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iPod shuffle 3G unboxing photos posted

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By Charles Starrett

Contributing Editor
Published: Thursday, March 12, 2009
News Categories: iPod shuffle

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iLounge has obtained both models of the new third-generation iPod shuffle, and will be posting unboxing photos in this story as we take them, along with some brief first impressions.

Update: It’s very similar in size to the Apple Bluetooth Headset, and as small as the smallest flash drives we’ve seen. Its rear clip is somewhat of a fingerprint magnet, and it lacks personality from front, to side, to bottom. The black color is same as the iPod nano 4G and 120GB iPod classic, and if a user plugs in headphones with no music loaded onto the device, a voice directs him/her to sync to iTunes.

Update 2: The results of our initial file transfer test show the new shuffle to be faster than the second-generation model, but not as fast as the iPod nano 4G. When transferring our 1GB test playlist, it took the iPod shuffle 3G 2:02 to transfer, while the iPod nano 4G took just 1:27. The same transfer on the second-generation iPod shuffle took 2:33, but it was only a partial transfer, as some songs could not be played, and iTunes showed only 392MB as transferred.

In addition, iTunes must connect to a server to download the VoiceOver kit before that feature can be enabled, meaning that an Internet connection will be required for initial VoiceOver setup.

In our initial audio testing with a pair of Ultimate Ears UE-11, there is an immediately noticeable difference in the amount of static present in the audio compared to the iPod shuffle 2G—hissy, static-like noise present in the prior generation’s audio is gone in the iPod shuffle 3G. Our initial impressions of its sonic balance are that its sound signature is extremely similar to that of the late 2008 iPods and iPhone 3G. Our testing has also found it basically impossible to control the unit with standard third-party headphones, and that Apple’s other remote-enabled headphones appear completely compatible. Of note, Apple has further slimmed down the headphone plug on the new earphones, physically matching the top of the shuffle’s headphone jack.

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Comments

21

Beyond headset control, are there 3rd party USB or 3mm earphone jack adapters that allow you to plug it into a home stero or car stereo that is not sync equipped and control playback and volume when not wearing headphones

Posted by RR on March 14, 2009 at 8:13 PM (PDT)

22

I dont realy like the new shuffle. I mean, like all apple products, they look great, but I still prefer my shuffle 2G. Apple always improve products slightly (smaller and more storage), decrease compatibility (no buttons, which forces you to use the apple earphones) and pretty much double the price (the new one is £59, whereas the 2G was £31 for the 1GB and £44 for the 2GB. The new shuffle kind of destroys the purpose of the shuffle really, as a cheap, shuffleing music player. I think it would be better if they kept the old controls, and added just a tiny screen, just so you can see the battery level (I got my 2GB shuffle 2G as a secondary iPod in january, and I use it 5 days a week for about an hour, and I havent charged/synced it once, apart from the first time to put music on, althoguh it seemed to be fully charged then too) and stuff like what song is paying and the artist etc, and as some others mentioned, a nike+iPod support would be great along with a stopwatch and a shake to shuffle feature, and cut down on teh price again, so that people who want it as their first MP3 player could afford it. I started with a 1GB sandisk sansa e240, then I got an 8GB iPod touch 1G, then a 2GB shuffle 2G.

Posted by andy70707 on March 15, 2009 at 7:34 AM (PDT)

23

I love Apple and the products they continue to come out with, but it’s incredibly hard to keep up with all the technology. You go out and buy the latest gadget and then bam a month later there is something better and it talks! The upside, I have a rather large family letting me hand down my old “toys” to make way for the new ones.

Brian Marchant-Calsyn

Posted by Brian Marchant-Calsyn on March 16, 2009 at 11:17 AM (PDT)

24

I applaud apple for their unrelenting pursuit of innovation - however at the cost of their customers. True, some who buy their products at the wrong time are caught out, (like i was with my 1g nano - pretty annoyed but the 2g was a worthy upgrade from the appalling battery).
I feel that this product is premature for many reasons - the lack of third party accessories to ensure strong launch sales, the assumption that small mp3 player users are ready to make the jump to a sophisticated control mechanism, and the price. i do think that apple are recouping their costs from the development of VoiceOver, and that 4gb was included to justify the high price the technology included demands - and isn’t necessarily needed.
the accessibility of this product is compromised by the higher class design targeted at more expensive markets. true, the value of the product is not as good as previous models, and true the earphones are not to everybody’s taste, but eventually when apple inevitably refresh the line up with a selection of colours to brighten the device, and possibly lower or higher capacities and/or more buttons on the remote and an improved battery, more people will invest. the design is meant to be minimalist as it is worn clipped on clothing it should be as unobtrusive as possible.
give apple time, the shuffle will eventually be a worthy purchase.

Posted by Alan on March 16, 2009 at 2:42 PM (PDT)

25

Seems like a great product to me. Very small and unobtrusive so it’s easy to use in any setting. The one I test at the Apple Store had great sound. The earphone controls were very easy to learn & use; not sure what people are finding difficult in this.

But it’s the VoiceOver that is the coolness factor here. Hearing the song name okay but you probably already knew it anyhow. I could do without the Ralph digital voice (how about a selection option in iTunes?) but it is great to be able to choose different playlists on a Shuffle now. This prevents having to always sync with iTunes to load a playlist appropriate for what you’re about to do.

At this price, the Shuffle is still a very affordable option that provides better options. In the end, it makes for a great 2nd iPod.

Posted by D9 on March 16, 2009 at 9:49 PM (PDT)

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