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Apple captures modern pysche with iPod shuffle slogan

updated 02:20 pm EST, Sun January 16, 2005

iPod shuffle slogan

Apple's "Life is Random" slogan, used by Steve Jobs at last week's Macworld Expo keynote, may be a for its iPod shuffle, but it also affirms the growing sense of information overload, according to John Schwartz of The New York Times. "But clever Apple knows that most users will simply want the gadget to grab songs out of the main computer's library and then play them in an order of its choosing. Random. Like life....Apple, with the attitude of an artist and the eye of an anthropologist, has asked: How do we listen to music? What do we want from it? A response from the company, and its millions of customers, is that music is a kind of ambient grace, which blocks out the cellphone jabber on the train, the honking horn on the walk to the grocery store. And the result is that little white earbuds have become ubiquitous around the country." [free registration required]

by MacNN Staff




  1. umijin

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Apple didn't capture anything. They came up with a catchy slogan and concept that completely glosses over this product's shortcomings - no LED/LCD screen. People already use the random play on their larger iPods.

    The shuffling of songs onto the iShuffle is really a software thing that could (or should) be used as a play list with any iPod for folks who want that random thing. Using it as a selling point for an under-featured product is rather pathetic.

    The iShuffle is remarkable in its affordability - no mistake. But without a readout - 1gig is too much random info.

  1. aristotles

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Do you jog?

    This is obviously not for you. It is targeted at people who like to listen to music while they exercise or walk. Why would you want to look at a screen while you are working out, especially a one line scrolling LCD screen?

    A gig is too much random info? The more songs you have to choose from, the more random it will feel. Do you ever use the shuffle feature on the iPod? You can also allocate most of it as a disk and use it as a USB flash which also happens to be a music player.

  1. umijin

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Yes I do - with my RIO

    Yeah I jog, and work out at the gym with my flash player. (I don't use my 20gig iPod for that.)

    My flash player has a screen and I LIKE IT. It's small and light, and about 2.5 years old. It was more expensive when I bought it and with less capacity (256MB and expandable via SD card). I like knowing what song is on (even though I load it myself) or the battery level or the EQ settings or even if the thing is set to LOCK.

    And yeah, a gig IS too much random info. I use my shuffle on my iPod, and I really enjoy it sometimes. But I sure as heck will check to see the name of a song or artist when I can't figure it out.

    During exercise - you ever want to choose that kick-a$$ song that gets you moving or pumped up? How are you gonna find it on your 1gig screenless iShuffle? Or even know that it's there if you load it randomly? I think exercise freaks like me enjoy some control over what they hear. Then again, walkers don't need to be pumped up - just amused.

    I had hoped to buy a flash ipod to replace my old Rio player (which still works fine). Unfortunately, Apple decided to make something affordable (a good thing) that has virtually no features (except price and AAC playing) and is not innovative at all (a bad thing) and tries to cover it up with slick marketing.

    The Emperor Has No Clothes!

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969



    yes, I have to admit, I love these pithy arguments.

    I suppose if you are a anal type freak, than mucking about with a 1 line lcd display, is much preferable to simply enjoying a selection of songs.

    After all, if you cannot listen to 'eye of the tiger' as you jog up a flight of stairs...then what is the point in jogging up the stairs?

    This whole discussion is such a brilliant insight into the different ways people think....LOL

    but, in the end...I cannot side with the group arguing against having got your stinkin shuffle feature, even if someone else has their stinkin' lcd readout. In the end a company that can deliver both features at the same price, has done better than apple.

    case closed.

  1. spider610

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Of course it's delibrate

    What is the concept of a flash music player? Anyone? Is there any idea other than a small size music player behind a Rio, iRiver...?

    is it so hard for Apple to add a LCD on the new player?

    If you can klook deeper, you should be able to see te idea is much more profound than it seems. Whether you like the idea or not is another issue.

    Life is Random is a great phrase to catch the essence.

    Your Rio is a little player try to be anything, but it won't. The shortcomings is looking for songs on a little player with those difficult interface! How ridiculous! You only have 120 song and you try so hard to find the song you want at the moment because the interface is horrible?! You squint you eye so hard to read that small LCD and wait for the scroll text finish just to know where the song is? HA HA!

    Why don't you go with the flow? When you have a small playlist, Enjoy them in a way that it should be, without difficulties, without even much of your involvement... why not?

    This is a concept product, and it's really fun. How many times you see product marketing can reach so deep into human life, it's really rare.

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