Apple iPod Shuffle

Conclusion

After overcoming my wariness about purchasing an Apple product, I’ve been very happy with the iPod shuffle so far. It’s small, stylish, and does exactly what it sets out to. It is unfortunate that you need an iPod-supporting program to transfer music, but this is only a minor niggle.

Other sites have reported a battery life around 18 hours, and with a 512MB shuffle giving about 6 hours of music (from high-quality MP3 files) then the shuffle is suitable for even lengthy journeys. The size alone means that I am using it in places I wouldn’t have considered with a hard-drive based player. Even a short walk can now be filled with music, without having a brick strapped to you.

The battery is not replaceable, and the player is sealed completely – any attempts to open it up will probably cause much damage. This does raise questions of what happens when the battery expires, and Apple quote a lifespan of at least 500 charges. Even given a rigourous usage, this should be sufficient for nearly 2 years, at which point the theory is that something bigger and better will exist, and that you are willing to buy it.

Apple should be congratulated. They kick-started the digital music industry, and have now reduced it to an almost disposable form. If you want to play music and don’t want any frills then this is as good as it gets.

Advantages:

  • Size – small and slim, yet long enough to fit in your hand without needing to fumble over buttons
  • Simple controls – would be ideal for people who normally struggle with technical devices.
  • Good sound quality
  • Low cost

Disadvantages:

  • Lack of customisation. There is no reason why equalisation settings, and other things, can’t be written to the shuffle with appropriate software. How about it Apple?
  • Back control switch is not the easiest to move.
  • Slow transfer speeds

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