The iPod Shuffle MP3 Player may be losing steam, or being discontinued, but Mighty is just getting started. This new music player that physically favors the pods of our past is using a modern method to fulfill what the Shuffle used to accomplish. By integrating with a user’s Spotify playlist, Mighty takes our expectations of music on demand and combines it with a wearable that is tiny and unobtrusive.
Mighty uses Bluetooth technology to pair with Spotify-enabled mobile phones or other devices. Via Mighty’s app, users decide which playlists to add to the miniature device. It’s reminiscent of days gone by, wherein teens could spend hours scouring their iTunes collection, meticulously choosing what would come up on the bus ride to school. In this scenario, the device happens to be linked to a mobile phone as opposed to a phone cord on your dad’s old Dell.
The idea here is to take the limitlessness of music that we’re used to while bringing back the simplicity of what we knew. Users can throw a playlist on their Mighty to head outside and go for a run without the added distractions of text messages and push notifications. It eliminates the need for bulky exercise armbands, or the risk of cracking phone screens during lengthy trail rides.
Mighty’s success relies on the assumption that lack of a screen wasn’t the Nano’s downfall, rather lack of adaptability.
It’s interesting timing, that this device would be released as its predecessor shifts into a slow extinction. According to its Kickstarter timeline, Mighty is fresh in its releases, having gone live on Android and Apple devices just this past June.
It is easy to assume the Nano phased out because of its lack of a touch screen and ease of use. We are a society increasingly accustomed to visual information that we can manipulate quickly and easily. The Nano was a remnant of the past, of a time before we could edit playlists on the go. The iPod Touch completely changed our understanding of what listening to music could look like. It is difficult to think people would go back.
Mighty’s success relies on the assumption that lack of a screen wasn’t the Nano’s downfall, rather lack of adaptability. I recall hours before many a Christmas road trip frustrated at how uncooperative my device was, how I couldn’t upload songs until I’d updated iTunes, or how I’d lose all my customizations in the switch from one computer to another.
Mighty is taking the convenience of something small, and doing what the Nano never did — giving us quick and simple playlist customization via connection from its mobile app to Spotify. It also has the advantage of being a supplement to a smartphone or device, as opposed to a replacement. In fact, Mighty is useless if users are unable to download the app that tells the device what music is on it.
Through its success or failure, we’ll learn if you really can teach an old dog new tricks. We’ll learn if an aged design can be revamped into a modern convenience. Though it be but little, perhaps it really will be mighty. Only time will tell.