By Harry McCracken | Thursday, March 12, 2009 at 5:32 pm
I’m not sure if there are any deep psychological insights to be gained, but one interesting thing about Apple’s tiny new iPod Shuffle is that it reminds different people of different other tiny things. USA Today’s Ed Baig compared it to a tie clasp. For David Pogue of the New York Times, it evoked Trident gum.
And me? The moment I saw it in person, I thought to myself, Pez. The player’s size and dimensions brought to mind a wrapped roll of Pez candy, the kind you insert into a Pez dispenser. So I did a comparison. The Shuffle is a tad wider than a Pez packet, but its depth is about the same, and it’s quite a bit shorter. And that’s including the Shuffle’s built-in clip.
Once you’ve started comparing an iPod to Pez, the next question is inevitable: Can you use a Pez dispenser as an iPod Shuffle case? I’m pleased to say that the answer is yes. Yes, you can. Almost as if Steve Jobs kept sending designers back to their drawing boards until it would fit, earbud plug and all. That would explain why Apple abandoned the square shape of the second-generation Shuffle for something long and skinny. And suddenly, the removal of the controls from the Shuffle itself make sense.
It is, It is, I admit, a tight squeeze–I probably wouldn’t try this with my vintage Smurfette dispenser for fear of stressing her case. But I was willing to put a Meet the Robinsons one at risk, and the experiment was a rousing success.
How does the iPez Shuffle sound, you ask? Delicious!
There’s only one problem with all this, but it’s a major one: Once you’ve put an iPod Shuffle into a Pez dispenser, there’s no room left for Pez. You could carry two dispensers, I guess. But I prefer to think that somewhere in Cupertino, even as we speak, engineers are working on the fourth-generation Shuffle. If it shrinks again by 50 percent or thereabouts, it’d go into the dispenser with enough space left for six or so Pez. Bonus points if it comes in a rainbow of Pez-inspired colors.
More to come on the Shuffle, I promise–in the form of an actual review…