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Apple unveils redesigned iPod shuffle with speech technology

post #1 of 342
Thread Starter 
Apple on Wednesday introduced an all-new iPod shuffle that's nearly half the size of the previous model and includes speech technology, making it the first music player "that talks to you."

New Aluminum Design

The third generation shuffle (guided tour) is significantly smaller than a AA battery, holds up to 1,000 songs with its 4GB of built-in storage, and is controlled exclusively through buttons located on the earphone cord that ships with the player. It features a new aluminum design with a built-in stainless steel clip that makes it wearable like the previous-generation model.

VoiceOver Speech Technology

A new VoiceOver feature (demo) also allows the player to speak your song titles, artists and playlist names. With the press of a button (demo), you can play, pause, adjust volume, switch playlists and hear the name of the song and artist.



"Imagine your music player talking to you, telling you your song titles, artists and playlist names," said Greg Joswiak, Apple's vice president of iPod and iPhone Product Marketing. "The amazingly small new iPod shuffle takes a revolutionary approach to how you listen to your music by talking to you, also making it the first iPod shuffle with playlists."



iPod shuffle is based on Apple's popular shuffle feature, which randomly selects songs from your music library. So when you can't remember the name of a song or an artist playing, with the press of a button iPod shuffle tells you the name of the song and artist.

The new iPod shuffle can also tell you status information, such as battery life. It speaks 14 languages including English, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish.



Dimensions and Battery Life

Available in silver or black, the new shuffles retain their crown as "the smallest music players" with a new 1.8-inch tall x 0.3-inch thin design the weighs just 0.38 ounces. Expected battery life from the built-in rechargeable lithium polymer battery is said to be "up to 10 hours" on a full charge. Depleted batteries will reportedly recharge to 80% of their capacity in 2 hours, or 100% in 3 hours.

Environment and box contents

In line with AppleÂs continuing environmental progress, the third-generation shuffle is made with a highly recyclable aluminum enclosure and is free of Brominated flame retardants and PVC.

Inside each iPod shuffle box, which is similar to the previous generation's plastic capsule, you'll find a pair of Apple Earphones withÂ*Remote, an iPod shuffle USB dock sync cable (1.8 in/45 mm), a quick start guide, and the player itself.

Pricing and Availability

The third generation 4GB iPod shuffle is now shipping for $79 (US) through the Apple Store, Apple's retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers. Each model comes with the Apple Earphones with Remote and the iPod shuffle USB cable.



iPod shuffle requires a Mac with a USB 2.0 port, Mac OS X v10.4.11 or later and iTunes 8.1 or later; or a Windows PC with a USB 2.0 port and Windows Vista, Windows XP Home or Professional (Service Pack 3) or later and iTunes 8.1.

iTunes 8.1 Due Shortly

The most current version of iTunes is 8.0.2, suggesting iTunes 8.1 will arrive momentarily.
post #2 of 342
Looks nice but i can think of nothing worse than an Ipod trying to speak the names and titles to the music i would keep on there...
post #3 of 342
Wow, Apple sure are updating a lot as of recently.

Sounds cool, might pick one up for the gym.
post #4 of 342
iTunes 8.1? Did I miss something here?

Shuffles look SWEET btw.
post #5 of 342
Looks cool! But, now you're locked in to Apple earbuds for basic control? I like to use my current Shuffle with Etymotic ER-4Ps at the gym...better sound quality and blocks off the gym music being played too loudly. There are times when I would like to check on song and artist info though, that's a plus, and double capacity.
post #6 of 342
hmmm, so it cant be used with anything other than Apple headphones?
post #7 of 342
So how about a remote cord for those of us who hate the Apple headphones?
post #8 of 342
wow... shared sentiment.
post #9 of 342
So you have to use their crummy headphones to use the the thing? is there at lease a pass through cable included so you can use GOOD headphones or a car stereo?
You can't quantify how much I don't care -- Bob Kevoian of the Bob and Tom Show.
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You can't quantify how much I don't care -- Bob Kevoian of the Bob and Tom Show.
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post #10 of 342
Quote:
Originally Posted by mariofreak85 View Post

hmmm, so it cant be used with anything other than Apple headphones?

That is NOT cool. Apple must be making a ton off headphone sales. Ugly move.
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Emailing video from iPhone to Apple TV , sort of..
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post #11 of 342
Uhhhh, that's not significantly smaller than a AA battery.
post #12 of 342
Quote:
Originally Posted by F1Turbo View Post

Looks cool! But, now you're locked in to Apple earbuds for basic control? I like to use my current Shuffle with Etymotic ER-4Ps at the gym...better sound quality and blocks off the gym music being played too loudly. There are times when I would like to check on song and artist info though, that's a plus, and double capacity.

Here's what I just posted on the other thread about the new shuffles

Quote:
Originally Posted by tazinlwfl View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

How many of those are there? Does anyone make an adaptor that has controls and a socket that any third-party headphones can plug in to?

I know that a few V-MODA, SHURE, and others have playback controls (with a mic).

And Griffin has something like what I think you're talking about. I didn't look into it too much, but here's a link. Maybe you can research more.

hopefully the same functionality of the remote will work on the Shuffles too

the only thing im not sure of is if they changed the remote headphones too (because of how the new voice talk feature works)
post #13 of 342
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

Uhhhh, that's not significantly smaller than a AA battery.

AA battery volume is .39 cu. in.
Apple says volume of the new Shuffle is .26 Cu. in.
That would make the shuffle 2/3 the volume of the AA battery
And, (I think) qualifies as 'significantly smaller'
post #14 of 342
Umm.....it would seem the new player talks to you and you don't have to talk to it. So why do you all believe we have to use an Apple set of earbuds?

By the way, surprise surprise surprise! Apple really does think that they don't need event so much anymore to announce products. They are still going to need the WWDC to announce the new iphone though.
post #15 of 342
Quote:
Originally Posted by tazinlwfl View Post

Here's what I just posted on the other thread about the new shuffles



hopefully the same functionality of the remote will work on the Shuffles too

the only thing im not sure of is if they changed the remote headphones too (because of how the new voice talk feature works)

Thanks for the link! I'm glad there's some options out there. I think I'd be more likely to use one of those for my iPhone than a Shuffle. I like the simplicity and small size of the current shuffle, without having to carry around an adapter.
post #16 of 342
Quote:
Originally Posted by tazinlwfl View Post

Here's what I just posted on the other thread about the new shuffles



hopefully the same functionality of the remote will work on the Shuffles too

the only thing im not sure of is if they changed the remote headphones too (because of how the new voice talk feature works)

I don't know if Shure updated their product, but the version I bought didn't have any volume controls. I didn't see any mention of volume controls with the ones linked at iLounge either. The items don't appear to have them.

I need to replace my Shure mic adapter, I miss it. It's easy to lose. The weak link on that product is that clip fell off and it's hard to use the product without a clip, and I lost any motivation to find it because of that. I would like to see some conventional headphones with those controls built into the cable.
post #17 of 342
To make sure it wasn't April 1.

Wow. Wow wow wow.

An amazing bit of tech in a small package.

At first I thought they borrowed this from the Nike+ system, but I believe that's recorded snippets, this has to be engineered from VoiceOver.
post #18 of 342
Quote:
Originally Posted by Olternaut View Post

Umm.....it would seem the new player talks to you and you don't have to talk to it. So why do you all believe we have to use an Apple set of earbuds?

The controls, including play button, are built into the earbuds. There are no control buttons on the player. Without an adapter, you'd have no way to have it play music, nor pause, volume control, etc.
post #19 of 342
Sweet, I personally don't care for this new model, but updates mean the old versions go to Clearance!!! And Apple really seems to be going the Sony route as far as proprietary connectors/headphones/etc. is concerned. I prefer my Etymotics for working out so I don't have to go deaf drowning out the rest of the gym, and I've never found Apple's earbuds to stay in comfortably. Oh well, Clearance store here I come.
post #20 of 342
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJMarkyMarc View Post

Looks nice but i can think of nothing worse than an Ipod trying to speak the names and titles to the music i would keep on there...

It looks like it doesn't do it by default, only on request:

Quoting Apple.com:
Quote:
VoiceOver. It speaks for itself.

With the press of a button, VoiceOver tells you what song is playing and who's performing it.2 It tells you the names of your playlists, too.
post #21 of 342
I don't think the controls are proprietary in any way. Why are people saying this?
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post #22 of 342
Looks great- but what does it sound like??
post #23 of 342
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJMarkyMarc View Post

Looks nice but i can think of nothing worse than an Ipod trying to speak the names and titles to the music i would keep on there...

I know, like we were all really craving and in need of this?
post #24 of 342
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

It looks like it doesn't do it by default, only on request:

It is a setting in iTunes, a I'm sure you suspected.

image: http://images.apple.com/ipodshuffle/...s_20090311.jpg
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #25 of 342
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I don't think the controls are proprietary in any way. Why are people saying this?

Because Sennheiser doesn't make a pair of 10 dollar earbuds that have those buttons and extra contact on the cable.
post #26 of 342
Quote:
Originally Posted by a_greer View Post

So you have to use their crummy headphones to use the the thing? is there at lease a pass through cable included so you can use GOOD headphones or a car stereo?

I wish that Apple would work on a pass-thru standard, so those who are happy with the Apple buds can use those, and the rest can just plug the remote bit into their Sures or Boses, or whatever.

Many of the most important software concepts were invented in the 70s and forgotten in the 80s.

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Many of the most important software concepts were invented in the 70s and forgotten in the 80s.

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post #27 of 342
It's a real shame the there isn't a 3.5mm jack socket atop the control house to plug in third part headphones. Apart from that, killer update.
post #28 of 342
Is Apple's lowliest product offering a glimpse of the future.
We know that Apple doesn't think keyboards should be on portable devices (apart from Macbooks). With all this debate about are Apple doing a NetBook or will they launch an upscale iPodTouch tablet.
Maybe they plan to add voice recognition to the iPhone (we need it for voice dialling anyway) and iPodTouch. If they could get this to actually work then maybe a keyboard is not necessary.
Is Voice Over on the Shuffle the first glimpse of this - first Touch then Voice.
post #29 of 342
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

I know, like we were all really craving and in need of this?

I was, and that wasn't the first time I've mentioned it...
http://forums.appleinsider.com/showt...31#post1388331
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #30 of 342
Quote:
Originally Posted by walshbj View Post

That is NOT cool. Apple must be making a ton off headphone sales. Ugly move.

So when the headphones break, and who hasn't messed up a pair in the gym, you're screwed until you pick one up from Apple? That's ridiculous!
Well I guess if people can be convinced that a sealed-in battery on a $3,000 laptop is essential then they'll fall for this too.
post #31 of 342
Wow, this really pushes the envelope. Amazingly small form factor.
post #32 of 342
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I was, and that wasn't the first time I've mentioned it...
http://forums.appleinsider.com/showt...31#post1388331

Well I'm glad you got what you asked for- SJ must be on your speed dial.
post #33 of 342
i think this is indeed a reflection of things to come.

we need voiceover on the ipod touch / iphone if we are going to have turn by turn navigation, for instance.

with apple, i think you see the technology advance and then you see it get implemented across the product line.
post #34 of 342
Quote:
Originally Posted by PXT View Post

I wish that Apple would work on a pass-thru standard, so those who are happy with the Apple buds can use those, and the rest can just plug the remote bit into their Sures or Boses, or whatever.

The pass-thru controller sounds like something that Apple will produce (for $20=$30) but will wait a couple months before releasing. We also have to consider the number of people that are buying the Shuffle that will actually use a 3rd-party headphone. I use Apple's in-ear phones, which are pretty good quality and at at $79 make it better deal for me than buying another pair for $x and then buying a pass-thru controller to go with it. I think Apple will probably see how things go first before putting that accessory into production.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #35 of 342
Quote:
Originally Posted by F1Turbo View Post

Looks cool! But, now you're locked in to Apple earbuds for basic control?

This is a complete deal breaker for me, as can never get those old-style earbuds to stay in my ears; which is a real shame, because apart from that the device looks excellent.
post #36 of 342
Speaking song titles is probably the dumbest waste of tech I've ever heard of. They spent the time money and effort on that, but they still resist even a one line display?

Oh, and a new bonus!! They've raised the price too!
post #37 of 342
Ah.....but is it snappier?
post #38 of 342
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsenka View Post

Oh, and a new bonus!! They've raised the price too!

But doubled the capacity, right?
post #39 of 342
Hey, I haven't used headphones in months now. I'm too busy listening to music blasting over my 5.1 Home Theatre

I have my own gym so I don't need to worry about using my iPhone as a MP3 player too much.

So I'm not exactly the person to know quality of which brand of headphones, and I am definitely not up with the times on features.

But I AM looking into the newer in-ear headphones (Apple) for my iPhone. They have a remote, and they are higher quality than the standard headphones.
post #40 of 342
Looks bland. Kinda like chewing gum for robots. Intriguing and strangely desirable, nonetheless. Seems too "plain" for Steve to have 100% approved it.
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