The new iPod Shuffle is horrible

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The new iPod Shuffle is horrible

Postposted on Wed Mar 11, 2009 11:58 am

Not that I needed much of a reason to avoid purchasing the new iPod Shuffle...

"The navigation and volume controls are in a small protrusion on the right earphone cord."

http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/s ... co=MTE2NTU

I use my existing Shuffle when I workout and run. I prefer to use foam behind-the-neck style headphones, because Apple's default headphone buds hurt my ears and block out too much traffic noise (a safety issue when running). I am not buying new headphones with volume control imbedded just so I can have the pleasure of dropping $70 for a new Shuffle.

The existing Shuffle was small enough, I don't see why Apple had to reduce functionality even further in order to shrink the device by another centimeter. Of course, knowing Apple, this move really does not surprise me.

I'll be happily purchasing a Zen Stone or Sandisk product when my existing Shuffle dies.
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Re: The new iPod Shuffle is horrible

Postposted on Wed Mar 11, 2009 12:35 pm

I just read on Gizmodo that they will be selling a dongle so that you can use any headphones.
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Re: The new iPod Shuffle is horrible

Postposted on Wed Mar 11, 2009 12:39 pm

Thresher wrote:I just read on Gizmodo that they will be selling a dongle so that you can use any headphones.

yay! another way to throw your money at apple!
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Re: The new iPod Shuffle is horrible

Postposted on Wed Mar 11, 2009 12:47 pm

Thresher wrote:I just read on Gizmodo that they will be selling a dongle so that you can use any headphones.


Boy, that really takes the elegance out of the design, huh? A nice sleek Shuffle, connected to a dongle, connected to headphones.

I realize that 90% of iPod users use the standard headphones, but I find some most irritating.
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Re: The new iPod Shuffle is horrible

Postposted on Wed Mar 11, 2009 1:01 pm

I never quite understood the shuffle. I know it's cheap, but why would you not want to be able to choose which song you wanted to listen to. It'd be kind of like having to set your radio to a certain station in the morning then not being able to change it until you got home, no matter how much you wanted to listen to something else.
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Re: The new iPod Shuffle is horrible

Postposted on Wed Mar 11, 2009 1:03 pm

Or you could just buy the old one instead.
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Re: The new iPod Shuffle is horrible

Postposted on Wed Mar 11, 2009 1:04 pm

nerdrage wrote:Or you could just buy the old one instead.


I'm guessing it will be available only for another month or so. I estimate that the battery in my current Shuffle won't die until next Fall.
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Re: The new iPod Shuffle is horrible

Postposted on Wed Mar 11, 2009 1:07 pm

From the sound of your posts, you don't own one of the new Shuffles, so I find it hard to take your recommendation seriously. You cannot give us an opinion about a product that you don't even own. I'm not an Apple fanatic (quite the contrary), but the new Shuffle design, including the headphones, seems very sleek. Why would you want to get aftermarket headphones, anyway? Most people (including myself) use iPods in public, on noisy trains or busses, or on the street. I never saw the purpose to buying better aftermarket headphones when you can never hear the fidelity anyway. I'm somewhat of an audio purist, but I save that for when I'm at home, in a quiet environment, and can don a pair of high-end Grado headphones.

Apple's products are highly priced but are some of the most pleasant devices I've ever used. Trash-talk the new Shuffle all you want without even having used it, but I bet it works like a charm for those who could use an music player like that. It's foolish to get angry and use such strong words about a product you don't own just because it doesn't have the features you want.
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Re: The new iPod Shuffle is horrible

Postposted on Wed Mar 11, 2009 1:12 pm

FireGryphon wrote:Why would you want to get aftermarket headphones, anyway?

1/ The quality of the iPod headphones pales in comparison to many others in terms of audio quality
2/ You are stuck with the in-ear, non-isolating headphones. Many people prefer isolating in-ear headphones, or people like my wife who much prefer over-the-ear regular headphones
3/ They break. They get lost. etc.
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Re: The new iPod Shuffle is horrible

Postposted on Wed Mar 11, 2009 1:42 pm

TurtlePerson2 wrote:I never quite understood the shuffle. I know it's cheap, but why would you not want to be able to choose which song you wanted to listen to.
Because the purpose of the music is to drown out everything else, so it doesn't really matter what it is. Or, alternatively, you have a "soundtrack" that fits your workout routine (and even helps pace it). Nike even had Crystal Method create an album for this purpose. I see a lot of people using Shuffles at the gym, and they all seem to be using it in this way: they might skip a song now or then, but mostly it's their "workout music" and it just plays. Heck, back in the days of the CD walkman I had one I used for workouts: i kept the same CD in it, playing the same 12 songs in repeat mode, for over two years. I still use my Clip in this way when I'm at the gym (a Shuffle would've worked as well, and I almost overcame my resistance to iTunes and bought one before the Clip debuted and saved me -- and offered FM reception as well, something I definitely wanted).
FireGryphon wrote:It's foolish to get angry and use such strong words about a product you don't own just because it doesn't have the features you want.
Well, it would be kind of foolish to buy a product that doesn't have the features you want just so that you can authoritatively criticize it. You might need to own it to criticize how certain features work, but you don't need to own it to criticize it for features it lacks. (Whether that criticism is valid or not given the objectives of the product is a separate issue, but someone who is in the market for a type of product certainly can express a legitimate preference for one over another based on the presence or absence of particular features. That's pretty much how "the market" works.)
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Re: The new iPod Shuffle is horrible

Postposted on Wed Mar 11, 2009 1:44 pm

FireGryphon wrote:From the sound of your posts, you don't own one of the new Shuffles, so I find it hard to take your recommendation seriously. You cannot give us an opinion about a product that you don't even own.


From even a cursory glance at the new Shuffle, res ipsa loquitur. It is quite obvious that the new Shuffle will not operate without special headphones, or a dongle. As a silly example to illustrate my rebuttal: If Coca-Cola released a new soda that required their own special bottle opener to drink it, would you need to own the soda to give a recommendation?

FireGryphon wrote:Why would you want to get aftermarket headphones, anyway? Most people (including myself) use iPods in public, on noisy trains or busses, or on the street. I never saw the purpose to buying better aftermarket headphones when you can never hear the fidelity anyway.


I explain in my original post why I use aftermarket headphones. It has nothing to do with audio fidelity. It has everything to do with comfort and safety.

Most people (including myself) who use iPod Shuffles use them when running, working out, or doing other physically active activities. I have seen countless sets of Apple headphones that have been lost at my gym. I have also seen many other people using their iPods with aftermarket headphones.

FireGryphon wrote:Trash-talk the new Shuffle all you want without even having used it


I own an 80GB iPod classic and absolutely love it. I previously owned a Gen. 1 Shuffle, and currently own a Gen. 2 Shuffle. I also own numerous pairs of headphones, both stock and aftermarket. I am more than entitled to give harsh criticism to a product that appears to have an obviously poor design from my perspective. I have plenty of past experience with Apple's MP3 players to give an educated review sans ownership.

[Edit: And, if it turns out there is a way to use the new Shuffle without special headphones or a silly dongle, I will gladly buy one.]

FireGryphon wrote:...but I bet it works like a charm for those who could use an music player like that.


Your post also suggests you don't own the new Shuffle. Using your own logic, I find it hard to take your assumption/recommendation seriously. "You cannot give us an opinion about a product that you don't even own."

But yes, I concede that the new Shuffle works "like a charm" for people who use the Shuffle only with the stock headphones, who do not lose the stock headphones, and who have the cord always within easy reach.

FireGryphon wrote:It's foolish to get angry and use such strong words about a product you don't own just because it doesn't have the features you want.


At the risk of sounding hypocritical :D , it's foolish for you to lecture somebody on an online forum. My opinion of the new Shuffle, while harsh, did not resemble a heated and (a sorta somewhat) personal attack. I am afraid I cannot say the same about your response.
Last edited by Spyder22446688 on Wed Mar 11, 2009 2:16 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: The new iPod Shuffle is horrible

Postposted on Wed Mar 11, 2009 1:48 pm

Spyder22446688 wrote:The existing Shuffle was small enough, I don't see why Apple had to reduce functionality even further in order to shrink the device by another centimeter.
oh, but they do, it's the Jobsian Imperative.
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Re: The new iPod Shuffle is horrible

Postposted on Wed Mar 11, 2009 1:52 pm

UberGerbil wrote:
Spyder22446688 wrote:The existing Shuffle was small enough, I don't see why Apple had to reduce functionality even further in order to shrink the device by another centimeter.
oh, but they do, it's the Jobsian Imperative.


To an extent, I like how Apple continually makes sleek and small designs. I still wish the PC laptop industry would take cues from the Mac Book Pro. However, Apple consistently places form over function to a fault. I mean, I am certain a new Shuffle could be made even sleeker if only Apple removed the internal battery, flash memory, and headphone jack. But it wouldn't be very usable. My point is that there needs to be a good balance between looks and usability, and I feel that Apple places a premium on looks.
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Re: The new iPod Shuffle is horrible

Postposted on Wed Mar 11, 2009 2:15 pm

FireGryphon wrote:From the sound of your posts, you don't own one of the new Shuffles, so I find it hard to take your recommendation seriously. You cannot give us an opinion about a product that you don't even own. I'm not an Apple fanatic (quite the contrary), but the new Shuffle design, including the headphones, seems very sleek. Why would you want to get aftermarket headphones, anyway? Most people (including myself) use iPods in public, on noisy trains or busses, or on the street. I never saw the purpose to buying better aftermarket headphones when you can never hear the fidelity anyway. I'm somewhat of an audio purist, but I save that for when I'm at home, in a quiet environment, and can don a pair of high-end Grado headphones.

Apple's products are highly priced but are some of the most pleasant devices I've ever used. Trash-talk the new Shuffle all you want without even having used it, but I bet it works like a charm for those who could use an music player like that. It's foolish to get angry and use such strong words about a product you don't own just because it doesn't have the features you want.


The Apple ear buds do not isolate, they do not sound good, they do nothing but cause teenagers to crack their music to levels that are ruining their hearing. Instead if they bought the numerous other standards compliant small flash based players on the market they could use the cash saved to buy a cheap but decent noise blocking in-ears that sound several levels better and offer levels of isolation that mean these kinds don't have to crank their tunes.

What is foolish is to defend a product that is over priced, under functioning and extremely closed that is inferior to basically every competitor on the market. I find it hard to believe someone educated enough to buy a pair of Grado headphones would fall for this, but you have proved my thinking very wrong. It is quite clear from reports already that the new Shuffle will only work with third party phones with the extra dongle which makes an already expensive player even more so. Why support this? There is no reason, it's a bad product and it's a money grab. The previous Shuffle design was still inferior but this is a gigantic step back that people are going to support. That makes me sick to my stomach. Where is consumer questioning these days?
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Re: The new iPod Shuffle is horrible

Postposted on Wed Mar 11, 2009 2:19 pm

TurtlePerson2 wrote:I never quite understood the shuffle. I know it's cheap, but why would you not want to be able to choose which song you wanted to listen to.


Hence why I have two iPods. My primary one is a 60GB 4th Gen that I use when I'm doing things where I'm not moving around (ie. At work, studying, laying in bed enjoying some heavy jazz). Then I have my shuffle that I use when I'm moving about (ie. workouts, jogging, roller-blading, pre-game warmups). And for the shuffle, I have a specific, dynamic playlist that has my high ranked, high energy songs, set on random. I really don't care what's playing, so long as it gets me in the right mood.
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Re: The new iPod Shuffle is horrible

Postposted on Wed Mar 11, 2009 4:25 pm

The Apple earphones are crappy at best. The first thing I do when I got Apple audio players is take out the default ear buds for backup and use my own.
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Re: The new iPod Shuffle is horrible

Postposted on Wed Mar 11, 2009 5:04 pm

This makes the new shuffle worthless to me. I can appreciate the value of having in-ear controls for joggers or something, but I plug mine into an FM transmitter in my truck. Without the dongle Thresher mentions, I lose all kinds of functionality.
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Re: The new iPod Shuffle is horrible

Postposted on Wed Mar 11, 2009 5:22 pm

And to add a little, controlling playback through the headphones makes a decent solution if the controls are just as simple. Look at this page.

Triple-click and hold the Center button. To rewind.

Can I say form over function?
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Re: The new iPod Shuffle is horrible

Postposted on Wed Mar 11, 2009 5:56 pm

well, with them in your ear, it's hard to see the controls. The basic controls (volume up/down) are really easy, and changing songs is pretty easy (double-tap).
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Re: The new iPod Shuffle is horrible

Postposted on Thu Mar 12, 2009 8:14 am

The design of this one intrigues me, but I think I would have been happier if they had left the controls on the main unit itself. I have a Shuffle (along with an 80GB iPod), that I use for the car. I just load it up with either a Genius list or a songlist and throw it in the car for a few weeks. It's simple, it does what it's advertised to do, and I don't need a screen (or voice feedback) because I already know what's on the thing. So it's perfect.

This...well, kind of smacks of a design choice that dictated function. Usually, for Apple, form FOLLOWS function, but not in this case. I would have to see how it operates, but the last thing I want to do is to be either locked in to a pair of headphones that I may or may not like or have to buy a seperate dongle to use my preferred isolating earphones. Again, it seems as if function followed form on this. Now I have three pieces to keep up with rather than just the two.

But then again, the Shuffle has always been somewhat awkward compared to the rest of the lineup. The introduction of voice feedback is a nice touch, if you've made sure to label your MP3s correctly.

I don't see this form of the Shuffle lasting more than a generation or two, it's just too limited.
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Re: The new iPod Shuffle is horrible

Postposted on Thu Mar 12, 2009 8:41 am

In that situation, how would a Shuffle work better than a $40 Sanyo or other non-Apple brand? It would be like getting a free display and controls.
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Re: The new iPod Shuffle is horrible

Postposted on Thu Mar 12, 2009 8:47 am

lordtottuu wrote:And to add a little, controlling playback through the headphones makes a decent solution if the controls are just as simple. Look at this page.

Triple-click and hold the Center button. To rewind.

Can I say form over function?
Not necessarily, you can't. One-button control is pretty darn functional for no-hands use while concentrating on something else. Rewind isn't a real common use, either. There's certainly function involved, although it might not match up with what you want, like any other design decision.
...
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Re: The new iPod Shuffle is horrible

Postposted on Thu Mar 12, 2009 8:53 am

Image
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Re: The new iPod Shuffle is horrible

Postposted on Thu Mar 12, 2009 8:54 am

Usacomp2k3 wrote:Image

and...
...
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Re: The new iPod Shuffle is horrible

Postposted on Thu Mar 12, 2009 8:55 am


I was just posting it for reference. I wasn't trying to make a point at all, other than to show what the different commands are.
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Re: The new iPod Shuffle is horrible

Postposted on Thu Mar 12, 2009 9:06 am

why make a big deal out of it now? The iPhone earbuds have the same control scheme without the lights.

/shrug I dont get the issue?
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Re: The new iPod Shuffle is horrible

Postposted on Thu Mar 12, 2009 9:35 am

Usacomp2k3 wrote:In that situation, how would a Shuffle work better than a $40 Sanyo or other non-Apple brand? It would be like getting a free display and controls.

Integration with the media library manager (iTunes) that I already have setup and running.

Of course, there are more than a few things I wish iTunes did better. I can only hope that Apple learns from the new Safari interface and finally ditches the brushed metal iTunes for a standard windows interface.
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Re: The new iPod Shuffle is horrible

Postposted on Thu Mar 12, 2009 9:46 am

mattsteg wrote:
lordtottuu wrote:Can I say form over function?
Not necessarily, you can't.
Can I say form over function in my opinion and for my use? :)
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Re: The new iPod Shuffle is horrible

Postposted on Thu Mar 12, 2009 9:48 am

emorgoch wrote:
Usacomp2k3 wrote:In that situation, how would a Shuffle work better than a $40 Sanyo or other non-Apple brand? It would be like getting a free display and controls.

Integration with the media library manager (iTunes) that I already have setup and running.

And that is a very serious consideration, you are right.
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Re: The new iPod Shuffle is horrible

Postposted on Thu Mar 12, 2009 10:36 am

emorgoch wrote: I can only hope that Apple learns from the new Safari interface and finally ditches the brushed metal iTunes for a standard windows interface.

Oh, like Winamp? ;)

I am using Safari 4 on both Windows and OS X and I don't see hardly any difference in the UI, and I CERTAINLY don't see a standard Windows interface.

"Standard" Windows interfaces are in a state of flux right now. There's the ribbon interface, there's the older interface with regular menus, there's the WMP12 interface...MS is more schizophrenic than Apple putting brushed metal on the Panther and Tiger Finder windows (Finder is a media app? really?)

Interesting that both companies are looking to their digital music player apps for inspiration on the whole OS's UI, though. iTunes drives Leopard and WMP12 seems to be driving Win7 with its Libraries and (like Vista before it) hidden menus...and there are plenty of other examples.
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