iPod Shuffle 3rd Generation, user review

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    Posted: 14 March 2009 11:59 PM

    I bought one today, here is a quick review.

    It is very light in weight yet feels very solid. It is also quite small, this thing could be dubbed the iPod Tie Bar and indeed it could be used as one. I choose the black model, but it is more of a dark gunmetal gray. It has a slightly anodized finish that hides fingerprints. The spring clip on the back has a mirror finish that take fingerprints easily.

    The aluminum body looks to be machined out of a piece of bar stock. The only seams I can see is on the back, about the same size as the spring clip.  I gave it some pressure to gauge how easy it would be bend and it is didn’t give. I am sure I could bend it, but it would take some concentrated effort.

    The on/off switch protrudes very slightly from the surface and as such not as easy to slide as my other iPods. You can slide it with a fingernail or the pad of a finger. When the earphones are plugged in it is easier to turn on the Shuffle with a fingernail because the plug gets in the way of the finger. Different from my older iPods when switched on you see a green spot instead of red. When switched on a very tiny indicator light will flash the battery status, green for charged, orange for 25%, and red for low.

    The earphones have a shorter cord by about a foot than the ones that came with my other iPods. This is fine for the way the Shuffle which would be normally be carried when being used, that being clipped to a shirt, in a shirt pocket or some other way in an upper body garment. They sound fine, as good as any of the Apple branded earbuds. They do fall out of the ears easily and I wish that Apple would have shipped their in-ear model with this Shuffle. However, I do find that the standard earphones are more comfortable than the in-ear ones when laying in bed.

    The on-the-cord remote controls. These are getting a lot of criticism on the blogs, but I learned to use them in less than a minute. Furthermore I can see the advantage of having them off of the Shuffle, you reach up by your collar bone and there are the controls, no fumbling in a pocket or with a case. If you look on the Apple store for replacement earphones with the remote controls you will see that they are also compatible with the Nano, Classic and Touch. I think that this is the way of the future and we will see the new iPods with dual control, on the cord and on the unit.

    VoiceOver. This is an option when setting up the Shuffle, but I find it not only handy, but necessary to select playlists. After watching the promotional video a few days ago I had expected Victoria to be the voice, but apparently I had Alex selected in my Mac’s preferences. I can’t find any info on the Apple Support site or in the User Blog on how to change the voice, but I suspect that I need to change to a different language and then back to English.

    In the box I found two tiny Apple logo stickers. These are smaller than the smaller of the two that come with a Mac. I don’t know if they came with the older Shuffles or not, this my first Shuffle. Anyway they are cute.

    I like the Shuffle. Small, light weight, but with a lot of features tucked into its small frame. It is a nice addition to my iPod tool box.

    [ Edited: 15 March 2009 11:33 AM by Lee Dronick ]


    “Works of art, in my opinion, are the only objects in the material universe to possess internal order, and that is why, though I don’t believe that only art matters, I do believe in Art for Art’s sake.” E. M. Forster

  • Posted: 22 August 2009 01:21 AM #1

    I just purchased a 3rd generation shuffle to complement my iPhone 3GS. I figured the shuffle would take the music load off the phone preserving the iPhone’s battery life for my heavy news app use.

    I ordered it through the Apple retail store and upon delivery I was astonished by its small size. I keep a well-defined playlist and this device is perfect for my needs.

  • Posted: 21 March 2010 10:30 AM #2

    I have had one for several months and use it exclusively when I work out.  I also bought Apple’s $79 earphones so I could block out the other noise “aka their music” at the gym.  I’m on my 3rd pair of those earphones.  From what I read on Apple’s forums it sounds like sweat may be the culprit.  I did have the shuffle clipped to a pocket on my shorts.  Now I hook it to the bottom of my shirt so the earpiece hole is facing down. Hopefully my sweat won’t get in their this may.  I think this is where it is doing the damage, not at the controls.