New iPod shuffle: Too small for buttons

Ipodshuffle_lJust when you thought your iPod shuffle was already too easy to lose, Apple has released an even smaller mp3 player, so tiny it should come with a choking warning for mouth-eager toddlers.* The new shuffle, tipping the wallet scales at $79, holds 4GB (about 1,000 songs), and has a battery life of about 10 hours. The second-generation models, which are still available, only hold 240 songs, but have a longer battery life.

The biggest change — smallest? heyo! — is that the body of the gizmo doesn’t have any buttons. All the controls are now on the headphone wire, which makes it tough if you, like me, luh-huh-huh-loathe those earbuds. Music isn’t supposed to hurt! Also, the new shuffle has "VoiceOver," which means the tiny robots that live in your iPod can now tell you the track information and battery life of your too-small-for-a-screen player.

Okay, PopWatchers, does this get your gadget-lovin’ juices flowing? Or does your hulking peasant of a regular old iPod still get the job done?

*BYO "your iPod’s so small" yo mama–style joke.

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  • Tim

    Ridiculous that you’re forced to use their earbuds thanks to a major design flaw. Don’t think that will limit sales too much and it means if you lose them or they break, you NEED to get a replacement Apple pair – that is until some other company makes a pr that’ll do the same for the shuffle. I just think for such a forward -thinking company, this is a huge mistake and smacks their customers a bit.

  • Eli

    I hate it, i like my buttons on the shuffle, and well, i only take the suffle out when jogging, so i’ve replaced the ear phones for ones that can actually stay in your ears when you run, the controls on the ear phones make it sort of an useless gadget for high stress activities.

  • Stephanie T.

    I have a classic four gig Ipod nano and a 160 gig Ipod. I might get an Ipod touch but I am fine with my old stuff.

  • Winona

    To put it bluntly, that just plain sucks. I’ll take my roughly 2″ x 4″ iPod, which has a very usable and user-friendly screen.

  • Shamrock

    I agree, those earbuds kill my ears. My daughter has small ears and the ear buds won’t go in all the way and just fall out. So I guess neither one of us will be line to get one of these.

  • Brandi

    Totally stupid idea! Those ear buds are to big for my ears and give me a headache with in minutes. I have a bunch of friends who have iPods and have replaced the ear buds with something else. Is this Apple’s way of making people use/keep the ear buds? Stupid, dumb….I’ll keep my 1GB shuffle and my big old video iPod.

  • Nicole

    I never use the earbuds with my Nano – I much prefer dj-style headphones for the sound quality (and comfort). For this reason alone, the new Shuffle is lame. But I also wouldn’t give up the screen and ability to select playlists, albums, artists, etc. However even if I was considering a Shuffle the headphone issue would kill it for me anyway.

  • Laurie

    I’ve had the same iPod since 2004. I don’t need any of this newfangled stuff.

  • funkymono

    I love my 2nd gen. Nano but had thought about getting a clip-on Shuffle for the gym. If this model replaces the clip-on, forget it; I’m among the people who ditch the earbuds for headphones from other makers. Being obligated to use the earbuds would be a deal-breaker for me.

  • Vicky

    Wait. I have a shuffle now that’s 2Gb. It holds over 400 songs. Did they just take that away and go back to the 1Gb only? I don’t like this new shuffle either. I HATE those headphones. I don’t want an mp3 player that forces me to use their choice of headphones. One, they don’t fit my ears. Two, you can hear music coming out of them. Very annoying when I’m sitting on the train to and from work, reading a good book, and I can hear the muffling of music coming from some random a**hole’s headphones. I don’t want to be that person. I really like the current shuffle. Perfect for the car, work, gym. I know Apple tries to come up with something new every year for each product, but sometimes it’s better to NOT mess with things.

  • diggity

    Word. I HATE those earbuds. I would not get this shuffle becuase of those earbuds and the fact that you have to use them I replaced mine with these jelly ear buds that I got at Staples. No more hurty ear for me.

  • bamabunny

    I’ll keep my big, honkin’ 2nd Gen. Shuffle, thankyouverymuch. Besides, my next iPod style purchase will actually be an iPhone, so getting this too would be a) overkill and b) a waste of money…just HOW MUCH are those special controller-earbuds, anyway (and that’s a rhetorical question).

  • Melinda65

    I don’t mind the Apple earbuds; what annoys me is that the rubber ring around them starts to decay pretty quickly, and apparently Apple is unwilling to stand behind them. I called 6 months after getting my iPod because the earbuds were in such bad shape, and they wanted to charge me full price for replacements. No thanks; if I have to spend money for replacements, then I’ll get something that isn’t going to fall apart in a few months.

  • Heather

    I knew this day would come. I think i’m fine with my own 2005 iPod nano

  • Felish

    And… if the headphones break??? How much do they cost??

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