Apple iPod shuffle Power Users’ Review | iLounge

Reviews

21

luckily the shuffle is not out in australia yet (well i havent seen them yet) or i would have gone straight out and bought one... and then my parents would probably gimme a big lecture on wasting money on another iPod when i already have a 4g 40gb. hehe, i think this review changed my mind! my parents should b thankin u, jeremy! :D

Posted by crazii_philly in Oz on January 17, 2005 at 7:34 PM (PDT)

22

it does keep track of play count but last played date is the date of the next sync with the computer so that is a tradeoff.

also an interesting tid-bit is that the file format of the shuffle is MS-DOS and is compatible with both PC/MAC without reformating the shuffle, so you can go from Mac to PC and back again loading new music each time without issues. no other iPod does this.

Posted by canyonblue737 on January 17, 2005 at 7:35 PM (PDT)

23

Many power users that I know typically use the multi-Gb iPods to hold files as well as their favorite songs. I sent my daughters off to college with a complete backup of OS/X installed on each of their iPods in case of disk problems with their desktop iMacs since 'dad' would be unavailable to troubleshoot the night before term papers were due. Music takes only a fraction of the space available. I mean would you ever 'really listen' to 10,000 songs? Now, if you truly want to listen just to music, this is the one to go with.

Posted by rcyoung on January 17, 2005 at 8:36 PM (PDT)

24

Could you kindly load more than one audiobook on and give a review for audiobook listeners?

Posted by kaio on January 17, 2005 at 8:39 PM (PDT)

25

I found the shuffle just perfect for listening to podcasts. Previously I would gather about 2 hours (daily commute time) worth of 'casts and burn to CDRW's. With the shuffle I can put my daily dose of podcasts into it and play via FM transmitter into the car radio. Also I plan on using half (256 Meg) as a Flash drive. The lack of screen or controls doesn't matter too much since I'm driving and really cannot fool with these things anyway.

Posted by jschimpf in PA,USA on January 17, 2005 at 9:01 PM (PDT)

26

hey jeremy

when you conected your shuffle to your mac what icon came up on the desk top becuse mine comes up as a white harddrive but in itunes it shows a shuffle icon just wondering what was up with mine thanks

Posted by BIGP in Texas on January 17, 2005 at 9:03 PM (PDT)

27

I'm suprised that for a power user review that it didn't get into much power user (geek features) of how the thing works and acts. No mention of the fact that all of the music files are accesable to copy and or remove off of the shuffle with no additional software like other software. No mention of the fact that you need a high power USB port for charging (you mention powered) and what exactly that means. When I got mine I assumed that it would charge off of my keyboard USB ports with no problem. I was under the impression it was powered since I use it with my thumb drive. Wrong. I can only charge the thing with the rear ports on my G4 PowerMac. Major pain in the ###. The dock which I was not planning on getting seems to be in my future since the trip down to CompUSA showed that their cheapest USB extender costs 22 bucks. I might as well spend a few extra bucks to get the dock or the charger (not sure yet which one). So the dock while cosmetic can serve a function for users without front facing high power USB ports. Also why no mention of the shadow mode? It was mentioned on the news page. I found that very useful yet it is not in the power user review. Another thing I didn't quite agree on was the sound quality observation. While it does sound good and sounds very much like my 3G, it seems to slightly flatter. Not flatter in the frequency reproduction but in what i'll call 3 dimensionality. It's subtle but it's there and most likely due to the different DAC's. I noticed it more on my Koss Portapro's than on my EX71SL's but i'm sure it would show even more on better phones.

Overall I think the review was written quite well but it seemed a little on the fluffy side and I don't feel it really served what I feel are power users. It's still been less than a week since the thing has been out so it may have been rushed, but hopefully it will be updated with more detail.

Posted by BigFil on January 17, 2005 at 10:40 PM (PDT)

28

One thing you don't get with "screened" flash players: AAC playback. I have my stuff ripped mostly to that format, and that means the shuffle is useful.

Audiobook information: it'll play, and it will recognize one bookmark but provides no way to navigate between chapters (unless you set a bookmark at one). Will work for an audiobook, but the lack of the scroll wheel hits particularly hard on these long files.

I think the iPod shows up as a generic drive since you're seeing the USB flash drive portion, which is PC formatted.

Oh, and the disk mode is in some ways more useful than the iPod because you don't have to carry a dock connector cable.

Posted by mattwardfh in Texas on January 17, 2005 at 10:44 PM (PDT)

29

One other thing. Say you come upon a song in shuffle mode then decide to switch to continous mode. Does it continue on in the order of the playlist or does it go to the beginning of the playlist. I happen to know it does, but I was sure this would be addressed in the power user review since i've seen it asked about five different times in various threads in two differnt forums.

Posted by BigFil on January 17, 2005 at 10:46 PM (PDT)

30

There's something that hasn't been mentioned, that I think really makes this product work, at least at 1 GB. They say 240 4 minute songs at 128 AAC, otherwise expressed as 16 hours. The battery lasts for 12 hours. Autofill fills the shuffle randomly. Add it all up, and you can listen to the shuffle for 12 hours (4 more than I usually can, as a 3G iPod owner), and if you don't skip more than 1/4 of your own music, the experience is the same as you'd have listening to your iPod on shuffle. Songs randomly pulled from your iTunes library that play for 8 hours... that's how I usually listen to my iPod anyway. This makes the process easier, more portable, and something I never have to leave behind. I used to think the iPod was tiny, that I'd never want anything smaller. Well, I do.

A year ago, I listened to cds all the time. Big notebooks held 256 cds apeice and I had a few. When I went to work, I brought a travel notebook with me, a 24 cd book that held the handful of cds I grabbed as I went out the door. I see the iPod and shuffle working in the same way: I have most of my collection on my 20GB iPod (I've already started to make cuts though, which are increasingly hard to make despite the fact that they won't affect my day-to-day listening a bit), which, like a big cd notebook is great for the living room stereo (we've got a dock in there) or for when I go on longer trips. But for day-to-day use, at work or walking around the city, I can listen to the Shuffle, and lose very little in the equation. I know, alot of people aren't shufflers when they listen on their iPod, but I am. And with autofill, I can have 16 hours of shuffle directly from my iTunes library, without having to agonize over the cut myself. There's alot of value in that, I think.

Posted by -W on January 17, 2005 at 10:57 PM (PDT)

31

There's a surprising thing I've not seen mentioned in any iPod Shuffle reviews...

I have over 80Gb of music, and I've always held off on buying an iPod until I can fit it all on a higher capacity iPod. But now, with the Shuffle, for the first time iTunes allows me to easily put only a selection of albums on an iPod. Now I don't need to spend a fortune on an 80gig iPod (when it inevitably comes out), I can just load up a Shuffle and go.

This makes the iPod Shuffle a very enticing product. The only issue for me is the lack of screen, but to be honest, I can live without one when I'm saving 500 €

Posted by redwedge on January 18, 2005 at 2:29 AM (PDT)

32

Hi Guys! My first post... Here's my 10 cents... I've had a 15GB 3G and now I've got a 20GB 4G, and I only keep music I really like. I've only got about 2000 songs on mine currently, leaving room for backup files. Anyway, I almost ALWAYS use the "shuffle" from home-screen function on the 4G. If it comes to a song I don't feel like listening to, I just press "skip". I'm getting a "Shuffle" as soon as they're in New Zealand, so that I can take it with me to lots of places I can't take the 20GB, or are worried about scratching it, or where it could get damaged, stolen, breathed on wrong... Yay for the Shuffle!

Posted by samg in Auckland, New Zealand on January 18, 2005 at 2:58 AM (PDT)

33

In spite of various comments, actually price per gig IS relevant...... it basically says the usage the shuffle offers is worth $198 per gig vs. the usage provided by a mini at $62.25 per gig. It really isn't an emotionally issue (though Apple folks seem to get a wee bit emotionally about Apple products), just a cold hard fact. Every product has a price and you determine if that product is worth the price for what you get.

Posted by miketex on January 18, 2005 at 4:40 AM (PDT)

34

Perhaps this comment should be under the iPod Mini reviews, but because most of my listening time is in the car or waiting in lines while running errands, the Shuffle isn't for me. I like to pick and choose what I listen to, especially when I am sitting still.

I would consider purchasing the Shuffle STRICTLY for the gym or a bike ride.

Posted by mg196 in Washington DC on January 18, 2005 at 5:15 AM (PDT)

35

here's some more math to justify a purchase:

the headphones alone are worth $20 and a 512 USB key is about $40.

so its really 99-60= 40 bucks for an itunes-compatible mp3 player.

Posted by hrrf in nyc on January 18, 2005 at 6:10 AM (PDT)

36

yeah, I wish that you had the option to omit the headphones from your purchase at a even further reduced cost. Now i've got two sets of white buds laying around unused. They could even market it the way they did with the Mac Mini except it would be bring your own headphones.

Posted by BigFil on January 18, 2005 at 7:05 AM (PDT)

37

well I actually went running with the shuffle today. you know those stupid jogging shorts that have one velcro pocket small enough to only put a single key or a small safety ID in? well i simply put the shuffle in there, ran the headphone cable out (all nice and zipped in though) and it literally, no exageration what so ever, felt like NOTHING was in my pocket. no bulge. no weight AT ALL. nothing. as if the only thing i had was magic earphones playing all my iTunes music. put 4 quarters in your pocket and see if you can feel it. brillant stuff.

Posted by canyonblue737 on January 18, 2005 at 7:42 AM (PDT)

38

also a quick not about last played date... earlier i said that the shuffle recorded count (it does) and then made the "last played date" the date of your sync. this is wrong, it simply doesn't list the last played date. i now have several songs that are new that have play counts in iTunes but no date when it played, ever... kinda weird.

Posted by canyonblue737 on January 18, 2005 at 7:44 AM (PDT)

39

Hmm, a power users review, with no mention of its performance as a thumb drive...

Go figure. I wish I could have the last 5 minutes of my life back.

Posted by Gordy. in Atlanta, GA on January 18, 2005 at 8:11 AM (PDT)

40

redwedge writes:

But now, with the Shuffle, for the first time iTunes allows me to easily put only a selection of albums on an iPod. Now I don't need to spend a fortune on an 80gig iPod (when it inevitably comes out), I can just load up a Shuffle and go.

ALL iPod's allow you to do that, not just the iPod shuffle. That's how I am able to use a 20GB iPod, when my music library in iTunes is over 35GB. I use Smart Playlists to rotate music onto and off of the iPod so I always have "fresh" music loaded on the iPod.

Posted by AndyH in Berwyn, PA on January 18, 2005 at 9:07 AM (PDT)

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