iRiver CEO on Apple iPod shuffle: ‘It will be very difficult for users to find their favorite songs’

“The chief executive of one of the world’s leading manufacturers of digital music players says he is surprised at several of the features of Apple Computer’s iPod Shuffle player, which was introduced by Apple earlier this week at MacWorld San Francisco. ‘Two things surprised me,’ said Yang Duk-Jun, CEO of ReignCom, in a telephone interview Thursday. ReignCom produces portable music players under the iRiver brand name,” Martyn Williams reports for IDG News Service.

“‘The first is that iPod (Shuffle) is targeting the low-end area,’ he said. The low price is no surprise, as Chinese products are already available at that price: the surprise is that Apple is producing a low-end product, he said. ‘The second is that they introduced the 1GB player that can contain about 200 songs. It will be very difficult for users to look for and find their favorite songs,’ he added… ‘Maybe there is a certain group of users who don’t care about searching (for songs) and displays. Apple may replace the products low-end users are using but for (listeners who are) a little bit serious, this group won’t like this type of product,'” Williams reports.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Yes, Apple’s iPod shuffle will replace products low-end users are using and Apple also happens to own the rest of the market with their mid-range and high-end iPod models. What’s surprising about that? The iPod shuffle is meant to be filled entirely with “favorite” songs and used to play them while running, exercising, etc. Hence, there will be no problem finding “favorite” songs on the iPod shuffle. If you want to do more, Apple offers the iPod mini, the iPod, and the iPod photo.

By the way, Apple’s iPod shuffle 1GB player can contain about 240 songs, not the 200 Yang low-balls in his statement and sells for US$149 compared to iRiver’s iFP-599T 1 GB Flash Music Player which is currently listed for US$389 on and doesn’t directly play songs purchased from the market-dominating iTunes Music Store, either.

Find out more about Apple’s iPod shuffle and the other iPod models here.


  1. But when your working out, you don’t stop to look for your favorite songs… you just want it shuffling.

    The iPod Shuffle is perfect for what it was made to be, its just that some idiots expect it to be as good as the iPod even though its 100 dollars cheaper.

  2. Even on my 30gb iPod I seldom look for a favorite song – I just pick the playlist and go. I may hit the next track button to skip a song but you can do that with the iPod shuffle as well.

    iRiver & others must be very worried. Apple has just made the others on the market look very pricey and bulky.

  3. How long before Apple (or Griffin) releases a shuffle remote that has a small display, I wonder?

    I saw a shuffle in person for the first time this weekend. It’s much lighter than I expected. I don’t think it weighs much more than a pen.

  4. Yeah, “surprised” that Apple produced a flash product. More like scared about his company’s going concern. I wonder if he has a golden parachute because he will more than likely need it in the next year.

  5. The iPod shuffle will be a huge hit. For many many years, people have been listening to shuffled songs by tuning to a favorite radio station that focuses on a certain music genre. And these listeners had no control over which songs will be played. It is very nice to have someone (some thing) else do all of the work for you. While jogging, reading, or web-surfin’, I don’t want to be bothered with trying to select a song. The iPod shuffle is perfect for this particular, and very common, reason for listening to music.

    I think this will even beat out satellite radios. It’s not hard to rip and/or download two hundred of your favorite songs, and then have your iPod shuffle them, making it your own private radio station. With just a .5% hit rate for any particular song, it will take a long time for such a list to get “old”.

    No commercials. No monthly fees. Just your favorite songs. It’s the way music was meant to be used in one’s life.

  6. It will be very easy to find one of your favorite songs on the iPod shuffle. As Steven Tyler would say, “Just Push Play”. If you’ve loaded the thing properly, one of your favorite songs will start playing.

  7. I think DanK is right on here, so much so I think Apple should have named the thing iPod sport instead of shuffle (of course that may limit the potential market). Really, how many people out there haven’t bought an iPod simply because they aren’t sure how it would stand up during a long run, or bike, or weight session? I would venture these people sure as heck don’t care if there is a screen or not, just play the damn music! I

  8. It’s a pity Apple didn’t work out some way to place software tag markers at the beginning of each album (or collection of songs). Then a quick double-click on the ‘Forward’ button (or Backward) would skip through to the first song on the next album.

  9. 240 songs on a gigabyte iPod shuffle… what is that, about 16 hours? 15-20 CDs? Two unabridged Audible files?

    I wouldn’t need an LCD screen to navigate those waters, once I got the hang of the interface’s algorithim. To paraphrase Ron Popeil, you ‘set it and forget it’ on iTunes. It’s not rocket science to run one of these things…

  10. Twenty Benson,

    Maybe Doug over at <a href=””>Doug’s Applescripts for iTunes</a> will put something together that solves that issue.

    That guy (and his band of scripters) is a wizard in that arena.

  11. So if the iPod Shuffle is a poor as all it’s rivals are now claiming. What sort of excuse will they dream up for their ‘superior’ products failing to out-sell such poor competition ?

    The only question remaining is just how long they intend to try competing before they accept that they’re out-classed.

    It will be amusing to watch them spending increasing amounts of money advertising products that nobody wants.

    They’ll have to cut the selling price in order to compete, that will slash their margins and there won’t be enough profit left to pay for the advertising.

    I’m not sure it’s even possible to slash the price of a flash MP3 player enough to make many people want it over a $99 iPod Shuffle.

    It doesn’t sound like a good business plan to me.

  12. Yeah, the criticism of Portable Video is, why would you want to stare at a small screen while you listen to your music, etc.

    Same goes for the mini.. you don’t agonize over what songs should come next, etc

    And the shuffle, in turn, you don’t agonize over might song MIGHT be playing next, you design playlists.

    I’m getting one in a few days (university store, baby)

    iRiver? You’ve been served, now get copying!

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