Random thoughts on the iPod shuffle

Everyone and their with-it uncle has been talking about—and lauding—the new iPod shuffle, the pack-of-gum-sized music player that holds as many as 240 songs. But we’re not buying it—and not just because we’re the proud new owner of an iPod mini. It just seems like it might have been smarter for Apple to have found some middle ground between something that plays 5,000 songs, like the mini, and something that plays 240. And let people manage their tunes better. (The shuffle allows you to play songs in order, or randomly. That’s it.)

Small is cool. But so is controlling your media choices. And these days, we think most people would choose the latter. Plus, it’s not as though the basic iPod, in its current incarnation, is cumbersome. As the tagline for the shuffle says, "Life is random." Controlling what we see and hear is one way most of us fight back.

—Posted by Catharine P. Taylor