Top 5 Reasons the iPod Shuffle Beats the Nano

This image was lost some time after publication, but you can still view it here.
This image was lost some time after publication, but you can still view it here.

Apple's iPod shuffle sales have been brisk, and it's the sleeper hit of the holiday season. There are good reasons why this is happening, all of them having to do with features of the shuffle that can each be found elsewhere, but none all on one player.

Why all the commotion over the lowly, simple shuffle? Here are the top five reasons why you might choose it over the nano, or any other digital audio player, for that matter, especially if you're interested in active outdoor activities this winter:

1. It has a clip on it. This is better than a lanyard, because you can clip it wherever you want: on your shirt sleeve, on your lapel, on a pocket, on your earlobe, and even on the zipper flap of a jacket.

2. Its controls are not touch-sensitive like the nano. If you've been out on a walk in the cold weather, you'll know that the nano can't be controlled with a gloved hand. Not so with the shuffle, which can be easily manipulated with even the thickest gloves on. Great for cold weather outdoor activities.

3. It's tiny. It's hard to imagine just how small the shuffle is until you've held one in your hand. It's literally the size of a postage stamp. It's 1 5/8" wide and 1 1/16" tall and it's 3/8" thick including the clip. Sure, there's no screen, but if you have a playlist in a particular order, or a lineup of podcasts you want to hear on a long walk, who cares?


4. It's cheap. At $79, it lowers the barrier of entry to using the iPod complement of features, the best of which is the iTunes Music Store which has a tremendous selection of DRM music that's easily cracked, and the whole system works well with all of Apple's players.

5. It's not a Zune. If you're thinking of giving a digital audio player as a gift, few people ever get pissed off because they received an iPod. Its graceful unboxing experience alone is enough to warm the cockles of even the coldest Apple hater's heart.

Review: Apple iPod Shuffle (2nd Generation) [Consumer Electronics Net]

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I think if you've posted "I'll take a Zune" on this page don't really get the point of this article or the shuffle itself.

Does the Zune have more features? does it hold more songs? does it play video? Yes, yes, and yes. But some people don't need all that. for some people, just having a random sampling of several Gigs of their songs is fine (especially for $75 as opposed to $300-400). And if they simply want something to take with them while they exercise (there are a few of those people left in this world)then the shuffle is perfect. But it's not just for jogging. The shuffle is perfect for any person who doesn't care about having 30-60gigs (for most people, the entirety of their musical library) of music with them (and there are people like that too)or having that much control over what they're listening to. Hmm. Judging from how many people still listen to radio (satelite and terrestial) I'd say that's a pretty good swath of our population. Because, when you get right down to it, that's what mp3 players are: They're like having a radio station w/out comercials and only plays songs you like. When they are considered in that light, the shuffle is perfect for (just guessing here) 75% of the U.S.'s population.

And then with a price tag of $75, this makes a perfect gift for someone. I wouldn't buy my GF a Zune for christmas (I know, I'm cheap) because, I know it's more than she needs in a player. Let's face it, its more than what most people need in a mp3 player. Which is why this article is right, and why the shuffle is selling so well.


I have never and possibly will never own an Apple product, so I am not a fanboy. I am simply pointing out that though some of us (including myself) would not be happy with a shuffle, for most people it would meet their needs just fine, which is why it is selling so well, which is the point of this article.