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.