Apple introduces iPod shuffle | iLounge News

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Apple introduces iPod shuffle

pic Confirming months of speculation and publicized leaks from suppliers, Apple today unveiled the newest member of the iPod family, iPod shuffle. The compact digital audio player—built with flash memory instead of a hard-disk drive like other iPods—is the lowest-priced model yet, but also offers the least amount of song capacity. It is available immediately in 512MB and 1GB capacities for or $99 and $149, respectively.

Physically smaller than an iPod mini but made entirely from glossy white plastic like the front casings of most full-sized iPods, iPod shuffle is so named for its dramatic departure from iPod norms: it lacks its predecessors’ now iconic screen and Click Wheel controls, and is intended for casual, randomized music listening rather than storage of a full music library.

“iPod shuffle is smaller and lighter than a pack of gum and costs less than $100,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “With most flash-memory music players users must use tiny displays and complicated controls to find their music; with iPod shuffle you just relax and it serves up new combinations of your music every time you listen.”

Apple said iPod shuffle takes advantage of iTunes’ new AutoFill feature, which “automatically selects the perfect number of songs to fill iPod shuffle from a user’s complete music library on their computer.” The company said that at any time, with a flip of a switch on the back of iPod shuffle, users can choose to listen to their music in order rather than shuffled.

Featuring a simplified four-direction control system to let users skip forward and backward, play/pause, and adjust volume upwards and downwards, iPod shuffle includes a headphone port at its top and standard Dock Connector port on its bottom to permit listening and file transferring, respectively.

The device, which can be plugged directly into a computer via USB, also doubles as a portable flash drive to back up and transfer personal files.

In addition to an included lanyard and earphones, Apple is selling an optional armband, clear sport case with neck strap, dock, USB power adapter, and battery pack that boosts battery life to up to 20 additional hours. All of the accessories sell for $29.

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Comments

21

The design, size and weigth are really GREAT but honestly, Apple could have done a lot better. I don’t care about voice recorder or FM but NO DISPLAY is really a disappointment… And YES 1GB needs a screen. DJ MY DAY? Please… I think I am paying to listen to music I want to hear not to a random playlist chosen by apple. Anyway, I hope “shuffle” works for anyone who gets it. May get one when it comes with a display; my 3rd gen iPod works for me in any kind of activity.

Posted by iYuc in Yucatan on January 11, 2005 at 6:25 PM (CST)

22

I would find this kinda hard to use, for me anyway, im not really a shuffle kinda person, i always have to pick the song i want to listen to, but i think this is a great player for anyone who doesn’t mind shuffling there songs, and also wants something a bite more afordable. *claps*

Posted by Dawn Marie in New York City on January 11, 2005 at 6:38 PM (CST)

23

It will sell, just not to me…..  I have a 4G 40 gig I love.  If it only had a smenue, it would be incredible…..

Posted by AndyDK in USA on January 11, 2005 at 7:18 PM (CST)

24

The design, size and weigth are really GREAT but honestly, Apple could have done a lot better. I don’t care about voice recorder or FM but NO DISPLAY is really a disappointment… And YES 1GB needs a screen. DJ MY DAY? Please… I think I am paying to listen to music I want to hear not to a random playlist chosen by apple. Anyway, I hope “shuffle” works for anyone who gets it. May get one when it comes with a display; my 3rd gen iPod works for me in any kind of activity.

If you buy this, I don’t think you’re paying to listen to music, you’re paying for a JumpDrive that as a nice little bonus, happens to play music. If you want to listen to music, you get yourself at least a MiNI. Even though jumpDrives that play music exist (and with a screen) i think theyre a lot more expensive, have a lot less battery and a lot less memory. You’re also paying for the name iPod.

Does anybody else find it hilarious how litterally an hour ago when this was all rumour the last thread was nothing but flaming for the iPod Shuffle and all of a sudden a pretty pic is put up, and every poster has ordered one already?

Posted by andres in Miami on January 11, 2005 at 7:28 PM (CST)

25

Who listens to radio that they have no control over?

Having the option to *record* FM at a preset time is a great boon. It’s like Tivo for the airwaves. You can collect shows that you like (which are usually few and far between) and then play them back at your leisure.

Posted by Demosthenes on January 11, 2005 at 7:38 PM (CST)

26

Great!... Unless you’ve hit puberty!

What the hell is this? Apple isn’t trying anymore! I’d like to see the minutes from that designers’ meeting. It’d go like this: Head Designer ,“Hey guys! We need something cheep and gimicky, quick! Something like a screenless iPod that you can wear around your neck, but more ‘Appleesque’ I expect a design on my desk by tomorrow!” (he leaves, there is scilence…) Designer 1 (nonchalantly) “So, uh is a screenless iPod cool with everyone? We can add a shuffle feature so that it’s ‘Applesque’ and call it the Shuffle or something dumb like that. Tell marketing to make ‘random the new organized! Damn I’ve got the munchies! Anyone wanna go to get some twinkies?” Other designers (stoned and apathetic) “(mumbled grunts of approval)”

Posted by Special_K on January 11, 2005 at 8:15 PM (CST)

27

hmm i think people who think the appeal of this product is low is going to be wrong. The fact that this product doesnt even have a firewire port and plugs right into USB ports will make it very enticing as a flash thumb drive. And having it to play music as well is a bonus. Besides, for no frills people, it’s actually quite sensible. For eg. I own a 40gb ipo photo but really, i havent used the photo function much. I commute to and from work which takes less than an hour on the train. I seldom get beyond 30 songs and I play my current favorites more than others. I skip many of the 1000 songs I stored on a 40GB ipod. I dun look much at the screen. With ipod shuffle, i would just put the songs i like in front and the rest behind and play in order or if i like shuffle and these 200 odd songs will be those i seldom skip :)

Posted by joon on January 11, 2005 at 8:48 PM (CST)

28

No screen, no problem, getting old can’t read sceen anyway on my iPod in car anyway lol. Have to do playlists night before.

$99 bucks is great I can use this while going to Wally World etc. Won’t notice weight in my pocket.

Ordered one Today

Posted by 15gigs in GA on January 11, 2005 at 8:52 PM (CST)

29

Great idea. I’m (probably) getting one. When I first saw the shuffle, I was shocked at its lack of screen and simplicity. But now I’m realizing that it is the perfect second iPod (I have a 3G20). I can carry it around when I do want unexpected music without lugging the ‘pod. And the price is perfect.

One correction for this article, though. It doesn’t use a dock connector but rather has a built-in USB plug.

Posted by Sidney in Montclair, NJ on January 11, 2005 at 9:19 PM (CST)

30

> But….. i also remember another small mac…..The disaster known as Mac Cube.

The Cube was a well-loved machine, and brilliantly designed. 100% silent and fanless, etc.

But it was positioned more in the luxury range, with a price tag to match! Therein was the failure. Small is cool, but not cool enough to sell in mass quantities at that price.

The Mac Mini is another story. Not only does it out-Cube the Cube for gadget fans… it’s also the CHEAPEST Mac ever. THAT will sell.

Posted by Nagromme on January 11, 2005 at 9:54 PM (CST)

31

I don’t now… I think i’d pay the extra $100 for a clickwheel, screen & extra 3GB that the iPod mini offers.

Posted by j4y_7 in Los Angeles on January 11, 2005 at 9:57 PM (CST)

32

<i>brilliantly designed. 100% silent and fanless, etc.<i>

Pity about the cracks in the plastic, and the overheating that caused random reboots and lockups, and the fact that if you got it with any sort of decent gfx card then there was…. a really annoying whiney fan.

Posted by Demosthenes on January 11, 2005 at 9:59 PM (CST)

33

I love it…. I have a 20gb and a mini…. i called the mac store and they will have them by next week or so….
It’s design and size are great..

Posted by ipodgeek in USA on January 12, 2005 at 12:20 AM (CST)

34

I reckon that these could easily be marketed with a slogan like:
“It’s like having a radio station that plays all your favorites - but no ads”

Don’t reckon is like a radio station. Radio is free, doesn’t have a storage limit, and has a huge variety of stations.

Posted by iYuc in Yucatan on January 12, 2005 at 12:35 AM (CST)

35

Cool! I have already order 1GB version when I woke up this morning.

Posted by catnoodles on January 12, 2005 at 2:03 AM (CST)

36

<i>brilliantly designed. 100% silent and fanless, etc.<i>

Pity about the cracks in the plastic, and the overheating that caused random reboots and lockups, and the fact that if you got it with any sort of decent gfx card then there was…. a really annoying whiney fan.

But the Mac mini is so cheap! The Cube was a experiment by Apple, to see how much people were willing to pay for exceptional design. The Mac mini is the Cube: Evolved. Cheap. Small. Upgradable. And yet still an awesome, simple design!
and as for the problems you stated above, they were obviously not present in every Cube. but hey, lets not start another Cube post, theres been way too many of those :-) and this is supposed to be a Shuffle post anyway!
i don’t think you have a leg to stand on, give me one bad point about the Mac mini.

Posted by louispavlo in Southampton, UK on January 13, 2005 at 2:43 PM (CST)

37

Demosthenes: <i>brilliantly designed. 100% silent and fanless, etc.<i>

Pity about the cracks in the plastic, and the overheating that caused random reboots and lockups, and the fact that if you got it with any sort of decent gfx card then there was…. a really annoying whiney fan.

Me:

But the Mac mini is so cheap! The Cube was a experiment by Apple, to see how much people were willing to pay for exceptional design. The Mac mini is the Cube: Evolved. Cheap. Small. Upgradable. And yet still an awesome, simple design!
and as for the problems you stated above, they were obviously not present in every Cube. but hey, lets not start another Cube post, theres been way too many of those :-) and this is supposed to be a Shuffle post anyway!
i don’t think you have a leg to stand on, give me one bad point about the Mac mini.

Posted by louispavlo in Southampton, UK on January 13, 2005 at 2:46 PM (CST)

38

I’m betting this one is an (admittedly minor) misstep for Apple. It’s a throwback to the old days of the first mp3 players—rio and the like—only worse, cause you can’t pick the songs you want to hear.

Apple’s marketing is amusing, but prima facie scrambling to make a plus out of a minus. “The Random Revolution?” Come on. As someone above pointed out—you want random, get a radio. People stock their ipods so they have something for every mood—who wants a block of plastic to tell me what I what I want to hear?

It’s an odd turnaround for Apple, the company that always prided itself in letting users “have it their way.” Cost restraints do have a way of making one put a pretty face on the ugly reality.

We’ll see if they succeed. Me, I’d rather let music reflect my mood, as opposed to the other way around. THAT could be dangerous.


Sami

Posted by samiglick in NYC on January 13, 2005 at 4:40 PM (CST)

39

samiglick, the iPod shuffle’s no menu design won’t be good who know and love the iPod interface. But, for people who this would be their first iPod and know nothing about the iPod or mp3 players, it’s perfect. They don’t have to use time being crazy on chosing a song, and there’s not much work involved. Turn it on shuffle, and your good to go. It’s also great for excersize. I won’t be getting one because I don’t excersize too much, and also, I have too many songs.

Many iPod haters hate it’s physical size and price. They would only buy flash based players, and are not used to HDD players. Now, that fixes both problems with flying colors. This is a great step “down” (not in improvement, but to get those people who don’t like iPods for those specific reasons) for Apple. And plus, when was the last time you saw an Apple product cheaper than its competition??

Posted by maxman on January 13, 2005 at 8:14 PM (CST)

40

Hey i think the lack of any screen is anoying but having something that small would be really cool. Not to mention it is something i could save up for not just wish for in a million years.  It does have a optinal dock but it is not needed. Though the fact that while you are away there is no way to charge it witout a PC is just annoying. How long will it take to charge off the USB port? You could always buy an AC adapter. I think i might get it but i can’t get disscount intill all the hussle sloes down. Also i think you could srill play a playlist in order that you made and put in.

Posted by firemandan on January 13, 2005 at 10:22 PM (CST)

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