Company: Mobile Juice
Model: Shuffle Art
Compatible: iPod shuffle
Mobile Juice Shuffle Art
Pros: Professionally made vinyl iPod shuffle stickers that are water resistant and nicely textured, using good quality adhesive that doesn’t come off too quickly unless you want it off - in which case it leaves no goo.
Cons: Decorative only; contrary to marketing, offers very limited protection; appeal and number of patterns currently very nichey.
iPod shuffle stickers? Yeah, we’ve seen them before. Capdase’s inexpensive but allegedly protective SkinGuards (iLounge rating: C) went on the iPod shuffle and started to peel off pretty quickly thereafter. Now Mobile Juice has a different offering with a slightly different spin. Its Shuffle Art stickers ($7.99) come in five different versions - “bloody,” “hawaiian blue”, “hawaiian pink,” “green” and “monogram” - and cover only the shuffle’s front and back surfaces. Their textured vinyl front surfaces are water-resistant and feel nice to the touch, while their adhesive sticks pretty well to both glossy white faces.
When it comes to stickers that fit well and look professionally made, there’s not much for us to say besides “try them if you like how they look.” And that’s the case here. They do fit well, and leave no residue on the shuffle when they’re removed - unlike Skin EFX’s full-sized iPod stickers (iLounge rating: C+) we reviewed last year. We also found each of the current printed patterns to be more professional around the edges than the typical inkjet or overly simplistic designs we’ve seen in many stickers, though none of them particularly appealed to our own artistic preferences. Mobile Juice intends to offer eight different series of Shuffle Art stickers, so it will remain to be seen whether any of them are artistically appealing to different tastes, but we didn’t feel that the company cut corners in producing the five we’ve seen so far.
Except perhaps where protectiveness is concerned. Mobile Juice claims they’ll “protect your iPod shuffle from scratches,” which is only true to the limited extent that they actually cover it. There’s no protection for the shuffle’s top, bottom, or sides, or any stickers for the shuffle’s lanyard cap, so don’t expect true protection from Shuffle Art. You are given the option to cover as much or as little of the shuffle’s Control Pad as you prefer, and there’s a sticker that covers part of the rear power switch, as well. The rear switch sticker’s a bit hard to align, and whether it meets your aesthetic needs is entirely up to you - the company leaves those extra front and rear stickers off in its promotional shots.
Overall, Shuffle Art is a better than okay but not outstanding way to customize the look of your iPod shuffle - very much like Tunewear’s earlier Poptunes (iLounge rating: B-), only with fewer choices. More and better patterns would help, as would more protection, given Mobile Juice’s claims. They’re worth a try if you’re one of the people who likes how they look.