That Shuffle sound you hear – it’s Apple in your wallet

There was a point where I was seriously considering the idea of hooking myself up with one of these fancy Apple iPod Shuffle MP3 players. So it was with some interest that followed the news yesterday about Apple releasing a new and cooler version of the Shuffle player; but now that the dust has settled I gotta say I’m definitely not going to be buying one of the new Shuffle’s.

First off who was the bright one who thought that the idea of having some voice speak the artist name and song title aloud?

Seriously this is just a dumb idea that in all practicality would be a major irritant after the first or second time you heard it. The last thing I need is some dude that sounds like he’s on Quaaludes whispering in my ear as I’m going about my business.

Then there’s this size thing. As someone who can lose a Bic lighter at the drop of a hat the idea of something that is as small as a AA battery won’t go missing is pretty flimsy. There comes a point when small can be too small and this is such a case. Aesthetics is one thing but I think this time Apple has done a little too much shrinking.

Now I’ve always felt that Apple – as great a company as it might be – believed that it’s vision of hardware meeting life was the only one. In this instance Apple has made the design decision to remove the controls from the body of the player and put them on the earbud cable. Excuse me but didn’t this just complicate the whole idea?

Now we either have to use the Shuffle ear bud or spend extra money for some adapter that isn’t out yet. Then of course there is always the option for 3rd party companies like Klipsch who are already working on a set of earphones for the new Shuffle. The problem is that now our original $80.00 cost for the new Shuffle could easily double all because Apple decides that this is the new cool.

What’s interesting though has been the reaction from typically Apple friendly tech sites. Over on the Crave cnet blog we have David Carnoy calling the new iPod Shuffle a disaster while my good friend Jason Kaneshiro, an Apple fan, considers it a rather expensive snack for his cat. On the whole the reaction has been less than positive and confirms my feelings that this newest refresh of the iPod shuffle is nothing more than a cash grab by apple against their faithful customer base.

Maybe they’ve gone just a tad to far this time.