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MacBytes
Mar 13, 2009, 03:38 PM
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Category: Reviews
Link: Apple iPod shuffle (Third-Generation) : Apples worst iPod yet, by far. (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20090313163854)
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Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
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Mal
Mar 13, 2009, 04:00 PM
Someone's got sour grapes. The new Shuffle isn't perfect, but it's a very nice music player, and I'd expect it to work quite well. I get the impression someone there is just pissed at having to use Apple's headphones, which is somewhat absurd for a review site to allow that type of bias.

jW

Rich223
Mar 13, 2009, 04:05 PM
Ok, right off the bat, this should catch you; under pros he says faster transfer speed. Under cons, slow transfer speed.

And now, he basically rips into the fact that there are no buttons and it's hard to use. I watched the video on apple's site. Looks easy enough to me. He also says he wants a good iPod for the rest of us. It's called an iPod, or an iPod nano. The shuffle has become the iPod for people working out at the gym. And they designed this one to accommodate that. They even say it in their tutorial video!

If this was the only iPod on the market, i'd say yeah, it fails. But it's perfect for the shuffle market. I use my iPhone at they gym, and I can operate the headphone controls easily.

Plus, the 2nd Gen is still available.

Bye Bye Baby
Mar 13, 2009, 04:16 PM
It is what it is. Nothing more and nothing less.

BlizzardBomb
Mar 13, 2009, 04:26 PM
iLounge is normally quite harsh, but this is a very fair review. iPods became what they are because of ease of use, and eye-catching designs. Triple click and hold to rewind definitely isn't user-friendly. And the boring case looks like a joke, would it have killed to put an Apple logo on the front if you're not going to have any buttons? What's wrong with just making a 4 GB model using last years design and adding Voiceover? It's not like the last gen was too heavy to take to the gym and it definitely didn't require proprietary earphones or an adapter.

Ok, right off the bat, this should catch you; under pros he says faster transfer speed. Under cons, slow transfer speed.

Bit of a misquote. He says faster compared to the last gen iPod shuffle, but still slower than other iPods e.g. touch, classic.

miles01110
Mar 13, 2009, 04:42 PM
I get the impression someone there is just pissed at having to use Apple's headphones, which is somewhat absurd for a review site to allow that type of bias.

The Apple-only headphone issue is not limited to whoever wrote that article, it's actually drawn a lot of heat from a lot of people.


And now, he basically rips into the fact that there are no buttons and it's hard to use.

See above;

I watched the video on apple's site. Looks easy enough to me.

People's main gripe with it is that the system is not intuitive. They've moved from a very obvious, standard way of indication "play" or "forward/backward" with some abstract system based on how many times you press a button.

Knoxville3G
Mar 13, 2009, 04:42 PM
I agree. The design is BORING. I understand Apple is going for "industrial design"....but this is just blah. I have no urge to purchase one of these. I mean, kudos to Apple for once again astonishing the world with such a small form factor....but when is enough "enough"?

ppdix
Mar 13, 2009, 04:45 PM
It is a cool gadget and it does have a wow factor... Half of the people out there will be like "oh, my god, is that really the whole thing?, where is the rest of the stuff?"
I have to applaud Apple for cramming 4GB of storage, audio circuits, Voice Synthesizer and the coolness factor into the smallest possible case... Nobody else has done it yet.
I will get one as soon as it is out, even though I already have a Nano, a Shuffle a 30GB iPod in my BMW and an iPhone... The only thing I regret is the crappy headphones...

.Andy
Mar 13, 2009, 04:48 PM
I'm looking forward to having a go with on of these. I envisage it may take a little while to get used to the interface. I'm intrigued by how efficient navigation will be with some practice.

kockgunner
Mar 13, 2009, 04:57 PM
" 'mapped' button commands—equivalent to the secret key combinations that only power users learn for software," says iLounge of the controls on the headphones.

I can understand where these guys are coming from, that the Shuffle can only be operated by Apple's headphones (thus far) is annoying, but come one, the controls aren't difficult at all to learn.

I have a feeling these are still going to sell relatively well.

California
Mar 13, 2009, 05:00 PM
My first gen 1 gig shuffle still rules.

Though I did have to superglue the headphone cover back on the other day.

Battery life is fine after three years. Oh, and the killer audio card in the 1st generation shuffles? Sounds better than my other iPods...

Yvan256
Mar 13, 2009, 05:49 PM
The fact that you need to learn how to operate the new iPod shuffle is a problem in itself.

Especially from a company that, for a long time, shipped a mouse with only one button for the sake of simplicity.

ftored
Mar 14, 2009, 09:25 AM
The fact that you need to learn how to operate the new iPod shuffle is a problem in itself.

Especially from a company that, for a long time, shipped a mouse with only one button for the sake of simplicity.

Well with the new shuffle you still use 1 button:D


And i find it really wonderful. Yeah maybe other headphones cannot be used for time being, but the option for the previus version of shuffle is still there. You want controls and function get the 2nd gen. You want design and fashion and something new whatsoever? get the new one. Having options is not bad. Everyone goes around dissing Apple for not giving use a lot of options or not coming up with new things or designs but when they do we all moan about it. :)..

archipellago
Mar 14, 2009, 04:05 PM
why do people buy these things???

mkrishnan
Mar 14, 2009, 04:11 PM
I agree. The design is BORING. I understand Apple is going for "industrial design"....but this is just blah. I have no urge to purchase one of these. I mean, kudos to Apple for once again astonishing the world with such a small form factor....but when is enough "enough"?

I tend to agree... I think, of all the Shuffle designs, the last one was the prettiest, and in some of the brighter colors, very eye catching. This new design visually doesn't do anything for me....

But there are lots of threads on it, and I suspect Apple will sell them just fine. Perhaps the next iPod shuffle will just be a pair of earphones with a little bit of cord between them with a little bump with the controls on it that is actually also the whole iPod.

Eriden
Mar 14, 2009, 04:15 PM
The whole authentication-chip thing makes me giddy as an investor, but apoplectic as a consumer.

The reason we'll NEVER see a full Bluetooth stack on the iPhone/iPod Touch (especially A2DP) is because Apple would have no way of collecting "Made for iPhone/iPod" fees from companies who sell stereo bluetooth headphones.

Shunnabunich
Mar 15, 2009, 12:27 AM
I get the feeling that if the stock Apple headphones were designed for human ears, there wouldn't be as much of a problem here. As it stands, my ears have literally bled from me trying to keep the earbuds in them for longer than a few seconds at a time. And from what I've heard, it's a rare and special thing when they actually do fit someone. Now it appears to be shaping up so that if you're misfortunate enough to be one of the suckers who buys a 3rd-gen shuffle, you're forced to pay almost as much again for a pair of ear-compatible headphones or earbuds with a difficult-to-use remote, or a presumably forthcoming adapter for the regular ones you already have.

Has everyone in the iPod division lost their minds? Who greenlit this blatantly hostile taunting of their customers?

motulist
Mar 15, 2009, 05:04 AM
The control scheme could've been so much better. For example, it could've been just a single button on a slider, and it would've been more intuitive at the same time. Press the center button for play/pause. Slide the button up and hold it for a half second to raise the volume. Do the same to lower the volume... wait, lemmie just draw it out in profile view.

___[]___ initial position = button is up sitting in the center of the slider





___--___ press in = play/pause


______[] slide up and hold = volume up


[]______ slide down and hold = volume up


______-- slide up and press = next song


--______ slide down and press = previous song


______-- slide up and hold press = next album


--______ slide down and hold press = previous album

montex
Mar 15, 2009, 01:13 PM
Have any of you tried using the controls on an iPod while running? It's not easy. You have to fumble around just to find and orient your fingers to the buttons and I always end up stopping just to change songs. I like that with this shuffle you just grab the cord, slid down to the nub and click. I could do that with my eyes closed!

As usual, the new iPod is perfect for what it is designed for. Don't like it? Don't buy it. But I'm going to take a wild guess and say the same people who whine about the lack of matte screens are the same ones moaning about the new shuffle. We used to call them 'malcontents'.

Mintin8
Mar 15, 2009, 01:16 PM
The control scheme could've been so much better. For example, it could've been just a single button on a slider, and it would've been more intuitive at the same time. Press the center button for play/pause. Slide the button up and hold it for a half second to raise the volume. Do the same to lower the volume... wait, lemmie just draw it out in profile view.

___[]___ initial position = button is up sitting in the center of the slider





___--___ press in = play/pause


______[] slide up and hold = volume up


[]______ slide down and hold = volume up


______-- slide up and press = next song


--______ slide down and press = previous song


______-- slide up and hold press = next album


--______ slide down and hold press = previous album

This looks good but would never make it onto the shuffle. The shuffle is aimed at people who don't even need a screen (People like runners etc). The reason why this wouldn't make it onto a shuffle is because the buttons on the wire itself are easy enough to use.

BongoBanger
Mar 15, 2009, 05:30 PM
Have any of you tried using the controls on an iPod while running?

Yes. It's not been a problem. YMMV.

RexTraverse
Mar 15, 2009, 08:22 PM
Have any of you tried using the controls on an iPod while running? It's not easy. You have to fumble around just to find and orient your fingers to the buttons and I always end up stopping just to change songs. I like that with this shuffle you just grab the cord, slid down to the nub and click. I could do that with my eyes closed!

My question is have you ever tried using the controls on an Gen 2 iPod shuffle while running? It's by far one of the easiest things to do while running. Since it's always clipped to the same place, the controls are always in the same place and I know exactly where to hit the button to get it to do what I want. And since the control wheel is off-center, even if you're not positive, once you touch the shuffle, you know the orientation immediately.

I have no idea where you clip your iPod shuffle or if you're referring to the Gen 1 shuffle, but my main problem with the Gen 1 is what I fear about the Gen 3. On the lanyard, it flops all over the place and if you're running, it'll take more effort (and a greater likelihood of having to stop) to grab the controls and orient it yourself to use them. With the controls on the headphones, you first have to grab the headphone wire and then orient yourself to whether the controls are above or below the grab spot before you can do anything.

NT1440
Mar 15, 2009, 08:24 PM
Idk, I really like the new design. Typical apple move not doing what most people would expect but i really like the new controls.

RexTraverse
Mar 15, 2009, 08:28 PM
why do people buy these things???

Because they're very small, extremely lightweight and clip anywhere, perfect for running or workouts when you're most likely not gonna be fussing around with the playlists, genius feature, games, movies, etc... and cheap enough (or at least the Gen 2 one was cheap enough) where if you lost it or broke it, it wasn't a big deal.

Syrus28
Mar 15, 2009, 08:47 PM
Eh, it doesn't do anything for me. It looks rather generic right now, maybe some extra colors could help the design. Worst of all, I'm inclined to believe the motivation to remove the buttons was to sell headphones with the "Apple-licensed Authentication Chip", not some new groundbreaking design. The last shuffle was nearly perfect, why the need to change it?

3247
Mar 16, 2009, 07:41 AM
It all depends on your requirements and taste. The new iPod Shuffle may as well be the best iPod ever, if small size is your primary requirement.

It seems that Apple follows a new trend of providing less user interface elements that are overloaded more and more. Multitouch's more-than-three finger gestures are another example.