Apple debuts fourth-generation iPod shuffle

Apple today debuted its fourth-generation iPod shuffle, bringing back physical buttons while retaining the VoiceOver feature of the third-generation model. The new model is smaller than its predecessor and more square in shape, with the company’s familiar ring of control buttons on the front, a dedicated VoiceOver button on the top, doing away with the need for an in-line button to activate the feature, and a clip on the back. Genius capabilities have also been added to the device. The fourth-generation iPod shuffle will be available next week in five colors and will sell for $49, with 2GB of storage capacity.

The new iPod shuffle measures 1.14” by 1.24” by 0.34” including the rear clip, with a weight of 0.44 ounces. The top notably features a small dot next to the headphone port that looks like the microphone hole of an iPhone 4, though the device has not been described as microphone-capable in Apple’s materials. It continues to use a custom USB charging and synchronization cable that connects to the headphone port, preventing simultaneous listening and charging; Apple promises 15 hours of audio playback.

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