New iPod Shuffle moves controls to headphone cord

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Available at 4GB, the fresh model is long, thin and sleek–somewhat like the original first-gen model, but with a clip. It’s available in light gray and dark gray, and the controls are moved to a bulbous clicker on the cord.

My problem with this is going to be being stuck with Apple’s headphones, or having to buy some fancy new officially licensed headphones that also have the new control block built-in. This isn’t new, as far as little audio players go, but is still a shame: for today’s show, the part of Sony will be played by Apple.

It also has a new feature called Voiceover: press it, and the Shuffle tells you what’s playing.

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They’re up at the Apple Store for $80.

Update: Mute Kaiza points out that it might be easy to splice better headphones onto the control unit, so long as you’re O.K. ruining your beautiful Appley lines.

As an aside, I imagine Belkin will announce an adapter within minutes. I still don’t want to pay for one, even if it’s just $10.

Great comment from reader Cyklo: “I’m amused that if you swap out the inline-control bundled earphones for your own, you reach Apple Zen: an iPod with zero buttons.”

Apple Announces Incredible New iPod shuffle [Apple]

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88 Responses to New iPod Shuffle moves controls to headphone cord

  1. dculberson says:

    Anon34, “There are other easily affordable mp3 players out there that are better than iPods.”

    I don’t believe that statement. I’ve owned several iPods and a couple non-iPods. The non-iPods ended up given to friends, the iPods I used until they were smoking lumps of dust. Okay, not really; my second gen iPod is currently still in use in the garage, third gen doesn’t have much battery life left so it gets used in the living room. I just recently purchased a current gen 16gb nano. Point being, I’m familiar with the competition and with iPods. The current Nano is a piece of work. It’s really small, but still a usable and comfortable shape. The screen is gorgeous. The interface is still intuitive and fast. Syncing is really fast. The build quality is stunning. Battery life is very nice. I haven’t seen anything – anything that really competes on all points. Saying “there are better options” is not helpful. Saying “THIS is a better option:” is. But I don’t see it, and await the specific examples.

    This all, of course, excepts the specific example of this faceless shuffle. Although after looking at the Apple page about it, and seeing the size comparison between the various iPods? This thing is breathtakingly small. This is smaller than the remote to my 2nd gen iPod. They still could’ve put three buttons on it, though.

  2. Follower says:

    Ah, BB Gadgets. Only here can the very act of an electronics manufacturer* introducing an upgraded product line result in condemnation for its impact on the environment.

    (*Note: May not apply to manufacturers not named “Apple.”)

    When the Palm Pre ships, I eagerly await the howls of indignation about landfills filling up with discarded Vx’s.

  3. kaiza says:

    If all you Apple-freaks weren’t so afraid of ruining the perfect lines of the small idols you worship, you would know the answer would be to simply splice your preferred earbuds onto the control (or better yet, a proper 3.5mm socket).

    I also wanted to mention that this is probably the first iPod design I’ve seen that doesn’t noticably move the Apple design aesthetic forward.

  4. Fang Xianfu says:

    Perhaps it’ll be like lots of phones, where the controls and microphone are on a cord that plugs into the phone, and that control block has a plug for whatever headphones you want? Though those things annoy me because you end up with ten metres of headphone cord, it’s better than a kick in the teeth.

  5. Steaming Pile says:

    Well, I think that sucks about the earphones. I like to listen to mine while cutting the grass, and for that you need noise-management. The plugs I have now have the same sort of material going in your ear as the EAR noise-protection plugs you might find in a machine shop or a rifle range. Very effective at both protecting your ears from noisy lawn mowers and reducing noise to the point where you can actually listen to your damn iPod while you’re doing your yard chores.

    Seeing as I just plunked down a bunch of cash for a new Nano (with gapless playback for you Pink Floyd fans), I’ll be passing on this.

  6. Lydia9 says:

    I actually really like my 2nd gen shuffle, in part because I can use it with my preferred brand of easily replaceable middle of the road, workhorse headphones.

    As much as I was ready to ugrade, this won’t be the shuffle I go for; I find apple’s earbuds to be uncomfortable, fragile, and bad on sound (possibly because they fit badly in my head), and there’s no way they’re going to sucker me in to paying half the cost of the unit to replace the headphones every time they get tangled up.

    The talking feature? I’ll pass.

  7. Anonymous says:

    iPod Shuffle 3rd generation has the special Earphones problem.

    I propose a solution. Many standard earphones (those for most cellphones) have a proper minijack connector, which allows you to hear the music if you turn the Shuffle on, but they do not have the controls.

    So my proposal is that Apple sends a firmware update which implements some kind of control on the songs, by moving the small switch which is on the Shuffle 3rd G. This would be a workaround which would allow us to use any kind of earphones.

    Of course, they would like that we bought their 80$ earphones which are not good at all.

  8. zgz says:

    The next ipod will just be a piece of wire wire that goes from the left ear bud to the right ear bud.

  9. bardfinn says:

    Perhaps Apple merely wished to avoid someone plugging in their amperage-guzzling headcans, thereby causing the minuscule battery to wither faster than a baddie in the last few minutes of Raiders of the Lost Ark.

    Many people find the provided headphones of iPods good enough. This little demure jewel is discreet enough to be worn on some business attire – which is probably its’ target market (the attire, not the people in them).

  10. strider_mt2k says:

    When Palm Vx sells yearly what iPods do then it would warrant concern.

    -and a relevant argument.

  11. booglysticks says:

    I personally have such tiny girlish ears that in-ear headphones don’t fit without pain, and I love my noise cancelling headphones too much anyway.

    Lucky I’m happy with my nano – I really hope they don’t carry this idea any further.

  12. ChibiR says:

    http://www.bobandgeorge.com/archives/index.php?date=030923 and the two following comics sum up my reaction to the “one button does everything except volume control” setup. I actually think I’ll buy it, but the somewhat odd setup (and the apparent lack of fast-forward/rewind – thanks for pointing that one out, Paul Dreyer!) is still making me frown. Let’s hope that the third-party equipment will improve things…

  13. Anonymous says:

    Why do they need a new Shuffle? I have a 2GB silver clip shuffle… IMO it has already reached the pinnacle of design simplicity:

    – it’s buttonology is optimal, anyone can pick it up and use it and it has no more buttons than it needs;

    – any smaller and it’d be difficult to use and easy to lose;

    – 2GB is more than enough to carry an adequate subset of my iTunes library;

    – it works with my favorite Sennheiser headphones and with inexpensive earbuds

    Apple has already released a Shuffle that perfecly fills its niche, and it’s so inexpensive anyone who wants one probably already has one. I predict this new one will just not sell.

  14. cyklo says:

    I’m amused that if you swap out the inline-control bundled earphones for your own, you reach Apple Zen: an iPod with zero buttons.

  15. phillsmiff says:

    Apple have missed a trick here: why not have each mp3 you buy from itunes tagged with a 5 second intro from the artist? Everyone else has to put up with robovoice, but if you buy your tunes from Apple you get the soothing voice of (insert favourite artist here) instead.

    The original shuffle was IMO the best: cheap and super simple, standard headphones, clicky switches ideal for gym-sweaty fingers, USB stick form factor so no cables to lose or carry around, lightwight, plasticky fun. Every shuffle since then has been incrementally more clever and jazzy and more un-necessary.

    I understand why they do it, but the necessities of marketing do have a knack for making something elegantly simple into something overblown and overengineered. Yes, well done, it is breathtakingly small, but I’m still not sure why exactly I would want that?

  16. BCJ says:

    Too bad there wasn’t room anywhere on the device to put controls on it (rolls eyes).

    So, you can only use Apple headphones? What if I want to plug it into a speaker system, or, god forbid, use headphones that don’t get shoved into my ears? That is fucking ridiculous.

    Also, Apple’s marketting is lying again. They claim that this is the “first music player that talks to you.” Ignoring the various musicians, DJs and radio personalities I had had conversations with, and the fact that my computers can both play music and use text to speach functions, or various devices aimed at blind consumers, Jens Of Sweden totally had a shuffle sized device that could do text to speach several years ago (I don’t have time to find it, but hopefully someone else remembers it. It was black, rubberised and had actual controls on it).

    Seriously though how has there not been some sort of antitrust case against Apple over the iPod?

  17. SamSam says:

    I’m surprised that Apple didn’t go the route of putting nice touch-sensitive controls on that minimalist body. That would be something nice and new(?) — touch controls on a screenless, featureless body.

    …maybe that was what they were planning, but then couldn’t get the technology to work right? So then they said “screw it, we’ve already decided on this featureless body, let’s just stick the controls on the headphones.

  18. djox106 says:

    My Gen 1 shuffle is still going strong. I may upgrade to a pod with a screen one day, but for now this li’l dude does the trick. My fave feature is still the usb connector (no fumubling with a dock or extra cable).

    Say what you will about ONLY 1 gig of storage, but I like to rotate in a new playlist every once and a while anyway.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Given my own experiences with the cheap-ass quality of all Apple cables (thin/weak/crack/break/fall apart etc) this one is definitely OFF my list.

  20. itssam says:

    it would be kind of cool if it just dropped into shuffle mode with non-apple headphones …. pretty much the pinical of the “shuffel” idea. Every time you unplug it pauses and every time you plug back in it picks a new random track.

  21. Agies says:

    @14 It would only be Apple Zen if the whole thing was a button.

  22. Anonymous says:

    I had a Shuffle and it fell off of my pocket where it had been resting (stupid clip they touted so much failed me!).

    Since I didn’t feel like plunking down another $70 or whatever on such a feature-slim music player, I bought a $10 matrix (http://preview.tinyurl.com/cxa3xp) – it has a radio, a minesweeper clone, a voice recorder, etc. The interface is probably the worst thing I’ve ever seen in my life (press up to select and the center button to go up a menu level), but it’s light and if I lose it I won’t feel too bad. Also, showing people the interface always sends me into fits of giggling.

  23. Anonymous says:

    I like the overall redesign, but the fact that it uses proprietary headphones that have the controls for the shuffle on them sucks major ass! seriously. apple needs to take this back to the drawing board and do some more redesigning. how about just leaving the controls the way they were on their previous shuffle model?

  24. Anonymous says:

    I actually like the new shape/design. But the inline control is just lame. It’s just guaranteed future revenue for Apple. So it was most likely intentionally designed this way.

    But really, it doesn’t matter. Because Apple will convince the public that this setup is actually good. It’s so good and ahead of the curve, that no one else on the market is doing it. LOL.

    As for Sony? All of their portables that have a remote control allow you to use your own earphones. Shocking, I know!

  25. musicalwoods says:

    They better have a small controls cord “extension” on release. There is no way I’d just use their crappy headphones. It seems silly to me that they would place a button on the headphone wire as opposed to the actual unit. Absurdity.

  26. Halloween Jack says:

    As someone who has had single-sided hearing loss since the age of three, and therefore has an extremely small selection of suitable earphones to choose from, my sympathy is limited.

  27. Strangepork says:

    coming soon: a firmware update to allow changing tracks with your thoughts.

    next form factor: the whole ipod just shoves right in your ear, no cables needed.

    logical conclusion: subcutaneous ipod implant, with bluetooth connectivity!
    downside: now all the surly emo-hipster apple employees are waving needles in your face, telling you how great is the new ipod!

  28. colonel gentleman says:

    Everything is amazing, nobody is happy.

    So much anguish over an $80 music player.

  29. J France says:

    I’m a bit pissed that my new $80 music player can’t skip backwards with the included controls.

    I love Apple, I grew up on SEs and OS 6. Long term fanboy. But this is shit.

  30. usonia says:

    Is this a sign of a Steve-less product? Yeah he’s a douche, but I can’t imagine proprietary headphones (a very Sony move indeed) would pass Steve muster.

  31. semiotix says:

    Holy Jobs, this is a train wreck. I try to stay away from the passions that Apple ignites (pro and con) but this is a major WTF as far as I can see.

    The appeal of the Shuffle was that it was practically disposable. I wore my first one out–this was a sub-gigabyte 1G–ran over my second one after it fell out of my coat pocket, replaced it with a third which I used for two months before deciding I really needed a secondhand Nano (so that I could use the Nike pedometer thing). Then my mom got me a fourth Shuffle for Christmas. (Thanks, Mom!) I haven’t even gotten around to giving that one away.

    And I’m pretty stingy with my gadget budget. All told, the Shuffles I bought for myself lasted me as long as a carefully maintained regular iPod, and cost less. Now they’re flirting with the $100 price point as the cheapest iPod again, plus the not-so-hidden cost of replacement headphones?

    Hell, has there ever been a proprietary headphone system before? Not counting the iPhone microphone-bud-on-a-cord, that at least makes some sense in terms of the functionality.

  32. Rob Beschizza says:

    There’s been plenty of similar proprietary headphones, but this is the first mainstream player with no corresponding controls on the device itself.

  33. Anonymous says:

    @#44

    point is if you want a better mp3 player, go get one. You can blag until Apple changes the design schematic or you could divorce the situation and just get an mp3 player with the design you want.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Oh come on, this is a Saturday Night Live skit… I’ve already seen this, the iPod Flea!

  35. tgjerusalem says:

    The iconic white iPod ear buds = a screaming neon MUG ME sign in my neighborhood. I imagine these with the visible controls would be worse.

  36. scaught says:

    They should have done it with in-line controls that you could plug your own phones into, like I’m sure griffin/belkin/whoever is going to release in short order. That would ruin some of the apple minimalist zen, but be much more functional. Apple does dumb shit sometimes.

  37. ill lich says:

    Another problem I have with continually redesigning the iPods– it makes 3rd party accessories obsolete too. You could buy an outside battery pack for the 1st gen nano, now those are only good with that model, and won’t work with any successive nanos.

    It is unclear how this new shuffle charges– the redesigned shuffle charged through the headphone output, so you couldn’t charge AND listen at the same time, PLUS you needed to carry the special shuffle dock to charge it with (whereas the original had a built in USB port).

    Some of these design changes make me think of planned obsolescence rather than functionality. And knowing how opposed Apple is to outside apps for their iPhone, it makes me think that IS their aim.

  38. Timothy Hutton says:

    I swear, when I first saw it, I thought this was a joke device from Apple – I had to see it in the Apple Store before I could believe it.

    Apple has got to be kidding – this looks like an over-reaction to the scratched glass on recent iPods.

    Before I read the descriptions I half-expected the controls to be (what I’ll call) a Magic 8 Ball control set – take the iPod, shake it, and a new song is selected, and random songs will be played (using existing shuffle algorithm) until you shake the iPod again.

    Hey, I wonder if I could patent this design…

  39. markfrei says:

    Just wait until they figure out how to go all iPhone App Store on your music collection and prevent you from playing songs with the f-word…

    Next up: ASCAP and BMI will be suing for mechanicals or performance royalties since the voice unit is likely to be reciting key lyrical elements on many songs.

  40. coop says:

    “Is this a sign of a Steve-less product? Yeah he’s a douche, but I can’t imagine proprietary headphones (a very Sony move indeed) would pass Steve muster.”

    You’re kidding right? Didn’t the original iPhone have a connector that required you to only use Apple headphones (until companies came out with adapters)?

    Apple is second only to Sony in terms of locking their suckers (aka customers) into Apple products. If M$ tried half of what Apple does in terms of system lockdown, they’d be sued in a minute.

    coop

  41. Scott says:

    Wow… You people will buy anything.

  42. Anonymous says:

    Do we have to care about the design flaws at this point? There are other easily affordable mp3 players out there that are better than iPods.
    For as preachy as boingboing tends to be with larger issues you guys sure know how to tolerate easily avoidable bullshit.

  43. sg says:

    1. where’s the bluetooth? If they’re taking the controls off the unit, they should take the cables off the ‘phones as well and just give me bluetooth earbuds with voice-command playback control. And lasers.

    2. Isn’t reading the ID3 tag a violation of the author’s audiobook rights? They don’t have an ebook of it TODAY, but that doesn’t mean they won’t come up with one later, and you should have to pay a license fee for that too… //sarcasm

  44. mrlucasbrice says:

    What do you do if, like me, you bought one of these things and then found out that the earphones didn’t work well with the shape of your ears and kept falling out. No problem, I thought, I’ll just use another pair of headphones…oh sh*t, proprietary plug…

  45. Anonymous says:

    Shure also makes a cord that has a remote built into it along with a mic. Here it is at the apple store – http://store.apple.com/us/product/TN544LL/A?fnode=MTY1NDAzOQ&mco=MzkxMzk1Ng

  46. subhan says:

    It’s hard to tell from the photos & limited info available on these, but I suspect the controls will be similar to the in-line remote for my Sony NetMD – the remote cord plugs in to the player, & the headphones plug in to the remote. Need new headphones? plug a new set in to the remote.

  47. Stephen says:

    The headphones are NOT proprietary. They are non-standard.

    Apple sells two alternate headphones that meet this spec.

    The spec itself has been out for a while. I don’t think it will take long.

  48. Baldhead says:

    I pod shuffles have always been inferior (mainly just overpriced) to other small- capacity Mp3 players, and here’s another reason why.

  49. Rob Beschizza says:

    There are definitely going to be adapters, as per BusinessWeek

  50. valerieintoronto says:

    If it works out (and it may not), VoiceOver on the Shuffle could be a big deal for people who are visually-impaired.

    It might be like when iTunes brought podcasts directly into their interface: sure there were other apps and aggregators around if you looked for them, but iTunes made subscribing stupidly easy for people who had no idea what RSS is and opened everything up to the mainstream, for better or for worse. Apple applying their marketing language to the concept helped quite a bit as well with getting everyone educated at least to a certain extent.

    Now, someone with a vision-impairment doesn’t have to go scrounging around specialized sites to find some relatively obscure gadget/app to be able to navigate portable music with multiple playlists. They can pick up an iPod – and the cheapest of them, at that – like anyone else and get it going with the least (though probably some) amount of fuss, again just like anyone else.

    What’s also cool is that Apple is saying things like “…you can easily find the right mix without taking your eyes off your run, your ride, or whatever you’re doing.” For a while, I’ve been trying to make a point that when we’re listening to audio (usually referring to audio podcasts), we’re all sort of blind – we’re all relying on sound content. It’s just some folks have no choice. So when a device like the Shuffle comes up where sighted people have no choice either, Apple finally decides more accessibility is necessary. Whatever the motivation, it’s progress.

    Okay, you can go back to bitching about the headphones (agreed, I don’t understand why it had to be changed that way). I’ll go back to my low-vision friends who bitch about what a pain in the ass iTunes is.

  51. Agies says:

    @52 It’s 16 gigs. That’s a problem right there. Hardly enough space to hold the music I have on my current player, let alone podcasts (I keep the five most recent episodes) and videos. Frankly it’s a sin for any player that espouses video to have less than 30 gigs of storage. Then again maybe that’s just mr.

  52. Cowicide says:

    Let’s see, now when I ride my bike and listen to music I have a controller that’s safer and easier to access and the player is lighter and smaller than ever. I’m furious. [rolls eyes]

    You people are shrill tools. If you don’t like the headphones and you are so worried about being “green”, then RECYCLE… pick up a used older shuffle from craigslist (or is that beneath you?). I’ll be putting mine on there for you to purchase… cheap… while I enjoy my exercise with the new shuffle.

  53. remmelt says:

    Hmmm, SG, you have a point. What’s the largest title you can put in ID3? I guess it’s doable to create a script that makes a bunch of mp3s of zero length with sentences from an ebook as the artist and title. Presto, ebook reader and corresponding law suit.

  54. Anonymous says:

    Apple would do well to sell only a length of cord with the inline controls that you can then plug any headphones into.

    That said, the ipods I have accumulated over the years serve well enough to skip this generation.

  55. Anonymous says:

    Propriatary headphones? Are they kidding? Never has a company less deserved the unconditional adoration it receives.

  56. unfocused says:

    The worst part about inline controls is that when you reach for them, they’re never in the same place.

    Being attached to a flexy line that oscillates with body motion makes it impossible to find the button when you’re busy doing something else (like working out in a gym, or dancing around the apartment) and I find that intolerable.

    The shuffle WAS pretty cool in large part because it was soooo focused on being useful. Now it’s not.

    NO SALE.

  57. dculberson says:

    Timothy Hutton, the current gen Nano does the shake-to-shuffle thing. It’s irritating as all hell, as when I take the nano out of my center console it shuffles, thus losing my place in the current playlist. I need to disable it.

  58. Daemon says:

    Any mp3 player that doesn’t give me a screen to access my assorted playlists is worthless to me.

    Forcing me to use their headphones is even worse. I have yet to own a set of bud earphones last more than a few months.

  59. leah says:

    maybe i’m an idiot, but i don’t understand how to get to the next song.. i’m used to my ipod nano 3g and my mom got this new one. i’m trying to figure it out for her but i can’t seem to find then ‘next’ buttons. unless you have to use the voiceover thing for that as well..

  60. dculberson says:

    Oh, and: jeez, I wish people would give the “you Apple fans blah blah” and “BoingBoing preachy blah blah” shit a rest. It’s really tiresome. Would you talk that way to a friend? If so, you probably don’t have many friends.

  61. Jenonymous says:

    Y’know, I just got the latest Nano, and I’m already appalled at how hard it is to get iTunes to work on Vista. I wound up having to use WinAmp to kind of, sort of, get music on the thing.

    NO WAY would I lock in to Apple’s proprietary headphones; how much more is the programming for that going to f-up what sliver of non-apple-OS interface that’s left?

    And yeah, out of the box the first thing I did was disable all haptic functioning and clicking.

  62. SamSam says:

    @58: Good point, this thing doesn’t have enough space for videos!

    Wait a minute…

  63. mdh says:

    When the Palm Pre ships, I eagerly await the howls of indignation about landfills filling up with discarded Vx’s.

    All 4000 of you, in harmony?

  64. pewma says:

    I really hope someone at Apple thought to have a remote middle-man for using it with any other audio output.

  65. dhalgren says:

    Yea that Nano Shake-Rattle-and-Shuffle is annoying as all get out. It took me forever to find where to disable that function. It saved my sanity, oh and FINALLY finding out how to turn off the click-noise thing.

    Anyway I still love my and worship the first 60gig video Ipod. Dropped in pool, thrown on the ground, kicked, scratched to hell, been to places never designed to go, and it still runs beautifully.

    I’ve never used it for video of course, just for my vast music collection. I want to get the new ones but although mine is a beast, fat, slow, and heavy, I love it.

    After these last few years I’m sure one day it will just give up and die, but it’s the best $300+ dollars I spent on any portable music device.

  66. Paul Dreyer says:

    No rewind or fast-forward anymore either. Pass.

  67. Earth Man says:

    Finally, a Shuffle Derek Zoolander would appreciate.

  68. Moriarty says:

    I’m going to create a music player that’s just a small, mirror finish, completely featureless sphere. It will hover about 4 feet off the ground and follow its owner around, broadcasting music directly into the brain of the user or hideous screaching into the brains of would-be assailants and/or owners who haven’t paid their monthly iSphere fee.

  69. remmelt says:

    No problems here with the current Nano. I really like how the shake-to-shuffle works. If you keep shaking it in a steady way, like if you were running, it won’t skip. Mine needs a sharp, hard shake to really shuffle to the next song.

    Turning it off wasn’t really all that hard either, right? Settings > Playback > Shake.

  70. Cowicide says:

    #77 POSTED BY ZGZ , MARCH 12, 2009 12:26 AM
    > The next ipod will just be a piece of wire wire
    > that goes from the left ear bud to the right ear bud.

    That’d be awesome (I’m not being sarcastic). You could move to the next song by tapping your right bud and to the previous song by tapping the left bud. To transfer music to the buds, they just use wireless bluetooth, wifi or something. You change volume by tapping twice quickly (right bud louder, left bud softer).

    I’d buy it in a heartbeat if it was cheap.

  71. Jack says:

    I hate this thing. I have two different colors of the 1 gig clip version of the shuffle and they are perfect. I use Panasonic RP-HTX9 headphones with them because I hate those in-ear headphones. They are disgusting and they can cause ear zits. So now if I want 4 Gigs I need to get this piece of junk with a proprietary set of headphones?

    Even if Belkin or Griffin makes an adapter, it defeats the simplicity.

    Stupid move, Apple. Very stupid move.

  72. ROSSINDETROIT says:

    I’m still in the dark ages of portable players. My most portable is a Palm Tungsten E that I bought exclusively for its music player abilities. It will play music off of easily swappable 2G micro SD chips if you can actually keep track of the tiny things. It actually sounds REALLY good and will drive any headphones good and loud. As a bonus, while I’m listening to music I can also read a book on the thing or work on math problems using one of the numerous free apps.
    My first portable, of which I still have 3, is a Rio Riot. It’s a 20G hard drive based unit the size and weight of a paperback book. Great for a compact system in the bedroom, shop, car, etc but hopelessly anachronistic.

  73. johninsapporo says:

    You mean I need a computer to use this software!!?

  74. usonia says:

    Sorry Moriarty, the sphere-to-brain interface will probably sound like crap.

  75. boyhowdy says:

    I’m partially deaf, and have tinnitus; I use audio bone conduction headphones — very pricey.

    No dice on this object, then.

    Anyone want to help me sue apple? Bet we can afford plenty of iPods then…

  76. codeman38 says:

    @#16: Not only that, but the latest generation of the iPod Nano also has VoiceOver support. So it’s not even the first iPod that can talk to you.

  77. toxonix says:

    Bad apple
    1. Clip will break.
    2. WTF, voice menu? Will it know how to pronounce Necrophagist correctly? I don’t think so.
    3. No 1/8 jack on the headphone control? WTF?

  78. jefflin says:

    great, look so cool, i’d like to get one, and looking for whether it can put my dvd on new ipod shuffle, glad to find one which can convert dvd and video to new iPod shuffle.

  79. earthmann says:

    2 gig Apacer Audio Steno AU822, 30 bucks, minimalist design (read “ipod inspired”), full color screen, plays video, stores photos, voice recorder, and easily dubs as a memory stick.

    And I can delete unwanted music from the device itself.

  80. strider_mt2k says:

    I wonder if eventually there will be a backlash over all the trashing of last years iPod shit in favor of the new stuff.

    I’ve trashed (destroyed and thrown away in the trash) entire lots of iPod accessories yearly for a few years now.

    The trend looks to continue.
    Way to green up, Apple.

  81. Charlie Stross says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but …

    Doesn’t the location of the controls mean that this iPod only works with Apple’s own headphones?

    I’ll grant you the ear canal jobbies are okay, but the ordinary buds that come with any iPod are awful in the sound quality department, and this pod is going to be utterly useless with competitor’s cans.

    Sometimes minimalism can go too far.

  82. Godott says:

    When i took my ipod classic to be repaired at a 3rd party repair shop (irepair.ca) I was informed that all ipods used proprietary head phones. When I presented the shop with my “crackly” ipod they quickly deduced I was using some quality headphones. It was suggested that I stick with the crappier Apple brand earbuds after the repair. They even showed me the slight difference in length between my headphone jack and the Apple earbud jack. They said the problems caused by using non-Apple head phones is their number one repair.

  83. Agies says:

    Looking at the video over at Gizmodo it shows that the remote is built into the wire for the right earbud so the splicing method won’t work terribly well.

  84. Rob Beschizza says:

    Yeah, it looks like the only headphones useful in this will be Apple ones or ones licensed be Apple for use in the third-generation iPod Shuffle.

  85. strider_mt2k says:

    Well, yes.
    I believe some mention of that was made in the body of the article.

    I dunno, it was a long half paragraph.

  86. Zaren says:

    So when your headphones get lost / break / run off to join the circus, you have no way to use the thing? Wow, that’s a stupid design feature. And this, from a major Apple fanboy and certified Apple tech.

  87. AJ says:

    It would also mean only using the iPod with ONLY headphones and not some other audo device such as my car stereo, my stereo at home etc…..

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