CNET First Look
Apple iPod Shuffle (4th Generation)For the fourth-generation, Apple brought the iPod Shuffle's buttons back, along with a few extra features that make the lightest, smallest MP3 player on the planet better than ever.
-Hey I'm Donald Bell and today we're taking a first look at the fourth generation Apple iPod shuffle. This is Apple's smallest and most basic iPod offer with 2 gigabyte storage and priced at $49.00. It comes in 5 colors and includes a pair of basic earbuds and the USB headphone jack adaptor for syncing and charging with your computer. This is a return to form for the shuffle. Made a detour last year with this buttonless design, but now it was very similar to the popular second generation model. Aside from the obvious play, pause, skip, and volume controls on the front; all the other controls are located on the top of the player. There is the power switch that also works to set the mode between shuffles and sequential song playback. There is a headphone jack which is also use for charging and syncing music. There is a tinny tiny battery indicator light and finally there is a new button, which triggers a voiceover feature. Now, voiceover is a very cool feature and is a carryover from the last year's shuffle. It gives you the ability to figure out what song is currently playing and more importantly, it allows you to navigate between playlist, genius mixes, podcasts, and audio books. You just press the button once to hear the artist and song info. -Neighborhood #1, Tunnels, Arcade Fire. -Or hold it down to access the menu and use the buttons on the front to navigate through the playlist. -All song, all pop mix, electronically mix, hip-hop rap mix. -This feature is a big advantage over the first and second generation shuffles, which were basically only good for playing a random selection of songs. You can now have separate mixes for your workout, or your morning commute, or use this to play audio books without worrying that all the chapters are gonna get mixed up. The voiceover feature also improved from the third generation model since the button is now right on the player instead of the special headphone cable, so you can use any pair of headphones you want. Finally, let's talk about the clip. The clip on the back feels sturdy and is made out of the same anodized aluminum as the rest of the player. One complaint we have is that the smaller square design no longer leaves room on the front to where the clip gets pinched. As a result, when you clip this on, you'll probably gonna wind up squeezing the back button by accident. Overall, it is a surprisingly decent little audio player with better sound quality than the second generation model it resembles. Battery life is greater than 15 hours, which for something the size of coat button is pretty amazing. So, that's it. That's the fourth generation Apple iPod shuffle. An incredibly tiny affordable audio player perfect for anyone who goes to the gym who likes to travel light. CNET.com, I'm Donald Bell.