iPod Shuffle - Apple iPod shuffle 4 GB Review
Apple boasts that this 3rd generation iPod Shuffle is the world's smallest MP3 player. Upon looking at it for the first time, I didn't have the nerve to argue. It is really the tiniest music player that I have ever seen. It is very lightweight and handy and weighs only 11 grams. I just hold it between my thumb and my forefinger. This tiny music player measures 1.8 cm in width, 0.8 cm in depth and 4.5 cm in height.
Its plain and metallic design is very simple. It has no screen and no click wheel which are present in other generations of Apple iPod. The body is made of anodised aluminum which makes it look durable and sleek though simple.
The iPod Shuffle has a clip that attaches to its body for ease of use. I just clip it on my shirt, pocket, belt or sling bag.
Silver, Black, Blue, Green, Pink
Since the 3rd generation ipod shuffle has no clickwheel. The single control in this iPod's body is the switch located at the top of it which works 3 ways. The switch is used in turning on and off the iPod. A slide to the left of the switch makes me play the songs in a shuffle mode and sliding it to the middle allows me to play the songs in a consecutive manner.
Since the only control on the body of this iPod shuffle is the 3-way switch at the top, the headphones serve as an extended control. The cable that runs below the right earpiece has 3 buttons mounted on a small piece of hard plastic. This extended control provides me with increasing or decreasing volume control and it also has a multi-functional central button. By pressing the central button once, the playback turns into 'pause' mode. If I press the same button in 2 consecutive quick clicks, the player skips forward and if I give it 3 quick clicks, the player skips back. This simply means that if I loose the headphones, I can't be able to access volume and other controls if I replace them with headphones of other brands without similar control as with the iPod's. It's a good thing that Apple sells separate headphones aside from the ones included in the box and there are also other headphone brands that available with similar control.
My Apple iPod Shuffle has 4 gigabytes of internal memory. It can store up to 500 songs in it basing on a 4-minute-per-song and 128-kbps AAC encoding. Of course the number of songs that can be stored depends on the length of the songs saved.
The iTunes Factor
Creating my own playlist or adding a song in my iPod Shuffle needs iTunes software in my computer. Since there is no USB port in the iPod's body, I need to use the 10-cm adapter cable that is included in the box and plug it into the iPod's headphones jack. This cable is small and loosing it means inability to synchronize the iPod to iTunes in the PC.
The iPod Shuffle is capable of storing multiple playlists of my choice. I have a playlist of collection of music for the gym, a playlist of mellow songs when I want a relaxation and a playlist of acoustic renditions of songs. The playlist is great when I want to play music that suits my mood.
The big feature that Apple intended to compensate with the lack of screen of this iPod shuffle is the VoiceOver feature. It is actually a good feature. When I turn on the voice Over feature whilst synchronizing the iPod with the iTunes, it creates a spoken-word title of a track and name of playlist.
While playing a song, I just press and hold the central button of the iPod shuffle then I hear the title of the track announced on the top of the song. Though I have multiple playlists, I just press and hold the central button and when the iPod beeps, it announces the title of the stored playlist. Voice Over also tells me when I have low battery and that it's time to recharge it.
The iPod Shuffle uses rechargeable lithium polymer battery and is mounted in the body making it non-removable. It takes 3 hours for it to be fully-charged or charging it for 2 hours gives the battery 80% power. When battery is fully-charged, this player gives me around 10 hours of playback time.
Apple's iPod Shuffle is the smallest MP3 player in the world with the size that is smaller than a famous chewing gum strip. The metalized body makes the iPod look durable. It has no screen and no clickwheel.
Apple thought that the VoiceOver feature can compensate with the lack of screen of this iPod shuffle. I personally think that this idea was more of a failure than a hit. Having both screen and VoiceOver could have made this 3rd generation iPod Shuffle sell more. Though VoiceOver feature is an impressive technology, still, the lack of screen and other good features made this iPod Shuffle fall behind its competitors.
Check out Best Gadgets of 2012
( iPod Shuffle - Apple iPod shuffle 4 GB Review is also posted on ciao.co.uk and dooyoo.co.uk. )