iPod Shuffle Part 2

A few further thoughts on the iPod Shuffle. As I was leafing through the sale flyers in the Sunday paper I noticed that the standard retail prices for 512 Mb USB thumb drives is around $60 or $65, judging by the ones that were on sale with rebates. I don’t already have a thumb drive and have been in the market for one if I saw one at a good price. So then the question becomes would I pay $30 or $40 over the cost of the thumb drive to have the MP3 player that integrates transparently with my iTunes? Hell yeah!

I saw a reference to my Shuffle post in this discussion. I think this dude radically misses my point by about as much as he missed my name when he says

But I got really irritated by Dave Schlesser’s comments on it at

Like he couldn’t have done what he wanted to do with any other MP3 player on the market up until now. And what does “optimized for not needing the display mean”?

Um, I was talking about the iPod Shuffle, that’s why I didn’t mention any others. Many people are saying that the Shuffle seems poor for podcasting, a small number of people think it will be fine or even good. My statement didn’t say anything about the abilities of any other player. Simmer down, dude. There are indeed plenty of players that will play podcsts just fine. Now educate me – how many of them will sync transparently with my iTunes playlists that iPodderX fills up every night? I know the Shuffle will. There might be others, but unless they are also usable as thumb drives and available at the same or better price, I’m not interested in them. So please don’t be pissy, just constructively tell me what the alternatives are.

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Dave Slusher is a blogger, podcaster, computer programmer, author, science fiction fan and father. Member of the Podcast Hall of Fame class of 2022.

4 thoughts on “iPod Shuffle Part 2”

  1. Chris C. says:

    Hey Dave, I realize that this wasn’t the point of your post, but I just wanted to chime in on USB thumb drives. For me, size matters. It matters in my desktop computer, it matters in my [smart] cell phone, and it definitely matters in things that I carry around in my pocket all day. I just bought an Iomega Micro Mini, and it’s significantly <EM>smaller</EM> than that one joint on my thumb. Of course, at ~$100 for 512MB it doesn’t compete with the IPod Shuffle on the mp3/price point (mo mp3!), but it’s far far smaller. To me, that’s critical. OK, I’m done 🙂

  2. Andy Herron says:

    Hi Dave,

    There are plenty of alternatives. I use the Creative MuVo TX FM which I bought a month ago to listen to podcasts – it’s awesome. It’s nowhere near as cheap as the iShuffle but comes with radio, voice recording etc etc.

    Anyway I just wanted to point out that most, if not all MP3 players can be synced with Windows Media Player. FeedDemon is the only RSS reader I know of (no doubt others will soon follow) that can take advantage of this:
    I use this myself and it works fine.

    As far as I can tell that adds up to the exact same functionality as iPodder + iTunes, but works with the multitude of other portable media players available.

  3. Dave says:


    Cheap is a big factor here. If money were no object I’d buy an iPod photo, but it is. Syncing with WMP does nothing for me personally since I don’t use Windows. I’m not that concerned with how universal the player sync support is, because I have one platform that matters to me here – syncing to a Mac with iTunes. Framed another way, my question really is “If the iPod shuffle sucks so bad for playing podcasts, where is a better $99 flash player that will sync with my iTunes playlists and act as a thumb drive?”

  4. Tim Elliott says:


    I had the same reaction to the Shuffle when I first saw it and immediately ordered one online. I have a 40GB ipod and use a smart playlist in iTunes to track new podcasts that I have not listened to yet. There are several times I wish I could listen to my ipod but fear for it’s safety (like skiing) since it is an expensive piece of gear. Now, I will just point my Shuffle at that playlist and have the most recent 50 podcasts ready for whatever and space on the disk for other files. Mine arrives tomorrow and I can’t wait to check it out; for this price, everyone in my family will probably have their own soon.

    This thing is great for podcasting!

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