Smaller, More Powerful iPod Shuffle that Talks to You
Article by George Norman
On 12 Mar 2009
Apple’s online store went down the other day, and as is the case with such events, people were very anxious to see what updates will be made available. Those who were hoping for a 4GB iPod Shuffle got their wish and much more. What I mean by that is that the device is now smaller than ever (1.8 inches tall, 0.3 inches thin), can store more than 1,000 songs at 128Kbps encoding, and features a brand new technology called VoiceOver which actually gets the iPod Shuffle to talk to you.

Vice president of iPod and iPhone Product Marketing, Greg Joswiak comments: “It’s now the smallest music player in the world. Despite being smaller, it actually holds more songs. The concept for doing this came from the iPhone, specifically the iPhone headset. After we expanded on it in the fall by adding volume control, we looked at it and realized that would work for the shuffle too.”


If you would like to purchase a brand new 4GB iPod Shuffle, you will have to part with $79. If that is too rich for you, but would still like to get an iPod Shuffle, then you could purchase a previous 1GB version for $49. By releasing this enhanced iPod Shuffle, Apple did not automatically pull older models from the market, but it will no longer produce them, so get them while you can.

The brand new feature is VoiceOver, but before we get into that, here is a list of features you can expect to get from the new iPod Shuffle:
- The smallest music player in the world.
- 4GB of storage space.
- Apart from the shuffle switch, no buttons or controls are present on the device itself; they are located on the right earbud cord. Three positions for the shuffle switch: left = random; middle = play in order; right = off.
- Stainless steel clip.
- Seamlessly sync and switch playlists.
- Support for 14 different languages: English, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, and Turkish.
- Available in two colors: silver and black.

Now, the much awaited explanation on how VoiceOver works: by simply pressing a button, this new feature will speak out the name of the track or the title of the playlist, and it does so without stopping the music playback. And since the new iPod Shuffle features extensive language support, VoiceOver can speak your native language. The VoiceOver feature will be activated the first time you sync the iPod with iTunes.

Greg Joswiak again: “Imagine your music player talking to you, telling you your song titles, artists and playlist names. 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.”

Check out the pics that Apple has provided for the brand new iPod Shuffle.

Tags: Apple, iPod Shuffle
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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