Talk to me – forming music culture
It changes the way people listen to music and at the same time is part of fundamental changes. The iPod shuffle is at the centre of a highly vivid music scene that for a long time has not listened exclusively to what the major labels have in their catalogues. Ranging from Lady Gaga to Gossip, contemporary music culture is manifold, and both stars and newcomers are aware that their success is based on the numbers of downloads and thus how often fans listen to their songs. The design of the current iPod shuffle thus further develops this medium, which is central to this music culture, by following an approach that is easy to understand also for users. About the size of a door key, and equipped with a steel clip, it is almost like an accessory that is pleasing to the touch, providing the user with an aesthetic experience. Furthermore, this iPod is perfectly adapted to current user behaviours: it is controlled via buttons which, located directly on the headphone cord, adapt smoothly to the finger and are easy to reach even in crowded metro trains or while doing sports. In light of the huge number of songs that can be saved on its 2 or 4 GB of memory, this iPod showcases a highly useful as well as fascinating navigation system: the VoiceOver function which tells users what they are listening to. Press and hold the middle button on the control unit and a friendly voice announces the song title and artist name. This iPod thus offers a novel, interactive feedback system through which users tie emotionally to the device. In order to gain an even better overview on their individual collection of songs, users can also have their playlists “spoken” to them by keeping the middle button on the control pressed – in a smart approach, this music player tells its user exactly where they are in the menu at any time. By “speaking” to the user, the iPod thus enriches both the perception and the administration of music through the addition of an entirely new component.