Small talk

Written by admin on March 12, 2009 – 11:28 am -

Apple quietly released a new iPod Shuffle yesterday. The new Shuffle does not have any buttons on it except  for a switch on the top for hold / shuffle mode / straight play mode. The volume and navigational controls are now in the located on the right headphone cord. The new Shuffle features Voice Over, with a press of a button it tells you what song is playing and who is performing. Another first is that the new Shuffle allows you to have playlists as well just like other iPod models.

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Why bother with an iPod when there are a gazzillion mp3 players out there which are probably cheaper? The reason which many fail to realize is iTunes. iTunes and the iTunes Music store is the central core of the iPod, without it the iPod would just be another piece of hard to use hardware that only computer geeks would use. The iTunes software allows you to transfer your existing CD’s to your computer, organize your music, create playlists, buy music, videos and movies. And also access a whole lot of free information in form of Podcasts which incidentally are free with topics ranging from religion to various hobbies and sync them to your iPod.

My personal favorite is a Podcast by the Kimchi girls, they produce a podcast which teaches the Korean language in a fun way unlike most boring language programs. I simply subscribe to the podcast and iTunes regularly downloads new episodes as they become available and automatically syncs it to my iPod whenever I connect my iPod to my lappy. Just one of the many reasons an iPod is not only a music player.

The iPod is not perfect and one thing I don’t like with this new Shuffle is that my choices in third party earbuds are limited since the controls reside on the earbuds themselves. Being a person who likes a lot of bass, Apple’s earbuds leave a lot to be desired in that department. However it would be interesting to find out if the dozens of iPhone earbuds out there will work with this new Shuffle. Although the shuffle has never appealed to me, I’m sure it will to other consumers out there especially for those who want a no frills mp3 player no bigger than your house key.

http://www.apple.com/ipodshuffle/features.html


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