iPod Shuffle 3G - Is it necessary?

Posted by Minnaar Pieters 11 Mar 2009
iPod Shuffle 3G
Apple just released the new iPod Shuffle. Have to say looking at it I cant say I am too impressed. While we all want brand spanking new gear from Apple as frequently as possible, the previous iPod Shuffle had a almost timeless design that made sense. It was small, its buttons were in the right place and its brushed steel looks were great. Great for clipping on your clothes when exercising.

Every past iPod update had small yet significant updates (except maybe the iPod Classic) that actually improved the product. Not so much this time round.

Now the new shuffle luckily still has a clip, and the brushed aluminium looks. But where are the buttons? The buttons are now placed on the cord (similiar to the iPhone). So the user has to find the little nub on the cable and then remember to click it twice change song, three times to go back etc.

When I am riding on my bike on a single track and I want to change a song, I definately do not want look for the little nub on the cord. I want to know where the buttons are - on my sleeve or wherever. I dont want to click a little hard to find button multiple times. Look at this ridiculous control scheme:



For a company that makes intuitive control schemes like the iPhone and iPod Click wheel, this is a shocker. Also, was size really a issue with old one? It is still remarkably tiny for a music player. Now Apple goes as far as saying it is half the old one's size. Really?

If Apple actually wanted to make a big shift with the iPod Shuffle, they might consider building the player right into the earphones. Then the size might actually amaze me.

Heres hoping it is more impressive in my hands than what it looks on the website...

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I am a R&D Analyst in Stellenbosch South Africa who has a immense passion for all things tech related. I embrace technology, open source and web standards, and I participate and contribute to the social web.