New iPod (iPod Shuffle)

Old Jan 11, 05, 12:58 pm
  #1  
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New iPod (iPod Shuffle)

In addition to iPod Photo, iPod, and the iPod mini, you can add a fourth version: the iPod Shuffle.

It will weigh less then 1 oz and is tiny.

Flash based. 1 G for $149. 512 MB for $99.

Shipping today.

See it here: http://www.apple.com/ipodshuffle/

Last edited by StudentExplorer; Jan 11, 05 at 1:02 pm
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Old Jan 11, 05, 1:10 pm
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Is this the end of the discman?

I soooo want a Mac mini too!
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Old Jan 11, 05, 1:34 pm
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really nice in terms of price and form factor... but wish it had an lcd display.

is this USB 2.0? tech specs does not say...
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Old Jan 11, 05, 1:41 pm
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Originally Posted by bobes

is this USB 2.0? tech specs does not say...
USB 1.1 and 2.0 through integrated USB connector.
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Old Jan 11, 05, 1:48 pm
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I think it's useless.

It's 2 year old technology hoping to sell because it says "Apple" on it.

No display, and nothing else that makes it stand out from all the others.

Apple could have as least added something to make it more advanced, like Bluetooth.

Very dissapointing.
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Old Jan 11, 05, 1:54 pm
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Innovation wise, it's really nothing special. But remember, this is primarilly designed to get the rest of the market share who thinks that the iPod is too expensive or unnecessary.

And more importantly, it will drive more income to the iTunes Music Store. I'm sure there are a lot of people out there who want to buy from the store, considering it has the best selection out there, but won't because they don't have a cheap player to play the DRM'ed tracks on.

Now, the Mac Mini is pretty cool. I might have to pick up one of those to hook up to my home media center/plasma.
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Old Jan 11, 05, 2:05 pm
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remaining market share

Originally Posted by ScottC
I think it's useless.

It's 2 year old technology hoping to sell because it says "Apple" on it.

No display, and nothing else that makes it stand out from all the others.

Apple could have as least added something to make it more advanced, like Bluetooth.

Very dissapointing.
I don't think it is useless. I for one, use ipods and mini ipods, won't go for an ipod photo though.

but this device, is JUST what some people want. There won't be a harddisk based version of product for at least 18 months, that is this size or the size of other flash based players. So, for some, this is just the ticket, as well as the fact that it is at LEAST 150$ less than other "pods"

As for differantiation: It is an apple product. For many people and apparently a growing percentage of people they like the apple products, UI, useability, cache, whatever.

I think it is a fitting compliment to a market that continues to grow and that apparently apple continues to lead and dominate. I really don't see that changing soon, at least not from what I saw at CES last week.

And, it is 3/4 of one oz, .78 oz., that is light, Could be tinier in my opinion, but whatya gonna do?


OT: did you see what the keynote did to the stock today, I haven't had that much fun trading aapl since 1997. Started off, bought in at 65.25. Sold off at 68.00, then bought in again at 65.00, I'll hold this position a little while while the market digests earnings and the products come out. Stop it at 63.00 though.

Still holding shares from a year ago though. Only an announcement from BillG, or a bigger announcement from sony, motorola or some other could have pushed it over 70 today.
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Old Jan 11, 05, 2:15 pm
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As others have said, this is about market share pure and simple. The average consumer for a product like this probably doesn't care much about or need something like Bluetooth let alone other "innovations" they could have designed.

Apple is delivering exactly what it is needed - a cheaper player with the "coolness" associated with the iPod name.
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Old Jan 11, 05, 2:28 pm
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iPod shuffle ideal for travel

I just bought one. At the price it's ideal for travel. Since it's all my songs I don't need a display. Small enough not to be another item to stash somewhere and the cool "auto fill" option will make it interesting each time I play it. Of course with my noise cancelling headphones It will look the battery case. Oh well.
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Old Jan 11, 05, 2:34 pm
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Wink

Even though my personal preference is for flash-based MP3 players, I would stay away from this one. True, you get much more space for less money.. but the iPod Shuffle looks like a memory key .. with annoying cap for the USB end. I wonder how much they sell the replacement caps for.

And.. if you didn't figure this out already, Apple provides a helpful footnote:

1. Music capacity is based on 4 minutes per song and 128Kbps AAC encoding.
2. Do not eat iPod shuffle.
3. Rechargeable batteries have a limited number of charge cycles and may eventually need to be replaced. Battery life and number of charge cycles vary by use and settings. See www.apple.com/batteries for more information.
4. Some computers require either the optional iPod shuffle Dock or a USB cable extender (sold separately).
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Old Jan 11, 05, 2:35 pm
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add value

Yeah, one should also consider the added value of this unit, compared to the others. that of a flash memory storage device

Since it is flash based, with a USB2.0 connector on it, one can just plug it into a laptop or computer and use it for storage to store files, transfer data, etc.

With 512MB flash memory devices costing 45-65$ ALONE, adding an MP3 player from for 30-40$ more from APPLE is a STEAL!!

Granted, this cuts down on the number of songs one can store, but it is still value add in my book.

In a year, they will be 2GB for 129$. I'll buy one then
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Old Jan 11, 05, 2:39 pm
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Originally Posted by ScottC
I think it's useless.

It's 2 year old technology hoping to sell because it says "Apple" on it.

No display, and nothing else that makes it stand out from all the others.

Apple could have as least added something to make it more advanced, like Bluetooth.

Very dissapointing.
Steve explains Apple's logic behind the design decisions in the keynote presentation. (It should be available on the Web soon if not already.)

It's appropriate for the market it's after: cheap MP3 players. Apple has around 70% of the total MP3 player market. Flash-based players make up nearly all of the remaining market (around 30%). Other high-end players make up a remaining 6% share, down from 7% last year. Apple's going after the flash-based market now: the largest non-iPod market remaining.

point-by-point:
1 GB flash memory is not 2 year-old mainstream technology. Especially not for $149 built into a device.

Displays on devices that are the size of a pack of gum are useless. Anyone over 40 won't even be able to read them. People set their players to play random (shuffle) a majority of the time anyway. If a display offers no significant benefit and makes navigation frustrating, there's really no point. Plus, the display would consume power, require more involved hardware, not to mention the soft and hard user interface that would need to be designed. This thing is meant for people walking to work, working out or doing other activities to get away from scrolling and button-pushing. In general, people want to push buttons and look at screens as little as possible. That's why there's no display.

Why should the player have Bluetooth? It's too slow to transfer data quickly. The only real use would be for Bluetooth headphones, but I know of none that exist yet. The additional mfg cost would be at least $10 per unit, and it'd be technology that very few would take advantage of at all. 99% of the market for this thing would rather save the $10-$20 Bluetooth would add to the price. Additionally, Bluetooth consumes the battery, so there'd have to be a way to turn it off, adding another button or switch or preference, needlessly complicating things for users who won't use the feature anyway.

Some other details mentioned in The Steve Show:

- less than 1 ounce in weight (less than 4 US quarters)
- 12 hour battery life with a built-in AAA battery extender option
- Available in 512 or 1G capacities (approx 120 or 240 songs)
- Can also be used as a thumb drive. Data vs song capacity can be set in iTunes Preferences
- iTunes has the ability to automatically load a random or semi-random (based on general criteria) selection of a music library onto the iPod Shuffle. If the data-to-song capacity ratio is adjusted, iTunes will automatically adjust the loaded set.
- The avg price of a 512 MB player from other companies is $149. The general range is $99-$199, so the iPod Shuffle is on the low end of this range.
- Most other flash MP3 players use AAA batteries, which are not rechargable, adding significant expense if the player is used regularly.
- Users can set the iPod shuffle to random or first-to-last using a switch on the back.
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Old Jan 11, 05, 9:59 pm
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...............

Last edited by scruffy; Feb 27, 05 at 11:17 pm
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Old Jan 11, 05, 11:17 pm
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Originally Posted by SNA_Flyer
... but won't because they don't have a cheap player to play the DRM'ed tracks on.
That's right -- this is a fairly inexpensive device that will play AACs and stuff downloaded from the iTunes music store with DRM. And if I were the type to go running or be physically active, I would probably prefer the smaller device... and be less worried about it knowing that it is all solid state, no moving hard drive head or anything to be bothered by the jostling.

Originally Posted by scruffy
... suitability for audiobooks ...
I don't know -- haven't played with this one yet, but I do know that my 30gig dock iPod is fairly unpredictable when it comes to playing audio books and resuming, etc. Maybe I just haven't figured it out, or maybe I was spoiled by how well the original audible software worked even though I was constantly having to split up my books into 128mb chunks to fit it on my rio 500!
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Old Jan 11, 05, 11:30 pm
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Despite people saying that it's "old technology" i think the big breakthrough here, and differentiating feature is that integrated battery. All the other flash unit MP3 players take some sort of AA or AAAs, which weigh the player down. I've held those type of players, and they have weight to them. I held the iPod shuffle today (great display at macworld) and it's like a feather.

Of course it's got the usual non-replaceable battery, but that doesn't seem to stop the regular iPod sales.

I think the iPod shuffle is decent for the price. Don't forget that iTunes has some great music management capabilities with playlists (putting aside all other DRM arguments), play counts, and ratings, and it's a good combo for the money. I like being able to hit the "Autofill" button on iTunes to randomly select songs to fill the Shuffle, using parameters such as selecting from a certain playlist, using higher rated songs more often, etc.

That being said, I didn't buy one today, though at the Apple store there was a feeding frenzy, some people with literally 8 boxes under their arm. The 1gb model hasn't even hit the stores yet.
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