Sunday, January 2, 2011

Do uShuffle?

While everyone else is scrambling over new and improved iTouch and iPod 4G, I'm more than satisfied with my  new  powder-blue iPod Shuffle. It's standing in for my iPod Classic 5G (which someone reading this will insist should be called the iPod Video), which, although it boasts a superior 30 GB of storage space, is often left unused. With a phone, wallet, keys, and who knows what else to carry around, I simply don't have pocket space for a bulky iPod.

Yes, it's really that small.
The fact is, when I'm listening to music alone, it's classical music, and I'm using it to study. If I wanted to listen to fun music, I'd be doing so with friends. It's called an iPod, after all; it's a very individual device. So what better type to have than one that weighs less than half an ounce (literally), and just plays a continuous loop of classical music? Sure, there's no screen, but that's okay; I don't care which piece of music is playing. Thanks to the screen-less-ness, the battery (at least according to Apple) lasts 15 hours, which sounds perfect to me.

So let's examine the device in a little more depth. It's really pretty cool.

iPod Shuffle 4G in five colors
The fourth generation Shuffle was released in September of 2010 in five colors (pink, blue, green, yellow, silver) and one storage capacity: 2 GB. The entire device weighs next to nothing (0.44 ounces) and measures roughly one square inch and one centimeter in depth. There are seven different buttons on the device; the face has two volume controls (+/-), two song selection controls (next/previous), and one play/pause button. The top features a VoiceOver button and a three-setting power slider.

Holding down play/pause "locks" the button controls, so that accidentally pressing them has no effect. Tapping the VoiceOver button announces the current song's name and artist in an automated voice, while double tapping announces battery status, and holding the button reads playlist options. The power options include off, play songs (in order), and play shuffled.

The 4G reverts to the 2G style, but better.
For input/output, the iPod has merely a single audio port, which connects both the headphones and the USB adapter (for charging and data transfer). On the back of the device is an aluminum clip and the Apple logo. The formatted capacity is roughly 1.84 GB (about 250 songs or 20 hours of music). Considering the battery is going to die before the playlist loops, I'm content.

So go ahead, iTouch/iPhone owners. Flaunt your app-filled, touch-screen, double-digit-gigabyte-capacity devices. My Apple product doesn't have a backlight to adjust, screen to scratch, or a hard drive to break. It's just pure music, as a music player should be.

And now, announcing the 2011 colors for Apple iPhone: Sour-Grapes Purple and Envy Green...

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