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.
Photo by: Josh P. Miller/CNET
The fourth-gen iPod Shuffle is noticeably smaller, slimmer, and more square, measuring 1.24 inches wide, 1.14 inches tall, and 0.34 inch thick.
Photo by: Josh P. Miller/CNET
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.
Photo by: Josh P. Miller/CNET
For the fourth-generation version of the iPod Shuffle, Apple has thrown out the design from 2009, returning to a form that is similar (but not identical) to the popular second-generation model.
Photo by: Donald Bell/CNET
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.
Photo by: Josh P. Miller/CNET
If we have just one complaint of the fourth-gen iPod Shuffle design, it's the difficulty using the clip without accidentally triggering the track skip control (specifically the back skip button).
Photo by: Josh P. Miller/CNET
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.
Photo by: Josh P. Miller/CNET
In terms of features, design, sound quality, and price, the fourth-generation iPod Shuffle is the best version of the player we've seen yet.
Photo by: Josh P. Miller/CNET
Here, you can see the fourth-generation iPod Shuffle (left) next the the sixth-generation iPod Nano (middle) and the fifth-generation iPod Nano (right).
Photo by: Josh P. Miller/CNET

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