Portable Media Players Guide

Apple iPod shuffle review

Apple iPod shuffle - Talking its Way into your Hearts

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Design

Design

Smaller than an AA battery and weighing just 10.7 grams, this slim-looking iPod shuffle could very well be the tiniest and lightest MP3 player in the world yet. Even the packaging has a smaller footprint. Decked out in a cool aluminum-anodized enclosure, the shuffle comes in two colors - sophisticated black or sexy silver. Due to its small size, there is an integrated clip that lets it tether to your clothes so that you don't lose the player easily. And that is actually a legitimate consideration when it comes to this device.

Like its previous iterations, this shuffle does not have any form of visual display to let you navigate through your playlists and music options. But what's new about this shuffle is that Apple has gone even further and removed the control pad on the player outright. Instead, the navigation and volume controls come on a small remote on the right earphone cord.

In other words, there are no buttons on the face of the device itself. What you get on the top side of the player is a switch that toggles between the power mode, shuffle mode and the sequential playback mode, as well as the standard 3.5mm earphone jack and a minuscule LED indicator that indicates the status of the player via three obvious colors - green, amber and red.

While this new minimalist design may excite some, the shift of the controls to the earbud cord basically means you're stuck to using the included earbuds. Those who have never liked the standard iPod earbuds may have some grievances about this design (more about that later).

Navigation around the shuffle revolves around the centre button of the remote where pressing it twice can forward a track and so on. The remote is click sensitive and not touch sensitive. When we played with it, we found that it provided great tactile response when we were changing tracks and volume.

For those who are interested solely in the specs and nothing but that, here's a comparison between the previous generation shuffle and the new arrival:

Key Differences in the 2nd and 3rd generation iPod shuffles.
Model/Specifications iPod shuffle 2nd generation iPod shuffle 3rd generation
Navigation
  • Clickpad
  • Earphones with Remote + VoiceOver
Connectivity
  • Charging and transfer via USB dock
  • Charging and transfer via USB to 3.5mm cable
Capacity
  • 1GB - Up to 240 songs
  • 4GB - Up to 1000 songs
Charging time
  • 4 hours - Fully Charged
  • 3 hours - 80% Charged
  • 3 hours - Fully Charged
  • 2 hours - 80% Charged
Battery life
  • Up to 12 hours of audio
  • Up to 10 hours of audio
Dimensions (including clip)
  • 27.3 x 41.2 x 10.53mm
  • 45.2 x 17.5 x 7.8mm
Weight
  • 15.6 grams
  • 10.7 grams
Price
  • S$78 (1GB)
  • S$128 (4GB)