Damaged Gears

Evolve your Gears

Splash Damage: iPod Shuffle 2G (More Thoughts)

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https://i1.wp.com/davidreport.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2007/01/ipod-shuffle-five.jpgA while back, I had reviewed the iPod Shuffle 2G, and was fairly impressed with the whole deal.  Aside from being dead simple to operate, the overall sound quality and presentation was agreeable.  Sure, it won’t win the best DAP evar prize as awared by whatever committee gives away those prizes these days, but it has made a very compelling case for it to be the best entry level DAP.  This over any other iPods, Sansas, Zens, Nanos, and Touches, which all require at least a bit of (even if minimal) technical knowledge.  The true test of the beginner DAP lies in how well a total beginner (a.k.a. the n00b) handles the Shuffle. 

I have to believe that the Shuffle is as simple as it presents itself, and that maybe is its greatest feature.  Just stick it in, let it charge and sync, get music, enjoy.  Rinse, lather, repeat.  Sure, the geek and the alpha geek will complain loudly and vociferously.  After all, part of being Geek/Alpha Geek is that you have control over your domain.  The Computer and the digital media library.  Using the Shuffle, in part, means that you have very little control.

But, for the beginner, it maybe is the best way to let them enjoy music.

Let me repeat the key phrase, if you’ve missed it: enjoy music.

What a novel concept.  Enjoying music.  As I noted before, it is the zen of things.  Just letting it go, enjoying music.  If you don’t like it, hey, sync again.  But you have about 250 to 500 to pick from.  And you must enjoy some of it.  Even if it is something cheesy, like, say, the Rick Roll, or the ultra cheesy (Stan Bush comes to mind, since he’s got the Touch!), or the rather inspirational and moving (from Rhapsody in Blue to Hosanna and everything in between), it is all about enjoying music.

In this way, I think the Shuffle ought to be a prerequisite for all music lovers.  Sure, it doesn’t have the chops to make it the best DAP.  Hell, I have several DAPs that I’ve thrown away or given away that’s better than the Shuffle.

Recently, I had given a purple Shuffle as a gift for a friend.  It was immediately remarked that it was pretty.  The said friend is a self-affirmed n00b, though not in those words.  I was in a bit of a dispute as to which DAP I would give as a gift, but after awhile, the Shuffle was the obvious answer.  And with no request for further help with the Shuffle, I believe I was right in my choice in the gift and opening the gateway (!) to the world of digital music that most of us have taken for granted.

Occasionally we get caught up in the latest features, firmware, codecs, and interfaces.  The shuffle is total antithesis to what we love to argue about DAPs, but focuses strictly on what we should love about DAPs: the Music.  Of course, it’d take a fruity company to help me realize this…

Go figure.

Grade: B+


Written by Damage

05/27/08 at 10:06 pm

Posted in Soapbox

Tagged with , , ,

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