Apple’s iPod Shuffle Gets 4GB Update, Now Talks To You.

Apple today launched an updated version of their iPod Shuffle, which gets an elegant new redesign that’s around half the size of its predecessor. The new Shuffle’s storage capacity is now doubled to 4GB and includes an interesting new feature called VoiceOver, that tells you which song is currently playing and by which artist – at the touch of a button.

Apple is calling the new Shuffle the world’s smallest music player and that’s not difficult to believe. Measuring a mere 1.8″ (45.2mm) x 0.7″ (17.5mm) x 0.3″ (7.8mm), it sure is tiny. Weight comes in 33% lighter too at just 0.38 ounce (10.7g) and it’s expected to get up to 10 hours of playback through its lithium-polymer battery.

Almost all of the controls reside on the headphone cord and seem easy enough to use, despite their miniscule dimensions. The downside to this, however, is that you’re pretty much locked in to using Apple’s own earphones. If you want to use better quality earphones, or even headphones, you’ll lose most functionality. Purpose-built cans like the iMuffs may work though, as they have controls built into them already and the Acoustibuds Earphone Adapters may help improve sound quality on the standard earphones.

The new VoiceOver feature seems pretty neat, even if rather unpolished and reminds me of Amazon’s Kindle 2, which was released recently with a useful text-to-speach feature. You can hear the stilted computer voice for yourself in the demonstration video over on Apple’s product page.

The new iPod Shuffle retails for $79 | £59 and is available now.

Apple and CNET

Comments (3 Responses):

Apple’s a company I’ve enjoyed for some time, they produce technology that is visually beautiful while working like a charm. Alot of companies aren’t like that, it’s usually one or the other. Tech businesses don’t usually take aesthetics seriously like Apple. With that being said I’ve got to say that I’m very excited about the upcoming Tablet. One thing I question though, is it too soon? I’m afraid that this may be ahead of our time. What do you think?

I cannot believe people actually camp outside stores for these things. I hope it’s like the first iPhone, where after like 4 or 5 months, the price drops like a rock and they all complain. Not saying it’s not a good product, just nothing worth me camping in front of a store overnight for.

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