Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Planned Obsolescence

(Planned Obsolescence: A manufacturing decision by a company to make consumer products in such a way that they become out-of-date or useless within a known time period.)

I need to have music when I work out. My husband has mastered going on long runs without any music whatsoever. I need the distraction or I start fixating on my feet, ankles, legs, etc. Any time something feels a little off, I worry that I might be injuring myself. But if I am distracted by music, I can just run normally and the run or workout goes by much faster. I used to run with a big old bulky IPod but it kept skipping all the time (it is a hard drive after all) and found the Shuffle to be a better and lighter way to listen to music on the go.

Top photo is my old IPod Shuffle. Sniffle, I call it. It has taken to abruptly lowering the volume in the middle of a song and then locking and not letting me adjust the volume again until I reset the whole thing on my computer. It is less than 2 years old. I really didn't want to buy another Apple product but I needed another MP3 player STAT so I went to Fred Meyer and picked up this green Shuffle, the next-generation Shuffle. Hopefully I won't resort to calling it the sniffle anytime soon. I had been thinking of buying the Nano which is $150 versus the $44 Shuffle but didn't want to pay that much for something which I have doubts on its durability.
Sometimes I do wonder if manufacturers are really planning these things to fail. I know Apple fanatics will usually go out and upgrade without wait for something to break. I am not one of those fanatics.
I miss the fact that on my old Shuffle the controls were on the earbugs themselves. Maybe that was part of the design problem. At least I can go running now and not worry about losing my music. (At least for another year or so, I mean.)

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