158 of 161 people found the following review helpful
Almost perfect but ...,
This review is from: Apple iPod shuffle - 512MB [M9724B/A] (Electronics)
It's totally amazing how small and light this player is. I already have a 3rd gen 40GB ipod but wanted something more practical to use during fairly vigourous exercise (gym and running) so I got this.
It doesn't deliver anything that the 40GB can't do but it has the advantage of size/weight. In fact, the 40GB, as you might expect, does everything the shuffle can do and a whole lot more, so if like me, you already have an ipod hard-disk based machine, I wouldn't particularly recommend this, unless like me, you want something ultra-portable for exercise or the like or maybe just want something a little more covert.
If you haven't got an ipod already then it's a completely different ball game - the shuffle represents a very affordable way into the MP3 market and is an excellent all-round option provided you don't mind not having a screen on it.
Sound quality seems as good as my bigger ipod and it's pretty easy to load it from itunes which comes with it. I do generally get about 120 songs on it which is about 8-9 hours continuous playing time (conveniently within the 12 hour charge capacity). Charging it is as simple as plugging it into a spare USB port while your computer is running.
Generally I would say it's an excellent little device but I do have a few minor gripes about it :
The flat slide-switch on the back is a bit fiddly, especially if you want to set it to the middle non-random mode - just plays songs in order they were loaded.
There's only a vague indication of what charge is left in the ipod (a tiny green light) and unless you remember how long you've used it since your last full charge then believe me you will get caught out a few times. Likewise for charging, it doesn't tell you when it's fully charged - you have to guess at something between 2 and 4 hours and that'll be even more guesswork if it's already partially charged.
The neck strap that comes with it is ok for normal use but no good for vigorous exercise - you really need to invest in an arm band (£19 - yes really !) and also an all-weather cover (another £19 !) to keep weather and sweat out of it - it doesn't like any kind of moisture and starts behaving badly if it gets exposed. If you use the neck band you have to take off the USB protector cap so be careful you don't lose it while it's off.
The headphones that come with it are the standard white ipod ear pieces and while this is not a citicism of the shuffle itself, if you really want the most out of it in terms of sound quality, you need to invest in a much better set (I use Shure EC2's)
If I hadn't particularly bought this for exercise usage and if I didn't already own a bigger ipod, I'd probably give it 5 stars. It dropped a star because it's partly been designed with a view to all-round practicality but falls a little short in the exercise domain unless you spend another £38 on accessories which I feel it should have come with.