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The iPod Shuffle
Ever since the launch of the first iPod Shuffle, Shuffles have been the most popular MP3 players out there. Before now, there have only been two models; the big, white, stick-like model, and the smaller, square-er model. But not only does Apple's newest model have a new shape, it doesn't even have any buttons.
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The previous, 2nd generation model of the iPod Shuffle was a small square, with the controls on the top and a clip on the bottom. The new iPod Shuffle is half the size of the old one, and comes in two colors: silver and black. There's only one button on the entire device; the Shuffle button, with which you can either play a playlist you've made, or play your songs at random. The casing is brushed aluminum, and instead of having a matching aluminum clip on the back, the new iPod Shuffle has a stainless steel clip. The steel clip holds on to your clothes a lot tighter than the previous Shuffle, which is a good thing.
The earphones that come with the iPod Shuffle look like the standard Apple earphones; white and grey, and made of plastic. But there's a small with bar attached to the wire that hangs from the right earphone-- those are the controls. The new iPod Shuffle uses a special "Voice-Over" technology to navigate through your songs. If you press the white bar a certain amount of time, for a different length of time, the iPod shuffle will do different things.
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I have to say, I prefer the previous model rather than the new one, for a variety of reasons.
One of the things I didn't like about the iPod Shuffle was its reduced size. Now, this might be an asset for you if you like things that are super-small, but for people like me who lose things in the blink of an eye, it can be more of a problem than a feature. The day after I got my iPod Shufle, I lost it because it was so small. It ended up at the bottom of my bag, underneath a few heavy items, which can't be good, even with the aluminum casing.
The controls were also kind of annoying. I liked the previous model because I was able to change the song with the iPod in my pocket; with this one, I had to find the little white bar on the earphone in order to change the song. Also, it was kind of hard to remember how to change the songs, change the playlist, etc., because you have to press the bar in a certain pattern to make it do what you want it to, and I couldn't remember which was which. I suppose you would get a hang of it after a few days, though.
On the other hand, I liked the new clip on the back of the iPod, because of its tight grip. It was much harder to pull off of my clothes, so it has less of a chance of falling off accidentally.
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The Bottom Line
The new Ipod Shuffle has quite a few shortcomings, but it has some good things, too. The small size is hazardous if you misplace things easily, but the new design is very aesthetically pleasing. The Voice-Over technology is futuristic and confusing, but you'll get the hang of it. Overall, I give this iPod a gentle thumbs up.