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2.01.2005

More iPod Shuffle discussion

I have still not ordered my iPod Shuffle yet, but I am still planning on it.

However, this post on The Long Tail made me think twice about it. Chris Anderson's points in this post are very well taken, the signal-to-noise ratio in my library would be very low as he predicts.
You can think of the thousands of songs on your hard drive as a Long Tail of sorts. Even though you've bought, ripped, or downloaded them all, they're not all your personal "hits". Some of those tracks are songs you don't care for on albums you otherwise like; others are albums you wish you hadn't bought or ripped in the first place. And yet others are songs that you've simply grown tired of. In other words, the signal-to-noise ratio in your own collection can be nearly as variable as that in any commercial music service.

As my regular MP3 player is not an iPod I have an option available to me, handpick the songs to import into the iTunes library in effect filtering them before so the odds of the Shuffle feature producing a good playlist would be much higher.

However in the end this is a moot point for me. I am ordering the iPod Shuffle to replace my current flash-based MP3 player I use for working out and running, for this purpose it is uniquely well suited. First off for 512MB at $99 it is cheap for a flash-based player, the size and weight are big advantages whether I have it in my pocket while at the gym or strapped to my arm while running, and finally I never use the visual interface anyway as I have pre-set playlists I always for my workouts -- literally set it and forget it.

I know I am not the only out there looking at the Shuffle in this light, in this manner I think Apple has produced a really great product and I must disagree with Chris -- I think it will do very well.

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