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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > iPhone, iPad & iPod > New iPod shuffle... WTF?

New iPod shuffle... WTF?
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Atheist
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Mar 11, 2009, 08:49 AM
 
At first I thought it was a joke:



But it's real!

I think they're hideous. Anyone with me on this?
     
Maflynn
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Mar 11, 2009, 08:59 AM
 
they brought the apple store down for this
~Mike
     
Dakar V
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Mar 11, 2009, 09:06 AM
 
Hideous? They bear a resemblance to the Apple Remote.
     
badidea
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Mar 11, 2009, 09:08 AM
 
I don't think they can put the shuffle up without bringing the store down!
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Atheist  (op)
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Mar 11, 2009, 09:10 AM
 
Maybe hideous is a little too strong. How about awful?

They do bear a resemblance to the remote but I think they've taken the minimalism thing too far.
     
badidea
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Mar 11, 2009, 09:13 AM
 
I don't get it! Minimalism - that's what the shuffle is made for and always was!
Did you expect an integrated LED beamer and video capabilities? (with LCD it's called nano)
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Maflynn
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Mar 11, 2009, 09:28 AM
 
all in all, I don't hate the design, it fits with how I see it being used - at the gym.

How do you go back to the beginning of a track, end of a track, or skip to the next/prior song? The older shuffle allowed you to do that, it doesn't look like this is possible in the new one, or perhaps I'm missing something
~Mike
     
Dakar V
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Mar 11, 2009, 09:29 AM
 
The only thing I find mildly unpleasing is the length of the headphone jack, but thats peanuts.
     
bernt
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Mar 11, 2009, 09:38 AM
 
What about non-apple earbuds? Any way to control the shuffle without the supplied remote?
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Hg2491
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Mar 11, 2009, 09:53 AM
 
Originally Posted by Maflynn View Post
How do you go back to the beginning of a track, end of a track, or skip to the next/prior song? The older shuffle allowed you to do that, it doesn't look like this is possible in the new one, or perhaps I'm missing something
Single click - Pause/Resume
Double click - Next Track
Triple click - Previous Track
To know the song you are listening to, hold the middle button.
     
Maflynn
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Mar 11, 2009, 09:54 AM
 
ok, thanks, still I think having the controls on the shuffle, is better then on the airbuds.
~Mike
     
Simon
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Mar 11, 2009, 09:56 AM
 
The shuffle is about being small and simple. It just got both smaller and simpler. Looks good to me.

The only downside I can see is 2h less battery time and there's no more $45 iPod.
     
Eug
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Mar 11, 2009, 10:00 AM
 
Originally Posted by bernt View Post
What about non-apple earbuds? Any way to control the shuffle without the supplied remote?
I'd guess they're going to be offering a new dongle with the controller, so they can make more money on accessories.

It's gonna be necessary too, because Apple's included earbuds have always sucked royally (as would be expected for the price point). I'd expect the new earbuds to suck just as bad.
     
Hg2491
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Mar 11, 2009, 11:06 AM
 
Originally Posted by Maflynn View Post
ok, thanks, still I think having the controls on the shuffle, is better then on the airbuds.
It makes the controls available at all times.

I wonder how it will manage song names on a language different than the default.
     
ort888
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Mar 11, 2009, 11:18 AM
 
Blech. I think it's a big step backwards. Another thing the shuffle is about is affordability and it just got a huge price increase.

I cannot use Apple earbuds. They cause me physical pain. After an hour of use my ears are literally throbbing with pain. So if I wanted a shuffle, I would have to pay the $80, plus $20 or 30 for whatever third party device comes out to control the thing.

And who the hell is going to be caught talking into their iPod? Talk about lame.

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Eug
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Mar 11, 2009, 11:36 AM
 
Originally Posted by ort888 View Post
And who the hell is going to be caught talking into their iPod? Talk about lame.
     
chabig
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Mar 11, 2009, 12:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by ort888 View Post
And who the hell is going to be caught talking into their iPod? Talk about lame.
People who can't read?
     
Hg2491
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Mar 11, 2009, 12:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by ort888 View Post
And who the hell is going to be caught talking into their iPod? Talk about lame.
Wait, you can talk to the thing?
     
Dakar V
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Mar 11, 2009, 12:21 PM
 
Additional incredulous post!
     
Eug
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Mar 11, 2009, 12:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by Hg2491 View Post
Wait, you can talk to the thing?
You can talk to any iPod if you want.
     
ajprice
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Mar 11, 2009, 12:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
The shuffle is about being small and simple. It just got both smaller and simpler. Looks good to me.

The only downside I can see is 2h less battery time and there's no more $45 iPod.
The 2G 1GB shuffle is still available, there's a link on the store page under where you select a 3G in silver or grey.

As for this new one, I like it, is the remote button tech owned by apple or could other companies make shuffle headphones with similar controls, or something like the headphones with the shuffle dock built in?

It'll be much easier if you just comply.
     
ajprice
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Mar 11, 2009, 12:27 PM
 
"The new iPod shuffle.
The first music player that talks to you."

Talks to you. Not you talking to it...

It'll be much easier if you just comply.
     
Thorzdad
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Mar 11, 2009, 12:38 PM
 
Well, overall, I think this is a bit of a step backwards. VoiceOver is not an attraction to me (but, as long as it can be disabled, it's fine) And being locked-in to a special set of Apple earbuds is not cool. And requiring a dongle in order to use 3rd party earphones (or an older set of Apple earbuds) is pretty inelegant and, to my mind, un-Apple-like in terms of clean design. I mean...a dongle? How 1995.

I'm not sold on the positioning of the controls way up on the right earbud cord. Frankly, that looks way inconvenient/awkward to be always raising your hand to your head any time you want to skip a track or whatever, especially when you compare that with having device-based controls as on the previous version. Personally, I always wear my shuffle on the hem of my shirt when I'm running and felt it was extremely natural to have the controls more-or-less at the same level as my hands. Lifting my hand to my head every time I wanted to skip a track or adjust volume while running just doesn't seem efficient. YMMV, of course

The big killer, though, is the new price. It really moves the Shuffle into the "I'll have to think about it" level, as opposed to the "cheap enough" level of the previous model. For instance, my wife's employer, last year, bought everyone in their small office a Shuffle. At the $45 price point, it made for an affordable, yet substantial gift. I can't see the new Shuffle in that same light. $80 is just a bit too salty to make it an impulse buy. For me, anyway.
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SpaceMonkey
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Mar 11, 2009, 12:42 PM
 
Pretty dumb. Some things just don't need to be changed. To further the 3rd-party earphone gripe: isolating earphones are a MUST for anyone who plans to use their iPod in a noisy outdoor environment, or else Apple can look forward to plenty of class action lawsuits over hearing damage.

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Maflynn
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Mar 11, 2009, 12:51 PM
 
Originally Posted by Hg2491 View Post
It makes the controls available at all times.
The controls on my iPod are available to me all of the time and same goes with with prior generation of shuffles. I think its a mistake not having the controls on the device itself. what happeneds if I want to use a different set of head phones/ear buds. There's no controls available then.

Edit: I see the shuffle used all of the time at the gym and I wonder if this new design (lack of controls) will hurt or help them there.
~Mike
     
Dakar V
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Mar 11, 2009, 12:54 PM
 
Another point on the price – Apple's raising prices in this economy again?

They're really coming off as over confident here.
     
Eug
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Mar 11, 2009, 12:56 PM
 
I would prefer having the controls near my head... but not if it means using Apple's crappy earbuds.
     
maxintosh
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Mar 11, 2009, 01:11 PM
 
No support for third-party headphones is a total dealbreaker. Not really sure what they're thinking. The old iPod shuffle was plenty small and even had room to become a little smaller.

I actually think Apple's headphones sound OK (except the lows) but if you get sweaty at the gym I find that they lose a channel of sound from the moisture.
     
chabig
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Mar 11, 2009, 01:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by maxintosh View Post
No support for third-party headphones is a total dealbreaker.
It's a good thing you can use third-party headphones then. Apple would have lost a sale to you otherwise.

Also, see http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sciencean...d-shuffle.html

"Mr Joswiak also said that Apple had been working with accessory makers to ensure iPod shuffle controls are built into a wide variety of new headphones, such as sports earphones. 'They’ll be introducing headphones that have the controller integrated into their headphone design,' he said. 'There will also be adapter cables available, so you can use your existing headphones with the new shuffle too.'"
     
SpaceMonkey
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Mar 11, 2009, 01:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by chabig View Post
It's a good thing you can use third-party headphones then. Apple would have lost a sale to you otherwise.

Also, see http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sciencean...d-shuffle.html

"Mr Joswiak also said that Apple had been working with accessory makers to ensure iPod shuffle controls are built into a wide variety of new headphones, such as sports earphones. 'They’ll be introducing headphones that have the controller integrated into their headphone design,' he said. 'There will also be adapter cables available, so you can use your existing headphones with the new shuffle too.'"
Still, it's annoying and unnecessary. It's not like removing the controls from the player provides some functional benefit.

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chabig
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Mar 11, 2009, 01:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by SpaceMonkey View Post
Still, it's annoying and unnecessary. It's not like removing the controls from the player provides some functional benefit.
Moving the controls onto the headphone cable means that the device can be smaller and you can operate it while it's in your pocket. That's a functional benefit.
     
SpaceMonkey
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Mar 11, 2009, 01:50 PM
 
Originally Posted by chabig View Post
Moving the controls onto the headphone cable means that the device can be smaller and you can operate it while it's in your pocket. That's a functional benefit.
"Smaller" is not necessarily a functional benefit. If, say, I've clipped this thing to my shirt pocket, it doesn't really matter to me whether it's the size of a AA battery or twice the size of a AA battery. Both are sufficiently small.

Adding controls to the headphone cable introduces new functionality, but removing controls from the player does not. It's perfectly possible to have controls in both locations.

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Dakar V
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Mar 11, 2009, 01:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by SpaceMonkey View Post
It's perfectly possible to have controls in both locations.
Bingo. I had a portable CD player that did this.
     
chabig
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Mar 11, 2009, 02:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by SpaceMonkey View Post
It's perfectly possible to have controls in both locations.
Yes it is, at the expense of size. That's probably why Apple is keeping the 2nd gen Shuffle around. You choose what's important to you.
     
Wiskedjak
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Mar 11, 2009, 02:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by Hg2491 View Post
Single click - Pause/Resume
Double click - Next Track
Triple click - Previous Track
To know the song you are listening to, hold the middle button.
Also, playlist selection:
- To select a playlist, press and hold until you head a beep, release to hear your current playlist and all your playlists and select the playlist you want to listen to with a single click when you hear it in the list (I imagine long playlist names are recommended)

Is it as much of a shuffle anymore when you can choose playlists? Never mind that your selection of headphones for your $80 mp3 player now cost almost as much as your new Shuffle.
     
SpaceMonkey
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Mar 11, 2009, 02:07 PM
 
I assume it's around only for as long as Apple has them in stock.

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Wiskedjak
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Mar 11, 2009, 02:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by chabig View Post
Yes it is, at the expense of size. That's probably why Apple is keeping the 2nd gen Shuffle around. You choose what's important to you.
Given the size of the controls on the headphones, they certainly could have fit those controls onto the Shuffle.
     
Wiskedjak
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Mar 11, 2009, 02:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by chabig View Post
It's a good thing you can use third-party headphones then. Apple would have lost a sale to you otherwise.

Also, see http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sciencean...d-shuffle.html

"Mr Joswiak also said that Apple had been working with accessory makers to ensure iPod shuffle controls are built into a wide variety of new headphones, such as sports earphones. 'They’ll be introducing headphones that have the controller integrated into their headphone design,' he said. 'There will also be adapter cables available, so you can use your existing headphones with the new shuffle too.'"
Bingo. The new Shuffle is all about the accessories market. $80 Shuffle, $80+ headphones.
     
maxintosh
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Mar 11, 2009, 02:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by chabig View Post
It's a good thing you can use third-party headphones then. Apple would have lost a sale to you otherwise.

Also, see http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sciencean...d-shuffle.html

"Mr Joswiak also said that Apple had been working with accessory makers to ensure iPod shuffle controls are built into a wide variety of new headphones, such as sports earphones. 'They’ll be introducing headphones that have the controller integrated into their headphone design,' he said. 'There will also be adapter cables available, so you can use your existing headphones with the new shuffle too.'"
Great, so now I'll have an extremely limited selection of mediocre unreliable headphones that will come out in a year or so, like the original iPhone and its stupid recessed jack. Or I can pay $30 (guessing here) for a 1998esque dongle and add bulk and length to my existing headphones cables.
     
Wiskedjak
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Mar 11, 2009, 02:31 PM
 
Oh, and what's with the different Voice Over voice for Windows users? It sounds more mechanical than the voice for Mac users.
     
fhoubi
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Mar 11, 2009, 02:34 PM
 
Hideous design in my opinion, but the biggest problem would be not able to choose my favourite earplugs...

Rev. B will add an mic to the airbuds, where you can clap gestures to control it
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maxintosh
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Mar 11, 2009, 02:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by Wiskedjak View Post
Oh, and what's with the different Voice Over voice for Windows users? It sounds more mechanical than the voice for Mac users.
I think it uses the OS's built-in voices and sends clips of them to the iPod. The iPod itself has no voice generation capabilities.

@fhobi:

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Spheric Harlot
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Mar 11, 2009, 03:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by fhoubi View Post
Hideous design in my opinion
I'll go on record as having said that anybody who considers the design hideous at this point has utterly failed to take into account that this thing is tiny, tiny, tiny.

I'm withholding judgement until I actually see one, but I expect them to be surprisingly gorgeous IRL.
     
fhoubi
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Mar 11, 2009, 04:02 PM
 
Sure it is small, it is appr. 80% of an USB Cruzer I think. Yeah it looks better than that.
I would have made it USB retractable too though. And sell an USB cap with controls as an accessoire *g*. I must be an engineer...
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paul w
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Mar 11, 2009, 04:06 PM
 
^^Small? Sure, but the previous model was small, more versatile and cheaper. And gorgeous.

The VoiceOver is just a lame gimmick.
     
JKT
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Mar 11, 2009, 04:09 PM
 
Knee-jerk meet Reaction. Reaction, meet Knee-jerk.

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seanc
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Mar 11, 2009, 04:40 PM
 
If it had a standard iPod connector, it would be perfect for the car, but then it would be the size of my Nano anyway
     
ort888
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Mar 11, 2009, 05:37 PM
 
Here's the thing, without an adaptor of some sort (and none even exist now) there is no way to hook this iPod up to a stereo, a car, or speakers or anything. You would hook it up and then have no way to hit play.

It might not sound like a big deal but it really is.

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B Gallagher
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Mar 11, 2009, 05:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by Thorzdad View Post
The big killer, though, is the new price. It really moves the Shuffle into the "I'll have to think about it" level, as opposed to the "cheap enough" level of the previous model.
Originally Posted by Dakar V View Post
Another point on the price – Apple's raising prices in this economy again?

They're really coming off as over confident here.
Given the price points of the latest refreshes of Macs (both desktop and laptop), I'm not surprised. But I really wonder what the hell Apple is doing making things *more* expensive.
Originally Posted by Maflynn View Post
I see the shuffle used all of the time at the gym and I wonder if this new design (lack of controls) will hurt or help them there.
Then you'll have seen the headphone cable of someone who's running, etc. at the gym? The thing's flying around all over the place.
Originally Posted by seanc View Post
If it had a standard iPod connector, it would be perfect for the car, but then it would be the size of my Nano anyway
I'm still curious how it plugs into your computer. The tech specs say USB cable, but there's no pictures.
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seanc
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Mar 11, 2009, 05:40 PM
 
That's an extremely valid point.

The head unit in my car controls the iPod via the dedicated iPod cable trailing out the back of it, but the AUXin on the front is just a standard dumb input as far as I'm concerned, nothing as fancy as the Shuffle's charge/sync/listen via one socket.

I'm sure someone will manufacture that feature into their head units at some point.
     
 
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