IPod Shuffle 3G, a Clear Step Backward for The User

As you already know, Apple has renewed this morning your iPod Shuffle, and has done inside and out. This third generation now follows the design of the latest products, with aluminum as main material of manufacturing in all player and present curves by the whole. Draws attention to his size redicidisimo, 45.2 × 17.5 × 7. 8 mm, although it is not a big jump on the previous Shuffle, as indicated by the comparative images that have commented on Gizmodo.

However, is the new Shuffle a step forward with respect to the previous generation?. I see three problems, large or small according to the point of view of who look at it.

The first is quite clear and many people are criticizing Apple for this reason. Some are needed headphones special to make it work. As well said Sacha at the entrance of presentation, earphones included in the iPod range are of very poor quality, and today there are no more cachabas that use them. We are sure that in the future, possibly in the next few weeks, many manufacturers launched their respective accessories with which you can connect any headset. What is the problem then? The need to buy a specific product from Apple (headphones) or have a specific accessory (cable with control buttons).

The headphones original of the iPod Shuffle third generation still not sold loose at the Apple online store, although it is estimated that they will be worth between 25 and 30 euros, taking as reference the standard helmets. For that same price have a very decent Sony or some Sennheiser, to cite two brands of the many on the market, but … remember that they will not work. What to do to make them work. Of course, pay more money in the form of an accessory, an adapter cable. Something as it existed in the first generation iPhone.

The cable still has been on sale at the official store, although many now speculate on that it could cost between 20 and 30 euros. It would not be a simple cable adapter as is the case with the iPhone 1 G, but that it would include the control of the player. And I remember that without this command even can ignite the player.

Thus, if we want to use headphones that are not officers we have to begin to open the wallet. Although in principle it shuffle those 20 or 30 euros more, chances are that in a few months already adapters sold by lower prices, about 10 to 15 euros. But still an additional outlay, and more cable that will be used with the new player.

This is the main drawback, the great downside of the iPod Shuffle 3G. For now, the little information that is relative to the use with headphones that are not that the device comes factory discussed it in iLounge: the player starts when the hulls, are being used even though you may not vary the volume or change the song playback. It just turns on and will start to run if only. The document you can read full on the website of Apple support in English.

But there’s more: would anyone has realized that the battery has been shortened from the previous generation?.

The Shuffle 3G It offers, according to Apple, a range of 10 hours, while the two previous generations reached 12 o’clock. This can be seen from two different points of view: the less negative, are just two hours less of playback per charge, or the most negative, battery nearly 20% less effective.

With 10 hours of audio than most usual is to have only two days of autonomy if we give to the device, or simply a day normal use if the use is more intense. The Shuffle 3G battery is directly confronted with the iPod Nano, one of the best in MP3 players on the market and which gives you up to 24 hours of playback. More than twice as much as her little brother little, or seen in other words … the Shuffle has a battery that is not half as powerful as the Nano.

The reason I think that it is quite clear. At Apple, they wanted to make the Shuffle a player so small that it has not been them space for battery. It is not a disadvantage that is alarming, but it is a negative fact that, more than two years after the second Shuffle (launched in September 2006), the new device does not have a more effective autonomy.

And finally, the third noteworthy novelty is the new system VoiceOver. It’s a system that reads the artist and the name of the song playing, as well as the titles of the lists that you are using in the player.

VoiceOver uses iTunes to find the voice saying, recording them automatically when plugged the player to the computer and selecting the language according to an internal algorithm of the program itself. There isn’t any downside, examples that Apple has posted on its website seem very clear, and the voice is completely understandable.

However gives the feeling that it is a very complex system of use and very repetitive in some cases. If for example I want to find a particular title of a song among twelve possibilities, do I have to go one by one by running VoiceOver to find it?. So it seems that it will be.

The solution VoiceOver It is certainly novel, but isn’t anything practical and much less can be said that it is close to players with screen.

With this launch, Apple has also left some details that, at least to me not I end up convincing. The first and most striking is that on Windows and on Mac VoiceOver voices are very different. The manufacturer claims that this is due to that Mac OS X includes a package of voices that works really well, although I do not understand why did not want it to implement in the Windows version of iTunes. Well, thinking wrong if the reason I can think of.

Another detail in bad taste is the loss of colors. While the Nano we have up to nine available in new colors Third-generation shuffle there are only two, black and silver grey. They have even maintained five colors available in the previous generation. Now, the price if have raised it up to the 75 euros, front of the 65 euros of the previous model the 45 euros from the 1 GB and 2 GB (the latter is still available).

In short, this update your iPod Shuffle It is not at all positive. It seems a throwback to the past and a product that is far from the quality/price ratio that do have other Apple products. Nothing that we have to buy the player (75 euros) and the adapter (put another 20 euros more) already approaching the 139 euros in the iPod Nano, offering this last 8 GB and being a much more complete player in all aspects than the Shuffle.

The players without screen they had their fashion when it started the boom of digital music, but now they are products that are very outdated in comparison to other devices on the market. The Shuffle is not the flagship Apple, nor much less, but maybe they should start thinking about retirement to focus on improving other products.