Product Type: Apple MP3 players
Newest Review: ... so I'd definitely recommend looking into these! Overall another great product from Apple (even though I bouught the new one with the touch... more
Everyday I'm Shuffling
Apple iPod shuffle (4G) 2 GB
Member Name: xx_nic_xx
Apple iPod shuffle (4G) 2 GB
Advantages: Excellent sound quality, easy to use, aesthetics
Disadvantages: Storage capacity, no screen could be a problem for some.
That's exactly what the Shuffle is, there have of course been lots of different Shuffles on the market over the years but it would seem that the Shuffle, more than other iPods is the model that has changed the least. It would seem that simplicity really is key here and even with top of the range models like the iPod Touch and the Nano, Apple continue to market the Shuffle as your basic run of the mill iPod... but is that necessarily a bad thing?
*** Availability ***
Well, no as it would turn out as there are always people out there who have wanted simplicity over something that enables you to fling birds at green pigs and gives you recipe ideas. The Shuffle retails at a very modest and obtainable £40 compared with the Apple juggernaut the Touch which can set you back around £300.
*** In The Box/ Set Up ***
The shuffle comes in a tiny box, only slightly bigger than the device itself but it comes with everything you could need. A pair of white signature Apple earphones (throw these away and go for anything by Dr Dre!), a UBS adapter and a little set up booklet, but to be honest unless you've never used an Apple product before (where have you been the last 10 years?) then you should be fine.
Setting up requires you to plug the USB into your computer/laptop, sync with iTunes and you're pretty much ready to go. All that's needed is the sync some songs and you're well on your way. Speaking of syncing, it's incredibly easy and is basically a drag/drop process. You can create as many play lists as you like, but beware that unlike the shuffles siblings, this isn't able to handle thousands and thousands of songs, as with a modest capacity of just 2GB this iPod will be able to give you a respectable 500.
*** Design ***
The design itself is Apple all over - stylish yet functioning. The iPod shuffle comes in several different colours and is made from a single piece of aluminium polished to a sleek finish and it really does look good compared to the previous rather ugly looking Shuffle models. What looks like a click wheel on the front is actually just buttons and as always, simplicity is the key here. There are volume up and down buttons, next song and previous song buttons (which also work as fast forward/rewind) and the play/pause button situated in the middle. All the buttons are easily pressed and I've never had any problems with them sticking.
On the top you have you usual headphone jack, on/off switch (which also works as a shuffle/continuous play feature) and the new feature which Apple enthusiasts have been foaming at the mouth about is the voice over feature.
There's a clip on the back, which can also be found in the latest iPod Nano which enables you to clip the Shuffle onto your clothing which is especially useful if you're using this at the gym or during any other form of exercise.
Overall the design, as always with Apple is flawless and the only problem which is prevalent in Apple products is its vulnerability. This scratches incredibly easy and it's a good idea to invest in a case to prevent it from those disheartening scratches.
*** Sound Quality ***
The sound quality is fantastic, surprisingly fantastic infact for such a small and relatively cheap device. Of course, changing the earphones from Apples shoddy ones are a good idea and as aforementioned, any Dre Beats products are an excellent investment if you're a big music fan. You get crisp and clear sound quality with a rich bass and, not only does this exceed if you're a mainstream music fan, the sound quality also excels with other genres seemingly with ease.
*** Voice Over ***
This is a brilliant feature, if a little overdue on the Shuffle range, however it seems that Apple prefer to concentrate on their more worthy products (Touch, iPhone, iPad) before eventually getting down the list to their less worthy products.
The voice over feature works with a single button at the top next to the on/off switch. Pressing once will give you the artist and song name, held down will read you your play list menu and pressing twice will inform you of how much battery you have remaining.
As long as you have the song name and artist connected with the song you're listening to (on iTunes it will tell you exactly what's playing) then your little helper with have no trouble informing you of this. It's always clear and concise and works every time and is a great time saver.
*** Battery ***
Apple will tell you that this can cope with around 15 hours battery life and I would be inclined to agree with them. I'm actually quite impressed with the battery life of this little device, I mean sure it doesn't have a screen which sucks up battery life like a Dyson on speed, but at the same time this is only a very little device and it's always been something of a black sheep in Apples arsenal.
*** Overview ***
Overall this is a genuinely impressive device. Ok, so it's not as groundbreaking or as functional as the Touch, but as a secondary iPod for the gym this is a fantastic little device. With a sleek and shiny finish, brilliant sound quality coupled with a something that a monkey could figure out this is definitely worth an investment.
Summary: An excellent little back-up device.
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