Apple Releases Updated Shuffle

Posted by at 2:21 pm on March 11, 2009

Apple has released the newest generation of its iPod Shuffle MP3 player.   The new shuffle is 1.8″ tall x 0.3″ wide, making it the smallest MP3 player available.   Apple was able to decrease the size by moving the controls off of the player body on to the headphone cord.   Apple claims the move will make the controls “easier to use” and that by having located them on teh right earbud cord, users will be able to “navigate your music -” and activate the VoiceOver feature -” without taking your eyes off your run, your ride, or whatever you’re doing.”

Although the new shuffle does not reach stores until 3/12/09, early reports are that users who want to use headphones that are not the ones supplied with the shuffle are out of luck, at least for now. Since the control is built into the cord the is no means for controlling the player if the accompanying headphones are not attached. Apple says it is cooperating with third-party manufacturers, who should eventually begin producing Shuffle-compatible headphones of their own. It is unknown when these will arrive however, nor has Apple set a price or a release date for an adapter, equipped with the Apple earbuds’ three-button remote.

In addition to its small profile and handy controls the new shuffle has some other interesting features.   The Voice Over feature gives the iPod its own voice.   With the push of a button it can announce playlist names, or artist and song information over the music as it plays.   The voice is different for different computers systems, what voice a user hears will depend on what computer they sync their shuffle with.   It can also relate information in many different languages.

With a capcaity of 4Gb, the new shuffle can store up to 1000 songs for users to enjoy.   It also has the ability to store music on multiple playlists, with the playlist title being read by the Voice Over feature.   The switch on one of of the player is used to turn it off, play the songs in order or randomly shuffle all of the songs. It comes in silver or black and can be engraved on the back.

The new iPod shuffle is available online from http://www.apple.com and in Apple stores as of 03/12/09.   The MSRP is $79 for a 4GB model.

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