Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The iPod shuffle is celerbating its seventh candle

On January 11, 2005, Steve Jobs introduced the iPod shuffle to the public from Macworld, as one of his famous "one more thing." The iPod shuffle is when the first iPod with no screen and opens the use of flash memory NAND.

Beginning of 2004, Apple controlled 31% market share of digital music player: the iPod's competitors are then hundreds of models of key USB flash drive, and some models opulent HDD. The Cupertino Company decides to go to conquer the market by launching the iPod mini, iPod hard drive a little smaller and a bit cheaper than its big brother. It is a success in one year, double the iPod's market share to 65%.

The iPod shuffle comes into play: it must allow Apple to fight not on the high end, but the low-end too - with the clear goal that "iPod" became synonymous with "music player". Materially, the iPod shuffle is amazingly similar to its competitors: it follows the format "stick" very popular and uses the firmware and processor STMTP35xx of SigmaTel, which team while two-thirds of the keys, however MP3. 

The innovates in its interface : while most of the keys using an LCD screen with one or two lines of navigation buttons, iPod shuffle goes full screen. It is based on the alliance dear to Apple software (random from the Autofill in iTunes or play online with playlists) and equipment (circular controls on the front panel, switch the play mode back). This interface comes from a reflection on the uses of music on the move: according to Apple, most users were using their iPod.

The Apple also launches a reflection on the wearable computing, information that it covers itself. The iPod shuffle 1G could be worn around the neck as a pendant of luxury. His successor, introduced a year and a half later, the iPod is presented as "the most easily to wear" ("the most wearable iPod ever"). Two times smaller than the first generation, second generation adopts a format "clothespin" color that allows users to clip their iPod shuffle to their clothing, and creative TBWA \ Chiat \ Day advertising to offer a Apple memorable. 

The third generation reveals further research at Apple, that the voice control: two years before Siri, the iPod shuffle 3G "speaks" to its users through technology VoiceOver. Apple pushes the concept of shuffle at its height, removing any button on his player: the helmet with a microphone and a remote control, is the only interface. It is a failure: if the system is extraordinarily elegant, it is also more complicated to use than simple buttons.

Apple back to basics with the fourth generation, presented in September 2010: it takes the controls from iPod shuffle 2G in the square format of the iPod nano 6G. While the iPod nano has long been the best selling model, the mode is now the iPod touch - but the music player is no longer in vogue, and even the iOS version sells for less. The iPod shuffle celebrates seven years, and it is not surprising that he does not reach the decade.

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