Apple unveils new iPod Shuffle

Apple surprised many today by unveiling a redesigned iPod Shuffle. The new design gets a memory spec bump to 4GB for $80.00. The new design (seen below) has no screen but Apple did include a new VoiceOver feature.

VoiceOver allows "[w]ith the press of a button, it tells you what song is playing and who's performing it. It can even tell you the names of your play lists, giving you a new way to navigate your music".

The new unit is on sale now in steel gray or charcoal colors and comes with the usual Apple accessories. Apple generally unveils new products on Tuesday but with this unveiling maybe Apple is trying to keep its followers on their toes.

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Man..... If I lose lighters in the washing machine , changes are I would lose this in the washing machine as well.
Or maybe I will be lucky enough to find a few of these between cushions.
Or maybe look like a fool trying to light a cigarette and "best of Bread" starts playing
Or maybe look like a fool trying to plug in the ear buds into a BIC lighter

Meh...might be a cool "re-gift"
*not for me at this time

iPod Shuffle!

It's meant to shuffle! Thats it!

WTH are some people on about saying it needs a screen and more features!?

#4 Above says that you have to use the iPod earbuds because the controls are on the earbud's cord. I'm not an audiophile however I enjoy my comfort. A way around the annoying iPod earbuds is to get a custom mold of your ear taken. I purchased "iPod attachments" at www.earsound.com. These are the most comfortable things I have ever put in my ear because of the custom mold. The earbuds snap onto a rubber piece on the mold. An unintended benefit is that I'm able to use one of the custom molds with my hands free device on my cell phone so I can listen to the boring conference calls in comfort. :)

Hope this helps.

The Voice Over feature is cool but what's the point change the voice if your using a OSX and PC? No surprise that the PC voice is older technology but yea Tiger is using that but mac user are not using Tiger that much anymore.

Apple design this product so that you will be spending $20 every 3 to 6 months replace the earplugs and you would have to get it from them. Because of the control design. No thanks and if you don't believe then just look at the first iphone. They design it so that you would have to buy there earplugs.

If they were going to do any sort of overhaul, why not make it small enough so its something with earbuds only, and a small device that can hide uptop somewhere, cutting back on the unecessary wire, something like a bluetooth piece.

Bad design imo.

Hell, the Sandisk CLIP is cheaper and still better than the new Shuffle. Only $50 for a 4gb model. Has a screen, a clip, FM tuner, and several other features.

Apple's pricing is going to catch up with them sooner or later.

I think people are forgetting what the iPod shuffle is for. Apple wanted to create something different and a different way to listen to music, so they created a small music player for small music collections where it would shuffle your collection and random tracks which you didn't have much control over.

Therefore, there is no need for a screen, playlists or any other type of navigation. Having that would make it just like every other small music player on the market.

I understand where you're coming from, but there's other options besides this Shuffle... for less money... and more features.

@Calum

With all the different options these days, Apple is pricing doesnt match the features. I mean, $80 for a 4gb Shuffle that only plays music? Thats WAY steep. The player is worth maybe 1/2 that and the other 1/2 you are paying for the Apple logo/name. Its ridiculous that they can price things like this and the consumers are so ignorant, they buy it.

techbeck said,
@Calum

With all the different options these days, Apple is pricing doesnt match the features. I mean, $80 for a 4gb Shuffle that only plays music? Thats WAY steep. The player is worth maybe 1/2 that and the other 1/2 you are paying for the Apple logo/name. Its ridiculous that they can price things like this and the consumers are so ignorant, they buy it.


Everything Apple makes is overpriced. Been that way since forever.

RAID 0 said,
I understand where you're coming from, but there's other options besides this Shuffle... for less money... and more features.

techbeck said,
@Calum

With all the different options these days, Apple is pricing doesnt match the features. I mean, $80 for a 4gb Shuffle that only plays music? Thats WAY steep. The player is worth maybe 1/2 that and the other 1/2 you are paying for the Apple logo/name. Its ridiculous that they can price things like this and the consumers are so ignorant, they buy it.

I agree with both of you

I think the features of the iPod shuffle really don't match what else is on the market, for a cheaper price. Also, I myself cannot live without a screen on a music player :P

I just thought I'd point out to some people why Apple leave the shuffle so limited in features

VoiceOver my swearwords, you ****! :D

I thought this was a joke. I still think it is. Is this one ego driven or something? It totally threw away what made the iPod series decent players, now instead forcing the user to take an input route that compromises either speed or granularity of control...

The voices sound too artificial and are definately not pleasant to hear. It's a good idea, but not implemented as it should.
(I also hate to depend on apple's headphones, and not being able to choose from the headphones I usually use)

Actually the voice Apple uses in OS X is quite good, they aimed to make it (and yes, they have said as much) better than the default voice in Vista. It isn't perfect, but I think for the sake of cost savings and size savings, it might be worth it.

I always look at the shuffle as a 'random' music player. Some people don't like that, but some people like having a radio-type thing in their pocket. Just a jumble of music, except they own the music so it's probably stuff they like. For that, there might not be a need for a screen.

Looks like it doesn't really "talk". More like the PC or Mac talks every song and it records&plays it back on the shuffle. Huh.

You're right... all it does is generate audio clips using OS X's text to speech engine if it's Leopard, or this custom VoiceOver voice for Tiger and Windows. Then it places the file beside the audio track and mixes it with the output when the user requests song information.

Doesn't seem too practical in my view...

Sandisk makes a MP3 player called the FUZE. It is a 2-8gb MP3 player with an SD card expansion slot for about $70. So you can expand the memory with a 32gb card and have a 32+gb mp3 player for $70. It also has a screen and plays great. Got one of my young nieces this at xmas since she is young and I didnt want to get her something overly expensive since she will break it. This also got great reviews.

So yea, $80 for the new shuffle...or $70 and you get lots more...u decide.

http://www.amazon.com/SanDisk-Sansa-Video-...36781405&sr=8-1

how's that 32gb player at $70?
are you getting *free* 32gb microSD cards anywhere? even 16gb cards go for at least $45

not to talk about losing support for AAC audio... more space, wasted by higher bitrate MP3 files.

gonchuki said,
how's that 32gb player at $70?
are you getting *free* 32gb microSD cards anywhere? even 16gb cards go for at least $45

not to talk about losing support for AAC audio... more space, wasted by higher bitrate MP3 files.


Capacity:

2GB â€Â¢ 4GB â€Â¢ 8GB
Colors:

Black, Pink, Red, Blue & Silver
Expansion Slot:

microSD/SDHC
Battery:

24 hours music & 5 hours video playback
Headphone Jacks:

1
Speaker:

N/A
Radio:

FM tuner/40 presets
Recorder:

Built-in microphone
Music Subscriptions:

Rhapsody To Go, Napster, eMusic
Internet Radio:

N/A
Audio Books:

Audible, Overdrive
File Support:

MP3, OGG, FLAC, WMA, secure WMA, WAV, Audible, MPEG4

It's $99 for a 4GB one, only $10 more than the shuffle and it has a screen, a radio, a mic port, and expandable memory.

No loss unless you're addicted to iTMS really... Who uses AAC besides Apple and Nintendo?

EDIT: My bad... techbeck's Amazon link is for the 4GB for only $56, $24 cheaper than the Shuffle.

gonchuki said,
how's that 32gb player at $70?
are you getting *free* 32gb microSD cards anywhere? even 16gb cards go for at least $45

not to talk about losing support for AAC audio... more space, wasted by higher bitrate MP3 files.

My bad...didnt ad the cost of the SD card. But the basic 4gb FUZE is cheaper that the new shuffle and you get much more features with it. I do like the SD slot since SD cards are cheap these days. So for very little $$$ more, you can have a MP3 player with a ton of storage that is still small.

I still fail to see the size & weight advantage of the Fuze... you should be comparing it to the iPod Nano, and even then the Fuze is heavier and bigger, with a 0.1 inch smaller screen and no h264 video support.

a 16gb fuze half the price of a 16gb nano? yeah sure, but double as bulky and heavier, with lots of missing features... and as I mentioned before, needing higher bitrate files to achieve comparable quality in both audio and video. (and yes, I do a lot of video on my nano while commuting to work, and also use the TV out composite cable with nice 1.5mbit h264 files.)

gonchuki said,
I still fail to see the size & weight advantage of the Fuze... you should be comparing it to the iPod Nano, and even then the Fuze is heavier and bigger, with a 0.1 inch smaller screen and no h264 video support.

a 16gb fuze half the price of a 16gb nano? yeah sure, but double as bulky and heavier, with lots of missing features... and as I mentioned before, needing higher bitrate files to achieve comparable quality in both audio and video. (and yes, I do a lot of video on my nano while commuting to work, and also use the TV out composite cable with nice 1.5mbit h264 files.)

Wasnt really comparing the size of the FUZE and the SHUFFLE. Just stated that the FUZE is a small MP3 player, cheaper, and has tons more features. Besides, the FUZE is not heavy at all. With options like the FUZE, why buy a shuffle?

techbeck said,

Wasnt really comparing the size of the FUZE and the SHUFFLE. Just stated that the FUZE is a small MP3 player, cheaper, and has tons more features. Besides, the FUZE is not heavy at all. With options like the FUZE, why buy a shuffle?

jogging maybe? being able to carry it anywhere without fear of scratching the screen? 60 grams/2.1 ounces is enough to be cumbersome for most of the uses the Shuffle (and Nano) have.
plus, I just seen the Fuze has a 220x176 screen, blurry video FTW seems this one defeats the "video" feature right on its tracks.

bah, I guess you get what you pay for...

I did say 'Oo Shiny!' when I saw the clip on the new shuffle.

But... You know if anyone says that to a product it's not worth buying!

I wish instead of spending time developing a VoiceOver feature they would design a shuffle with a small screen that doesn't detract from the overall look and also doesn't drain the battery. Lack of screen is the primary reason I ditched my 1st gen shuffle.

I also dont like the voice over feature either. Its much faster to read and skim through your music selection with a screen than waiting for hte voice to announce what song is playing or you chose.

Nice it talks to you but I bet there's going to be people thinking you talk back to it to change the song or shake it or something since image shows no buttons :S

I do like the design better than the old shuffle, but there is other stuff out there with larger capacities for the same price.

The controls of the new iPod shuffle are located on the right earbud cord.

I dont like that. You're forced to use the crappy apple earbuds.

Dont like that either. Means if your earbuds crap out, then you cannot play or listen to anything until you replace them. I wonder how much the ear buds costs...probably $30+

You will have to buy an extension which Apple are going to release in order to use controls with your current headphones.

Apple are currently in talks with headphone manufacturers to create iPod shuffle compatible headphones.

I will link to a source for this when the story is covered

Yeah no controls is a bit of a jip. All they needed is 4 or 5 small buttons on the side and everyone would be able to choose what headphones to use. I certainly would not buy or recommend this particular player given that, even if you can buy an external control to plug in extra headphones. I'm personally not nuts on having an extra weight between the headphones and the player and IMHO it defeats the point of making the player itself smaller and lighter.

Yes it is. Cutting the price in half isn't a viable option if they keep increasing the capacity. Although offering a smaller sized version for cheaper would be nice. Although their room for profit on this is probably not very high at the given price.

Looks nice though, damn it's small.

Xero said,
Cutting the price in half isn't a viable option if they keep increasing the capacity.

I think you missed where he said "I can get something like that for half the price already".

_BeanZ_ said,
Yes, but you will need an adaptor to be able to use 3rd party headphones.
HAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAAHAHAAAHA.

_BeanZ_ said,
Yes, but you will need an adaptor to be able to use 3rd party headphones.

LOL what a load of crap 3.5mm headphones jacks are 3.5mm headphones jacks why would you need an adapter. ROFL!