Thursday, March 12, 2009

My Take on the New iPod Shuffle.

Apple released a new Shuffle today. It is smaller than most USB thumb drives at only .3" thick (including the clip) by .7" wide by 1.8" tall. There is one 3-way switch on the end for Shuffle/Play/OFF. Specs HERE. It uses proprietary earbuds that have a controller for play/pause/next/prev and a few other commands on the cable. You get an adapter cable for USB transfer and charging that plugs into the headphone jack.

I'm convinced this Shuffle will be a failure. Yes, they'll sell a few thousand. But it will go the way of the square Nano 3rd generation. Why?:

- It's too small. I've lost microSD cards, small USB thumb drives, and every other tiny thing I owned simply because they were all tiny.
- With 4gb capacity the blind/voice interface will prove slow to find and play a specific song from the 1000 or so you might have on it.
- It requires Apple's earbuds, and a replacement will cost you another $29.
- It will cost you $79. While the software on board might have taken a little extra development time to create, the hardware itself is worth about $3. A 4gb Sansa Clip goes for $49 (on sale), and it includes a screen, FM radio, and voice recording. Of course with the earbuds costing $29 you could consider the player's cost to be just $50. Still a bit pricey for a USB memory stick. You can get THIS similar sized player that also includes FM radio, an LCD screen, and is also 4gb for half that price. For $55 you can own THIS iRiver 4g player with FM, Voice recording, Radio recording, EQ, and available in 5 colors.
- No colors. The ONLY reason I own a Nano was because it came in a color I was fascinated with.

Will you buy this tiny Shuffle? If so, what aspect is most desirable? Small size, 4gb capacity, remote controls? I can't think of a single reason to buy one.



  1. Could you tell me if there is a MP3 player with built in radio and built in bluetooth for the radio as well as for MP3s?

  2. The only player I know of that that meets your needs is the Philips GoGear SA5245BT. You'll find my review if you'll use the search bar at the upper left and search for SA4245BT.

  3. about the voice program thing
    its already part of OSX leopard
    they just took it from there
    and frankly the speaking sounds 200% ET
    at least on the mac