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Get a grip on the Apple iPod Shuffle 2012 (pictures)

Take a closer look at Apple's iPod Shuffle, a fitness-friendly MP3 player available for $49.

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Donald Bell

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Apple iPod Shuffle

The latest iPod Shuffle seems impossibly small. Measuring 1.24 inches wide by 1.14 inches tall by 0.34 inch thick, it's practically a musical postage stamp.
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Apple iPod Shuffle (top view)

The controls on the top edge of the iPod Shuffle are so small, you'll need to whittle down your fingertips with a pencil sharpener to operate them.
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3 of 6 Josh Miller/CNET

Apple iPod Shuffle (top view)

The only relatively new feature added to the iPod Shuffle in recent years is a VoiceOver button located on the top edge of the player. Pressing this microscopic button once will cause a synthetic voice to announce the artist and song title of the currently playing song.
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4 of 6 Josh Miller/CNET

Apple iPod Shuffle (back)

The iPod Shuffle's clip is made from aluminum and offers a strong tension.
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5 of 6 Josh Miller/CNET

Apple iPod Shuffle, old and new

Unlike the previous generation of the iPod Shuffle (lower in the picture), which deliberately left a space on the front of the player for an easy grip, it is nearly impossible to pinch the clip on this design without accidentally pressing the back-skip button in the process.
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6 of 6 Josh Miller/CNET

Apple iPod Shuffle with headphones

For a $49 MP3 player, the Shuffle sounds surprisingly good, though you'd never know it from the old-school Apple earbuds that come included.

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