New iPod Shuffle raises a question: How many music players do we need?

Stephen Baker

Apple's new iPod Shuffle looks mouthwateringly good, and the price for the 512 mg model starts at $99. But it raises questions. If you complain that the 40 giga iPod you just got for Christmas skips when you move from a walk to a slow jog, what's the company response likely to be? If you want to jog, buy the Shuffle. Its flash memory will stay on track. And thus the iPod, the on-the-go music machine, splits into two. If you want mega memory and enjoy jolting exercise, buy both gadgets. As business strategy, it's impeccable.

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