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January 11, 2005

BUT WHAT WILL THE CULT SAY? The iPod Shuffle seems kinda cool, but I'm not sure its appeal would last. On the other hand, the Mac Mini just might.

UPDATE: Jeff Jarvis puts into words my vague discomfort with the iPod Shuffle, though he seems to feel it a bit more strongly: "The entire point of the iPod is that it gives you control. Hell, the entire point of media that succeeds these days is that it gives you control. But the new, cheap, cute iPod takes that control away by shuffling the cuts you put on it."

I agree. But for some people, the highest form of control is giving up control. I guess they deserve an iPod of their own, too.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Several readers say that the Shuffle offers a "play in order" mode that lets you pick. Okay, so much for the gimmick. Don't all flash players have a shuffle and a play in order mode? As reader Diane Pettey emails:

Your objection to the iPod Shuffle is based on a flawed impression that is almost entirely based on what I think is a very poor marketing decision. The "Shuffle" gimmick is just that: a marketing gimmick. In fact, if you want to play your songs in a particular order, you just need to create an ordered playlist first in iTunes, then download the songs from the album you created. . . .

Given that one has to really dig for this information only after thinking "they CAN'T be THAT insane!" - from a marketing standpoint the team that has performed so well for Apple may have slipped up this time.

On the other hand, we're talking about it, I guess.