The Shuffle's fractionally wider than the Nano and about the same depth, though its built-in belt clip doubles the effective depth. It's made of the same aluminium as the Nano. With the player's controls facing you, the earphone socket is on top, alongside a green status LED, while the power switch and the repeat play/shuffle switch are on the base - next to a second green LED. Like the first-generation Shuffle, the new model has no hold switch. Instead, you press and hold Play for three seconds.
Having two separate switches is a big improvement over the old Shuffle's single, three-way slider switch. My Shuffle is almost always used for sequential playback, but it was a little to easy to push the slider too far and accidentally start shuffling. The new Shuffle's switches are raised above the casing not flush with it as was the case with the old shuffle. Again, this is a real improvement.
Another refinement: the belt clip. This will snap onto clothing flaps and pockets, bags and other kit with ease, making the Shuffle feel like little more than a remote control unit for a larger iPod. The clip's neither too stiff nor too loose - just right, in fact.
Which pretty much covers its functionality too: play or pause, volume up or down, track skip and play mode. Once again, less is more, just let the music come to you, in order or at random.
iTunes provides access to the player's settings, in particular the maximum volume setting and allowing the Shuffle to be used as a USB Flash drive, though the dock requirement limits its usefulness in this role. Once again, you can opt to auto-convert transferred songs to 128Kbps AACs, to get more into the 1GB memory.
The new Shuffle supports all the usual music formats, though unlike the other iPods it doesn't like Apple Lossless files. That's not a size issue - it'll happily work with uncompressed AIFFs - but presumably the Shuffle lacks the processing power to decode them.
There's only one size available - 1GB - and one colour - silver. So what, it's still a great gadget and a worthy successor to the original Shuffle. The lithium-ion polymer battery takes up the bulk of the Shuffle's interior space to deliver around 12 hours' playback time, which isn't at all bad for a device like this.
By that I mean a player for the more casual listener or as a handy grab-and-go unit for someone who already owns a high-capacity iPod. The capacity favours using the Shuffle for listening to a handful of new albums or holding a heap of favourite tracks. Either way, you're not too bothered about choosing what you're going to listen to. If you want that, buy a Nano or a video iPod.
The iPod Shuffle evolves. The simplicity of the original is augmented with an even smaller case that feels like the remote control of a larger player. It's let down only by the need for a dock - and a unique dock at that. The Shuffle's not for everyone - plenty of people will prefer to select their songs on a screen - but it remains a great grab-and-go gadget for music on the move.
Apple iPod Shuffle 2G
Shuffle's data transfer rate & USB
While 36Mbps is a lot less than USB 2.0's theoretical max of 480Mbps... Nothing I've ever seen even comes close to 480Mbps.
It's the whole theoretical vs actual... The same sort of thing happens in Ethernet and probably lots of other things... On a good day, with all the right conditions, maybe you get 60% or 70% of Max.
So considering that the same is true for USB 1.1 ... 36Mbps transfer rates is a very significant improvement... And while it's not up to around the ~256Mbps (or so) Max USB 2.0 transfer rates seen in tests like:
Even a lot of those tests, the numbers for certain conditions fall significantly short... 36Mbps isn't great... but it's not all that bad. ;)
but how does it sound?
several muckworld (http://playlistmag.com/weblogs/ipodblog/2006/11/hissboo/) writers claim the new shuttle has a noisier more bandlimited amplifier than the prior generation. what say your reviewers?
Shuffle is great
I don't know what the first comment is talking about - I too have a first-gen iPod, and love it. I have never noticed it repeat songs in the same order - though if it was truly random that would occur sometimes.
It's a shame that the article doesn't mention the free engraving that Apple is offering at the moment - I got my daughter one for Christmas, and being able to engrave her name on the back is a wonderful bonus - no danger of it being nicked at school!
so far so good
This is the first mp3 player i've bought. But with the old minidisc walkman on its last legs and more and more of my music ending up on the computer, i thought it was worth a look.
Like the review says, it comes in the new nano packaging, which is painfully annoying if you don't notice the peel off sticker on the top in order to open the case!
The writers comment of the convience of the dock, well personally, I am at my computer at least once a day, so it isn't terribly inconvient for me to simply dock the shuffle and tell it to autofill / let it charge. Bearing in mind also, that the player is about the size of a 50p coin, the dock isnt that much bigger, so not really that much hassle in that respect.
I noticed a previous comment mentioned the old shuffles didn't remember where you were in a shuffled playlist, that doesn't appear to be a problem with this bad boy.
One thing I absolutely love about this is the little integrated clip. For those who carry around a walkman with an inline remote that you can clip onto your clothing, you'll find this very convenient. The clip isn't as tight or tense as i would like it, but its firm enough to keep it attached to you while on the move.
Overall, a neat little gadget worth getting providing your not worried about loosing it due to its size!
"shuffle" - really?
As an owner of the first incarnation of the so-called "shuffle" I've seriously considered complaining to the ASA about this misnomer. This device is not random at all but instead plays a pre-defined supposedly random order of tracks - as demonstrated when I listen to 10 songs, turn it off, turn it back on and have to skip past the same 10 songs in the same order despite being on "shuffle" mode both times.
Disappointing to say the least and the only reason I haven't gone elsewhere is due to the recharge-off-usb ability they've removed from the new one. Great move Apple - not.
Suffice to say I won't be buying another one, ever.