Mini vs. Shuffle

Discussion in 'iPod' started by iNat, Aug 19, 2005.

  1. iNat macrumors newbie

    Aug 3, 2005
    I've been wanting to get an iPod for some time, however, I'm floating between the 1 gig shuffle and the 4 gig mini.

    My dad has a 4 gig Mini that I use when he's not, and I love it. However, it's probably just me, but I have issues with the click wheel. It's a nice idea but overly sensitive--it either overshoots whatever I'm trying to select, or stubbornly doesn't move at all even though I'm dragging my finger like mad over the wheel. It may just be me, though. I'm also worried about the harddrive: I keep hearing that they're sensitive and can break with one little accidental drop. Also, my computer only has USB 1.1 and a 4-pin Firewire port, so buying a Mini will also require me to buy an adapter and Firewire cable, which will shoot up the price of one by more than I'd like.

    The shuffle is smaller and cheaper, I hesitate about the lack of screen, but I hear often that it's not as big of a problem as many people initially believe. I also keep hearing stories of Shuffles going through the wash multiple times and being resurrected, which impresses me--what durability! But after getting used to using a Mini (even if it isn't mine), I wonder if "downgrading" to a Shuffle will be noticible for me, especially the lack of screen and being unable to manage multiple playlists at a time, which I like.

    I'm a college student who's constantly flying back and forth between coasts, as my parents live in VA and I go to school in WA, and my iPod purchase will mainly replace my dying CD player and stacks of CDs that take up far too much room in my backpack during a long flight. I also like to listen to music on the way to/from class, and I've got 983 songs on iTunes right now, though I only listen to 200-300 on a regular basis. Storage for non-music items isn't a problem either, because I have an external hdd and a little 1 gig jump drive in addition to my laptop, so I'm not worried about needing extra gigs for storing extra files.

    I'm not sure which one to get! I keep leaning towards one and then the other. If I can get some input from others I'd really appreciate it!
  2. antrabbit macrumors member


    Mar 4, 2005
    London, UK
    Having a screen to navigate the songs sold me on a mini. You can always get to that one song you happen to want to listen to at that moment.
  3. 20rogersc macrumors 65816


    Jun 28, 2005
    Brighton, UK
    I found that when I used any iPod apart from the shuffle, I always listened to it on shuffle, or just listened to a few songs over and over again, so I decided to get a shuffle so I could listen to more of my collection, and I love it! 1gig Shuffle highly recommended!

  4. gwuMACaddict macrumors 68040


    Apr 21, 2003
    washington dc
    i love my shuffle, but only as a supplement to my iPod. get the mini- store more songs and more control over what you're listening to.
  5. .Andy macrumors 68030


    Jul 18, 2004
    The Mergui Archipelago
    I'm with gwuMACaddict. The two are definitely not mutually exclusive. In fact they are fantastically complimentary. Minis are cool though if you can't stretch the cash for both :).
  6. gwuMACaddict macrumors 68040


    Apr 21, 2003
    washington dc
    and right now, if you buy a mini for about $1000, it comes with a free iBook ;) :D
  7. iDM macrumors 6502a


    Jul 6, 2005
    The Commonwealth of PA/The First State-DE
    Question about shuffle

    I didn't want to start a new thread, but does anyone know if the shuffle keeps track of songs played, so that the next time you sync it it adds the amount to Time Played in iTunes? I hope thats clear enough.
  8. tnbizcards Guest

    I love my mini

    I just got a 4 Gig mini for my b-day, I have a photo 40 gig and had a 1 gig shuffle. I love listening to podcast as of late and the shuffle is aweful at forwarding thru the commericals and to use it the screen help big time. I sold the shuffle on eBay, being screenless was the only thing I didn't like about it. :)
  9. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601


    Feb 10, 2004
    Yes, the shuffle updates the song play count but NOT the last played flag.

    As to the OP, I just traded 'up' from a 512mb shuffle to a 4gb mini. I agree with you about the touch wheel... it takes to much motion to get it started, but moves to fast once it does. You can eventually get used to it, I think, but it's not perfect. (My wifes 1G mechanical scroll wheel, ironically, really has the ideal amount of control sensitivity).

    As for the mini vs. the shuffle, here's my opinion: the mini can do everything the shuffle can do, and more. It's slightly bigger of course, but holds 4x as much data. The battery life on the shuffle is amazing, but the new mini's is pretty darn close.

    So, all in all, while the shuffle is GREAT at what it does, it is out performed by the mini in that it (the mini) can do everything the shuffle can, but can also do so much more. If the shuffle could handle multiple playlists I would recommend that, but as it is, the mini is a better product and buy.

    If they come out with a 2gb shuffle with an optional remote screen it will outclass the mini in most every aspect, though, so you may want to wait until after Macworld Paris, just to see!
  10. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus


    Mar 10, 2004
    Bergen, Norway
    From memory: The shuffle will add to the play count but not the date, when you sync after using it. This because the shuffle doesn't have an internal clock just a counter).
  11. zap2 macrumors 604


    Mar 8, 2005
    Washington D.C
    -No screen( a '-' for me)
    -Not as many extras like a clock,game,ect on the shuffle
    -Less GBs
    -less battery life
    -No other colors( just white but white is cool)
    + Smaller in size then Mini
    + Cheaper
    +Fits in pocket beter then Mini
    + Apple White look

    -Bigger in size
    -More $$$
    - No apple white
    +Has a Screen
    +More GBs
    +Still fits in pocket well
    +More Battery life
    + Has those extras life game,clock,ect
    +More colors to pick from

    Get the Mini, i don't think he shuffle is right for you( right now)
  12. devilot Moderator emeritus


    May 1, 2005

    As for your uses of an iPod, I only read about flying... but what about running? If you run often or do more vigorous exercise of that nature, I've read that the shuffle may be better in the long run because it is flash-based as oposed to having a spinning HD in the iPod mini. That might be another consideration.

    The other thing about the shuffle is that because it is USB and flash based, there is no such thing as Mac or Windows format issues (please, correct me if I'm wrong!)... so it's really convenient to double it as a memory stick to transfer smaller documents/files between different computers.
  13. gwuMACaddict macrumors 68040


    Apr 21, 2003
    washington dc
    i trained for the marine corps marathon in dc using a 3rd gen 15gig iPod. they don't skip. you don't need to worry about either of the options when it comes to exercise.
  14. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603


    Apr 29, 2005
    San Francisco
    I think a Shuffle is a secondary iPod. If you don't have an iPod (mini or regular) then it's best you get one before you deal with a Shuffle. You cannot substitute a Shuffle for a real iPod, do yourself a favor and get Mini, believe me you can make 4Gb work for you just fine (my 5gb 1st Gen iPod still does the trick for me).
  15. jayscheuerle macrumors 68020


    Another Mini point:

    I use mine to transfer graphics files between work and home. Sometimes a job can be well over 100MB, so it's nice to have extra space.
  16. JD24 macrumors newbie

    Oct 19, 2004
    I also don't have an iPod yet.
    I'm waiting for the iPod mini with flash memory instead of HDD.
    Maybe this will also be something for you.
  17. ftaok macrumors 603


    Jan 23, 2002
    East Coast
    Sounds like you have a Windows PC. Rest assured, the iPod mini will work with USB1.1. Just very slowly. But it's really only relevant on the first sync. Subsequent syncs will happen quicker since you would have fewer songs to upload onto the mini.

    Also, if you want to use the FW port to sync, you could spend $18 on the Sendo PocketDock and beg/borrow/steal a 6-pin/4-pin Firewire cable. Keep in mind that the mini will not charge through a 4-pin FW port. I think the USB1.1 port can charge the mini, but it may not be good for the mini's battery (the specs for USB1.1 power are lower than USB2 power), but that's just me speculating.

  18. ftaok macrumors 603


    Jan 23, 2002
    East Coast
    mr green is correct. The iPod shuffle does update the play count, but it's a little finicky. If you don't have a shuffle, what I'm about to say is a little confusing, but I'll say it anyway.

    This only refers to iTunes 4.9 with the setting to show the iPod shuffle on the list at all times.

    If you change the iPod Shuffle list on iTunes before syncing the shuffle, the play counts will not update. For example, you put songs A, B, and C on the shuffle. Then you play the songs on the shuffle 3 times each. Before syncing the shuffle, you change the songs on the iPod Shuffle list (in iTunes) to have songs D, E, and F. When you connect the shuffle, iTunes will deletes songs A/B/C and upload D/E/F without updating the play counts in iTunes.

    Does that make any sense?
  19. m-dogg macrumors 65816


    Mar 15, 2004
    EXACTLY! I use a shuffle for working out/mountain biking/skiing and my 30gb for everything else.

    But to ease the original poster's concersn about breaking the hard drive in the mini, I think that is pretty difficult. Before I got a shuffle I used to use my regular ipod for those activity and never damaged more than causing it to turn off due to skipping.

    The only reason I even bought the shuffle was b/c I lost my earbuds. When I went to the apple store I saw that for like $50 more I could get a 512mb shuffle with the headphones I was gonna buy anyway.

    Also, a lot of people say they only listen to their ipod on shuffle. I for one, do not. I have a lot of playlists that are on random, but other than that I don't typically use shuffle on my 30gb...
  20. rjphoto macrumors 6502a


    Mar 7, 2005
    Slippery when wet

    I was debating the same question for my Wife's birthday.

    She is in her garden everyday planting, weeding and/or WATERING.

    I ended up getting her the 1gig Shuffle with the water "resistant" case.

    I ended up spending as much as a 4gig Mini but I feel like it will be safer for the type of things she does while using it.

    She listens to it anywhere from 1 to 2 hours a day during the week and I have only had to charge it up once a week at the most.

    We now have the cassett adapter for the car, too.
  21. cleanup macrumors 68030


    Jun 26, 2005
    Errr, I think you got it wrong there. The iPod shuffle has a battery life of 12 hours. The second-generation iPod mini has a battery life of 18 hours.
  22. zap2 macrumors 604


    Mar 8, 2005
    Washington D.C
    ya and the iPod has 15hrs

    so if its battery life you want get a mini
  23. deryk macrumors regular

    Feb 18, 2003
    I supplemented my 3G 40 gig iPod with a shuffle because my iPod skips once or twice during every five mile run. It became tiring since I do this five days a week. I love my shuffle for running and the iPod when I travel.

  24. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    i have both myself, the shuffle for working out or when i'm not going to be out for long and a mini for the longer trips

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