the actuals here…but 30s to 60s is good enough). So basically the flash based players market share was reduced to half. So Apple’s take is lets go for the remaining major piece of the market.

  3. Hi there. My initial reaction to the iPod shuffle was the same as yours. "Why would they revert back to a technology that has already been done? What features are they adding that don’t already exist in that market-space? Why didn’t they add at least a one-line LCD to the thing?" Then I saw Steve Jobs keynote on the Apple website. He talks about iPod market share relative to the other players for years 2003 and 2004. In 2004 the iPod jumped from 35% to 61% (Could be off with the actuals here…but 30s to 60s is good enough). So basically the flash based players market share was reduced to half. So Apple’s take is lets go for the remaining major piece of the market.

  4. Hi there. My initial reaction to the iPod shuffle was the same as yours. "Why would they revert back to a technology that has already been done? What features are they adding that don’t already exist in that market-space? Why didn’t they add at least a one-line LCD to the thing?" Then I saw Steve Jobs keynote on the Apple website. He talks about iPod market share relative to the other players for years 2003 and 2004. In 2004 the iPod jumped from 35% to 61% (Could be off with the actuals here…but 30s to 60s is good enough). So basically the flash based players market share was reduced to half. So Apple’s take is lets go for the remaining major piece of the market.

  5. duced to half. So Apple’s take is lets go for the remaining major piece of the market. The iPod shuffle is a very basic player but the more he explained the rationale for the shuffle and how easy it was to operate it became clear that they might actually have something here. Seeing the device in his hand really shows how small this thing is. The built in USB connector allows for an easy connection to the computer. The new version of iTunes now has a built in "Smart Shuffle Creation" (not the real term but the concept ) that will go through your library of songs and will find songs that will exactly fit your iPod shuffle.

  6. duced to half. So Apple’s take is lets go for the remaining major piece of the market. The iPod shuffle is a very basic player but the more he explained the rationale for the shuffle and how easy it was to operate it became clear that they might actually have something here. Seeing the device in his hand really shows how small this thing is. The built in USB connector allows for an easy connection to the computer. The new version of iTunes now has a built in "Smart Shuffle Creation" (not the real term but the concept ) that will go through your library of songs and will find songs that will exactly fit your iPod shuffle.

  7. duced to half. So Apple’s take is lets go for the remaining major piece of the market. The iPod shuffle is a very basic player but the more he explained the rationale for the shuffle and how easy it was to operate it became clear that they might actually have something here. Seeing the device in his hand really shows how small this thing is. The built in USB connector allows for an easy connection to the computer. The new version of iTunes now has a built in "Smart Shuffle Creation" (not the real term but the concept ) that will go through your library of songs and will find songs that will exactly fit your iPod shuffle.

  8. duced to half. So Apple’s take is lets go for the remaining major piece of the market. The iPod shuffle is a very basic player but the more he explained the rationale for the shuffle and how easy it was to operate it became clear that they might actually have something here. Seeing the device in his hand really shows how small this thing is. The built in USB connector allows for an easy connection to the computer. The new version of iTunes now has a built in "Smart Shuffle Creation" (not the real term but the concept ) that will go through your library of songs and will find songs that will exactly fit your iPod shuffle.

  9. You can tell it to use songs from only certain playlists OR only include songs that are rated **** or higher OR only songs played within the last week etc. So now people can buy an iPod (the brand recognition is there) that is easy to use at an attractive price point of $99. So I guess we wait and see how the public reacts. Will they see value in this or think Apple is cheapening the brand by introducing an iPod that doesn’t share the main characteristics of what made an iPod so desirable before (large capacity, intuitive Click-Wheel, large LCD display)?[Sorry for the multiple posts but MSN Spaces limited my size for a response…and now that I see they are posted in reverse…you must really hate me taking up space here 😉 ]

  10. You can tell it to use songs from only certain playlists OR only include songs that are rated **** or higher OR only songs played within the last week etc. So now people can buy an iPod (the brand recognition is there) that is easy to use at an attractive price point of $99. So I guess we wait and see how the public reacts. Will they see value in this or think Apple is cheapening the brand by introducing an iPod that doesn’t share the main characteristics of what made an iPod so desirable before (large capacity, intuitive Click-Wheel, large LCD display)?[Sorry for the multiple posts but MSN Spaces limited my size for a response…and now that I see they are posted in reverse…you must really hate me taking up space here 😉 ]

  11. You can tell it to use songs from only certain playlists OR only include songs that are rated **** or higher OR only songs played within the last week etc. So now people can buy an iPod (the brand recognition is there) that is easy to use at an attractive price point of $99. So I guess we wait and see how the public reacts. Will they see value in this or think Apple is cheapening the brand by introducing an iPod that doesn’t share the main characteristics of what made an iPod so desirable before (large capacity, intuitive Click-Wheel, large LCD display)?[Sorry for the multiple posts but MSN Spaces limited my size for a response…and now that I see they are posted in reverse…you must really hate me taking up space here 😉 ]

  12. You can tell it to use songs from only certain playlists OR only include songs that are rated **** or higher OR only songs played within the last week etc. So now people can buy an iPod (the brand recognition is there) that is easy to use at an attractive price point of $99. So I guess we wait and see how the public reacts. Will they see value in this or think Apple is cheapening the brand by introducing an iPod that doesn’t share the main characteristics of what made an iPod so desirable before (large capacity, intuitive Click-Wheel, large LCD display)?[Sorry for the multiple posts but MSN Spaces limited my size for a response…and now that I see they are posted in reverse…you must really hate me taking up space here 😉 ]

  13. The shuffle feature and autofill feature are cool – but any MP3 player that supports Windows Media Player 10, which there are several below $99, has that feature. And has had it since August.I’ts not that I don’t think Apple has done it’s research or has introduced a bad player. Just that I don’t see anything innovative in the iPod Shuffle other than the brand name. All the features of the iPod shuffle already exist in several other players, and it’s not even a matter of one player having shuffle but not autofill and another having shuffle but not autofill. Several have both.But the market will like the brand. Many people will see "iPod" and "$99" and buy. I guess I just had hoped for more…

  14. The shuffle feature and autofill feature are cool – but any MP3 player that supports Windows Media Player 10, which there are several below $99, has that feature. And has had it since August.I’ts not that I don’t think Apple has done it’s research or has introduced a bad player. Just that I don’t see anything innovative in the iPod Shuffle other than the brand name. All the features of the iPod shuffle already exist in several other players, and it’s not even a matter of one player having shuffle but not autofill and another having shuffle but not autofill. Several have both.But the market will like the brand. Many people will see "iPod" and "$99" and buy. I guess I just had hoped for more…

  15. The shuffle feature and autofill feature are cool – but any MP3 player that supports Windows Media Player 10, which there are several below $99, has that feature. And has had it since August.I’ts not that I don’t think Apple has done it’s research or has introduced a bad player. Just that I don’t see anything innovative in the iPod Shuffle other than the brand name. All the features of the iPod shuffle already exist in several other players, and it’s not even a matter of one player having shuffle but not autofill and another having shuffle but not autofill. Several have both.But the market will like the brand. Many people will see "iPod" and "$99" and buy. I guess I just had hoped for more…

  16. The shuffle feature and autofill feature are cool – but any MP3 player that supports Windows Media Player 10, which there are several below $99, has that feature. And has had it since August.I’ts not that I don’t think Apple has done it’s research or has introduced a bad player. Just that I don’t see anything innovative in the iPod Shuffle other than the brand name. All the features of the iPod shuffle already exist in several other players, and it’s not even a matter of one player having shuffle but not autofill and another having shuffle but not autofill. Several have both.But the market will like the brand. Many people will see "iPod" and "$99" and buy. I guess I just had hoped for more…

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