Sunday, March 22, 2009

Review:iPod Shuffle

Apple has a new iPod Shuffle out. The new 3rd generation iPod features a body thats 0.3 inches thick and 1.8 inches tall. Like its predecessor, it is made of anodized aluminum. It also has a stainless steel clip that allows you clip it to just about anything.

The iPod has no buttons on its body. Some who don't know about it may ask, "So how does it work?". Well it comes with proprietary headphones with a tiny controller on wire of the right earbud. The controller is a long strip with 3 buttons. They are volume up/down and the "main button". Depending on how you press the main button, the iPod will perform certain tasks. For example, if you press the main button twice, it will pause the song you are currently listening to. Holding the button will activate the "VoiceOver" feature. It is basically a text-to-speech feature that speaks the current song, artist, and album. There are also sliders on the iPod body itself that allow you to turn the iPod on, shuffle your songs, or play them on order.

My thoughts:

"Swing and a miss!". This overhaul is not good at all. Its nice that they wanted the design to be simple and minimal but the proprietary headphones are bad. This iPod requires the headphones to play, stop, and operate the iPod which means if you lose them or break them, you will have to dish out $40. You can't just use any other headphone which means most accessories wont work. The only way you can use other headphones is if you buy an accessory for this iPod with the buttons for it. If money isn't your problem, then using the remote may be your problem. When you are moving (walking, jogging, etc.), you may pull the earbud out of your ear while pressing the buttons on the remote. I would have appreciated it if Apple put the remote on the "Y" of the headphone or even just putting buttons on the body of the iPod itself. I prefer the 2nd generation iPod over its successor. The 4GB's of memory is a lot. If you are getting the Shuffle for the price and size, you can still get another MP3 player for equal to or less than the Shuffle's price and size.

C'Mon Apple, you can do better than this. Seeing how thin the 2nd Generation Shuffle was, you could have made a very thin shuffle with buttons on it. Then you could have sold the remote/headphones as an add-on accessory.

The new iPod Shuffle is out now or $79 USD and is available in silver and black, and it comes with the remote/headphones, and USB cable.

Score: 2.5/5