February 17, 2005

Under-Promising and Over-Delivering

In the parlance of Crossing the Chasm, I've been a late-adopter to iPods. An avoider.

I love iPods but I knew if I got one I'd listen to too much music. So until now, iTunes on a PowerBook, headphones, and a 250gig external drive have sufficed.

Well, all that's changed. Today I received an 1GB iPod Shuffle that'd been given to me as a gift. Ordered on Tuesday from the Apple online store, which had indicated it would ship in "3-4 weeks". Then it said it would arrive around "March 10th."

Then I got an email last night saying it shipped and would arrive tomorrow! And sure enough it arrived this morning, in an oversized box and marked with mysterious non-Apple return address.

I was surprised by the presence of little annoyances within Apple's online store and account manager. For instance, my billing address zip code is one digit different than my ship-to address. I accidentally saved the ship-to zip code as the bill-to. Oops. No way to change that. I caught the mistake within 5 seconds, but that was 5 seconds too late. Oh sure, there's a way to go into your account and change your shipping address, but as far as Apple is concerned, that has nothing to do with an order that's been placed. This is too bad. They ought to fix it --- when they set the customer's expectation that the product won't ship until March 10th, then why can't I change the ship-to address right now?

Once I got the iPod Shuffle out of its packaging, I immediately connected it to my PowerBook and it mounted as a USB drive. Great. So I dragged an MP3 file into that drive. Then I tried to play the tune. Nope. That is when I discovered that Apple wants you to use iTunes to install music on the iPod. I like iTunes but I don't like being forced to use it in this fashion. Oh well.

One More Thing . . . : The earphones included in the packaging don't work. Or should I say, don't fit. They fall right out of my ears. I guess I don't have Apple-compatible ears. I'm using more conventional headphones.

Posted by brian at February 17, 2005 05:29 PM


Based on your pictures, it looks like the iPod Shuffle comes with the same little earbuds that my iPod mini did. They didn't fit my ears very well either (they keep slipping out) and so I sprung for the more expensive "in-ear" earphones and they were even worse. I still haven't found anything that really works for me other than (as you said) conventional earphones.

Posted by: Lyle at February 18, 2005 06:56 AM


Thanks for fixing the "Gates"!!

Posted by: Levin at February 18, 2005 08:12 AM

brianstorms is Brian Dear's weblog. Non-spam email:

Be sure to take a look at these other fine websites:

Copyright 2002-2003 Birdrock Ventures. brianstorms is a trademark of Birdrock Ventures.