Quest for Shuffle

The world’s smallest digital music player and just $79, the 1GB iPod shuffle lets you wear up to 240 songs(1) on your sleeve. Or your lapel. Or your belt. Clip on iPod shuffle and wear it as a badge of musical devotion.

Apple – iPod shuffle

Yesterday I flew from Boston to San Jose (via LA) and so had many hours to while away. I worked as long as my battery allowed and read but wished I had some music that didn’t depend on my laptop. Sitting on the plane, I decided that I would buy a Shuffle.

As is often the case with me, this idea became more and more fixed in my head until it became the sole focus of my activities for several hours. Here’s what happened:

After picking up my rental car (a minivan by the way) I headed to my hotel. En route I passed a Microcenter and thought that I might be able to find a Shuffle there. At the hotel, I checked in and got cleaned up. Should I go straight to Microcenter or go to the office first? I opted to be responsible and drove to the office. It was 4:30.

I worked for a few hours and then decided that I should check the store’s hours. Looking at the Web site I found that they only had the old Shuffles. No good. I next went to Best Buy and CompUSA. Now I learned that the Shuffle was only available for pre-order. Growing agitated I went to Apple’s Web site to make sure I wasn’t missing anything.

Next I went to Digg.com where I found unpacking photos posted. People were receiving Shuffles in the mail. Being in Apple’s backyard, I thought I’d check with a couple of local Apple stores. I called the one at the Valley Fair mall in Santa Clara. Yes, I was told, they had them there and they were opened until 9:30.

Confident that I would succeed, I relaxed, worked and had dinner. At 7:15 I left the office.

For the next half hour I tried to find my stupid rental minivan in the parking lot. I was starting to be mindful of the time. I set out with only a vague sense of where I was going. It was raining and traffic was light.

Forty five minutes later (following some directional confusion), I pulled into the Valley Fair parking lot. It was just about 9:00 – only 30 minutes until closing time. I found the Apple store and immediately saw a sign saying that the Shuffle would be available on November 3rd.

Confused, I asked an employee. Yes, that was the case, no Shuffles yet. But what about the fact that I’d been told that they were there? Someone made a mistake.

Disappointed, I went back to my hotel and drowned my sorrows in a Newcastle Brown Ale.

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