Product Type: Apple MP3 players
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Apple iPod Shuffle (4G) 2GB - a runner's companion
Apple iPod shuffle (4G) 2 GB
Member Name: PaigeTurner
Apple iPod shuffle (4G) 2 GB
Advantages: Small and lightweight so you forget you have it on
Disadvantages: It has no screen to show what track is playing
I do a lot of running and I find musical accompaniment absolutely essential to while away the time and also to motivate me when the going gets tough.
I have had a few iPods before, all iPod Nanos, which have come to a similar fate, namely being washed in the washing machine with my running kit. This was not intentional. It all comes with putting everything in a heap on the bed once I get back from my run.
Anyway, I couldn't keep splashing out over £50 a time on iPods so decided to go for the cheaper iPod shuffle instead. They cost around £35.
I was a little disappointed I would no longer have a track list to look at but the plus side was the Shuffle is a lot smaller and discreet and so ideal to take out running.
I can just clip it onto my waistband and cover it over with my t-shirt and the only sign I have it on is the earphones coming out the neck of my top to my ears.
The iPod Shuffle is very simple to use. It has an on/off switch on the side along with a switch which moves left and right depending whether you want it on playlist mode, which will play all your tracks in order, or shuffle mode, in which case it will mix all the tracks up.
On the front of the iPod is a main play/pause button and around this, forming a circle, are four buttons. The top and bottom buttons turn the volume up or down while the side two buttons move the track forward or back - or is it the other way around?
That is one of the problems, I always forget which and sometimes as I'm running I attempt to turn the volume up and instead move the track on. But that is probably down to my poor observational skills. This would not be a problem if you had the iPod in front of you and were not trying to work it blind. Having said that I can quite easily detect all the buttons through the material of my top and so move tracks on or adjust the volume whilst on the move, even if it can be a bit of trial and error at times.
I find the shuffle mode is very useful when running. If you are covering a long distance it is actually quite useful to keep being surprised by which track comes up next rather than have the predictability of an album playlist. When this doesn't work is when you have downloaded a new album onto your iPod as it is slightly more difficult to work out if this is a new track you are listening to. Also I find as there is no display on the iPod you get to the stage where you have no idea what the names of the tracks you are listening to are, and I would even struggle to tell you what the title of some albums are.
I have found this iPod is very durable considering how small and lightweight it is. It has been thrown in a drawer, been dropped, and it still works very well. It does not even have any scratches or scuff marks on it.
The weakest point of the product is the earphones they supply. Whilst the iPod itself is still going strong after a few years, I have had to replace the ear phones as the ear buds started to fall apart. I have also found the Sony ear buds I have replaced them with are much better quality than those provided.
You can store 300 music files on this iPod, which I find is more than sufficient for my needs but I know a lot of people store all their music on iPods these days and other iPods have much larger memories.
The iPod comes with a USB cable which allows you to connect it to your computer to download tracks or to plug it into the mains to charge. It takes about three hours to charge and you then have about 15 hours play time.
You need Microsoft Windows 7 or later or Apple MacOSx10.5 or later for it to be compatible with your computer or laptop. You also need to download iTunes.
In conclusion I am very happy with my iPod Shuffle. It is small enough just to clip onto my waistband and off I go running, barely realising it is there. I do miss not knowing what tracks I am listening to, but for this facility I would require a bigger iPod and on this basis I wouldn't swap what I have. It is a runner's companion and is as much a vital piece of kit whilst I am pounding the pavements as my running shoes.
Summary: An ideal little iPod for a runner
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