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238 of 250 found the following review helpful:
A triumph of form over function. Mar 18, 2009
By C. Stoneham
OK, I'll begin by saying that the new Shuffle is, without doubt, one of the smallest, sexiest MP3 players I've ever seen. I love how it looks. It's... compelling. Of course, with this level of form, some functionality is lost. With the 3G Shuffle, it's the buttons (or lack thereof).
Apple decided to move the buttons off the controller and onto the headphone cord. There are two major flaws that I can see:
1. I can't use "any old" pair of headphones anymore. Sure, the music still plays, but if I can't pause, skip, turn the volume up/down, what's the point. I'm now tied into either Apple's headphones or third-party headphones with the controller. Gone are the days of a "headphone catastrophe" where the headphone cord gets pinched while traveling and I have to run out to a store and grab a pair of substitute $10 phones. I now have to either shell out $20-30 and/or find a local Apple store. Not good. (And let's not even talk about using it with my car stereo...)
2. The controls are... in a bad place. It's kind of hard to grab the controller without looking when it's bouncing around near my jaw while running. Today, it took me about 5-6s to actually get a hold of the darned thing and skip ahead. Later in the day, I grabbed it a bit quicker but then accidentally yanked the earbud out. This was obviously designed without testing it "in the field."
To both of the above, some comment: "wait until Apple releases an adapter with controls in a better position that allow you to use normal headphones." Of course, my reply is "I already spent $80 on this thing. You want me to spend MORE?"
In the end, this is one sweet of technology that just screams "impress your friends." Of course, you don't hear it whispering "and secretly dread using me anywhere but in your living room chair."
At least Apple's not discontinuing the 2G Shuffle...
187 of 205 found the following review helpful:
Overlooked Innovation Mar 18, 2009
By David Pigg
For what it's worth, I actually own one of these.
Most people seem to prefer the $50 price tag of the previous model, and I can't say that I blame them. I mean, other than the much smaller size and the higher-capacity flash drive, what does this new model have to offer that the old model didn't? The answer: it supports multiple playlists, which make up the primary essence of every higher-caliber iPod.
Let's be blunt: if you have owned a higher-caliber iPod, such as an iPod Touch or an iPod Nano, how many times have you really used it to watch videos or to finger-pick a song from your list of thousands? My guess is a few...but that most of the time, you have found yourself listening to music via...playlists. My guess is that most of the time, you pop those earbuds in, turn on your iPod, select a playlist according to your mood, and listen to it. Guess what? You can do exactly the same thing with this baby--for only$80 as opposed to $150 and up.
I find the audio quality of this model far superior to that of the previous model.
The "VoiceOver" feature is definitely nice to have when you're changing playlists; however, if you don't listen to much classical music, you may find the song-and-artist naming feature useless. You can deactivate VoiceOver if you want; but be aware that you will then be unable to navigate through your playlists--which, in my opinion, is the primary reason to buy this model.
I admit it: I'm not a audiophile. I don't know, but this may be why I've always appreciated Apple earbuds. In fact, I think the earbuds that came packaged with this model are great! But, if you are an audiophile--or just prefer different earbuds or headphones--stay away from this model...for now. Since the navigation controls for this model are located on a small control pod on the earbud cord, you don't really have the option to use other earbuds or headphones--which naturally don't have this pod. In fact, there is currently only one alternative to using the packaged earbuds: the Apple In-Ear Headphones. They also have the control pod.
61 of 64 found the following review helpful:
Not for runners May 24, 2009
By S. Cole
2nd Generation vs. 3rd Generation iPod Shuffle Breakdown:
The Weight: 3rd Gen weighs .38 ounces while the 2nd Gen weighs .55 ounces... I promise you that you will not be able to tell the difference. This catergory is a tie.
Controls: 3rd Gen puts the controls on the headphones cord (on the cord that goes to the right ear bud)... this could not be more annoying. To say I hate this control system is an understatement. The controls are so far up the cord that you can not see it when you are looking for it. I can not state this enough I HATE THE CONTROLS OF THE 3rd GEN.
Space: The 3rd gen hold 4 gigs of music, apple has discontinued the 2nd gen 2 gig version so now all you can get is 2nd gen 1 gig... I thought this was a big deal, but I use my shuffle purely for running, and 1 gig is over 12 hours of music! needless to say, 2nd gen 1 gig shuffle is plenty.
Accessories: I know this does not sound like much, but with the 3rd gen, you must use their headphones... they are basically the same crappy iPod buds that fall out of your ear whenever you move that comes with every version. Since I got my iPod Shuffle for running, buds are not sufficient.
Long story short, you don't need the 4th generation shuffle, it is a horrible product. Get the 2nd generation 1 gig version, I promise it will meet most peoples needs.
84 of 97 found the following review helpful:
2 failed earphones w/remote & mic in two workouts Mar 16, 2009
By G. Pulido
One hour into a run, I tried to advance a track, go back one track, and select a playlist. All functions failed. On two occasions, a single press of the selector, the volume maxed out instantaneously, and this selector should have no effect on volume. My suspicion was that the controller could not tolerate the moist conditions, as I sweat a lot while running. I went to the nearest Apple Store, and a specialist gladly replaced the earphones/controller, which worked fine, until the next day...
The controller worked fine before my run. Less than 20 minutes in, the same problems occur. This time, without pressing anything, the earphones instantaneously went to maximum volume. I returned the iPod shuffle to the Apple Store after leaving the gym and questioned why a controller for an iPod, otherwise ideal for working out, would not be sweatproof.
25 of 26 found the following review helpful:
Unless you do not sweat whilst working-out, this thing is useless !!! Jun 23, 2009
By Ron Bero
I'm a runner, sometimes I run all day and all night. I was so excited to have a shuffle that could contain play-lists (Books on tape have never shuffled well with music...). On run one, 1/2 hour in, the volume control went out. On run two, all controls have gone out. Likely cause is sweat. it happens as far as I can tell with everyone... runs right down the cord, straight into the controls - what on earth were they thinking !! ??
$80, less than 1 hour of use, I've attempted to navigate the apple support/repair site and have ended up throwing the thing away. I'm hoping that by writing this I will feel some sort of resolution and can move on (and back) to the several second generation shuffles that I still have.
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