The subtle iPod Shuffle often gets overlooked, and rarely spends time in the spotlight. This is because it has, as a class of device, truly fulfilled it’s purpose as the simplest music player.
I would say I’m a keen runner and spend about three hours a week running. For every minute I run, my shuffle runs with me. It’s mass and modesty make it the ideal running companion.
I have five running playlists:
- 5k: A playlist with the length of my target 5k time
- -5k: A playlist for any short run that I don’t know the distance for
- +5k: A playlist for slightly longer runs with different, slower songs
- Long Run: A really long playlist for much longer runs and events
- Experimental: New songs that I think might work for running
Contrary to the popular belief these are actually easy to switch between on the Shuffle. Just hold in the voice over button to hear the playlists read out. As far as running music goes it’s the best option out there, but is there room for Shuffle+?
I think there is. It would be marginally more featured and aimed at runners. This is something I’ve searched for on many occasions and I know there remains a vacant niche.
This new device would have two main new features:
- It would have one extra button. This button would start GPS tracking (and give an audio notification of that). It would continues to log the position until pressed again. Once the device was reconnected to a computer there would be a map and movement statistics available, much like what is already available on much larger devices. There would be scope to see where each song was played too, this might help you to better choose a running playlist. Another useful addition to the current voice over would be a call out of the current distance - or for it to automatically call it out at a predefined mileage. These should all be customisable via the computer.
- The second feature is a simple stop clock. Press a button combination to start the clock, press it again to stop. Simple as that. The current time could be combined with the distance read out.
The technology exists, the market exists - howbeit the device does not, and it should.