The fourth generation of the Apple iPod Shuffle is smaller than ever, and a throwback to the player's glory days.
The iPod Shuffle returns to its big-button glory days, only this time around, it offers support for playlists, audiobooks, podcasts, Genius Mixes, and a multilingual VoiceOver feature that announces track information, battery status, and menu navigation.
Another design feature that distinguishes the fourth-gen Shuffle from the second-gen is that the majority of the physical features--the headphone jack, the power switch, the battery indicator, the playback mode control, and the VoiceOver button--have been consolidated to the top edge of the device.
In spite of the shrunken body, the main navigation has actually increased just slightly in size compared with the second-gen version it's modeled after, making it easier to make any adjustments to volume or track position.
Though the Shuffle's design may be a nod to the past, its features keep pushing forward. Everything that was good about the third-generation model (VoiceOver, playlists, audiobooks, and podcasts) has been retained for this version, along with support for Genius Mixes, expanded language support, and a longer 15-hour battery life.