New iPod shuffle still has no display, now lacks buttons

Attention, trendy joggers and celebrities everywhere: the third-generation iPod shuffle is out. Apple has updated its diminutive music player with a smaller, even more stripped-down design (and, somehow, a higher price tag).

The most notable change is probably the complete lack of buttons, which makes the device look like a smooth aluminum stick of gum with a clip at the back. Apple opted to move the controls to the earbud cord, a change that’s sure to thrill anyone wishing to use their own, higher-quality earbuds. There’s still no display, of course, but Apple has implemented a text-to-speech feature that can read out song names and playlists in an awkward synthesized voice.

The new iPod shuffle is available now in silver and white variants, both of which cost $79 and have 4GB of capacity. If that’s too rich for your blood, you can still buy the 1GB second-gen iPod shuffle for $49.

Comments closed
    • darc
    • 11 years ago

    LOL that headline would be right at home at the Onion.

    • Krogoth
    • 11 years ago

    Marketing gimmicks are serious business!

    Whoever wins, Apple is the one laughing itself at the bank.

    • Chrispy_
    • 11 years ago

    Awesome cashflow machine here.

    What better way to make money hand-over-fist than to force the most-likely-demographic-to-break-their-earhpones (gymn users/active people) to buy only the lousy overpiced apple ones.

    I’m already betting that there’s at least a $15 premium for the earphones with built in shuffle controls.

    • Rakhmaninov3
    • 11 years ago

    Next they’ll be making the iPod Shuffle INVISIBLE version. It won’t even have a player!

      • Meadows
      • 11 years ago

      Check comment #20.

    • absinthexl
    • 11 years ago

    Apple’s just making a deal with muggers around the country, who see the (now required) white earphone cords as bright, shiny targets.

    Wonder what kind of a cut they’re getting.

      • Mourmain
      • 11 years ago

      Nobody’s gonna steal this thing.

        • absinthexl
        • 11 years ago

        They’ll steal it, but /[

    • adisor19
    • 11 years ago

    Adi. Most popular then evar.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 11 years ago

      Don’t let it go to your head. I’m sure most of it are viewing it as a form of derision. That’s why I’ve not partaken in adimania. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • ludi
      • 11 years ago

      It tastes like chocolate and chardonay.

    • Tarx
    • 11 years ago

    Considering how many headsets I bust in a year…

    • albundy
    • 11 years ago

    meh, mp3 players are so 1990’s. crApple is so oldschool. PMPs and MIDs are where its at.

    • kvndoom
    • 11 years ago

    I’ll buy anything that’s white and made by Apple.

      • crazybus
      • 11 years ago

      No sale then — it only comes in silver or black. ๐Ÿ˜›

    • masaki
    • 11 years ago

    Surprisingly and disappointingly no Cantonese Chinese…

    • no51
    • 11 years ago

    Before reading the article, I thought AAPL implemented motion/ accelerometer control on the Shuffle, like on the nano. Boy was I off.

    • blacksteel
    • 11 years ago

    No control on the device, damn it Apple, that’s just stupid. The size of the original Shuffle was fine and all that was missing was a little display to see what song is playing or the next one. So they opted for this silver piece of wadded chewing gum as a refresh. Are there at least flavors of Spearmint or Winterfresh for the iPod Shuffle?

      • ludi
      • 11 years ago

      Brought to you by the company that invented the one-button hockey puck mouse!

    • derFunkenstein
    • 11 years ago

    this thing is weird. I plug my current (now old) shuffle into an FM transmitter in my truck. If I can’t control volume/tracks, I’m screwed.

    There will probably be one of those remote things that plugs into the shuffle’s headphone jack as a passthrough for audio and a controller for the stuff they removed. Stupid to have to buy it though.

    • Ayreon
    • 11 years ago

    Hah, and except for volume controls the headphone remote has a single button to control everything (click once for play/pause, twice to skip forward, twice and hold to fast forward, three times to skip back, three times and hold to rewind)

    Parody is starting to become reality:
    ยง[< http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=noe3kR8KqJc<]ยง

    • Ricardo Dawkins
    • 11 years ago

    what do you expect from Apple ?

    is not their current keyboard released just days ago w/o the damn numpad (even with the option of getting the “real” keyboard for free) ?

    • PeterD
    • 11 years ago

    Next version: build in iPod with build in WiFi to download songs.
    Witt “build in iPod” I meand “build in into your brain”.
    You only have to think a song to have it played to you.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 11 years ago

      oh, you mean the iPod touch and the iPhone? They already do that (well, the iPod part).

      The rest sounds sweet and relevant to my interests. I’d like to subscribe to your newsletter.

    • TheTechReporter
    • 11 years ago

    ROFL

    In other news, Apple is creating an even newer iPod Shuffle.
    It is just a cube with a built-in earbud sticking out of it.
    It has a single, heat-sensitive button to adjust the volume (because, really, what other features could you want?)
    Just hold your finger against the Shuffle to gradually increase the volume. To decrease volume just wait til it hits max volume and it will start back at zero. A small inconvenience, really. Trust us.
    Instead of having outdated things like ports or plugs, you download songs using the shuffle’s built-in IrDA sensor.
    Of course all this awesome new technology doesn’t come cheap. Expect the shuffle to be even more expensive.
    Buy yours today!

      • seawolf1118
      • 11 years ago

      lol; u said it best….

    • dearharlequin
    • 11 years ago

    people just need to realize that apple is perfect. everything they do is perfect. every product of theirs is perfect. no mistakes, or duds. /[

      • PetMiceRnice
      • 11 years ago

      LOL, yeah, no kidding!!!

    • Buzzard44
    • 11 years ago

    <Damage control mode>
    No, Apple is good for you!
    </Damage control mode>

    Adi

    Edit: Humor (c) ssidbroadcast 200?

      • adisor19
      • 11 years ago

      You’re getting the wrong idea there ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m only correcting some misconceptions that some pple seem to have..

      I’ll never buy this shuffle nor will i ever recommend it to someone.

      Adi

        • Kurkotain
        • 11 years ago

        you seem to be used to having people imo\personate you everytime apple does their thing lol

          • Meadows
          • 11 years ago

          What can we say, he is iconic.

          • ssidbroadcast
          • 11 years ago

          Yeah, ever since I started it.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 11 years ago

            someone sounds a little territorial. You’re not the only impersonator, y’know. ๐Ÿ˜‰

            • deruberhanyok
            • 11 years ago

            derFunkenstein is on point!

            …wait a minute!

            • ssidbroadcast
            • 11 years ago

            heh, touche.

          • DrDillyBar
          • 11 years ago

          w00t! iPod; No pesky buttons. Adi.

    • dustyjamessutton
    • 11 years ago

    How much do you want to bet that somebody makes an aftermarket cord with the controls on it that allows you to use any headphones you want? Apple may even sell such a thing themselves to make more money.

    • BoBzeBuilder
    • 11 years ago

    Worst case senario: screaming “hooker with a penis” on the bus.

    Any Tool fans?

      • Dissonance
      • 11 years ago

      i sold out long before you ever heard my name

      • Hattig
      • 11 years ago

      Given the number of adverts in phone boxes on and about oxford street (London, SoHo) for “pre-op transexual” hookers … probably wouldn’t make anyone look away from their free newspaper if that was shouted out. You’d probably get directions…

    • jsncable
    • 11 years ago

    Next they will remove the earjack and make it bluetooth…

    • Convert
    • 11 years ago

    Looks like hiring those joke writers as product developers is bearing fruit.

    • PetMiceRnice
    • 11 years ago

    I’ve never bought an iPod in any shape or form and have gotten by just fine with my 3 1/2 year old Creative Labs 512MB MP3 player, and 2 year old RCA MC2602A 2GB player. I may never buy an iPod.

    • paulWTAMU
    • 11 years ago

    What the HELL is apple thinking? That seems like a horrid idea.

      • clone
      • 11 years ago

      fully agree, no ability to replace earphones…. no chance of buying.

        • adisor19
        • 11 years ago

        Looks like you also missed the fact that an adapter/cord with control on it will be offered so you can plug in your high end cans.

        Adi

          • Farting Bob
          • 11 years ago

          Yes and that’ll make the whole package more bulky and the cables more likely to get tangled compared to if they just get the damn buttons on the actual player. i mean, 4 or so small buttons wouldnt make it any bigger. This just seems to me to be “well we got to change SOMETHING guys, what else is there to do?”

          • paulWTAMU
          • 11 years ago

          I shouldn’t need an adaptor to use normal headphones. Period. It increases clutter and it’s just more crap to keep track of. For a company that pushes the “it just works” mentality, I don’t get this design.

          • ludi
          • 11 years ago

          Is this like the original iPod concept where you could tune into the airwaves merely by purchasing a separate FM radio?

    • Philldoe
    • 11 years ago

    Ladies and Gentleman…

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHA

    That is all, thank you.

    *leaves while listening to music on his Zune*

    • Skrying
    • 11 years ago

    Never thought I’d see Apple top themselves with a products that is even more over priced, even more closed, and even more stupid. Congratulations Apple, because I think you’ve finally found the limit of your money grabbing ways.

    *Note: I know that won’t happen. Consumers are stupid, they’ll have purchased this item before they’re even aware of all the tremendous draw backs and how expensive it is compared to far superior competition.

    • Hattig
    • 11 years ago

    “an awkward synthesized voice.”

    Come on, you haven’t heard this to make this statement. Also a great feature for blind and partially sighted people.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 11 years ago

      And also for fully sighted people becuase Shuffles have no display.

      • Skrying
      • 11 years ago

      You know because the blind don’t use touch… OH WAIT. This is in no way superior to the buttons before. A step back in every way for everyone.

      • Moe_Szyslak
      • 11 years ago

      /[

      • Cyril
      • 11 years ago

      Actually, Apple demos the voice in the new iPod shuffle “guided tour” video, and it does sound awkward.

        • ssidbroadcast
        • 11 years ago

        would you rather it be jdrake piping in? Telling you the song, artist, album, and then leave you with a bomb of a joke or a reassurance that you did the right thing buy patronizing Apple?

        (to his credit, jdrake doesn’t like the Shuffle)

        • adisor19
        • 11 years ago

        Agreed. There’s something very robotic about it..

        Adi

    • herothezero
    • 11 years ago

    While I can certainly understand it from a build quality or comfort perspective, complaints about headphones from a sound-quality perspective is kind of pointless; compressed audio just doesn’t sound good, period.

      • dmitriylm
      • 11 years ago

      WRONG

      • Usacomp2k3
      • 11 years ago

      256kbps AAC+ is pretty darn impressive.

      • willyolio
      • 11 years ago

      you’re fooling yourself if you think you can hear the difference between lossless and 256kbps+ lossy compression.

        • MadManOriginal
        • 11 years ago

        I don’t mind high bitrate compressed for portability sake but I would never buy compressed music.

          • Skrying
          • 11 years ago

          For originals it makes no sense but it is a fact that you can’t distinguish a high quality compression as better or inferior from its lossless original.

            • MadManOriginal
            • 11 years ago

            I don’t believe I ever said otherwise, until here:p In very rare cases where there are specific compression artifacts that one has to train oneself to hear it’s possible but it’s certainly not worth worrying about from portable players or even most decent stereos and doesn’t really take away from enjoyment of music.

            • Skrying
            • 11 years ago

            Still not possible to declare one better than the other. Can you spot a difference? Yes, but spotting a difference does not make you able to declare one better than the other. Tests have shown that even audio professionals from all areas of the field cannot declare a winner between fully uncompressed music from its original source to a modern day MP3 at 192kbps or higher with any sort of regularity and most admit luck when they are right. There is a rather famous article in a German audio magazine that demonstrated this several years back and the person who was most accurate was actually deaf in one ear. I believe this comments hinted that he could simply tell what was compressed (and because of the way compression works it IS apparently much easier when deaf in a ear) and not really what is better. These tests were done on top of the line equipment as well.

            • MadManOriginal
            • 11 years ago

            Dude come off it, now you’re just arguing for the sake of it. First it was q[

        • eitje
        • 11 years ago

        in 1998, a friend of mine argued the same thing regarding 128 kbps MP3s and CDs.

        Just because you can’t distinguish the quality on your audio setup doesn’t mean I can’t distinguish it on mine.

          • ludi
          • 11 years ago

          Well, if your friend had some decent headphones, he would have heard the difference.

          In any case, you need to be able to identify some tangible quality before claiming there is a difference. An enormous part of human sensory perception involves mental preconditioning, and this has been demonstrated repeatedly in audio. People will consistently “hear” better quality when they think they’re getting better quality, and yet the difference vanishes in a double-blind test. The other one to watch out for is that slight differences in volume will always favor the louder source as being higher quality, so if you don’t get your levels balanced /[

            • MadManOriginal
            • 11 years ago

            Yeah I hate evangelists who dismiss ABX or DBT because they ‘know there’s a difference and I don’t need to test it.’ I try my best to avoid those arguments in audio forums even though they bother me. Cables are the worst for this, although I do believe there are technically valid benefits to something other than real bargain cables I’ve never been able to tell the difference over something of reasonable quality like BJC.

        • TheShadowself
        • 11 years ago

        Actually, I *[

      • 5150
      • 11 years ago

      I only listen to acoustic, un-amplified music in a live setting so I am even more important than you.

        • BobbinThreadbare
        • 11 years ago

        Oh yeah, well I plug my ears so that I don’t hear any tainted “outside” sounds that could not possibly match the crystal clarity of my own mind.

          • ssidbroadcast
          • 11 years ago

          Oh yeah? Well I only listen to my music in a bunker where my private orchestra plays symphonies in an auditorium covered in every square inch with 2 feet of foam.

            • Philldoe
            • 11 years ago

            *wipes his brow* And I thought I was the only one!

            • MadManOriginal
            • 11 years ago

            aka your padded room? ๐Ÿ˜‰

          • Johnny5
          • 11 years ago

          Now that’s hardcore. I’ve actually seen a youtube vid of some orchestra that performed a piece that’s like five minutes of silence, and people actually payed to “hear” it performed.

          Most of my library is 128Kb. Maybe I am missing out, but it’s good for my portable music player, and it’s just not worth downloading 1000 songs a second time. I even have a few songs at 96Kb/s, and others at over 600Kb/s.

      • adisor19
      • 11 years ago

      This thing can play Apple Lossless files. Period.

      Adi

        • dmitriylm
        • 11 years ago

        So how much are they paying you nowadays?

          • adisor19
          • 11 years ago

          Still nothing ๐Ÿ™

          But at least i seem to be getting good service whenever i visit the genius bar at the local Apple store ๐Ÿ˜€

          They’ve replaced the logic board + fans (apple care) on my MBP this passed weekend and my mac feels like new!

          Adi

        • Usacomp2k3
        • 11 years ago

        And 4GB will hold, what, 10 uncompressed songs? ๐Ÿ˜‰

          • derFunkenstein
          • 11 years ago

          It can hold lots and lots of songs that are completely uncompressed, 8-bit 22khz mono wav files.

          Now my point is that both arguments in this thread are dumb – there’s nothing inherently wrong with compressed audio if it’s done at a high enough bitrate AND the source is a high enough resolution, but keep in mind there is a loss of quality (perceived or not). There’s also nothing inherently inferior with uncompressed audio; it takes more room but the fidelity of the source is retained because, well, it probably is the source.

            • DrDillyBar
            • 11 years ago

            AM FTW!

          • paulWTAMU
          • 11 years ago

          My 8 gig player holds around 1400 songs at 256k compression rate, which is pretty much indistinguishable to my ears from uncompressed music.

          • Meadows
          • 11 years ago

          4 times that, if the songs aren’t too long. And that’s more than enough for your average jogging, workout or commute needs.

      • ludi
      • 11 years ago

      Did you know it can sound /[

    • Rurouni
    • 11 years ago

    If they want to go this route, they should do SE walkman phone style.. like packaging the remote extension + regular earphone. Why a music centric device be limited to the included earphone?

      • MadManOriginal
      • 11 years ago

      iPods, and Shuffles even more so, are barely passable as music centric. They only qualify because they happen to play music :p

    • GFC
    • 11 years ago

    Oh great, all i want when i’m jogging is the earbud cord to bounce around everywhere because of the added weight of the control system. <3 my creative.

    • Sargent Duck
    • 11 years ago

    I hate earbuds…better yet, I LOATHE ear buds. Give me headphones or give me nothing.

    This ipod shuffle fails.

      • adisor19
      • 11 years ago

      Maybe you missed the part about the cord with buttons where you can plug in the headphones of your choice ?

      Adi

        • miken
        • 11 years ago

        That was sarcasm. You can’t do that.

          • adisor19
          • 11 years ago

          Was it really ?!

          Adi

    • FireGryphon
    • 11 years ago

    Looks like a sleek player. I never understood why people bought aftermarket headphones for portable music players. In the noisy, public places I listen to my iPod (and Zen before that), better headphones wouldn’t matter because the background noise drowns out any fidelity. At home I have high-end headphones from Grado, and it’s there, in a quiet environment, that I enjoy high-fidelity music.

      • Usacomp2k3
      • 11 years ago

      See the forum thread…

      • sreams
      • 11 years ago

      Um… better headphones also block out background noises, because they seal better. That’s part of the point.

        • cegras
        • 11 years ago

        Not always. Hi-fi headphones are often open-backed. You can imagine what happens when you seal the headphone – it’s like placing speakers in a cave. Not good.

          • sreams
          • 11 years ago

          We’re talking about earbuds here, not large over-the-ear headphones. The best sounding ear-buds are also the ones with the best seal. Shure in-ear monitors tend to sound far, far better than any “open” earbuds on the market… -especially- Apple’s pieces of crap.

      • ssidbroadcast
      • 11 years ago

      Um, maybe because the standard iPod earbuds actually *hurt* my ears and never stay in them? I can’t find a comfortable way to use them, and on top of that, the sound quality just plain sucks.

      • SomeOtherGeek
      • 11 years ago

      Umm, they don’t work for deaf people and need something else that actually works…??

        • Forge
        • 11 years ago

        Deaf people buy iPods???

        I didn’t think the games and menu were all that compelling on their own.

          • SomeOtherGeek
          • 11 years ago

          Of course!! My two kids are deaf and have iPod and it is only for music and nothing else… Deaf doesn’t mean total.

        • BoBzeBuilder
        • 11 years ago

        My noise isolating in-ear buds work perfect anywhere. I take the subway to school and during the trip I hear nothing but Dave Mustaine’s screechy voice.

          • BoBzeBuilder
          • 11 years ago

          what’s wrong with me.

      • willyolio
      • 11 years ago

      better headphones -[

      • paulWTAMU
      • 11 years ago

      because they still sound much better, and are more comftorable ๐Ÿ™‚ And really, 20 dollar headphones don’t break the bank, but net a good increase in sound quality.

      • blubje
      • 11 years ago

      Perhaps people want to buy something other than the overpriced apple headphones when those end up breaking/ intermittently failing eventually.

      • ludi
      • 11 years ago

      Here’s another one for ya: Noise-cancelling headphones on an airplane.

      Seriously, there are way more opportunities to use a portable media player than just casual use in noisy environments.

        • bthylafh
        • 11 years ago

        IME the other passengers are more obnoxious than the airplane’s engines could ever be, and noise-cancelers don’t work on them.

          • ludi
          • 11 years ago

          I disagree. I’ve used them before and the flight is a lot less fatiguing because the noise cancelling circuit can counter a lot of the low (and some of the midrange) frequencies in the engine drone and air rush.

      • shirtaspants
      • 11 years ago

      /[

        • Meadows
        • 11 years ago

        Canalphones. Google them.

      • redavni
      • 11 years ago

      Do you still own the pair of earbuds that came with your ipod? If so, do you actually use the thing? I go through a pair of earbuds every 6 months or so.

    • danazar
    • 11 years ago

    As much of an Apple fan I am, that’s a terrible piece of shit.

      • twizttid13
      • 11 years ago

      And those earbuds suck too. V-moda’s for life. Plus I like the in ear, earbuds.

    • Meadows
    • 11 years ago

    What will they take away next?

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