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!)
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.