There is enormous nostalgia around songs from our youth, and we wondered if the nascent MP3 player ecosystem had the same emotional appeal as ‘analogue’ formats.

Personal stereos and MP3 devices have disadvantages:
> Personal stereos isolate users
> MP3s are dependent on a PC
> Music companies lost control of music distribution

This project demonstrated avenues for Bluetooth music products, showed the implications of using a brutally simple device with few features, and proposed a music ‘game’ sharing protocol with associated business model. Our goal: return the excitement of running to the shops to pick up the latest single with your pocket money.

Prototypes were modelled on-site at IDEO, and the user interface was fully programmed in Flash – presented to a packed room!

The project ran for 7 weeks at IDEO’s London office and formed the design elective of the Cambridge University ACDMM (Advanced Course in Design, Manufacture & Management). It preceded Apple’s iPod shuffle by more than a year.