The New iPod Shuffle Shines (and Talks!?)


So I got up super-early this morning (okay, 8 a.m., but I’m a freelancer for goodness’ sake) for a meeting with the good folks over at Apple to see the new iPod Shuffle up close and personal. I already knew it was cutie, but I wasn’t sure how excited I should be: I’m a space whore—I like to have as much music on me as possible, so I carry a classic iPod and my iPhone—but this tiny wonder (it’s smaller than a AA battery) just might convert me to the less is more approach. More pics after the jump…


It’s clear that Apple listened to the complaints feedback they got from users when designing the new 4 GB unit, which holds 1000 songs and comes in silver and black aluminum. I bought the last generation of the shuffle for my little brother (who promptly lost it), but I never got past not being able to tell what was playing. So the fact that this mug actually talks to you is hot. The functionality is controlled by the headphone controls (which also include the volume and song controls iPhone users are already familiar with); just hold the button in the middle, and “Alex,” Apple’s digitized helper boy, tells you what’s playing and who it’s by.

But that’s not all; Apple solved my other beef with the Shuffle, too: not having enough control over the play. Hold the center button down until you hear a beep, and it’ll say the names of all your playlists. Tap the button again, and you can select one…

Yup, your read correctly, the Shuffle now offers playlists! So I can load a riding-the-bus-to-D.C. list, a sweating-it-out-on-the-elliptical list, and a walking-down-the-street-and-I-want-to-project confidence list, then play them at my leisure.


But the biggest selling point in these tough economic times is the price. At just $79, it looks like the iPod Shuffle isn’t just an entry-level unit anymore.

Do you like-y?


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