Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Update on Super shuffle: Actually a Stunt?

It had the world winded up about a week ago, and for many Apple and iPod fans it is still one of the topics to talk about. Love it or hate it, Super shuffle wasn't real.

From Engadget article (from Jack Campbell's e-mail to Engadget):

"The Super Shuffle is not in production by LuxPro. There is no intent by LuxPro to ever put the Super Shuffle into production. The entire CeBit sideshow was planned from the start as a gambit to gain a hugely disproportionate share of the industry’s attention, so as to find a few customers for the Super Shuffle’s electronics."

Campbell's e-mail's concluding remark:

So, there will be no Apple lawsuits, no Super Shuffles fighting their way onto racks at Circuit City, no angry mobs of Apple lawyers storming the LuxPro factory.
This was not a prank, nor was it an act of blind stupidity. In my view, it was one of the most clever PR maneuvers I have ever seen executed by a small company.

The mail said it all about the reality of this Super shuffle gadget. It is not completely out of the realm of possibility, though, that someone, smaller makers possibly, might eventually rip-off some well-known devices (like the iPod and Rio's devices) and selling it somewhere. Bigger players will have to make the rip-off less obvious though (now we're seeing a lot of laptops that look in one way or another much like Apple's PowerBook, be it the current Aluminum line or the older Titanium one).

Let's back to the topic for now.

Even though the Super shuffle had turned out to be the publicity stunt, what I wrote in my previous weblog entry about it still holds true for all other devices. Just read that in a general way, I was talking much about the user experiences of the iPod (and actually a lot of Apple's products) that is an emergence result from the interplay between software systems, whether they will be interacting directly with users or not.

On the other note, this actually reminded me a lot about CherryOS, a product from Maui-X, that made a really really loud noise sometime last year, promising to deliver a great PPC emulation performance on x86. There was no actual product found at that time, only a few annoying video on the product's website. Well, Maui-X is a company doing video streaming. So by getting a lot of people excited about it, they get a lot of free test for their actual technology. Clever trick. Now when people demanding the product, they ended up violating GPL and use PearPC's code [PearPC is an open-source PPC emulator].