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iPod Shuffle Mini-Review

SPeedY_B

I may actually be insane.
#1
Well it arrived :D



Click on the images for a bigger version, or view them in a Gallery

It's much nicer being able to put the Shuffle in my pocket (or round my neck) than my 3G 40GB iPod, on the trip to work every morning.

Upon first removing the Shuffle from its packaging, I inserted it into the USB port on my keyboard and let iTunes fill it up, blatantly forgetting that this is a USB 1.1 port, that was rather painful, but shows that the device is compatible with USB 1.1 ports, always a plus for those who haven't upgraded yet.

After it had finished sync'ing up, I promptly removed it and placed it into a USB 2.0 port, and re-sync'd again, just because I can, a much more pleasant experience this time.

Un-like the larger iPod, the shuffle has the option to Autofill the iPod's librrary, clicking this button can either replace all of the existing tunes in the playlist, or optionally just fill the remaining space with random selections from your music library (or any other playlist you've created), a very amusing feature which when first used gave me a strange mix of Nustyle hardcore, happy hardcore, hard house, hardstyle, classical, breakbeat, drum and bass, metal and rap. Reminded me just how varied my library actually is.

Again, unlike the larger iPods, the Shuffle also has the option to remain in iTunes even when disconnected.

(Note: Shuffle not connected, yet still in the source list.)

I'm not overly sure why Apple hasn't included the option of doing this for the normal iPod's. As shown in the image above, you can see I have a playlist simply called "iPod" which is what I use to fill my 40GB pod when connected. Having the iPod Shuffle always in my sources list allows me to create a playlist at my leisure without having to have the device connected, then connection is only needed to sync up the files.

On the use perspective, it really can't get any simpler, there's a slider on the back with three positions.
1. Off
2. On / Play
3. On / Shuffle Play
under the slider is a small button to check the battery life, pressing this lights the (very) small LED on the left which indicates whether your battery is in good (green) low (orange) or very low (red) health, obviously no light at all means the battery is dead.

On the flip-side we have the large play button, surrounded by the volume up/down and the next/previous track buttons. The first thing I had to consult the manual for was how to actually activate a 'hold' feature, so the buttons would not be knocked whilst the Shuffle is in my pocket, this is done by simply holding the play button down for ~3-Seconds, an orange LED flashes a few times to indicate you've enabled hold, this changes to green when repeating the process to turn hold off. These same LED's are used to indicate when a button is pressed (green), and when the device is busy (orange + flashing) or just charging (orange).

The headphone socket lies on the top of the device, of course, the Shuffle comes with the trademark white Apple earphones, so you can walk around with that true "Yes, I'm a whore" feeling, or in certain area's the "Oh sh*t, I hope I don't get mugged" feeling.

All in all, it's a very simple device with a very simple concept, which is to load it up with a random selection of tunes from your music library, hit play and stick it in your pocket. For that purpose, it does a very good job.

Any questions etc, post away :)
 

onimkron

OSNN Senior Addict
#2
Nice review, short, concise, and straight to the point. Love the photos too.

Overall, do you think the device is worth the price?
 

Khayman

I'm sorry Hal...
Political User
#3
is it the 1gb version or the 512 version?
I nearly bought the 512 one today, but in the end i didn't (bought somthing cheaper:))
 

SPeedY_B

I may actually be insane.
#6
onimkron said:
Nice review, short, concise, and straight to the point. Love the photos too.

Overall, do you think the device is worth the price?
Depends on your use of the device, I had this discussion with a friend shortly after the device had arrived.

The 512mb model (the one I have) is sufficient for my daily trip to work, and is much nicer than the heavier 3G iPod I own for ease of transportation to/from work, and weekend outtage etc. However, I recently purchased my mom a 256mb player for around the £28 mark, with the same model player in 512mb flavour coming to only ~£45

To weigh up features:

Shuffle (£69)
  • 512mb memory
  • iTunes managed
  • USB 2.0
  • Very small
  • trend-whore appeal
  • Abundance of accessories
  • 8-hours battery life, rechargable via USB

Cool sources mp3 player (~£45)
  • Drag and Drop compatible (works with Linux, BSD, Windows, anything with USB drive support!)
  • 7-hours battery life from a single AAA (I bought a pack of 4 rechargable AAA's for about £3, already had the charger)
  • USB 2.0
  • Backlit Display ... very basic output.
  • 4 pre-set EQ selection
  • Small


^The CoolSources player^

I'll openly admit that the cheaper mp3 player does a job just as good as the Shuffle, and even has some advantages such as the EQ and full drag and drop (shuffles need [tunes/drive] space allocation, ie: 256mb for tunes, and 256mb for files).

With regards to the 1Gb model, there aren't many 1Gb flash-based players out there, and music playing aside (in the UK at least) the 1Gb shuffle actually makes quite a cheap 1Gb USB drive, with the added bonus of being an iPod thrown in.

In answer to the question "is it worth the money" I'd honestly have to say, yes, it is, I bloody love it, it does a great job of what it's aimed to do, however I will openly say that there are players out there which offer the same functionality at a lesser price.

Out of curiosity, what did you buy Khayman ?
 

synical33

X2 & Lovin' It
#7
nice review Speedy im thinking of purchasing one also for my jogging sessions in the evening cause sometimes i cant seem to stand the fact of lugging around my iPod Photo while im jogging but then again i dont need to worry about breaking it cause i have warranty with Best Buy for 4 years yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay for Best Buy :D
 

Henyman

Secret Goat Fetish
Political User
#9
you've been brainwashed by apple :suprised:


seriously though nice write up, i have been temped by the shuffle, as well as the mac mini but have resisted................for now :eek:
 
#11
nice review... now im really considering the 1Gb version. :D

However, the fact that their are other players that work well with multi-platforms is of slight appeal to me. I have heard that iPods can be used with linux, but im not to sure of the details or if this includes the new shuffle.
 

SPeedY_B

I may actually be insane.
#12
Basically, you can get at the files on any iPod under any operating system, they're all just hidden away. The problem being that Apple chose to use some weird folder schemes/databasing to stop people from just dumping files on at will, then walking away and playing them.

If you want to use an iPod Shuffle on Linux, then first grab GTKPod, from http://gtkpod.sourceforge.net/ install/compile/whatever, dependant on your distro. Pop your Shuffle in a USB port, then mount it as a usb device
Code:
modprobe usb_storage
mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/shuffle
depending on your distro the above may vary, give your documentation a read on how to mount the device, open up GTKPod and you should be set to Sync up.

There's plenty of links to other iPod/Linux apps and scripts on the GTKPod site, however I can't verify whether those will work with the Shuffle.
 

onimkron

OSNN Senior Addict
#17
Cheers for the answer; I'm thinking about picking one up for my sister, since she often visits the gym. Might be a safer alternative than her iriver :)
 

SPeedY_B

I may actually be insane.
#20
I don't even know how to answer that one.













If anyone needs me, I'll be over there... banging my head on that wall.
 

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