I see they’ve dropped the price of the basic iPod Shuffle to $49. That’s the only iPod I have. It’s a remarkable device, with enough songs and enough juice to get you over the Pacific and back. You just have to remember to auto-fill and recharge before you go. The ergonomics are minimal and kind of perfect. Now, everybody knows that the best gift for anyone is one you make yourself. It seems to me that a pre-loaded Shuffle qualifies, at a reasonable price-point.
A couple of years ago, I gave shuffles to a nephew and two nieces. I thought of pre-loading them, but they wouldn’t be able to refresh them from their own computers without blanking the music, so what would be the point?
At $49, it makes sense. It presupposes you’ve got a computer with a few dozen hours of music on it; many of us have. You go and buy a handful of shuffles for your friends and loved ones, and for each one, you pick out 16 hours of songs you think they might like, and let ’er rip.
If they don’t like your taste in music, they’ve got a little iPod they can put their own on. If they do, that’s a very personal gift.