Rhymes With "Shitty"

Crappy design + misleading specs = Dell

Those noted purveyors of second-rate hardware at Dell have launched a "competitor" to the iPod Shuffle ... the Dell Ditty (yes, I am serious - the "Ditty"). They had the mandatory press release and media event about the whole thing, but if you look around on Dell's web site you will have a bit of a chore in actually finding the Ditty. You have to do a site-wide search and then look though a couple of pages of results before you find it - one gets the distinct impression that even the mopes at Dell aren't very proud of this thing.

When you do find it, you will notice that (a) it looks a lot like a 49-cent disposable lighter, and (b) it claims to hold way more songs than the iPod Shuffle. A quick peruse of the fine print will reveal that those claims are based on songs that are encoded at 64kbps - an encoding rate that gives you sound more or less equivalent to the bad AM radio in a used 1978 Chevrolet Impala. Normally, I would peg this as a dirty marketing trick (a la Sony) but in this case, I just assume that anyone who would actually buy this shoddy-looking piece of crap would also be so undiscerning as to not care that the songs sound like vomit.

The fine print does not explain why it looks like a lighter.

If you don't feel like wasting time by rooting around on the Dell site to find the Shitty, er, Ditty for yourself, never fear. I have been thoughtful enough to grab an image for you and, for comparison purposes, have added an image of the above-mentioned cheap plastic lighter. Strictly for the sake of thorough journalism, of course ... cheap laughs are just a side effect.

Posted: Wed - September 21, 2005 at 09:35 AM