While I love the original iPod concept and the idea of carrying all my music around as well as being able to navigate the whole collection, I also thought the simple idea of the iPd shuffle was very appealing.
In fact, I kept thinking that for some short trips it may be nice to have a solution that requires no thinking on my part and spares me the hassle of digging deep into the iPod’s menus. If you will be on the road for five minutes, it just doesn't make sense to spend two minutes pondering which music you want to hear and then spend another minute selecting in in the iPod. Likewise, when going to the gym, you want something smaller than the full-sized iPod. Both these situations just cry for a device like an iPod shuffle. And as a certified Apple whore who has all his music in iTunes, I am quasi-obliged to use nothing but iPods.
I also thought that the general idea of the original iPod shuffle was fantastic: Its design is extremely simple and easy to understand. All that while cramming the memory, playback chips and battery into a case the size of a large USB stick. It's also brilliant that the iPod plugs straight into the computer with no connection cable to lose. The only flaw of the gadget’s design seems to be that it will block the USB port adjacent to its own on the computer because of its width and height. That's not exactly brilliant.
All this said, I could never justify getting myself an iPod shuffle because it wasn’t that cheap and I had a perfectly good iPod already. In addition, Apple at some stage replaced the clever original iPod shuffle design by the gimmicky ‘clip’ iPod shuffle design which I found completely unattractive both æsthetically and practically (because of the silly Dock and non-standard connector).
But time goes on, people move on and start selling their old iPod shuffles on eBay. Some of them fetch astonishingly high amounts of money. I got one of the others. It's lacking its cap, it didn’t look unused but it still played 12 hours of music in one go. Which means it was good for many 5 minute bike rides or 45 minute gym sessions.
Unfortunately after less than a year in my possession the iPod Shuffle – or ‘Spongebob’, as I used to call it – stopped charging its battery. The battery was still fine and working for many hours before. Another Apple product biting the dust: crap!
Eventually I renamed the broken iPod shuffle to ‘Bernd das Brot’ and eBayed another used iPod shuffle of the same type which is now called ‘Spongebob’. Wish me luck that this one doesn't break right away.