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After a can of drink spilt in my bag not long ago, I lost my beloved nano ipod. After months of begging my mum (and my sister brought her a touch), she let me have her running shuffle.
Apple claim that this is the smallest MP3 player in the world, which is honestly must be the amount it gets lost in my bag. Sizing up at only 2cms by 5cms, its tiny enough to tuck away or use without the bulk. It weights a tiny 10g aswell.
The iPod can be brought in silver, black, blue, pink, green and probably a few more colours but these are the ones I have seen. I have mine in black (but if I chose it then it would of been pink). The fact there is so many colours is a good feature as there is something for everyone. Other iPods in the range come in these colours too but it varies depending on the style.
One of the main features which is different with the shuffle compared to other iPods is that there is no screen or way to click through songs on the actual iPod. The shuffle is made from anodised aluminium and looks fairly modern and a bit like a memory stick. There is a mirrored clip on the back so you can attach it t anything for ease. To change songs and pause, volume controls etc you will need the ipod headphones that it comes with. Without this, you will be unable to use the iPod at all.
As I have just mentioned, the only thing you can actually do with the iPod itself is turn it on and off. To change volume, change song, pause and play you need the headphones. This has bugged me as I find that iPod headphones never last very long so you need to keep spending loads on them to use the shuffle properly. With normal headphones you do not have the little strip of control so it would be impossible to do anything. I do like that if you hold down the middle button, the iPod speaks to you. It is a male voice that tells you if your battery is low and which playlist you are on (which I will get to in a minute). I suppose they had no option but to use this voice because of there not being a screen.
Having the 4GB shuffle, I can hold 500 songs which might seem like a lot, but to me it isn't much. I have around 2,000 on my computer and can never seem to narrow them down to fit on. Although the number of songs you have depends on their length. If you only had 2 minute songs, you may be able to get 550-600 on there. The 500 is based on having 4 minutes per song and 128-kbps ACC encoding (which my mums partner has been trying to explain to me since I read it on the instructions booklet).
To connect to the computer, you will need to use the USB device given to you in the box when you buy the iPod shuffle. It is different to the other iPod cables because the shuffle isn't big enough for the connection point - meaning you need to use the headphone part. The USB cable is only about 4cms in length so very easy to loose, I would advise you to keep it in a safe place as without it you can't charge or add songs to your iPod.
Once connected to iTunes, you can easily access the usual library that you can with any other iPod but you will not be able to use the apps, videos or podcasts as they will not work. Pretty much all you can use is the music which can also be brought from the iTunes store as well as being imported from CDs you already own. I don't think illegal downloading is right because the artists aren't getting money for their music which you're enjoying but that is a whole new debate.
Now when it comes to music, you can make playlists of songs or just have them all free. I find this feature useless as when the iPod speaks to you, it simply names them 'playlist 1, playlist 2' and so on. I did have a playlist for the gym, relaxation songs and upbeat ones for when I'm getting ready to go on nights out. This is now only on my iTunes library.
When it comes down to the battery, I was quite surprised. When fully charged (I leave it charging over night) it gives me 10 hours of playback which is enough to get me through the journey to and from college, and my half hour runs every night. I do tend to flick through loads of songs to find one I want which doesn't actually run the battery down too much.
Although I really like the fact the iPod is so small, I can't help but think it is more aimed at fitness junkies. It is perfect for clipping to your trousers when you go for a run or to the gym but not really for bus trips as it often gets lost in my bag and I worry that it gets stolen.
Despite the lack of a screen and controls, this iPod is really just as good as the rest when it comes to the music - but if you want the other features then you're going to have to splash out more for a better pod.
The iPod shuffle has now been changed back to its old look, which costs £40 but as this version is not the newest it cannot be brought on the Apple website. You will probably be able to buy it on eBay and Amazon for around £20, which is quite a reasonable price considering its an Apple product.
I bought this iPod as an upgrade to the 2nd Generation iPod Shuffle.
Probably one of the most important aspects of an iPod, I would rate the battery as more than sufficient. Takes around an hour and a bit to charge, and has a good 5 hours playtime. Can only be charged via a computer, unless a power adaptor is bought separately !
The controls on this iPod are on the headphones themselves, and not the ipod. There is only one button on the iPod, that toggles between turning it off, having songs play in order, and having them play in a random (shuffle) mode.
This in itself can be a big negative, as the only headphones that can be used with the iPod are the ones made by Apple. Specially designed headphones may be on the market however.
It also becomes very impossible to control your iPod if you wish to plug it in to speakers.
If this doesn't bother you however, the controls are quite simple to use and work well.
The feature that lets you navigate the iPod without any screen is called VoiceOver. It is a computerised voice that can be activated by the 'select' button on the headset.
If you hold the button down the music fades, and a voice announces the title of the song playing.
If you keep the button held down, you get a choice of any playlists you might have on the iPod.
I've found that it works very well !!
Overall a great little iPod with only one small niggle, being that theres no way to control it without specially designed headphones. Would definitely recommend it !!
The iPod Shuffle is Apple's smallest and simplest MP3 player. It may seem limited without a screen or physical buttons but the features that have been thrown in definitely make it great value for money.
The iPod shuffle's now come in 5 colours; silver, black, baby blue, lime green and pink. There's also a special polished stainless steel version but it's not worth the extra £16 in my opinion. I have the black version which isn't really black, it has more of a dark gun metal grey look which is cool.
The new iPod Shuffle's are extremely small, about the size of a thumb. It's a great size for exercising with but is so small that I often worry about losing it. The design is very simple, it's a small rectangular device with a clip on the back making it easy to take with you if you have no pockets. At the top of the device there is also the headphone jack and the switch so you can put the Shuffle on shuffle, loop or off.
Being made of anodised aluminium (like the new Nanos) the Shuffle is very sturdy and doesn't feel like it will break. Although it is prone to some minor scratches it is very strong and has survived a few drops.
To sync the shuffle you have to use the included Apple Cable which is USB to headphone jack, weird, but it works and makes syncing easy. That said syncing with the 30-pin dock connector on other iPods is faster but I guess there's no room for one on the Shuffle.
Although the buttons on the older shuffle were good for some control, I do prefer the ability to quickly changed it with the included earphones with remote. Unfortunately this means if you break them you'll have to buy a new pair if you ever want to change songs again.
To over come the problem of not having a screen Apple have now also included the VoiceOver feature similar to that on the iPhone 3GS. It's really easy to access this feature, simply press and hold the button on the earphones and the VoiceOver feature will read out the name and artist of the track, if you continue to hold the button it will also read the playlist titles to you.
My only issue about the Shuffle and probably the reason why most people avoid it is because although it has a large 4GB of space, it's just too small for everyday use. I only use it when running or going to the gym as I don't want a large MP3 in my pocket, but for day to day use where your mood changes and you may want to listen to particular songs, something with a screen and more advance controls would be better.
As well as this I would have loved if they did the Shuffle in Product(Red), it would probably look the best out of those weird, overly bright colours and obviously money would be going to charity.
All in all the iPod Shuffle is a great small MP3 player, suitable for everyone and great for use while exercising. VoiceOver is a really cool feature and at £59 for 4GB it's a steal! Highly recommended.
Apple boasts that this 3rd generation iPod Shuffle is the world's smallest MP3 player. Upon looking at it for the first time, I didn't have the nerve to argue. It is really the tiniest music player I have ever seen. It is very lightweight and handy and weighs only 11 grams. I just hold it between my thumb and my forefinger. This tiny music player measures 1.8 cm in width, 0.8 cm in depth and 4.5 cm in height.
It has a plain, metallic and simple design with no screen or click wheel which is present in other generations of Apple iPod. The body is made of anodised aluminum which makes it look durable and sleek though simple.
The iPod Shuffle has a clip that attaches to its body for ease of use. I just clip it on my shirt, pocket, belt or sling bag.
Silver, Black, Blue, Green, Pink
Since the 3rd generation ipod shuffle has no clickwheel, the only control in the iPod's body is the switch located at the top of it which works 3 ways. The switch is used in turning on and off the iPod. A slide to the left of the switch makes me play the songs in a shuffle mode and sliding it to the middle allows me to play the songs in a consecutive manner.
Since the only control on the iPod's body is the 3-way switch at the top, the headphones serve as an extended control. The cable that runs below the right earpiece has 3 buttons mounted on a small piece of hard plastic. This extended control provides me with increasing or decreasing volume control and it also has a multi-functional central button. By pressing the central button once, the playback turns into 'pause' mode. If I press the same button in 2 consecutive quick clicks, the player skips forward and if I give it 3 quick clicks, the player skips back. This simply means that if I lose the headphones and if I replace them with headphones of other brands without similar control as with the iPod's, I can't be able to access its volume and other controls . It's a good thing that Apple sells separate headphones aside from the ones included in the box, and there are also other headphone brands available with similar control.
My Apple iPod Shuffle has 4 gigabytes of internal memory. It can store up to 500 songs in it based on a 4-minute-per-song and 128-kbps AAC encoding. Of course the number of songs that can be stored depends on the length of the songs saved.
The iTunes Factor
Creating my own playlist or adding a song in my iPod Shuffle needs iTunes software in my computer. Since there is no USB port in the iPod's body, I need to use the 10-cm adapter cable that is included in the box and plug it into the iPod's headphones jack. This cable is small and losing it means inability to sync the iPod with iTunes in the PC.
The iPod Shuffle is capable of storing multiple playlists of my choice. I have a playlist of collection of music for the gym, a playlist of mellow songs when I want a relaxation and a playlist of acoustic rendition of songs. The playlist is great when I want to play music that suits my mood.
Voice Over Feature
The big feature that Apple intended to compensate with the lack of screen is the VoiceOver feature. It is actually a good feature. When I turn on the voice Over feature whilst synchronizing the iPod with the iTunes, it creates a spoken-word title of a track and name of playlist. Whilst playing a song, I just press and hold the central button of the iPod then I hear the title of the track announced on the top of the song. Though I have multiple playlists, I just press and hold the central button and when the iPod beeps, it announces the title of the stored playlist. VoiceOver also tells me when I have low battery and that it's time to recharge it.
The iPod Shuffle uses rechargeable lithium polymer battery and is mounted in the body, making it non-removable. It takes 3 hours for it to be fully-charged, or charging it for 2 hours gives the battery 80% power. When battery is fully-charged, this player gives me around 10 hours of playback time.
Apple's iPod Shuffle is the smallest MP3 player in the world with the size smaller than a famous chewing gum strip. The metalized body makes the iPod look durable. It has no screen and no clickwheel.
Apple thought that the VoiceOver feature can compensate with the iPod's lack of screen. I personally think that this idea was more of a failure than a hit. Having both screen and VoiceOver feature could have made this 3rd generation iPod Shuffle sell more.
Though VoiceOver feature is an impressive technology, still, the lack of screen and other good features made this iPod Shuffle fall behind its competitors.
(also posted in ciao.co.uk as browndoll)
I bought the shuffle recently and have found it an all round good purchase,
The sound quality certainly punches above its weight and the battery life lasts for anything up to four days on a single charge that couple with its size means it is very portable and extremely user friendly.
The new ability to set up and hear what playlists you are playing is very convenient. I do have a couple of niggles regarding the controller featured on the headphones. Despite being very usefully placed and putting an end to poking around in your pocket to skip that troublesome Van Halen song your girlfriend put on your list, i found myself accidentally stopping and skipping tracks with the one click two click three click options but this is really more a coordination problem than a reason not to buy one....
I already own an ipod touch which is great for apps etc... but if you want and easy to use easy to carry mp3 player with great build quality and great sound then the shuffle is for you.
The iPod family only exists as execs at Apple thought that their mp3 players were awful. Pre iPod, the majority of mp3 players were similar in design to the shuffle, little or no display, cumbersome track selection and small capacity. So why in 2009 have the company that changed all that arrived at the marketplace with a 3rd generation of tiny screenless low capacity digital music player?
Apple have stayed with their modern business plan of taking an existing product type and doing it better than everybody else, but why bring out a product that's the 4th best of their own range? I can only assume that it's to grab one little slice of the market.
For it's size, sound quality is great. Considering the dimensions, the capacity is good, but don't consider its size and it's poor. Not many music fans would have less music than this can take. Who has 1000 tracks or less? Most people will be frustrated at having to be ultra selective on what music to take with them.
Then there's the new gimmick of the voice to tell you what you're listening too... I know what I'm listening too, I bought the music! Ok it enables playlist selection... But the premise behind the shuffle range was most people don't use playlists, hence the name SHUFFLE!
I think the only people who will find this useful are iTunes customers who go running; runners need something that can be dropped or take a shaking, and iTunes customers because if non of your music is apple DRM encrypted there are cheaper options out there with a little display to select what to listen to.
I recently bought this product for my husband's birthday from Argos for £59. Cat. No. 513/9392.
I was very impressed by how small it was considering it holds 1000 songs.
The i pod is silver and measures 4.52cm high, 1.75cm wide and 0.78 cm depth and weighs 10.7g. It is very samooth and sleek and can be attached to clothes, with a built - in stainless steel clip that has the apple logo on it. Once charged the battery life is an amazing 10 hours. On the top of the iPod is one button that can be moved from off, to play in order, to shuffle (each time it is moved a voice tells you what you have selected), a status light and an earphone port. The earphones supplied are very comfortable to wear and are attached to a small remote control, which controls the volume and the tracks selected by using single, double or triple clicks. When you hear the playlist you want, you just click to select it.
There is an included USB cable to connect the i Pod to the computer to set up and begin charging. You then get on screen instructions which are very easy to follow.The sound quality is excellent and music is very easy to download. My husband has never stopped using it and says it is fantastic value for the money.