is random. That's the marketing behind the newest iPod, the Shuffle.
We here at Random Access think it's about time Apple jumped on the
random bandwagon. Now that the Shuffle has arrived, you may throw
caution to the wind and go with the flow.
iPod Shuffle 512MB
available in 1GB
I first un-packed the Shuffle, I was amazed at how small it was.
Sure, I'd seen pictures on Apple's website, but until you hold one
in your hand, you won't get the full effect. In fact, when I carry
it around and let people hold it, the first thing they mention is
the size... then they try to pocket it.
beauty of the design is that you don't need a cable to sync or to
charge. It has a USB port under the cap at the bottom. The only
drawback is that the case may be too wide to plug in if your USB
ports are horizontally side-by-side and you have something already
plugged into the other port. If you experience this, and you absolutely
cannot disconnect the other USB device, just get yourself a USB
USB connection is built-in under the cap.
When you connect the Shuffle to your computer running iTunes, your
computer will automatically start to Autofill your Shuffle with
a random selection of songs. Autofill is a new feature built into
iTunes for the Shuffle, and it's at the heart of the random nature
of the Shuffle. You can designate a playlist or your entire library
as the source of the random songs. You'll never know what you might
hear. The option to “Choose higher rated songs more often”
is off by default which is probably a good thing if you haven't
taken the time to rate your songs in iTunes. You can also use a
Shuffle as a flash memory drive to tote around data from place to
place. Just click the options button and define how much memory
you want to reserve for data.
Apple promises 12 hours of life from the built-in rechargeable battery.
After 10½ hours of everyday use, the battery indicator went
from green (good charge) to yellow (low charge) when pressed. It
went to red (very low charge) four hours after that and kept going
for 1 hour and 22 minutes more before stopping completely. The Shuffle
gave almost 16 hours of use from its battery out of a single charge.
The Shuffle comes packaged with white earphones and a lanyard which
replaces the USB cap so you can wear the Shuffle stylishly around
your neck. The lanyard doesn't do it for me. When I'm running, my
Shuffle just flops all over the place. Too bad it doesn't come with
the armband that is sold separately. Not to worry, the Shuffle is
so small and light sometimes I just put it in a pocket or hang it
from the headphone cord.
I'm sure that most people had gadget envy when Apple introduced
this little gem but it's not for everyone. The iPod Shuffle is not
for control freaks that may suddenly want to hear a specific song.
Without a display, the only way to get to a song you want is to
set the Shuffle to play straight through and keep skipping until
you find that song. The Shuffle is also probably not on the wish
list of those that have a large mp3 library and want to carry it
to parties or a friend's house. It is for anyone that wants to take
a bunch of random tunes (and maybe some data too) with them to work,
play, school, or workout.