What do you think of the new iPod Shuffle?

The new iPod shuffle has been taking a beating online from a lot of people. Why? Well – mainly because its destined for the list of Apple’s dumbest products of all time. :)

But seriously, the new iPod shuffle looks more like a gadget that someone would fake while mocking Apple than something that I would have actually expected Apple to release.

Some Apple bloggers are on the defensive, doing their best to explain why its awesome – but I’m just not one of those guys. I don’t think this is an awesome product.

I think it’s kind of silly.

I actually recorded tomorrow’s AGD (since I’m going to be out of town) already, and ranted about the shuffle there, so I don’t need to go on for too much here…but I am curious as to what you think about the stick of Trident gum that also plays music.

I seriously believe its just plain absurd, and will be replaced in less than a year by something with a screen.

How about you?


Comments

  1. Rick O'Neil says:

    I don’t see anything wrong with it… It doesn’t perform any less than previous models. Just because it’s really small doesn’t mean it’s bad product. It’s not the size of your iPod, it’s how you use it.
    I’d buy one.

  2. I like it. It is a consequent product. I think that nearly all iPod shuffles are used for running and workouts with one playlist on it. I guess the next generation of the shuffle will be integrated into the earphones.

  3. The issue isn’t size. Last gen and this new model are both adequately small. Issues:

    -Moving critical controls to proprietary headphones limits user choice in headphones.
    -Earbuds that ship with this shuffle don’t stay in many peoples’ ears during workouts.
    -Earbuds that ship with this shuffle are not high quality.
    -This shuffle is unusable without the earbuds, so it will not work in a car, as shipped.
    -To solve any of these issues will require an adapter, or a higher-end set of earbuds with audio controls.
    -Adapter will make the shuffle solution bigger-bulkier, and will add considerably to the supposedly-reasonable $79 price.
    -Trying to locate your bobbling headphone cord during a run to change controls can be cumbersome.

    Even if you love this new product, these are the facts. I happen to believe it’s a bad product. The choices they’ve made do not gain you enough, and they have removed usability.

    Wasn’t Apple all about usability? Now it’s about the exact way you have to use the product.

  4. It doesn’t make any sense for me, but none of the Shuffles have made sense for me. When I’m listening to music, I listen to what I want to listen to and generally don’t shuffle it. I don’t know that the lack of buttons is a step backward, as you can still do everything on the headphones, although I realize that many want to use their own.

    The VoiceOver thing is neat, but I think it would be better served to go the other way and use voice recognition to allow you to speak the song/artist/playlist.

  5. Rick O'Neil says:

    Ok, Doug made some really good points. But I think you have to put all this in the context of the price. $80 really isn’t bad for a 4gb iPod. If you want more functionality just jump up to the Nano. Thats why they have options. This isn’t going to be for everyone.

  6. I do not mind the apple head phone requirement. The Apple “in ear” headphones work great for me. The new generation is even better than the old one. Everybody who has problems with the original headphone should try the “in ear” version. In my opinion Apple should dump the “original” headphones and ship the iPods with the “in ear” version.

  7. The UI is fundamentally bad. Even if you set aside the fact that the controls are on the headphone cord (or on a dongle that connects between the iPod and your own headphones), it’s not good. People are used to conventional Play/Pause and Next/Prev buttons. They’re on nearly every audio device, and they work well. But the new method of user input is arbitrary and…weird.

    One button? You press it once to start or pause the music, twice to skip ahead, thrice to skip backward. To fast-forward in a a track you press twice and hold down, or the same with three clicks to rewind.

    That’s just broken. It doesn’t make any sense, except “Apple decided it should work like this.” I own a second-gen iPod Touch, which has very good UI design. What’s with the new Shuffle?

    The previous generation seemed pretty good, like they had finally figured out what the Shuffle should be. It was better designed than the dorky pack-of-gum design of the first generation, and it was certainly tiny enough. Apple sacrificed usability to make it smaller, and why? Just so they could redesign the product and get some more media coverage.

  8. I think the new Shuffle is beautiful – streamlined and aesthetically pleasing. I also think the controls on the headset cable are good, but will take time to learn – though what doesn’t…

  9. jimmy little says:

    i like it. I use a Nano, and specifically ran out and bought a new one because of the headphone-remote feature. If the shuffle had it then, I may have bought that instead. As a runner, I don’t look at a screen. I strap a nano to my arm and go. To me, finding the button on the headphone cord is far less distracting than reaching over my body to my left arm with my right hand, and trying to feel for the scroll wheel thru a plastic “protective” sheet over the armband case. If I want to skip a song, it’s a quick double-click.

    This seems like a logical move forward. 4GB seems a little big to me, honestly. For the market for this device, I’d rather pay $50 for 2GB, which would hold more music than I’ll ever run to.

    I would, however, like to see the form factor go more back to the original shuffle, that was more like a USB thumb drive. it was small, and you could pop the end off and plug it into your computer. Seems like this form factor (the new one, no buttons) would play into that. I travel a lot, and one less cable is always welcome…

  10. 1. When listening to music on my iPhone I rarely use anything other than the controls on the Apple headphones.
    2. The kind of person that would purchase the iPod Shuffle isn’t the kind of person that would also shell out extra money for better headphones.
    3. The only bad thing about the new Shuffle is the inability to use it in your car with a standard cassette tape adapter, but I wouldn’t be surprised if someone comes out with a male-male headphone cord specifically for the Shuffle that has the controls on it or someone comes out with a cassette tape adapter with the same controls (which would benefit anyone with one of the newer iPods or an iPhone).

    Bottom line is that for some it may seem absurd (keyboard being seem), remember these are people who probably haven’t even seen one in the flesh, let along been able to play with one.

  11. i totally get the new design…its beautiful…and its a step forward

    i agree people that are buying the shuffle are not going to be the type to have special expensive headphones…and there are companies out there that make pieces that you can attach to the stock headphones and make them more usable to more people…the fact is

    APPLE gets to make what APPLE wants to make…and if it doesnt work its APPLE that has to deal with it

    you dont like the new shuffle…DONT BUY IT…but DONT BITCH ABOUT IT EITHER

    i dont like the new nano…so i didnt buy one…i am very happy with the 3G Nano…so i see no need to cry about it…

    this is what they wanted to make…and if it gets more people able to buy an ipod then more power to them…

    and you dont know about the speech abilities of this shuffle…you never know an update may make it so the shuffle can understand your musical requests…and they just wanted to perfect it more

    the fact of the matter is they are updating the entire line to this new aluminum/chrome look…and that was the last cheap looking plastic thing they had to do…maybe the apple tv is next…hope so…peace out

  12. “you dont like the new shuffle…DONT BUY IT…but DONT BITCH ABOUT IT EITHER”

    Dude, we don’t need you lecturing people about what they can, and can’t, post on a forum board. This forum is for intelligent discussion. The topic is “What do you think of the new iPod Shuffle?”

    No one is crying. Everyone has contributed. Please don’t do this to other forums/topics. No one wants your lecture.

  13. Copy and Paste what Doug said earlier.

    There is no way in hell I would buy something that small. Why? Because I would never know whether I have it or not. Besides, I think this whole “smaller is better” thing is a just one big fad anyways, and it’s just simply overrated.

    To Scott: Wow, you remind me of the way I used to comment on forums 5 years ago when I was 12.

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