Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Things that make you go WTF?

CNet reports that the Mac Mini has made its retail debut, however there is already a shortage of iPod Shuffles with many Apple Stores completely out of them. So naturally there’s a few quotes from disappointed punters who’d hoped to get their hands on one. Including this one:

Josh Beckmann, a student and iPod owner, arrived at 7:45 a.m. in hopes of picking up a couple of iPod Shuffles. One was to be a gift for his brother, but the other he planned to use when running, snowboarding or working out. In the past he had used non-Apple flash players, but said the results had been less than satisfactory.

“The user interface on the other MP3 players I’ve used at the gym just don’t cut it.”

What??? The iPod Shuffle doesn’t have a user interface! There’s no screen!
Okay, I can sort of see the point – with other players, you have to turn it on, wait for it to load up, then pick a song and play it – with the Shuffle, as far as I can tell, you just turn it on and it’ll play a random track for you (or just the songs in order if you turn shuffle mode off). But still, the first time I read it I had to wonder what the guy was smoking.
It is interesting to see how many people who already own ‘big’ iPods have been shelling out for Shuffles. I suppose it’s the combination of its smaller size and the fact that it won’t jump or suffer long-term damage if you listen to it while doing exercise. Still, I’m happy with my Mini.


  1. my 20gb 3g iPod has been an iPod shuffle from the day and hour I bought it… Whenever I listen to it it’s always been on total random and usually stuffed away in a pocket of some description. It’s perfect for those without an iPod, but for me, I’m aiming for one that a bigger capacity, not smaller.

  2. I’ve got an iPod Shuffle on order, 3-4 weeks apparently. While I do have a 40GB 4G iPod, its just a bit too heavy for the gym. The Shuffle is great, and it can store files too. Portable stylish Firefox 😀

  3. The iShuffle looks nice. I brought a 128mb MP3 + flash drive a while ago about it was over £100! If you look on the market you can pick one up for £40-60. But these are crap branded ones. The iShuffle you get 512mb for £69. It’s got a proven user-interface and quality assurance by a big company. I personally use my iPod Mini now, but I’ll be interested to see the iShuffle, which my friend has just ordered!

  4. Like Greg, my iPod is always on shuffle. In fact, so is iTunes at both home and work… every time, I just select a playlist for the mood I am in, make sure shuffle is on, and never look at it again.
    With the iPod Shuffle (which I ordered minutes after it was announced, and is waiting for me back at work!) Apple has something that is *exactly* what I’ve been looking for… just select a playlist, upload it, turn it on, and never look at it again. And all that in a size that’s practically unnoticeable, with a battery life that’s a dream come true.
    I won’t be getting rid of my 40gig iPod anytime soon (having my entire library available AND extra space for file transfers is just too handy), but will be loving iPod for travel.

  5. Actually mine spends almost all of its time in Shuffle mode too. 🙂 But sometimes I’ll want to play an individual song or a particular playlist. It depends what mood I’m in.

  6. If it’s true about the iPod Shuffle shortage in America then i’m surprised because i received mine last Thursday (I ordered it the day after the announcement).
    I did one of them daft box opening slide shows at flickr
    Tis a little silly to say it’s better than the HD based ones though, the only reason i’ve bought a shuffle is because i don’t need a walkman very often so i couldn’t warrent forking out over 100 quid.

  7. I think he’s talking about the buttons, Neil 😉

  8. Well I own a Sonken U30, it was £70, and tho it is an unknown brand it is actually a better player than it’s ‘brother’ the MPiO some model, which lacks the FM radio that mine has.
    128Mb internal and a SmartMedia slot gives me all the space I’ll ever need, I need more I just get another SM card, can be used as a flash disk too, if you take the cable with you.
    I’m not a fan of the iPod and I find iTunes to be an appallingly clumsy application. Winamp 2.98 does what it does well, and my player doesn’t require you to use any external software…it’s fully UMSD (USB Mass Storage Device) compatible, that means it plays nicely with Linux, can the iPod say the same?