Product Type: Apple MP3 players
Newest Review: ... to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, Audible (formats 2, 3, 4, Audible Enhanced Audio, AAX, and AAX+), Apple Lossless, AIFF, and WAV... more
Lack of buttons ruins the 3rd-gen Shuffle
Ipod Shuffle 4GB
Member Name: Goldfever
Ipod Shuffle 4GB
Date: 04/08/11, updated on 04/08/11 (8 review reads)
Advantages: Featherweight & small, good sound quality, cheap
Disadvantages: NO BUTTONS!
The Shuffle....I think I can begin & summarise by calling it a mixed bag, really. It is so, so useful for exercise but has significant problems too. I love having one because (no trumpet-blowing here, honest) I exercise a lot as a university rower, both in the gym, on my bike (on cycle paths NOT on roads, which is naughty!) and in my running shoes. An iPod Shuffle is invaluable for regular exercisers because they are so small & light and play good quality music; and avoid the need for an armband strap for a regular iPod. Thankfully, I realised this when I purchased my Shuffle - I'd gone in for an armband for my iPod Classic and realised that for £10 more I could get a Shuffle instead and look a bit more normal.
SO, having such a small mp3 player is great for exercising as it just clips onto your sleeve, your collar, your waistband, your shirt....wherever you want it really, and you quickly forget its there. In fact a number of times I've reached to change song while running and spent a few seconds trying to find the thing, its that small & light.
What Apple realised long ago is that when you're on a run or exercising some other way, you don't have any real need for a screen because a) you're focused on trying not to stop and b) you don't want to have to poke around trying to select a song on anything more complicated than a 'next' button. This helps bring the cost of a Shuffle right down and makes it affordable and reasonable as an accessory for exercise - brill.
So far then, it is crazy small & feather-light and cheap. It also benefits from the Voiceover function, whereby you can hold down the play/pause button and hear a voice tell you what song you're listening to, the album, artist and playlist it's on. Its essential for navigating your way round your playlists and works well. Finally, the lack of a screen and teeny-tiny weight means it is less vulnerable to being dropped or knocked around in your pocket with your keys.
Although I use my Shuffle for exercising only, it would have advantages for commuters or short journeys because it has such a small footprint and good battery life. The only disadvantage here is the lack of a screen and one-dimensional library system (songs are only grouped by playlist, not by album or artist), so while a gym playlist would be fine with minimal navigation, if you were pining for one particular song on the Underground you might be there a while fiddling with the in-line remote.
However, I do have a big, big problem with the lack of buttons on it. By omitting the buttons required to do anything more than turn the Shuffle on, you are either limited to the standard iPod headphones with an in-line remote, or forced to shop around for an alternative pair of earphones or stump up for an adaptor cable. Given that, as usual, you pay a premium for Apple, the added expense to avoid the tinny, cheap, awful-quality iPod cans is a bit of a kick in the teeth. Its also really quite annoying when you're running and an unwanted song comes on, you grasp at your ipod to change song, then you need to fondle the cable to find the remote, then press the play/pause button twice in quick succession...its just harder than pressing 'next' on any other small mp3 player, or any other generation of the Shuffle.
And for that reason alone, I would recommend either the 2nd gen (cheap) or 4th gen (current) of the Shuffle, and implore anyone considering the 3rd gen (simple) to avoid it. It says it all that Apple quickly re-instated the buttons with the very next Shuffle.
Summary: Wish I'd got a different Shuffle.
|Ease of use:|
More reviews in the field of MP3 Player
- awesome little device!!!
- ipod nano? ipod nono more like
- Second Law of thermodynamics holds true...
- Over time, it is exposed to be a dud!
- Great things come in small packages
- Have they taken the name nano too far?
- Very small, very reliable iPod.
- The classic!
- Seven Year Itch
- Great for Everyday Activities