iPod Shuffle impressions / review

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by alywa, Feb 8, 2005.

  1. alywa macrumors 6502

    May 6, 2004
    I know this has been covered, but I thought I'd add my impressions.

    My shuffles got delivered last weekend. I ordered a 1GB for myself, and a 512MB for my wife (they would only allow one per customer of each type), delivered from Microcenter.com. Since the 512MB version is for my wife's B-Day, I had to keep them hidden through the weekend. I set up both, and I will discuss the 1GB since it's the one I've spent time with.

    Packaging: True to form, this is another example of excellent Apple packaging. The green box is distinctive, and obviously will be the color of choice for all shuffle related packaging. One interesting note is the package has a "loop" plastic closure tab, so these things are meant to be hanging on a display rack. I imagine we will eventually see these things for sale everywhere. Opening the box revealed a simple set-up... laynard, earbuds, and the shuffle. Beneath the contents was a small CD folder containg iTunes and instructions. I actually haven't read the instructions yet, but intend to once I don't have to keep the thing hidden from my wife.

    Shuffle: Man, this thing is light. Almost disturbing at first, it just doesn't feel like anything. However, I got past this once it was in my pocket. It's great because you don't know it's there... ie there when you want it, not in the way when you aren't using it. The slider switch for Off, Playlist, Shuffle was stiff at first, but after moving it a few times it became easier. (Of note, this was hard to operate when my hands were cold, so be aware of this). The navigation ring is very simple and obvious. Play/Pause, Forward, Back, Vol Up, Vol Down. That's it. The battery button is cool, I would like to see some times for how much juice is left when it is amber, but otherwise cool idea.

    Setup: Taking the cap off of the USB connector, you see either 1GB or 512MB printed on the connector. I have an older mac, so I only have USB 1.1. This wasn't a big deal. The mac recognized the player, asked me to name and register it, and we were ready to go. iTunes has a new window for the Shuffle, giving choices on Auto-Fill or Manual, Source for autofill, and a few other settings. Hitting the iPod button gives more advanced settings such as auto-conversion to 128kbs AAC from other formats, and setting aside memory allocation to use as a data storage device.

    I set mine up for 256MB data storate, 744 MB of music. I chose a specially designed playlist as my source, and hit Auto Fill. iTunes picked approx 190 songs from this list randomly, and started to transfer. USB 1.1 transfer time was approx 15 minutes (glacially slow compared to firewire), but really, this was OK since I'm going to use USB to charge the thing anyway, which takes 4 hours.

    Use: I got to use it for the first time yesterday on my walk to work. I use my 40GB iPod in shuffle mode while walking anyway, so this was no different. Sound quality is excellent. It fits in any pocket, and while I haven't used the lanyard yet, it does look like a great solution for occasions where you don't have pockets. I'm sure it will look a little dorky at first, but I have a sneaky feeling that everyone will be wearing these things like jewelry very soon.

    Two thing that I really appreciate: 1. Weight. It's so light, as discussed earlier. Just perfect for walking / biking / working out. 2. Navigation ring. Far superior to scroll wheel for use while in my pocket. Very easy to get to by feel through my coat, pants or shirt. Easy to change volume, fast forward, pause, etc. Just brilliant, simple engineering.

    iPod -vs- Shuffle: The shuffle isn't for everyone. The lack of a screen makes it a tough primary player unless your only use is for working out / walking around. Not usefull at all as a source of listening for a home stereo, maybe usefull in the future in the car. However, I doubt I'll every use my 4th gen, 40GB iPod as a portable device again. I think it's found its permanent place in my home stereo, as a complete substitution for CDs. The shuffle is perfect for my mobile needs... I'm not just saying this as an Apple fan... it is PERFECT as a mobile MP3 player. Just music, long battery life, low cost, and seemless integration with iTunes. Even USB 1.1 transfer times are tolerable since you have to charge the thing anyway.

    I was hesitant when the shuffle was announced, but now I see the light. I can't wait to give my wife hers, I'm sure she will absolutely love it. It looks like her mini is going to find a permanent home in the car.


    (proud owner of 4 iPods now!)
  2. gwuMACaddict macrumors 68040


    Apr 21, 2003
    washington dc
    i agree that it does seem like the perfect 'working-out' device. i plan on using one this spring while training.
  3. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    That's a really nice review.

    For a few fevered days, I was convinced I wanted one but I'm going to get a 60gb iPod instead...

    However, I take issue with the lanyard bit.

    A colleague of mine has one -- I've seen it on him and you would not catch me dead wearing a clumpy white cord with what looks a piece of medical equipment hanging from it.

    If I had one, it would end up in a coat pocket or bag... maybe it's just me but I don't really like the white headphones & leads anyway.
  4. russed macrumors 68000


    Jan 16, 2004
    from one extreme to the other!

    i agree about the lanyard, it does look a tadge tacky, like those people that wear their phone around their neck!
  5. alywa thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 6, 2004
    Ha Ha

    That's great. I never thought about it looking like medical equipment, but you are right! I still maintain that you will see a lot more of them... we'll see.

    It's kind of like being at a convention. The lanyard nametags / id badges look dorky, but if everyone is wearing them, you look naked without one.

  6. tobefirst macrumors 68040


    Jan 24, 2005
    St. Louis, MO
    I just thought I'd add that I've had my 1gb for about 2 weeks now and it really is the perfect compliment to the regular iPod. I recently had surgery to repair a torn ACL, so I knew I had a lot of rehab coming up. My 2g 10gb iPod is just a bit too big, and a bit to heavy, to have to carry around while running or strength training. I figured the shuffle would be just perfect. And it is the perfect workout companion, filled with my 150 most played songs (I am always going to love the next song) and space enough to put a digital portfolio and résumé (and anything else I need/want to have on there). I highly recommend as a second iPod or as something to use to workout with.
  7. Loge macrumors 68030


    Jun 24, 2004
    Do you know Micro Anvika now have the 60GB iPod photo at £359? Good move, anyway, I have no regrets about getting mine.
  8. Logik macrumors 6502a

    Apr 24, 2004
    for pictures of the ipod shuffle packaging.. see here


    i should've taken more but i have the whole box right here still ...

    one thing that's amazed me is the packaging apple does.. it's just as cool as their products! lol

    i love my 512mb shuffle, works great, haven't charged it yet and i've had it since uh.. january 27th or so... ya i don't listen to it that much since i also have a 20gig but i listen to the shuffle between classes when i don't wanna carry around the much heavier 20gig...

    all in all, great device, doubles as a thumbdrive... hence the reason i bought it as i gave my 256mb thumbdrive to my brother for college
  9. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    this just makes me want to get a shuffle even sooner, been wanting to get one, hopefully the promotion i just got will allow me to get one in the next couple of weeks
  10. chibianh macrumors 6502a


    Nov 6, 2001
    I picked mine up yesterday and couldn't be happier! Good riddance to the MuVo! lol
  11. BLINK macrumors member

    Jul 21, 2004
    I know most gyms have protein drinks, towels, tshirts, etc you can buy behind the counter. Would it be cool if Apple set up a deal with a bunch of gym chains to sell the shuffle right in the gym itself?
  12. Zazette macrumors newbie

    Feb 8, 2005
    My excuse to buy

    I almost want to begin working out so I have an excuse to buy an ipod shuffle :D
    Apple's marketing must be the one of the best! This time around I just can't keep my credit card in my wallet anymore with all the new products Apple is introducing or updating. Since september, I've bought an ibook 12", a PowerMac G5 2.5 and now the a new Powerbook 17" for both my bf and I. And I'm seriously thinking about the ipod photo 60G for him (maybe for Valentine's day) and the shuffle for me. I'm begining to think there is something wrong with me lol
    Am I the only Apple's marketing victim? Maybe we can start a therapy group and name it "How I got over my Apple addiction"
  13. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    only bad thing is that you wouldnt have music on it right then and there, but it would be a good thing to take home with you
  14. themacman macrumors 6502

    Jun 7, 2004
  15. iShater macrumors 604


    Aug 13, 2002
    I just picked one up for my sister-in-law. She is a college student and her bag is already loaded with bazillion things that her discman was another thing to add. The shuffle is perfect for her.

    I went to the Woodfield Apple store in Schaumburg, but of course they were out of the 512MB version. I called Target and they had no shuffles in stock, so I ended up picking up the 1GB version.

    I tell ya, this thing is sweet! I love my iPod mini but boy, do I want a shuffle now as well :D (at least I took the Apple stickers from her!)

    I totally forgot about the disk storage option, I will set it up for her so she can do her assignments and transfer stuff back and forth with her school computers.

    This thing is so light I was afraid to break it, but you are correct that once you get used to it, it is an amazing little thing.

    So the last two weeks have been good to Apple from my side. A body of mine picked the U2 iPod for his wife, I got this shuffle today, and I will help him shop for a PowerBook for a friend and a used iBook for his brother.

    They nicknamed me the 'unoffical Apple spokesperson' like those Wendy's ads. :p

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