The iPod (Book) Shuffle

When it came out a couple of weeks ago I was impressed, but not knocked over by it … a small, inexpensive mp3 player will do well in the market, I thought. Obviously Apple knows what they are doing in this space, so I didn’t bother yapping about the lack of a screen and $150.00 price tag, but at the same time I just thought it was interesting … of course I then bought one. I bought one mainly because I have this disease that requires me to own almost one of everything Apple makes … at any rate, I have a shuffle and it is a very cool device — for a lot of reasons.

What I like the most about it is that it gives us a chance to put them in the hands of students. I look around PSU and it seems all I see are white earbuds … its like my wife said this morning, “I notice non-white earbuds now … it used to be that I was impressed to see a couple of white ones around, but now they are everywhere and the non white ones stand out.” Its hit the mainstream … but it isn’t like I am at Duke and can rely on my students to have them for podcasting, lectures on mp3, or audiobooks … but with the shuffle, my College, if I made enough noise, could afford them for all the students in a given class — or better yet, they are actually in the textbook price range now, so you could in effect require an iPod.

What prompted this quick post was this article in Wired today, Library Shuffles Its Collection … talks about how a library is now loaning audiobooks out on iPod shuffles … great idea. And here’s the best part:

In addition, the library has the potential to save a great deal of money. Latini said that most titles on CDs cost the library around $75, whereas in MP3 format, they range from $15 to $25.

“In the end, obviously, we’re literally saving money,” he said. “The units are paying for themselves.”

I think my students would love that … but there are the results from the blog survey to consider … we asked them if they liked the idea of audio posts … well, let’s just say the idea didn’t thrill them. I’ll throw some more slides up about that one later. At any rate, technology is becoming more affordable and the opportunities are there to take advantage of it. And I know my students would love to be “required” to buy an iPod.

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