4GB iPod Shuffle Review – A Closer Look.

Apple’s iPod shufflewas almost universally criticized for its fragile and unreliable nature and plastic, inexpensive feel.

The second generation was a radical overhaul and reversed most opinions- it was light and small and simple to operate, but felt solid and had an ever-useful clip for attachment to your clothes while exercising.

The 3rd generation shuffle is another step forward. It looks like neither of its predecessors (which in the case of the 1st gen. is a plus) but instead opts to be more subtle and refined. It weighs in at just 0.4 ounces, has a less intrusive clip than the 2nd gen. and is available in either silver or charcoal grey. There are no buttons to be found on this model either, just a switch on the side to toggle off/shuffle/regular play.

The volume and song skipping functions are instead placed on the headphone chord- a rocker that moves side-to-side to increase and decrease the volume, and a centre button that requires various pressure sequences to skip back and forwards. Whilst this sounds complex, it’s actually quite a well-designed and intuitive inclusion: you press the button once to pause, twice to skip forwards, and three time to skip backwards.

Another interesting function is the VoiceOver technology, which (when the centre button is held down will read the song title and artist to you through the headphones. This makes up for the lack of screen and could pave the way for further voice based technology in the future.

All-in-all, another improvement on the Shuffle by Apple.