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back to article Apple restyles iPod Shuffle

Apple has quietly revamped the iPod Shuffle - removing all its control in the process and making it half the size of the previous model. iPod Shuffle 3G Apple's iPod Shuffle 3G: look, ma, no controls Well, sort of. The body of the player still has a power switch that also doubles up as the shuffe/sequential play slider. But …

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Clever

So now now you can't user better headphones than the crap ones supplied - unless, of course, you purchase the (soon to announced, I'm sure) Premium Shuffle headphones!

Genius

Apple. Where every sale is like a life sentence.

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Accessory lock in!

How likely is one now to be able to use any other headphones or other devices with this thing now? Compounding the issue is that earbud headphone wires and cables are notorious for developing stress cracks when the wire flexes, meaning they're only good for a fraction of the expected life of the device itself. Which means replacing them with £25 official Apple headphones when they fail, instead of near-disposable £7 ones.

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No thanks

At that price you can buy a decent MP3 player.

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Rob
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Not very useful

I like to plug my shuffle into a set of PC speakers that we have kicking about in the living room. Doing this will mean I lose all control over my iPod, because there are no controls on the unit anymore. Seems pretty brainless to me. I suspect Apple's response will be "If you want to do that buy a more expensive iPod"...

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Controls on the cable........?

So we're stuck with the shit sounding headphones and the easily bent straight connector?

FAIL.

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Seriously?!?

Ingenious. So, when your headphones break or disappear, you'll have to buy Shuffle-only replacements or you'll never be able to operate it. And I thought the iPod's best feature was its user-interface.

At first I wondered who was stupid enough to buy these things; now I'm just impressed at Apple's chutzpah in producing a device with no screen and making random access a selling point. Ingenious.

My Sony MP3 player has a display, 2GB of memory, direct USB access and cost under £20. Just for comparison.

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Paris Hilton

Headphones

So, what do I do if I want to use a half decent set of headphones with this? Will the iPhone style 'phones work?

Otherwise, it looks very pretty, and seems pretty cheap too.

Paris' cos she's pretty and cheap.

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Ash
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Pointless

I bought a 4GB Sanza Fuze for £47 in my local Dixons store. Colour screen, pocket friendly, expandable memory (MicroSD), better audio format compatibility...

Another fanboi product.

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Anonymous Coward

Controls on the earphone cable only?

The Apple earphones are notoriously sh*te, and most peoples impressions of the Ipod sound quality is based on these cheap earphones, but with good earphones, like these Bose ones I got as a present, the sound quality is greatly improved. But how do I got about playing a song on the new Ipod shuffle whilst still using earphones other than the ones supplied? Is the jack to dongle section of the earphone detachable from the dongle to earphones section like the earphones on the first few generation Ipod classics?

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can't imagine anything going wrong here...

From the pic it looks like you have to use the naff headphones they come with... I wonder how long it'll take for them to break requiring an Apple-taxed premium replacement item of equal naffness? Wow

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Flame

Step backward in design

It seems the Apple have made a mess of the shuffle design now. Putting the controls on the earbud cords seems to mean that you have to use Apple's dedicated earbuds only for the player to work.

Of course if your supplied earbuds break you will be tied into buying expensive replacements from Apple to get your shuffle working again.

Not being able to uise your own earbuds, which are usually better than the distinctly average ones that Apple supply, will also be a disadvantage; as will not being able to use it with the car stereo.

Finally, locating the controls away from the body of the player will mean you are forever faffing around trying to find the bit of the headphone cable with the damn dongle on whenever you want to alter a setting. Currently I place my shuffle within quick grasp of my hand, usually a trouser pocket, so moving the control all the way up there is a pain in the neck and will get old quick.

I am sure someone will love it, personally I am glad I got my 2G Shuffle before this piece of crap!

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Anonymous Coward

Shame

Shame they (and everyone else I see on the tube) are unaware their headphones are complete shit, so without an inline controller that you can plug your own headphones into, their shuffle is completely worthless,

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Is that better?

Hmmm I use aftermarket in-ear headphones with my current Shuffle. Couldn't do that with this one.

Also the voice over feature, how much did it cost to develop? Less then it would've cost to put a small OLED screen on every Shuffle?

And if they want to support the new built in remote controls of Apple's headphones that include a mic, why not add voice recording to the mix.

It'll probably sell, but it seems like more lock in to Apple's products (i.e. only their headphones can control the blessed thing.) And I'm one of the people who is fine with Apple making laptop batteries non-removable, but this seems like too much lock in to even me.

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Paris Hilton

suppository sized?

So if you don't want to use Apple's crappy headphones you can't control the thing?

Paris, because she has some good ideas where you can stick that iPod.

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Anonymous Coward

But

if they put the controls on the wire then you're forced to use those shitty earbuds.

http://gprime.net/video.php/ipodflea

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Dock port?

I don't have any model of iPod, so I am just going on what I have seen of friends' units, but isn't the normal docking port wider than that? How does one get the tunes in to the player - a mini-USB port?

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i hope...

the controls arnt integeral to the headphone cable! and you can plug real headphones into the thing...

also... whilse looking lovely and minimalist... its a bit, dare i say it, bland!! just looks like someones forgotten to finish styling it! it wouldnt have hurt to put some subtle decoration on the front... a wee glowing apple logo???

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Jobs Horns

Robustness?

Apple are well known for making devices that are easy to break; having delicate controls away from any protective support structure seems a risk indeed. Also, can you use your own headphones with this? The poor music quality of an iPod is only matched by the rubbishness of the headphones.

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Rob
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@Stuart Gray

Shuffles use a different dock, that connects to the headphone jack itself. Presumably exactly the same type of dock would be used here.

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Overpriced POS

I got my Sansa Clip 8GB for £40 at PC World last month. Has a screen. Sounds good. Can use own headphone. Wonderful compared to this overpriced POS.

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Coat

Crying

If you don't like it, don't buy it. Get a life.

Mine's the one with pockets containing items which I wasn't forced to purchase.

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Jobs Horns

Why not...

just buy a decent mp3 player with an actual screen, actual controls, and where you can use decent headphones.

I guess iDiots will buy anything made by apple no matte how crap it is.

Even the zune (hahahaha) lets you use your own headphones...

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Cheaper in UK!

For, perhaps the first time in history, this Apple product is actually cheaper in the UK, than it is in the US.

(To get a fair comparison of prices between countries you have to compare the prices without local VAT/Sales Tax, as the tax varies from country to country and state to state and goes to the government not Apple.)

The £59 UK price includes tax.

The $79 US price excludes tax.

The UK price without tax = £51.31 = $70.87

The US price without tax = $79.00 = £57.19

Which means it is $8.13 or £5.88 cheaper in the UK.

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Joke

I seriously thought

That it wasn't April 1st today.

Apple have proved me wrong.

Oh, wait.....

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Jobs Horns

First at voiceover? Bulls**t...

Rockbox had it first...

http://rockbox.org

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Monumental, epic FAIL.

Don't get me wrong, I really love my second-gen Shuffle - it's easy to use, is damn-near bombproof, has surprisingly good sound quality and I find that 1Gb lets me pack more than enough choons for a day's worth of cycling - battery life could be better, but for my particular purposes it's good enough. Best of all, though, I was able to ditch the shitty Apple headphones for a pair of Sennheiser CX300s which are about the only inner-ear phones I don't find excruciatingly uncomfortable.

But this thing? More storage capacity does not offset the fact that I'm going to be lumbered with a crappy set of uncomfortable earbuds. I find it hard to believe that the Shuffle 'click wheel' couldn't be integrated in some form or other.

On the plus side, if my Shuffle does decide to die I can blag the one that SWMBO doesn't use since I bought her a Nano for her birthday :-)

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Anonymous Coward

@Bassey

Do you really think that the aftermarket won't come up with an adaptor cable within about a week of the new shuffle going on sale?

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Jobs Horns

A well known Red and Blue supermarket

Well I was going to be buying a 2GB for snowboarding and was rather annoyed when I spotted this... However I have found a certain mainstream supermarket is still selling the old style one so I can wear any god-darn ear buds I like :o)

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Unhappy

Meh,

got a 1gb clip shuffle, its great for running and down the gym with sennheiser pmx headphones

so i'd be looking for a new pair of them if they ever produce ones just for the new shuffle, or having to buy a ridiculous gadget that sits in the cable which will be so short it'll be in the pocket with the shuffle or so long you end up with metres of headphone cables just what you need

it seems a bit silly and looks a bit crap too, the silver suppository...

and also my 1gb shuffle has enough tunes to go without (noticeable) repeats between recharge and sync cycles so another 3gb will be pointless either make it large enough so my entire library fits on or whatever the size is theres going to be compromises

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Anonymous Coward

USB port?

Is it just me or is the headphone jack actually a deformed USB port?

I can't seem to find any pictures of the bottom of it so can't tell if that is where the USB port is. But then again I don't know if the 2G was like this or not.

Either way though, since they are tying you to their headphones and trying to make it oh so small, I think they would have been better completely integrating the headphones and shuffle. Though I suppose then you'd have the problem of a silly wire running around your head.

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It could have been so simple...

They could have made the controls on a cord you plugged the headphones into, with the control cord going into the Shuffle. Guess that would have made too much sense, like it did with the early iPods.

Apple's earbud design kills the new Shuffle as a workout device and as a device that anyone who likes audiophile canal-phones would buy. The pros are the new support of multiple playlists, which should have been there a generation ago, and a design that looks durable; however, the one big con kills the whole deal.

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RUBBISH!

You don't need more than 1GB, or maybe 2GB on a shuffle, you just don't.

The only people using them are joggers, and unless you are in a marathon the less stuff you have on it the less you have to skip (which is risky and annoying when running).

And apple buds just do not stay in while jogging, this is absolute shite and i expect the 2G shuffle to end up more expensive on Ebay soon as joggers try to find them.

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Flame

Bullshit

See title. That is the proper word for this. Utter complete bullshit. The voice-whatnot sounds nice — but FORCING one to use Apple's crappy earbuds? What? Maybe put down the crackpipe a little more often?

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Linux

Prior Art

Apple have apparently filed patents on this talking technology. Technology which has been available on any device supported by Rockbox (www.rockbox.org) for several years now. This incidentally already includes several iPod models.

Tux logo, for obvious reasons. Pity you can't have 2 icons, because the evil jobs one is also obvious!

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Stop

Why are you all complaining?

Apple's products are notoriously crap and this is why nobody buys them. The headphones are useless too which is why you never see anyone on the street with white earbuds.

Apple have been doomed for years and only us techies know what the general public wants to buy, not Apple. Just give it a few weeks and they'll go out of business with their over-priced, flaky, poor quality hardware - no need to waste time complaining about them.

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Jobs Horns

This is friggin brilliant

Now if they only would take it a step further and doe away with that square box that now dangles at the end of the cable and integrated that in the cable it would have been friggin genius ( all possible pun intended )

iTwits ...

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J
Jobs Horns

Bad...

Unless you can plug the (any) head/earphone in the middle.

I love my 1st gen nano, still working perfectly after some 3 and a half years, screen scratches and all. But the supplied earbuds died in about a year, and they are expensive considering their (average at best) quality.

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Silver badge

@Stuart Gray

If I remember right, the 3.5mm headphone socket on Shuffles are also USB ports - comes with an adapter.

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How much to develop the VoiceOver feature?

"Also the voice over feature, how much did it cost to develop? Less then it would've cost to put a small OLED screen on every Shuffle?"

Given it's based on the voice technology that's been in MacOS X for years, I'd say the cost is pretty much non-existent to be honest.

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Flame

Picturing it

I can already see these worn as pendants, and a myriad array of third party "shuffle buds" on e-bay.

Me? I'm still holding out for the iphone shuffle and ibook wheel.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QwnsQpcNvpE

http://www.theonion.com/content/video/apple_introduces_revolutionary

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Thanks

For clearing that up - like I say, no iPod of any sort, so I was genuinely puzzled.

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Heart

oh shut the fuck up

bunch of fucking whiney twats the lot of you.

Its not like loads of companies wont make 3rd party headphones with the controls.

Anyway, if you do want to use "brilliant" more expensive 3rd party ear-buds, why the fuck are you buying a £50 player.

Fucking Toyota with their stupid Yaris, I cant fit my 28inch Alloys on it. It'll never sell.

Or maybe Apple just have no clue what they doing and havent produced any item that sells millions of, and dont actually have 30 billion in cash reserves.

'Cause everyone else who posted above me has done sooo much better and are all kings of their own international Empire.

must go shoot a fawn or something.....

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@Seanie Ryan

How dare you point out the stupidity of the titans of industry who posted before you. They have the right to their short sighted stupidity and their also-ran, no-name mp3 players that are only so cheap because no one else wants to buy them. Let them marinate in their blind hatred.

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Jobs Halo

Why??? Why did they do this?

Mind you the shuffle is a toy, and Apple geek or no, I wouldn't have a shuffle for free. "I have a 32 gig iPod Touch AND a 160 iPod Classic, and a Macbook Pro as well"

But with this I don't know WHAT to say. Unless Apple is trying to drive people away from the iPod shuffle.

IF they try this crap with the REAL iPods, and I won't be buying another. The only advantage is most "shuffle" buyers wouldn't know good headphones from the $3.00 ones at the checkout line.

Any relationship has its good points and its bad points. I love you Apple, but your headphones are made of pure suck, accept it and move on.

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Happy

Two different voiceovers!

According to the NY Times, there are two different voiceovers, which

depend on whether you uploaded the song from a mac or a PC

...

If the song comes from a PC, it sounds synthetic and accented.

And a much nicer voice for a song from a mac...

(In other news, Bill Gates is the richest man in the world again. I'd bet he doesn't care)

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Re: Seanie Ryan

Seanie, there is a miniscule difference between supplying headphones with control elements and doing so while voiding the player itself of all controls. So think before you speak or shut the fuck up yourself. I am sick of self-righteous morons who think they can tell why anyone would by something or not while obviously giving the matter itself not the slightest thought. Just because the Shuffle is a basic player it doesn't mean you want to use it with crappy phones.

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Dumb

I'll stick to my 2G one - clips fine to my running kit and lets me use decent sports headphones.

I'm not a great Apple Fan (the 2G shuffle is all I have of theirs) but even I'm astounded at this stupidity.

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Coat

It's not just the earbuds.

The sound quality of every single iPod on the market is abysmal, people complaining about crap sounding earbuds, thats just the tip of the iceberg for sound quality problems, you need decent D-A inside, along with good quality analogue components, something none of the iPods contain.

Get a Walkman, they sound a million times better.

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At least they kept the 2G model on sale.

Half the price, with controls, not much bigger than the 3G model, and with different colours to choose from.

Only 1GB of course, but 200 songs is plenty if you're just making a playlist of your favourites to bung on there.

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