Apple quietly released a new iPod Shuffle on Wednesday, and much to the surprise of tech pundits and Apple fans, the company moved the controls of the device from the face of the Shuffle to the cord of the earbuds it bundles with the iPod.
According to Apple, anyone who wants to use their own third-party headphones will be required to purchase a third-party Shuffle-controlling dongle that will attach to both the iPod and the headphones.
It didn't take long for the blogosphere to erupt and start saying that this is like the recessed iPhone jack of 2009, in reference to the first-generation iPhone earbud jack that required an adapter for some headphones. When that was announced, Apple caught fire until the second-generation iPhone featured a standard jack.
And now it's happening again. I spent 30 minutes last night looking around the Web, trying to find reactions to this so-called "debacle," and more often than not, I read posts on blogs or complaints on Twitter saying that an additional $15 to $20 for a dongle is ridiculous and that it eliminates all the value of the iPod Shuffle.
I considered that argument and found it flawed.… Read more