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iPod shuffle
Originally uploaded by AyanD.

Just got another wish granted! I’m now a proud owner of this cool gadget and I’m having so much fun with it!

Simplicity is definitely in thanks to this small gadget.

Here are some info about the iPod Shuffle…

Apple’s first flash MP3 player drops LCD screen and complicated controls in favor of simplistic ‘song shuffle’ style. Basically, iTunes’ AutoFill randomly picks 120 songs for you during sync from your favorite playlist. iPod shuffle also recharges via USB, and doubles as a 512MB USB flash drive as well.

Pros: Stylish; no learning curve; excellent endurance factor, on par with system-grade flash memory.

Cons: Overly simplified process of random song selection; slow transfer speed; difficult to tell volume level.

Verdict: The Apple iPod shuffle is affordable and stylish, yet iTunes’ AutoFill function needs some more work.

As the most simplistic portable audio design we’ve seen to date, the Apple $99 iPod shuffle will appeal to music fans who are less enthusiastic about exploring the functionality on a feature-bloated audio player and/or more concerned of the state of their bank balance.

iPod shuffle – a Screen-less MP3 Player?

What catches you eyes the most on the iPod shuffle is perhaps the lack of features. At the peak of technology convergence, it seems rare to find a MP3 player with no provision of a screen, voice recorder, FM tuner and even equalizers, all of which are present on the all-in-one competitors from Creative, iRiver and Samsung. But minimalism is what Apple iPod shuffle is all about, whether you like it or not is another story.

There is just one circular control with great tactile feedback on the main side of the player, which handles the volume adjustment, navigation and play/pause. The “Hold” is toggled on and off by holding the circular play button for 3 seconds. When you press on the buttons, the hidden LEDs will blink to indicate an activity. Most buttons are very self-explanatory so the provided Apple cheat sheet may probably be unnecessary, but it is a nice touch for less tech-savvy.

Shuffle at work

With a regular flash memory-based MP3 player, you either export an entire playlist and select songs individually into the device. With iPod shuffle, you simply hit Autofill – an exclusive iTunes 4.7.1 or later feature – to have the jukebox software picking out songs for you at random or in their original order from a playlist or the entire library. Unfortunately, iTunes needs a smarter selection criteria, because you don’t have much control over what may get picked besides telling iTunes to choose higher rated songs more often.

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