I have to say right off the bat, I am very impressed with this!
This is my first Apple product… I am usually hesitant to buy blindly into brands (it’s all about the product for me), especially brands that are popular en masse, and so when I was asked what I wanted for my birthday from work, it was only on someones suggestion that I went with an iPod.
I think that QuickTime is the main factor that turned me off Apple all those years ago. It is a HORRIBLE/EVIL program! I know that their programs work better on their macs rather than a PC, however my general observation has always been that they seem to make things clunky on purpose, adding features galore and cluttering things up!
Therefore, it is with great surprise that I can shout out as loud as I can that I ABSOLUTELY LOVE MY IPOD SHUFFLE!!!!!! 😀
Installing QuickTime and iTunes was a little like pulling teeth for over 40 minutes, however, once it’d sorted and I’d set it all up, I was especially taken by the interface of iTunes 8 and the ease with which I was able to move 3GB of music across and create playlists in such a small space of time!
Many reviews of the 3rd Gen. Shuffle seem to say that it’s good, but that the lack of features makes it a little pointless. I would wholeheartedly disagree with that to be honest. Do you really want to be staring at a distracting screen and carrying something that large on your person, or would you rather forget that your iPod is there and get on with your life (whilst strangely being pursued/stalked by your favourite tunes)?! 😉
The Shuffle itself is tiny! Here’s a few pictures that I’ve taken of mine to try and put it into perspective:
As you’re no doubt aware, the iPod Shuffle 3rd Gen is controlled by a tiny set of buttons on the headphone leads, just under the right ear bud. These controls have proved to be, thus far, more than easy enough to operate, though my sense of perspective seems to have taken a little knock as I keep groping my ear to try and turn the volume down heh.
The VoiceOver system that is used by the iPod is fantastic. The voice and quality of what you get depends on whether you’re on a mac or PC. I use a PC and have to say that I am VERY impressed with the VoiceOver that I have at the moment. Great pronunciation (albeit with the usual (but much improved) blips that feature in these systems) and a voice that is far less monotone than all of the advertising literature that Apple have put out thus far.
Note that the VoiceOver feature is there due to the lack of screen (you can activate it to tell you what track is playing, or to find the playlist you want); the iPod is not voice activated, so screaming ‘STEPS’ at it (especially in a public place) really isn’t going to work 😉
The headphones themselves are of a really good sound quality, and fit my ears nicely. I was really worried when I saw that they were shaped like standard earphones, as they always fall out of mine within seconds, however I put them in 6 hours ago, and not one of them has fallen out yet! Well done Apple!
For sound leakage reasons, I would prefer if they were proper buds, so I may look into using my current non-Apple headphones and purchasing an adapter when they become available shortly.
This is also my first FireWire device, so it’ll be good to see if, as an additional nice touch, I can use the 1GB that I currently have free to ‘speed up’ the computer that I charge it on (at the same time). No biggie if I can’t, I have plenty of USB keys with me anyway heh.
So there we go, a complete newbie to the world of Apple (despite my techy nature) and thus far I am completely enamoured with my new iPod. Having it means that I can now clear my Nokia N95 8GB down and start using it for movies, so it really is filling a gap that I didn’t even know that I had. For the time being, I am very chuft with it, and here’s hoping that I don’t encounter any problems with it as I’ll have to take it back to the store (as obviously I have no way of knowing what the error is due to lack of screen). That said, I think the next time I’ll curse Apple will be when iTunes 9 tries to update to my machine!! 😉