Apple 1Gb iPod Shuffle First Impressions
I finally managed to get my hands on the new Apple iPod 1Gb Shuffle earlier this week. I’d originally ordered one of these from Amazon.co.uk about a month ago, but after waiting over 3 weeks I gave up and cancelled my order. The UK Amazon site seems to be suffering with supplier problems currently, their web site currently has this message next to the product description:
“We are currently waiting for information from the supplier on when stock of iPod shuffle will be available. We are working hard to get stock for customers who have already pre-ordered the Shuffle. Please click the “sign up” button above to be notified when this item is available for order.”
I had a tip-off that the UK Apple site was selling the iPod 1Gb Shuffle with free engraving, so I’m glad I cancelled my Amazon order. I ordered my Shuffle from Apple on the 14th November and it arrived 2 days later. How’s that for service 🙂
There are loads of good reviews out there on the new Shuffle, so I won’t repeat what you may have read elsewhere. My main objectives were to see how well such a small MP3 player could perform, and secondly, would it work on Ubuntu Edgy 6.10. Overall a great result.
Believe it or not, this is actually the first MP3 player I’ve bought, surprising since this is a technology blog. A bit behind the times but I’ve jumped on the iPod bandwagon 🙂
I wanted a lightweight and small MP3 player, for using at places like the gym, and the Shuffle is ideal. Sure it hasn’t got a screen, but that’s why there are other iPod’s in the Apple family. If you fancy a screen then you can buy an iPod Nano or something similar.
My first impressions on opening the box was some nice slick packaging from Apple. Pictured below is what you get in the box.
I had a bit of trouble initially with the USB docking station. It took about 3 or 4 attempts before the Shuffle connected properly. I did my initial setup on Windows XP using iTunes, no problems at all. After about 5 hours it was fully charged and I loaded my first set of songs onto the Shuffle. Apple claim you can get about 240 songs onto the Shuffle, in fact I managed to get slightly more than this figure.
I gave the Shuffle a good test down the gym and it performed admirably. The only thing I would consider buying is another set of earphones that are better at cutting outside noise. The ones that come with the Shuffle are not the best.
The clip on the Shuffle is surprisingly sturdy and I had no trouble down the gym running on the treadmill. The volume and track controls are easy to use. The only buttons that are slightly more fiddly are the on/off switch and the button to play songs either in sequence or random order.
My next test was to see how well the Shuffle would perform on my operating system of choice, Ubuntu Edgy 6.10. As soon as I plugged the Shuffle into the USB port the Rhythmbox Music Player started automatically. It correctly detected my iPod and I could manage all the songs on the Shuffle 🙂
A great purchase overall. It doesn’t have a screen and only holds about 240 songs, but if you fancy an MP3 player for places like the gym then it is a great buy. I’ll be using the Shuffle a lot.