1Gb iPod Shuffle

Wednesday, 16 March 2005

After much coaxing, my financial controller relented and let me get a 1Gb iPod Shuffle at Singapore for SGD 270. This worked out to be about MYR 100 less than the RRP here in Malaysia. I would have gotten it for about SGD 250 if we have departed Singapore by air, via the tax refund scheme.

My iPod Shuffle came in a well designed, compact packaging. The attractive green colour of the box was very refreshing and eye-catching. The box contents included the iPod Shuffle unit wrapped in an adhesive plastic, the lanyard cap, a pair of iPod earphones, installation CD, a help card, the instruction manual, Apple stickers and two packs of ear-socks.

The device itself is very well made. There are no seams along the sides of the unit like many two-halves case designs. The edges of the casing had a well-made "sharp" feel to it, and the rounded corners is aesthetically pleasing to look and handle. The surface of the case is polished white and quite prone to stains and scratches if handled roughly. Fortunately, the case is easy to wipe clean with any cleaning cloth.

Interface of the iPod consisted of the famous clicker wheel--a round middle button for play/pause within an outer rocker button for volume (up/down) and track navigation (left/right). The back of the device has a 3-position switch for off, continuous mode and shuffle mode. The button reveals a green background when the device is in any of the 2 play modes other than off. There's also a battery indicator button which glows either green for a full charge, yellow for a mid charge and orange for a low battery. My iPod's been operating for 2 days of intermittent usage since it's last full charge. The iPod Shuffle has no LCD display.

Connectors for the earphones and the USB caps is consistent with the overall quality of the product and fitted well. I've read somewhere about possible concerns with the unit slipping out when attached to the lanyard, personally, I think it's only possible for the iPod Shuffle to fall off the lanyard connector if you (or someone else) pulls at the unit really hard. Otherwise, the iPod Shuffle hangs on just fine on the lanyard.

With the iPod Shuffle checked out of it's packaging it was time to charge up it's batteries and load up some songs. The instructions recommended a first charge of 4 hours to get the device going. Feeding the iPod was simply a matter of plugging it to a USB 2.0 port. The device is powered by an internal lithium-ion battery, which means it can be recharged at any time without fear of screwing up the battery's memory.

Transferring music to the iPod is easily done via the iTunes application. To save time from manually choosing songs, there's the auto-fill function which randomly picks songs from your iTunes library to load into the iPod. The actual transfer of songs to the device takes some time, about 20-30 minutes to load up about 800mb of songs. You can also specify how much space on the iPod Shuffle to reserve for data, should you decide to use the device as a thumbdrive. I allocated about 128mb. Only songs transferred via iTunes can be played by the device. But you can store anything in the data partition.

Audio quality for the diminutive player is good. Tracks imported directly from CD via iTunes have a noticeable clarity compared to songs imported from my old mp3 library. Navigating tracks is a mindless affair, forward, backward or just let it play randomly--which suits me just fine.

The iPod Shuffle is not for those who insist on playing a specific track or get their jollies from pages of track information about the songs they're listening to. However, if like me, you just want a simple mp3 player which also functions as a thumb-drive, does not require exotic adapters to recharge its batteries or a thesis to figure out its controls, then the iPod Shuffle is just the thing to hit that sweet gadget spot in your life.

The iPod Shuffle is also available in 512Mb models. Visit MacAsia for more info.

One Comment

#1Gravatar imagekOtAk says:

i-Pod Shuffle sounds like a dance move… XD XD

Let’s do the i-Pod…!”

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