Apple's 3G iPod shuffle reviewed: a step too far?

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  • Reply 81 of 128
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    It's increasingly clear that Apple has run into the limits of what the iPod shuffle can do, not to mention its own design aesthetic.



    There is plenty of room for the Shuffle to evolve. Screenless, multi-touch, gesture controls on that empty flat side. With A2DP they could put the controls back on the iPod and have even more convenience.



    Personally I hope they make all those "complicated" inline controls work with the next version of the iPhone/iPod Touch (actually the whole iPod line); including VoiceOver.
  • Reply 82 of 128
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,756member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Boogerman2000 View Post


    Exactly. How is it that everyone is missing that?



    Only the tech-heads (small minority of the customer base) miss that. It's the same group that's always been up in arms over copy and paste, etc. LOL, like anyone else gives a damn.



    The average user this is targeted toward will snap up these Shuffles like they were candy. And happily, I consider myself an average user, too.
  • Reply 83 of 128
    expatexpat Posts: 110member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by johnqh View Post


    People still don't get it.Everything about the new Shuffle design is about keeping it invisible. You don't change songs when exercising. You don't care about audio/earphone/headphone quality when exercising. Instead, you want it as light as possible. You may want different style of music depending on the type of exercising, so it adds the ability to change playlist.



    You just contradicted yourself here - you want to change styles of music, but not songs? I don't think this is possible for the most part.



    That being said, when I work out or run, I tend to have a short attention span. I appreciate the fact that the 2G Shuffle allows for easy changing of songs. I do agree that I don't care as much about earphone quality, but then again I also could care less about voiceover or switching between playlists (or a display for that matter). Just let me upload 100+ songs and I'll listen to what I want and skip what I don't.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by johnqh View Post


    Edit: why does Apple move the controls to the earphone? Because that's the best place when you exercise.



    Not for all of us. When I run, I have my shuffle clipped to the bottom of my shirt, with the headphone cables run up the inside of my shirt. Unless the controls on the new earphones are rather high up, they won't be accessible to me. On top of that, when I run or work out my hands are closer to my waist then my neck, so it makes the headphone controls more pointless.



    I'd rather have to use my player controls than have my headphone cable out. It flaps around, your hand/arm can get caught in it while running, same with weights.



    I think the amount of outrage over the new iPod is that for a lot of us, the 2G model was the perfect iPod for working out, or just for listening to news podcasts on the way to work. Sometimes, when you add features, you're just tacking stuff on for the sake of taking it on. As for the controls, the iPod, regardless of the model, has ALWAYS been about ease of use. The whole experience, from iTunes to the unit itself, is about simplicity. The "morse code" of controls makes a mockery of this.



    Yes, you can control different playlists, and you have voiceover to tell you what is playing (instead of a screen), but like most Shuffle users, I have a larger iPod with all of this stuff, so what do I care about more features on the shuffle? My whole take on the Shuffle is "keep it simple, stupid" - the 2G was great, and I didn't think that they could do much with it. maybe more storage, or a lower price.



    The 3G is, as mentioned before, the fat Nano of the shuffle line. I fully expect the 4th generation to be different, either incorporating more of the 2G look or features, or just making serious revisions to the 3G. After all, use that blank face on the 3G for the same controls on the headphones - that would be a start. That, and lower the price. AFter all, the Shuffle is rarely a person's primary and only iPod - its an accessory for us iPod users.



    ALl of that being said, I do like the USB sync cable. It could be a little longer for some users, but I like it a lot more than the 2G dock.
  • Reply 84 of 128
    johnqhjohnqh Posts: 242member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Expat View Post


    You just contradicted yourself here - you want to change styles of music, but not songs? I don't think this is possible for the most part.



    When do you ever change songs when running?



    You may want some soft music for yoga, but rock for running. How hard is that to understand?
  • Reply 85 of 128
    virgil-tb2virgil-tb2 Posts: 1,416member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    As multiple someones also said that the assumptions that it's harder to navigate while moving are false. In reality it's easier to use controls on the wire than on the device if attached to your person. The only way that the controls would be easier to use on the device would be in the device was in your hand. ...



    I'd also like to smack down this assumption, which I think is based mostly on "teckstud's" comments (need I say more about the source?)



    I actually have used these things and the Apple in-ear headphones of similar design and the idea that they jiggle around to the point that they are unusable is simply wrong.



    The control is about 2.5 inches at most from the bottom of your ear, it's always there and can be easily found "by feel" with no problem at all. There just isn't enough cord to swing at that short distance from your ear. I always find the control with my hand, I never have to look, jogging or no.



    This is just not a factor at all except in the minds of trolls like "teckstud" who supposes more than he knows of, a whole variety of "flaws" that don't really exist. It's one thing to put out a statement like "it seems to me that the cable might swing," but another to post as he has that this is a serious problem when he hasn't even tried it.
  • Reply 86 of 128
    johnqhjohnqh Posts: 242member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Expat View Post


    Not for all of us. When I run, I have my shuffle clipped to the bottom of my shirt, with the headphone cables run up the inside of my shirt. Unless the controls on the new earphones are rather high up, they won't be accessible to me. On top of that, when I run or work out my hands are closer to my waist then my neck, so it makes the headphone controls more pointless.



    Please go to Apple Store and take a look first before making a comment. The controls are very high, higher than where the wires split.



    Yes, the position of the hards is a good point, but still, I will bet it is easier and faster to find the location of the G3 controls, than to find G2 and trying to figure out which button is which. [Edit] Actually, when you run, your hands are chest high. It is about the same distance to the bottom of your shirt and to your neck level.



    Your comments shows that you like the G2 very much that you won't even consider a newer way. I am not saying G2 is bad. However, I have the G1 only so I can compare the G2 and G3 more fairly.
  • Reply 87 of 128
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post


    Lot's of people do not share that view, including myself. That there is remaining stock of the old model is of little comfort. When that stock is exhausted, there will just be the hugely flawed new one, or other manufacturers products. Now there's an idea.



    When Apple is trying to get rid of left over stock they put it on the their refurb or clearance site? It's not their practice to still offer the previous generation product in their main store, much less advertise on the main page that the previous generation in every colour, including Product Red, is still available. That doesn't sound like they are trying to a quick buck on old stock to me.



    When Apple does eventually stop selling the 2G Shuffle in their main store and in their discount section what is stopping you from buying it from other sources. It'll be cheaper, too boot.



    PS: Why is that with every Apple product release we get people crying that Apple is no longer supporting their needs? Does this happen with other vendors, too?
  • Reply 88 of 128
    jimcordjimcord Posts: 25member
    I actually own this and can comment on it. Yes it is small and that is great, It works fantastic out at the gym or when running. After a few tries, you completely get the hang of using the click response on the remote. I personally think it is getter than the last shuffle. It still was to heave to hang off of a mans tshirt to now bounce around when running or exercising.
  • Reply 89 of 128
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    Something no one has mentioned so far; robustness.



    In my experience, cords/cables are always a weak link. They are usually the first element in a system to break or malfunction. For this reason alone, putting the controls for a devise on a cord is not a good thing for the consumer. Such a design necessitates far greater interaction and manipulation of the weakest link, with the inevitable, tugs and jerks that will cumulatively hasten the time when the cord fails.



    My 3rd gen iPod came with a wired in line remote. I have used this in my car audio installation as a convenient way to control the iPod. Quite recently, it failed, where the cord went into the proprietary plug which plugs into the iPod.



    I was able to fix it, but most people wouldn't be able to. Now this brings me to an interesting observation.



    When I bought my 3rd gen iPod, it was from an Apple I admired and thought highly of. A company that made products of value. In the charming origami like box was:



    The ipod

    An attractive and functional protective case with belt clip.

    A firewire cable of decent length.

    A pair of earbuds

    A good length cable with wired remote (with clip) and a socket, compatible with ANY headphones.

    A dock

    A mini USB adapter



    These days you count yourself lucky if you find a $5 off voucher towards a $25 USB sync cable



    At the very minimum, the shuffle should have come with an adapter cable with controls that would have allowed any headphones or other devices to be used with it.



    Even cooler would have been if it had come with the controls on a detachable wireless remote that could be clipped anywhere and yet still operate it. Any headphones or other devices could then have been used with it. This would have made for a more robust device of far greater utility. It would have been a true advance.



    Trouble is, it would also have been out of character for Apple of today, the one which probably thinks they were mad in making the 3rd gen iPod such great value and a nice experience for the consumer.
  • Reply 90 of 128
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    PS: Why is that with every Apple product release we get people crying that Apple is no longer supporting their needs?



    In my case it is because I have no problem envisioning products that could have and should have been better, knowing full well there is little chance any other manufacturer will come even close, any time soon.



    The Touch is a good case in point, even now, years after it's first release, this multimedia device remains a tantalising potential acquisition, but is crippled in being limited to only 32gb. I have seen several claims the iPod classics are far and away the best selling iPod model, which means most people have a need for greater capacity than can be provided by solid state memory, which is still way too expensive to substitute for hard drives. The Touch, with it's obvious visual media features, is something which even more than the Classic, should be a device with a large storage capacity.



    If Apple made a Touch with a HD and therefore realistic storage capacity, appropriate to it's potential, I would buy one in a flash, as I imagine would many, many others.



    Whats wrong with criticising something you perceive as flawed?



    If you got a school report back for your child and it said, 'outstandingly intelligent, but could try harder' would you think things were just fine, or would you perhaps consider there might be room for improvement?



    Apple is like that child - it's all you have - you can't just ask the stork for a better one, the only course of action is dialogue, in the hope of encouraging future improvement.



    I have a a 13" Macbook, and it pisses me off constantly that it does not have a firewire port. Please don't suggest I should have forked out an extra $1k and got a 15" pro, just for a firewire port. I have never believed for a moment that including a firewire port in the existing form factor was impossible. Given that the technical specifications / cost ratio of a Macbook already make it poor value for money compared with other brands - annoying niggles like needlessly missing features are just salt on the wound.



    There is no hope of future improvement by keeping silent and not voicing legitimate criticisms.



    The squeaky wheel, gets the oil.



    Quote:

    Does this happen with other vendors, too?



    Yes, if I am a customer Now about that Panasonic Plasma TV I just bought...
  • Reply 91 of 128
    tuttut Posts: 4member
    Syncing this shuffle is weird.



    In iTunes the Shuffle (under Devices) shows the correct play count, but that information is not mirrored in the iTunes Library.



    This means that iTunes does not increment the play count or remove what has been listed to, like podcasts or audio books, which I no longer wish to have on the Shuffle.



    It does not recognize anything inside the Audiobooks playlist. It is as if it was not there. I had to create a special playlist for that stuff, to be able to get at it on the Shuffle. Really strange. (Maybe the audio books have to be bought through iTunes to be accepted? Have not tested that)





  • Reply 92 of 128
    pxtpxt Posts: 683member
    I wonder if Apple are expecting headphone suppliers to innovate with the headset and controls, while letting Apple focus on the parts they are more interested in. 3rd parties may go well beyond the simple cable earbuds and go on to make single-piece headsets, bike pods, helmet pods, etc into which the iPod unit plugs in. Maybe even a little slot in a car where you push the shuffle in and let the car's controls take over without having dangly cables.



    Apple keep control of the software/content integration and let 3rd parties innovate in the area where Apple has no interest. I'd buy a one-piece over-ear headset with easy controls in a flash, for the gym. Come on Bose - you know you want to!
  • Reply 93 of 128
    abster2coreabster2core Posts: 2,501member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Pros:

    Smaller, more upscale design Why do we always have to advance?

    Remote convenient in at least some cases The only time I could think it was inconvenient if I couldn't find the remote, just like I sometimes forget my headphones

    Support for audiobooks, playlists and podcasts More features to select

    Improved audio quality Not if you lose your remote

    Better-than-estimated battery life Cripes. They have the nerve to give more than they advertise?



    Cons:

    Too heavily dependent on remote; change is arbitary Just like my PVR

    Locks users into special headphones or adapters Just like my PVR Remote does to change channels unless I want to walk half way across the room

    VoiceOver forces too much waiting Just like clicking Info on my PVR

    Shorter battery life than 2G How long is that? Never had one

    Transfer speeds too slow [B]Does that mean that every time I add a new song it will take forever?[/B



    Missed the most important Pro, i.e., right now you have a choice amongst 25 iPods*, re function, size, and color.



    And one other Con, i.e., the audacity to still offer even 5 more†.



    Now that means there are 30 iPods to choose from! Damn you Apple! You could at least have made one in brown!



    *http://www.apple.com/ipod/whichipod/

    http://store.apple.com/us/browse/hom...mco=MTYzNDU2Mg
  • Reply 94 of 128
    gmcalpingmcalpin Posts: 266member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    Oberpongo started his statement with "I would say..." which clearly makes it an opinion.



    97.4% of the time when people make up statistics, they're just making shit up to support whatever their opinion is in the first place, so it's stupid.
  • Reply 95 of 128
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,756member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gmcalpin View Post


    97.4% of the time when people make up statistics, they're just making shit up to support whatever their opinion is in the first place, so it's stupid.



    Well that's your opinion . . .
  • Reply 96 of 128
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,756member
    Anyway, does this topic even merit 90+ responses??



    C'mon people, it's the stupid Shuffle! Like who cares, really? It's Apple's bottom-end iPod.



    I'm surprised it's even getting this much attention. There's an assload of other iPods, plus most of us either have an iPod Touch or at least a Classic, or an iPhone anyway . . .
  • Reply 97 of 128
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,841member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post


    Also I won't bother with the usual form which is if a poster mentions the word "fan-boy" in any capacity, they usually aren't worth talking or listening to.



    The fact you see that word mentioned so often in relation to you should tell you something.



    The majority of your posting history suggests that if Apple did release the fictional "MacTini" or "MacBook Wheel", you would probably defend them to the death as innovative and easy to use when any reasonable impartial observer would realise they were idiotic products.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post


    To this I would only say there is cheap and there is junk.



    Sorry, you said the iPod Shuffle is "super cheap"; you are demonstrably wrong. There's a huge number of players from all kinds of manufacturers that are both cheaper and have displays. Whether you consider cheaper alternatives to be junk or not does not change the fact that the iPod Shuffle is premium priced in its category.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post


    Here I said easier because I have used them and to me, they are easier. That was like, an "opinion."



    The article itself also goes on about how they are "handier" easier to get at etc.



    You have confused "convenient" and "easy to use". If the remote had individual buttons for play/pause, stop, back and forward instead of its single center button, it would be both more convenient and just as easy to use as previous shuffles.



    As it stands, you will never convince me that these controls are easier than previous ones as there is no logical basis for that assertion.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post


    On the old one it's a single click to go back (on one button) and a single click on a second button to go forward. On the new one it's a double click on one button and a triple click on the same button.



    nice try.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post


    If you cannot master this, consult any five year old child and they can show you how it works.



    A young brain is able to learn simple repetitive tasks like this very easily, especially with limited prior experience to confuse matters. Older brains are different; for example, the vast majority of older people I know intensely dislike predictive text on T9 phones and turn it off - there's something about it which makes it very hard for them to learn or puts them off wanting to learn it ("techno-fear" or something).



    Anyway, that's an aside. Just imagine that you've got a person who's never used any music player of any sort before. In terms of basic playback control - play, pause, stop, back, forward, rewind, fast forward - which is going to be easier to teach them: a 2G Shuffle or a 3G Shuffle? I cannot see how anyone could honestly believe it's the 3G Shuffle - hence the 2G is easier to use.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post


    In the end all they have done is change a five button control to a three button one and move it to the speaker wires. All of you that are so hot against this move are simply wrong.



    Apple will probably sell billions of these things. That doesn't mean a 5 button remote wouldn't be easier to use.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post


    People already buy the shuffle in large numbers and Apple does tons of research into these things before making changes like this to it's product lines.



    The possessive of "it" is "its".



    Sometimes they do lots of research and sometimes they don't; sometimes once they've done it they ignore it. Steve Jobs is on the record as saying so.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post


    The odds that they discovered that moving the controls to the wires would piss people off and then went ahead anyway because of some ideological slant against buttons (which is essentially what most are arguing here), are slim to none.



    Having the controls on the wires is a good idea. Pursuing a blind devotion to "the fewer buttons the better" is not.
  • Reply 98 of 128
    banalltvbanalltv Posts: 238member
    If you follow the minimalist idea to it's ultimate conclusion you end up with a future generation of Shuffle which is nothing more than a headphone wire, losing completely the 'Showing Off Your Personality' aspect of sporting a pretty little coloured 'Expression Of Your Personality' which the previous Shuffle was.



    I didn't own one but they sure were pretty.



    The current Shuffle looks like something from a hardware store, and I'm surprised at that.
  • Reply 99 of 128
    with you virgil. certainly apple will sell their fair share of these, but i bet the new design causes more people to turn away from the shuffle than adopt it. just like the fatty nano, this just strikes me as a wrong heading.



    i use my shuffle to exercise/work around the house. i run the headphone wire behind me. i bet a lot of other folks do to. because of this controls on headphone wires are not good for me.



    we should keep track of those who approve v. disapprove of this design so when the results are in we can have a friendly 'i told you so'.
  • Reply 100 of 128
    gmcalpingmcalpin Posts: 266member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PXT View Post


    3rd parties may go well beyond the simple cable earbuds and go on to make single-piece headsets, bike pods, helmet pods, etc into which the iPod unit plugs in. Maybe even a little slot in a car where you push the shuffle in and let the car's controls take over without having dangly cables.



    Exactly! Headphones similar to the one teckstud showed before could be much better because of the new Shuffle's smaller size (and — possibly — have all the extra controls people here want, like dedicated FF and REW buttons).



    Anybody who hasn't realized this yet is seriously short on imagination. The possibilities of this new shuffle are amazing.



    The only problem I see with this thing is that none of those accessories exist yet… and that's kind of a big problem.
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