Is Apple's shuffle sham working?

— 10:49 AM on January 24, 2005

So Apple made an iPod with no screen on it and directed our attention away from this crucial omission by naming the thing iPod Shuffle. The Apple fans in the mainstream media, of course, lapped up Steve Jobs' pitch for the device, living as they do inside the envelope of the Reality Distortion Field. But I had expected consumers to see through it. Reading this story, now I'm not so sure:

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," he said.

Let me get this straight. He didn't like the user interfaces on other MP3 players, so he instead opted for a device with virtually no interface to speak of, save for the traditional play/pause/forward/back buttons. Only in Apple-land.

By the way, lest you think I am just an anti-Mac partisan, I think the Mac Mini looks brilliant in concept and (from what little I've seen) execution. But that is another story.

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