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New iPod Shuffle Drowns Out Predecessors

Apple's new iPod Shuffle is now at the top of the New York Times "Smallest Music Player List" with nothing in second place. Still, its 4GB memory holds 1,000 songs!

The new Shuffle is not only super-concentrated (1.8" x 0.3"), it has a few charming characteristics. One, the Shuffle has no screen, which is always a bother to read and worse to play with, when you're in motion.

 

 

The settings and volume controls are on the earphone cord, a little below chin level. There are up and down buttons for the volume (see photo below), and the center button controls the choice of play list or song. If you want to know what song you are listening to, hold down the play button and the Shuffle will speak the name of the song and artist. Hold it longer, and it will tell you what play list you are on.

 


The technology Apple calls "VoiceOver" speaks to you in one of two weird computer voices, depending on whether your iTunes download was from a Mac or PC. (The PC voice is definitely more weird.) Both voices have a way to go before voice synthesis reaches its prime. That being said though, the new Shuffle speaks so many languages (English, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish), that you have to forgive its spoofy voice.

This iPod Shuffle affords multiple playlists, which you can shuffle from the top of the device with one switch at the top of the device. The best part is the clip. It's almost fully the size of the Shuffle, meaning no flopping around and no worrying about where to place it. Place it anywhere!

 

 

You have a choice of silver or black... (Look at that nice solid clip!)

 

 

So cool!

 

 

The Shuffle comes with a sweet looking Apple stereo headphone, USB cable, and a rechargeable lithium polymer battery, which lasts for about 10 hours on a full charge. You can download iTunes for free and even get a free laser engraving on your iPod Shuffle. It's $79 at Apple.com.