Just tap the centre of the ring to play. There are only four other controls - volume up and down, and track skip forward and back - you need during playback, so even if your Shuffle's not correctly aligned, it's not going to be any struggle working out which button you need to press to trigger a given function.
The base of the Shuffle has two more switches: one to flip between shuffle mode and in-sequence playback, and the power slider. We'd like these to be slightly longer, to make them easier to push back and forth, but they're easily slid with a fingernail. Having a physical on/off switch also means there's none of the power leakage you get with soft-touch power controls.
Loaded up with songs and charged, the Shuffle's ready to go. We've heard much better earphones than Apple's standard buds, but we've hear a lot worse too given away with MP3 players. Apple's set will suit casual listeners, and we'd defy any but the sniffiest 'real music lovers don't accept lossy compression' brigade to not get on with the Shuffle's sound quality itself.
Complain about other iPods, but bizarrely perhaps, the Shuffle offers one of the best sonic performances of the lot. It beats our first-gen iPhone and our old Nano, for example. Songs have more clarity and more immediacy on the cheap model.
If you've not seen a Shuffle before, there's no screen, but that's not what the player's about: it picks the songs, not you. Unless, of course, you set to to play every track in order. We've been using our review unit in the car, connecting it to the hi-fi and just letting it get on and pump out tracks at random.
It may not be the best value iPod around, but the Shuffle is among the ones at the front when it comes to sound quality. It's still a great player to keep in a bag or in the car for those occasions when you don't have your main music player or phone to hand, or you just want a simple, easy machine for random playback or casual listening.
It has to be said, there are rather cheaper players out there if you look, but few if any from well-known brands. Thirty quid is the going rate for 'name' 1GB players, give or take a couple of quid depending on who you buy it from. But we think the Shuffle's worth the premium, for its metal casing and that oh-so-useful clip.
Apple 2G iPod Shuffle
> cheap enough to be practically disposable
£45 is practically disposable? How the other half live, eh?
I think the shuffle looks like a great piece of kit but couldn't possibly justify the cost. £45 for a 2GB player is appalling. I can buy a 16GB MicroSD card for (just) less than that and stick it in one of those USB-Key style MP3 shufflers that catalogues give away free when you place an order over £10!
Okay, it might look shit, not have the "tactility" of the Shuffle or whatever else but, hey, I'm carrying nearly all my music for less than a shuffle that can only carry a tiny fraction and it will take a AAA Battery.
I got one as a gift
Gave it away. Crap sound, average battery life, and limited play options. A player for people that hate music basically. I really don't see the point, you can't choose what to listen to, and when it plays something it sound crap.
Re 2G huh?
the G increment, refers to the fact that the 1st gen shuffle, some time back now, was a glorified USB mem stick, in nasty white plastic, which went grey very quickly. Pop the cap off, stick it in ur USB and it filled its (meagre) memory with a random choice from your library, available in 512mb and 1gb, if memory serves (which it sometimes doesnt)
So, these are still the same 2G models, but with some 'funky' new colours and a bit of a price drop. A review to tell us nothing has changed, a little unnecessary maybe, but there would be more complaints if we'd had nothing
"My only issue is having to keep two seperate libraries, one for the classic and one for the shuffle. If they'd let me have two different ipods on a single library it'd be even better."
I don't quite understand your problem, I have my classic set to sync the entire iTunes library and then have the shuffle sync from a playlist I've created. Or you could get it to pick randomly from your entire library.
Bought a day glo orange one some time back for the gym and jogging and just have in syncing what it can fit from my '5 star' rated songs. Battery life is good normally stick it on charge once a week (never seen the battery warning light). Sound quality is good enough considering the listening environment.