Apple Computer! You’ve just sold 10 million iPods in less than 4 years and turned something as basic as a digital music jukebox into an object of geek obsession and a fashion statement. What do you do now?
Create an iPod offspring that weighs less than an ounce, could get mistaken for a stick of Wrigley’s Spearmint gum, and totally shakes up the way you listen to your iTunes music. That’s what.
This chapter takes a look at the world of the iPod Shuffle—Apple’s newest, lightest, and least expensive member of Clan iPod.
Just by looking at Figure 3-1, it’s pretty obvious that the iPod Shuffle is much different from the regular iPods and iPod Minis described previously. For starters, it’s barely over three inches tall, there’s no display screen, and the click wheel looks like it shrank in the dryer. And you don’t even need FireWire to do the Shuffle—the minuscule music machine plugs right into your computer’s USB port.
A regular iPod has a miniature hard drive to store 4 to 60 gigabytes of music and data, but the iPod Shuffle uses a small chip of flash memory to store its contents. This is the same type of memory in the ubiquitous USB flash drive (snapped on the end of a keychain or tucked in a shirt pocket) that has replaced floppy disks as a way to carry around files from computer to computer.
Unlike hard drives, which are moving, spinning things that can skip if bumped and break if dropped, flash memory can take a lickin’ and keep on rockin’ ...