CNET First Look
Apple iPod Shuffle (third-generation)Apple's third-generation Shuffle is the smallest iPod yet and uses an internal voice to announce song information.
[ Music ] ^M00:00:03 >> Hey, I'm Donald Bell, senior editor for digital, audio, and MP3, and today we're taking a first look at the third generation Apple iPod Shuffle. Just when you thought the Shuffle couldn't get any smaller, Apple cut the size in half by taking the buttons off the front of the old design and moving them to the headphone cable. This thing is really, really small, maybe too small for some users, and sells for $79.00 with four gigabytes of storage. The most surprising move here is that Apple moved the playback controls to the headphone cable, so instead of having pause, skip, and volume controls on the front of the of the player, you get this little remote control on the right earbud. The remote includes plus and minus controls for volume and a clicker in the middle. Pressing once on the clicker will pause your music. Two clicks with skip to the next song, and three clicks will skip backwards. The whole system isn't quite as intuitive as the obvious play, pause, and skip controls on the previous shuffle. You couldn't just hand this to somebody and expect they'd figure it out. But there is one really big advantage to this version of the shuffle. It's the first shuffle that actually tells you what song you're playing. In fact -- I mean literally, it tells you what song you're playing. When you press and hold the headphone clicker for a second, a little synthetic voice comes in and tells you what song you're hearing. >> Painted Eyelets. [Inaudible]. >> Press and hold the button a little longer, and you'll hear a list of the playlists on your Shuffle, which you can select by pressing the button again. >> All songs, 90s music, recently added. >> The voice works in 14 different languages, and you won't hear it unless you call up with the button. But if it drives you crazy, you can disable it in iTunes. Overall, you have to hand it to Apple for pushing the envelope on their $80.00 MP3 player, but the quirky navigation isn't going to appeal to everyone. And I have to say it's probably one of the most boring iPods I've seen. It's also worth mentioning that if you lose the Shuffle's headphones, you'll have to shop around for a replacement pair that includes Apple's clicker remote. Still, if you like the idea of your MP3 player being as invisible as possible, the third generation Shuffle is as small and as light as they come. I'm Donald Bell, and that was a First Look at the third generation Apple iPod Shuffle. ^M00:02:08 [ Music ]