Choices Shuffle Back To Haunt Me

A month or two back, I posted my open ‘confession‘ of betrayal… a full disclosure of having purchased a nock off copy of our own iPod Shuffle from an overseas manufacturer. I admitted feeling a bit slimy about it, but it didn’t stop me from continuing to use it. I even pondered the thought “If Steve Jobs were to walk in I don’t know if I’d hide it or show him an ask what they’re doing to prevent it?”

I just got to answer that question.

I stopped off in one of our six campus buildings to pick up the necessary materials required to attend WWDC this Thursday evening. I was heading back from the cafe, wearing my Black iPod nock off as I’ve done frequently, with no issues or questions, listening to the bonus material from the new McCartney release, Memory Almost Full. I impulsively veered momentarily off course to stop and get that quick errand done. Once I had what I needed, I headed back down the stairs, still listening intently to the music, and I turned the corner to head out the doors and into the campus. There stood Steve, deep in conversation on his iPhone, and there walked I, head bobbing to the sounds emanating from a strangely black colored iPod Shuffle through black ear buds.

My moment had arrived. There was no question in my mind that the presence of this anomaly would catch the eye of the man that brought it to market. And I’d not expect that his phone conversation w/prevent him from, at a minimum, a double take and an eye rubbing. But more likely, there’d be a quick stall to my momentum caused by the tension of the retractable badge holder resisting the grip he’d have on my only form of ID and admittance onto the campus.

My moment was thrust upon me. Here was my chance to address that open question from a few months back.

Do you remember the scene, in Blazing Saddles, when Gene Wilder’s character shows he’s got the fastest hands in the west by removing the chess piece from the Sheriff’s hands before he could close them? Well, I do, and in some abstract but life saving fashion, that moment, and the skills therein, seemed to have been absorbed, dormant all these years, waiting for a time when a life or death situation required such speed and dexterity.

As I mentioned, I turned the corner, listening to Paul on my bootleg product, spotted S. J., and without missing a beat I continued walking past him and out the door. Sans mock Shuffle. It was gone. The iPod was unclipped, earbuds tethered and the entire mass was in my shirt pocket in such an expeditious fashion that only a slow motion replay might have modestly detected the blur of a hand in a single frame. I had that sucker hidden faster then an approval poll report landing on Bush’s oval office desk.

A Not So Glowing Review

While on the topic, I have been working on a summary of my experiences with this device that I’ll append to this post.

Although it does ‘function’, there’s little ‘fun’ to the functionality, and the limitations have become clearly apparent through usage. Industrial design aside, there’s a great deal more to be said for the quality and feature set of the actual Apple product over this or any other mock effort. Although this cost less then half the price, it would have been well worth paying the extra for all that it buys you.

Without going into laborious details, here’s a summary of fallbacks and failings around this device, and all the related reasons you should buy an iPod.

  1. The original unit was defective and required a return and replacement that took about 6 weeks.
  2. The battery life is dismal. 3 hours at best, compared w/12 on a true Shuffle.
  3. This only shuffles. It does not play continuously.
  4. The Shuffle pauses when you remove the headphones, while this continues playing and runs out of juice.
  5. Loading it required file copies, not the smooth iTunes integration of an iPod, and that’s a bit cumbersome and off-putting once you’ve had that luxury before.
  6. There’s no volume balancing feature, so song volumes raise or drop depending on their original encoding.
  7. The copying of files is drastically slow. I don’t believe their connection hardware utilizes the faster options.

So, although I’ll likely use this for the occasional needs or pass it along to my wife for her running, I think i’ll be a bit more alert as to my surroundings on campus, and when I get my iPhone, I might just have it encased in lucite and give it to BL as a paperweight, and a peace offering.


Written by gsm

06/12/2007 at 12:37 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Yeah, although the title of this post was not as expected (and previously discussed), the paperweight idea might just be enough to appease me ;-)


    06/12/2007 at 3:29 pm

  2. I’ve got other ideas for that title. It’s how the cards fall, buddy!


    06/12/2007 at 8:24 pm

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