Adam Fields (weblog)

This blog is largely deprecated, but is being preserved here for historical interest. Check out my index page at for more up to date info. My main trade is technology strategy, process/project management, and performance optimization consulting, with a focus on enterprise and open source CMS and related technologies. More information. I write periodic long pieces here, shorter stuff goes on twitter or


Do the ipod shuffle.

Filed under: — adam @ 10:53 am

Apple announced a few new products today.

Some of them are interesting.

The Mac mini is a $500 sub-mac, no monitor, mouse, or keyboard. This, actually, is sort of exactly what I’ve been waiting for to tempt someone like me who has absolutely no use for a Mac as a general computer, but would like some of the benefits that the Mac has for dealing with, say, digital pictures. I think these will sell astonishingly well. This seems like a really smart thing in providing a gradual upgrade path from the iPod (or nothing) to this, to eventually one or more Macs.

Finally, I think they’re starting to get the producer/consumer nature of digital products and services.

The iPod Shuffle is a small (512MB or 1GB), low-cost iPod with no screen. You plug it in, and iTunes autofills it with a random assortment of songs (from your Mac mini, maybe). Then you can skip back and forth. That’s it. No choice. Simple. It’s tiny, it’s easy, it’s brainless. It’s missing something – you should be able to rate songs on it (even just a yes/no), so it learns (actually, so iTunes learns) over time what you want and don’t want on it. If you want to keep this really simple, have it register a “no” if you immediately skip past the song once it starts playing, or in the middle. That could even be rolled out with a firmware upgrade. I have a LOT of random crap on my music server. In its favor, it does include a warning right on the product page not to eat it.

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