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iPod shuffle clone introduced

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By LC Angell

Contributing Editor
Published: Thursday, March 10, 2005
News Categories: iPod shuffle

pic LuxPro, a Taiwan-based maker of digital audio products, has introduced what can only be described as a blatant rip-off of Apple’s iPod shuffle. LuxPro’s “Super shuffle,” which is being shown this week at the CeBIT conference in Germany, is nearly identical to the iPod shuffle in every way—from its form factor to its name and advertising.

Made from the same white plastic and featuring the same control pad as the iPod shuffle, the Super shuffle is also the exact length (3.3”) and width (0.99”) as the iPod shuffle. The flash memory-based Super shuffle is a little thicker (0.38”) than the iPod shuffle (0.33”), but offers an FM tuner and voice recorder, which the Apple device lacks.

LuxPro’s music player weighs in at the same as the iPod (.78 ounce), offers the same USB 2.0 connectivity and charging, and even copies the iPod shuffle’s backside slider switch and battery light indicator. The Super shuffle boasts two slider switches, apparently one is needed for general use and one is needed for the extra FM and recording features. The LuxPro product offers MP3, WAV, and WMA support.

Like the iPod shuffle, the Super shuffle is offered only in 512MB and 1GB sizes, and works with both Windows and Mac OS X. Pricing and availability were not immediately available. However, German iPod site iPodLife has provided iLounge with a handful of photos of the device and its advertising at CeBIT, which show that LuxPro is not only cloning Apple’s low-cost player, but is also replicating its well-known silhouette ads.

Click “Read more” for large photos of the Super shuffle and an Apple-like poster.

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Comments

1

Well it’s not a compleate rip off it this thing has an Frequency Modulation Radio in it. But, heres the BIGGER QUESTION! Does it work with iTunes! or that crapy M$ Player?!?!

Posted by Ichijoe in Deutschland on March 10, 2005 at 9:23 AM (PDT)

2

Please explain to me why Apple couldn’t have added at least the FM radio to their shuffle? Apple was just lazy with the suffle and this product helps prove that.

I know they have no shot at selling this in the USA but don’t know enough about copyright laws to know if they will be able to sell this internationally

Posted by Weasel on March 10, 2005 at 9:25 AM (PDT)

3

OMG…. how can they get away with something so blatant? Well, some Apple lawyers getting a cake walk on this one. Tru Tru, it has a few new features, the same UI and Ads? Come on!

Posted by walkingmac on March 10, 2005 at 9:25 AM (PDT)

4

I smell a lawsuit here, honestly this company can not get away with this blatent rip-off.

Posted by MATRIXsjd in Burbank, Ca on March 10, 2005 at 9:25 AM (PDT)

5

This is blatant… then again… MSWindow has been copying OS since prehistoric age… and unfortunately technical plagerism is still the untimate form of flattery smile

Posted by floridante2k on March 10, 2005 at 9:32 AM (PDT)

6

Now we know a FM radio is very possible in the shuffle form. I couldnt care less about voice record but I’d easily pay another $25 for FM radio.

So,now we know there is zero excuse for radio to not be included in the 2G shuffles.

2G shuffle
1.5GB $150 w/ fm radio
1.0GB $100 w/ fm radio

Only 9 or so months away.

Posted by CanofAir on March 10, 2005 at 9:38 AM (PDT)

7

Maybe Apple just doesn’t want to include a radio in any iPod. If people have the option of listening to the radio they’ll obviously won’t be playing their own songs as much which could mean that people won’t need to buy as many new songs from iTunes. Just a theory.

Posted by Weasel on March 10, 2005 at 9:42 AM (PDT)

8

I’m surprised iPodlounge would post this, unless it has proof this product exists and is for sale.

My first reaction is that it’s a fake. No company in its right mind would every rip off a product so blatantly.

Posted by jerseyfreeze on March 10, 2005 at 9:44 AM (PDT)

9

If you read the above you’d have read that this was presented at the anual CeBIT Convention that just opend in Hanover Germany, yesterday…

So yes this is valid and it’s probably some of the better News that’s crossed this Homepage in qute a while…

Posted by Ichijoe in Deutschland on March 10, 2005 at 9:54 AM (PDT)

10

Blatant ripoff? Of what exactly, a non-descript white rectangle? Let’s face it, there’s nothing about the shuffle that’s patentable or trademarkable because it’s all been done before in some form or another. I applaud the move because it immediately catches the eye as though it’s Apple’s overpriced and glorified jump drive, but then you realise it actually has some functionality on top of being a white, non-descript rectangle.

Posted by Code Monkey in Midstate New York on March 10, 2005 at 10:07 AM (PDT)

11

It will be interesting to see what kind of processor chip is in it.  I wonder if they even have the Sigmatel chip?  In order for it to take off though, it’ll have to go for no more than $20 above the real Shuffle, to keep it in line with Creative, iRiver, and iAudios offerings.

Posted by mele on March 10, 2005 at 10:20 AM (PDT)

12

Again any word on wether this thing uses iTunes or WMP-X?? I thought only iPods’ could sync with iTunes. Given that this thing could never use an iPodOS (There being no Frequency Modulation Radio on the, or indeed any iPod). I wouldn’t know how it could ‘Talk’ to iTunes…

Posted by Ichijoe in Deutschland on March 10, 2005 at 10:21 AM (PDT)

13

Ichijoe, if you go to the company website you’ll see the player supports MP3 (8~320Kbps), MP3-VBR, WMA, WMA-DRM (5~192Kbps), WAV (ADPCM) formats. There’s no way in hell that this player will support iTunes though.

Posted by Weasel on March 10, 2005 at 10:24 AM (PDT)

14

Wow, I’ve never seen a company copy a product design to be almost identical.

I think there is definately grounds for a lawsuit, especially since they’re copying Apple’s marketing too. I guess we’ll see soon enough..

Posted by Kloan in Toronto, ON on March 10, 2005 at 10:35 AM (PDT)

15

So then logicly this thing is what embodies all the hate that the Shuffle’s been getting. (i.e. No LCD, OLCD Screen etc.) And to boot you can only use that ‘Plays For Sure!™’ WMA Crap!

Apple shouldn’t worry about it to much I mean there was a disscusson (I think all the other News pushed it off the Font Page.) about what make an iPod an iPod. The big secret of course is iTunes!

So given that this thing can not use iTunes there’s no need to even use it!

Posted by Ichijoe in Deutschland on March 10, 2005 at 10:45 AM (PDT)

16

Just because you can stick an FM radio in there, doesn’t mean you should. Without a display, going through the “dial” looking for stations can be frustrating. And for most people you need presets with your FM radio.

Posted by Nipith in Los Angeles, CA on March 10, 2005 at 10:47 AM (PDT)

17

And my respect goes out tooooooo…....................Super shuffle. Finaly someone who has the guts to kick Aplle’s stupid, lazy, sell-out ###. Super shuffle shows that Apple is just too big of a sell-out to add radio and voicerecording to their player. I said it ones and I’ll say it again: Apple can do way more with the iPod. They are just too stupid to do it. I still want to watch movies on the iPod, but Apple won’t let me. Ring rig, Here’s you wake up-call mr. Jobs. NOW GET OFF YOUR LAZY ### AND WORK FOR YOUR MONEY!!!

Posted by IkBenStevey in Netherlands on March 10, 2005 at 10:48 AM (PDT)

18

Well, apple already has the word “shuffle” trademarked in reference to mp3 players, and I’m sure they have some patents pending regarding other aspects of the shuffle. There is definitely going to be a lawsuit here.

Posted by twoo on March 10, 2005 at 10:49 AM (PDT)

19

WTF? What kind of crap is this?!? This would be like buying an iMac with a Pentium processor in it, and a little extra ram. Stick with the iPod…

Posted by pakkman781 in TN on March 10, 2005 at 10:51 AM (PDT)

20

Blatant ripoff? Of what exactly, a non-descript white rectangle? Let’s face it, there’s nothing about the shuffle that’s patentable or trademarkable because it’s all been done before in some form or another.

The intellectual property laws don’t work that way, Code Monkey.  Yes, Apple probably cannot protect a non-descriptive white rectangle on its own, but the ip laws do protect the way Apple combines the white rectangle with the rest of the design elements (e.g., the circular control button and the white head phones).  I see Apple having a very strong case of trademark infringement (if the company didn’t file for a design patent already), as the super shuffle’s design and its name are likely to cause confusion among consumers.

Posted by XenoPDX on March 10, 2005 at 10:51 AM (PDT)

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