Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Hramblings: Apple iPod Shuffle consequences and the Tivo paradox

Russell Beattie and post-ers to his blog comment that the iPod Shuffle cheapens the Apple brand among other criticisms. I think these comments ignore the human behavior arc that the original iPod has created. Having your entire music library on your person and the ability to slice-and-dice it by genre, album, artist, etc. was cool, but over time many users began using the random play feature as a personal radio station. The Shuffle exploits this practice to the extreme. Devote large buttons to the functions that matter and delete the other navigation features. I strongly suspect that the without the high capacity of the full spec iPods, this behavior wouldn't have presented so strongly.

Although anecdotal, my experience with my 80 hour Tivo is that I spend less time watching television. I have dozens of season passes set up, pre-qualify my ToDo list, post-Qualify the Now Showing list by skimming and end up with around a month to watch the shows I'm really interested in before they fall off the end of the buffer. Even with all this filtering, my total time in front of the set is a fraction of what it was.

These instances suggest that having a lot of options isn't a primary driver but instead is an enabler for other actions.


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