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back to article Apple iPod Shuffle 4G

The iPod Shuffle's entire history is a testament to the fact that Apple doesn't always get products right. The fact it exists at all shows Steve Jobs was wrong to say that consumers don't really want low-cost, plug'n'go music players. They do, and if the number of Shuffles seen on lapels and bagstraps around the capital is …

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Happy

Voice over with 3rd party head phones

I'm using the 4G shuffle with some in-canal Sennheiser headphones and have no problem with the voice over. These phones don't have inline volume control though. I've never used the apple phones.

I've had it since release day, bought for a diving holiday where I didnt want to take anything much bigger on the dive boat. For the most part it works great... however I've had 2 problems with it:

1. When loading it up at home before leaving I turned on the facility to compress tracks and then selected lots of playlists to load on to it. I left it running over night and in the morning it reported that it was fully synced. It wasn't till I was on hols that I realised that a lot of material just didnt sync. I'm not sure whether that's because it wasn't done when my computer slept after 5 hours or due to some other error. I plan to test again.

2. One time on holiday after pressing the voice button to get the list of playlists, I accidently pressed it again. At that point it just went silent. I couldnt get it to respond at all. I tried all the tricks I knew for resetting an ipod to no avail. Eventually I put it away. The next morning it was functioning again. I have no idea what happened.

Apart from those two niggles I like this suffle. Smaller than my 2G shuff and the ability to have playlists on it. It's also great with podcasts. If you interrupt a podcast to listen to music it will start mid-cast when you return to that podcast playlist.

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Chances are...

...that what you will find is that you have 2GB worth of music on there, in that, it's what iTunes originally thought it could get on there and didn't take in to account the reduction in size from the recompression to 128kbps AAC. If you just resync the Shuffle, you'll probably get the rest of your selection on there.

This is exactly what happens to me if I reset my 2G Shuffle and tell it to sync. I was interested to know what was happening so I did some experiments a while back. I get exactly the same songs on the iPod if I tick the recompress as if I don't tick it, on the first sync. After that, if the recompress is ticked, I get the rest copied over, and if not, well, the Shuffles full, so...

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Anonymous Coward

Sync...

5 hours to sync 2gig?! Really? Is it using 802.11G wireless or something?!

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Go

only ipod you can use with your eyes closed

It's worth remembering this is the only ipod you can use without looking at the display -I've got an old nano, played with the new one -which has physical volume controls- but Mr Jobs still expects you to hold up the device to navigate around. The shuffle is something you can keep in your pocket, use in the gym, on the mountain bike, anywhere, and for me, the only one worth having.

I am glad that they've realised this and put the buttons back -the fact they admitted their mistake means that sales must have died.

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Thumb Up

iPod to kill the In-car Radio?

It was the iPod that finally dragged me in to the Apple walled-garden, and I too am very glad the blind person's iPod is back.

Of course the biggest tribute to the device was that I was able to get my Dad and brothers to take up using the device, partly through simplicity, but mostly because they both doing a lot of driving and the no-look controls are essential (especially with my Dad's refusing to ever wear reading glasses). Pity care stereo designers seem to continue producing products and integrations that are fated to cause many an accident, and with the continuing digital radio fiasco the future seems bleak for those wanting to live the car-advert dream of cruising with tunes.

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Jobs Horns

Apple or Third Parties....

""but it wouldn't surprise me if this was a common problem with third-party ear-gear.""

Shouldn't this read : "" but it wouldn't surprise me if this was a common problem with the irritating, restrictive practices of Apple and their 'only our way counts' stupidity."" ?....

P.

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Happy

Are you sure?

"...and if the number of Shuffles seen on lapels and bagstraps around the capital is anything to go by, they're downright keen on them."

I'm certainly keen on my 2GB MP3 player that looks identical to an iPod shuffle but has a standard USB connection and cost a tenner ... I'm sure I'm not the only one!

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Stop

i would totally buy one, but...

iTunes.

No way is that scumware ever coming anywhere near my music collection.

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Why do people like iTunes?

Agree entirely. I occasionally see people arguing that needing to use iTunes is an *advantage* of Apple's products. To me it's a huge turn-off. I find iTunes slow, over-controlling and with a hopeless user interface. When I see audio files that are only available via iTunes, I think twice and sometimes three times before I download them at all.

Am I missing some reason why iTunes is popular?

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Ted
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iTunes works great...

I think yours and other people's problem with iTunes is you are still trying to run Windows which doesn't have strong enough OS underpinnings to support modern Apps like iTunes. So the problem isn't iTunes, it's Windows since iTunes runs wonderfully on the Mac. So Microsoft needs to get their act together and get Windows up to speed or people will continue to point fingers in the wrong direction.

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WTF?

80% really?

How can people prefer this over a similarly priced 4GB or 8GB Sansa Clip+? That player also has physical buttons, but adds a small display, FM radio, voice recording, accepts up to 16GB microSDHC cards, and doesn't require iTunes to sync. Do people just assume that because it's Apple there's no need for comparison shopping?

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Go

The Sansa range is stunning.

I've got two Fuzes, and they are the best MP3 players I've ever used, by a long way.

GJC

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@joejack

You took the words out of my mouth.

Got a Sansa Clip+ 8GB myself and it does the job very tidily for not a lot of money (plus not a lot more money for a 16GB microSDHC to hold more music)

And no iTunes

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same here - e280

8GB of storage, user replaceable battery, titanium cover.

Sounds great, it's robust, user-upgradeable firmware...all for £65 a few years ago.

Brilliant kit.

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Ted
Boffin

the Apple Shuffle is a better product.

The Sansa Clip is fine for beginners, but most people want a more feature rich product. iTunes opens up a huge world of free content plus it's far easier to manage than what Sansa can offer. You'll get a iPod Shuffle soon, (it's only $49) then you'll see why the vast majority prefer it.. you can get started here:

-

http://www.apple.com/ipodshuffle/

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WTF?

Better?

I don't think so. The fact that the Shuffle has to use iTunes automatically limits it. A Sansa just needs a file explorer type app in either Linux or Windows for content to be transferred in mass storage mode.

Apple hardware, by "virtue" of the fact that it utilises user non-replaceable batteries means the design is poor - the hardware life is defined by a consumable item.

The Apple is more popular thanks the the Apple marketing machine. I've use a Shuffle before...I thought it was and still do think it is nothing but a very cheap low-end product successfully marketed as something special at an inflated price. People are easy to fool.

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Thanks for that, Dave.

Sold. I'll take 8GB, please.

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Silver badge

astroturf?

astroturf.

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Anonymous Coward

re: Better?

"""Apple hardware, by "virtue" of the fact that it utilises user non-replaceable batteries means the design is poor - the hardware life is defined by a consumable item."""

In your opinion, and perhaps the opinion of the majority of people. Doesn't make it the any more correct though. I love the fact that people that know absolutely nothing about design as a dicipline spout this, and other utter nonsense about design as if they are an authority by virtue of being a consumer. That's the problem with most commentards, and absolute conviction that their opinion is fact, whereas in reality it's just another opinion.

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@Nigel Wrong

"non-replaceable batteries"

oh c'mon.., really?

Ive got a 2G shuffle, it's microscoping & brillinat, when it finally dies do you think I am going to lament the fact that I can't dissect it and put in a 3rd party explosive Taiwanees replacement battery?

No, I'm gonna pay a paltry £39 for a new one!

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Stop

burn money

why bother when there are at least a dozen players on the market that have more features for the same price or match the shuffle's features for less, none of which are reliant on Itunes to work.

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+1

Ive got a sansa clip and a fuze, both heavily used. To the point where the batteries are worn out. I want another fuze, because you can set timers to record FM programmes off the radio. It's how I record the Carols from Kings while driving to get my mother-in-law for christmas.

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Anonymous Coward

Because

Why does anyone do anything? Because they can and because they want to...

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Happy

Or...

you could go to Tesco and pick up any other MP3 player without a picture of an apple on it for a fraction of the price, no?

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Anonymous Coward

Itunes used to be great

ITunes is an example of software that has has endless features thrown at it, without thought to design. I've been using it since version 1 on Mac OS 9, and still use it today, version 10 on Windows (because I have to, for my iPhone) .

While the UI was great when all you wanted to do was play music on your PC and rip a few CDS, now it's just trying to do too much. I was very annoyed when I found I needed to install iTunes to get the USB tehering drivers for my iPhone... like any company would allow that on their laptops.The Windows version installs and autostarts too many things, all these services "just in case" you might need them. Microsoft have provided APIs to avoid this since Vista, so really there's no excuse.

iTunes is part of the reason why the iPod and iPhone has been so sucessful. Apple shouldn't let it slip.

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