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on 31 May 2007
"Why on earth do I need an iPOD?", I used to think, "It's not as if I listen to a lot of music."

Then last Christmas my sister bought an iPOD shuffle for me from Canada. What a revelation.

This is a great device for the gym: it's tiny, light and easy to wear. I use it to listen to radio podcasts. It doesn't have a hard disk like an iPOD, so the shuffle doesn't have any moving parts. The upshot of this is it's extremely reliable (so I'm told). I've not found it fragile, but I am quite careful with it, having only dropped it once. Yes, it is difficult to shuffle through each recording.

Recommended, especially for the gym and for recordings you don't want to permanently leave on the iPOD.

PS Have seen reviews with poor ratings of this product since I originally posted this. A few more comments.
I would emphasise that it's very difficult to navigate your way around tracks - you really need to use this as a "I play everything in sequence" machine (which is why it's good for listen once and delete).
Comments around style - well, this is all about size. This thing is tiny and light - that's the major advantage.
Durability - dropped it lots of times now. No problems. Have even bent the sturdy bulldog clip - slight problem in that it struggles to fit into docking port. My big belly bent it when I bent over...

2 points haven't been made -
the battery life is good (even when I've left it on by mistake) and it's never run out
you can't delete tracks from the machine - you need to do this from the computer.
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on 15 October 2007
At the time of writing this review there are 68 others already on here, but I thought I would tell you of my own experience with the ipod shuffle.

I go the gym and used to have a MP3 player - just a basic "memory stick" type that I plugged into my computer to recharge and I could drag & drop songs onto. Unfortunately it died so it was time to look for a new one. Now I was undecided whether to buy a basic model by a less well known company, or go for a leading name. It seems to me that if you're prepared to go for a relatively unknown manufacturer you can get a basic mp3 player for half the price with twice the memory, but eventually after much deliberation I plumped for the apple ipod shuffle, swayed by a combination of the reputation of apple & (hopefully) a better build quality.

I have had it just over a week now and I think I have made the right decision.

Yes, there is no screen, but I knew that when I bought it. I know from my prior experience at the gym that I just tend to switch it on and let it play so I didn't really need one. Also, I have a mobile phone that takes pictures, plays videos, games etc and I hardly use any of those features so I figured I wouldn't need a screen to watch tiny videos on. The earphones are great - several reviwers say they fall out but I've used mine on the treadmill, rower, cross trainer, exercise bike and wave machine and they've stayed in throughout! I've got about 14 hours out of it before I had to recharge which is impressive, and although initially I missed the simplicity of the "drag & drop" method of my old mp3 player, its just a question of getting used to itunes and once you have it seems simple enough.

All in all, an excellent purchase and having never had any previous experience of apple or ipods I am very pleased with my purchase.
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on 16 December 2006
Now, to start with, if you want a player which is multi-purpose, and can play videos and view photos - look elsewhere. This is strictly music only (with the exception of using it as a data drive). It doesn't have a screen, but for me this is perfect. I'm tired of waiting for my other player (Sony NW-HD3) to load up, then I have to troll through various menus, select the song, wait for the hard-disk to spin up before putting in my pocket, and having to take it out every time i want a song change. This for me does exactly what I need. I use it primarily in College and at the Gym. Its great because it just clips on, you turn it on and music plays literally straight away. There are no loading times, even when skipping tracks, and it is very easy to use. There's 5 buttons, all operated by the thumb, and the great thing is, if its clipped to your trousers, you just press the next track button to change songs. Theres no faffing about with menus and selecting albums.

However, it won't be perfect for everyone because of this. If you want all your music in albums, this wont work, because you can only skip through tracks, but ive made a playlist of my favorite songs of the current time, and put that on. I know whats on there too - because they are my favorite songs. iTunes is easy as you'd expect, and the sound is good too, on par with its bigger alternatives.

Now, to clear it up, there is hiss if you use in-ear headphones. I sometimes use my Sony MDR-EX71's, and there is some hiss, not particularly noticeable. But i use the headphones which came with it, which are fine, if lacking in bass response.

This thing looks and feels great, and well put together. Its tiny, smaller than the size of the 'Enter' key on your keyboard, and light too, so if it drops, it just dangles from the headphones and doesn't detach, so it wont hit the floor. Its not noticeable, unlike bigger players which you can feel in your pocket. Some people say it may get lost, but keep it attached to your headphones and there shouldn't be a problem.

Of course, with the dock, it looses portability value for data storage, but to be honest, if i wanted to transfer my data/work files, i use a USB dongle, and not a £50 music player.

Whats more, its cheaper than any previous Shuffles, and at only £55, a cheap way to get in on the iPod market, and noone will call you a cheapskate because it looks fabulous.
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on 22 July 2007
I am new to iPods and I am very satisfied with my purchase. Although that I could have got a 1gb mp3 player for about a quarter of the price of an iPod I decided to get and iPod shuffle. Apple is the only company that I have seen that has been able to cram so many tunes into such a small space. Also the battery life is amazing, unfortunately the in the supplied manual it doesn't tell you to charge it for at least 4hrs before you use it. Also because I'm tall the headphone lead is a little short and can become irritating from time to time. I just clip mine to the inside of my jacket pocket immediately overcoming the problem. Apart from that the product is amazing; the quality of the ear-bud headphones is excellent. It's so easy to use just pop it in the dock and iTunes opens automatically so you're ready to instantly sync your music, furthermore whilst it's plugged into your computer it also charges it for you so there's no need to buy or keep recharging batteries. There's also another great feature called auto fill which mean that iTunes will automatically fill your iPod with as much music as possible. At first 240 tracks might not sound much but when I auto filled mine it came to 17hrs! Also you can make it so that it puts your highest rated tracks on more often than the ones you don't like or haven't listened to yet. The rumours that iPods are fragile I believe is not true, I have dropped this one several times and it hasn't smashed to pieces or disintegrated in any way just a couple of scuffs etc. but it does help if you take care of it.
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on 16 March 2017
This really is the go-to product when it comes to music and exercise. Its inbuilt clip is perfect for not having to worry about the ipod slipping. It also has a large enough capacity for most moderate exercise sessions. It is beautifully designed and made. A gem
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on 28 July 2017
Bought in June 2017, stopped working in July 2017. Not VFM.
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on 30 March 2007
Is this what you really want? I have a 30gB ipod video, it's just too big and heavy for the gym or active use. The new shuffle is brilliant, light, easy controls and a strong integral clip. Very, very light. It can sit on your tee-shirt collar and disappear. But, you have to create a play list that reflects your music taste because there is no screen and no way of selecting tracks other than pot-luck scrolling. At 1gB you're never going to carry your full collection round with you anyway. The claimed 12 hour battery life is for real as well, I got 14h out of mine. As an mp3 for a specific job I can't fault it - unlike the std issue ipod earphones! Get the best out of your shuffle and purchase some Sennhiser CX300 buds, great fit, even when active, a fair price and a massive improvement in base response and ambient noise reduction.
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on 11 February 2007
I bought a 60GB iPod Photo for nearly £300. Loved it. But it broke after 14 months, a faulty (or mistreated after not being carried very carefully in by bike pannier) hard disk. £160 to get another disc fitted. £240 to buy a new machine. Oh dear!

I really missed having a full sized iPod but couldn't afford a new one. Since '05 I've got a mortgage again and money like that isn't there. I had to have a way of playing music and speech on the go and so I bought the little beauty we have here. And now... I wonder why anyone would want one of the full sized iPods. The 60GB still wasn't big enough for my enormous music collection and I was forever fretting about what I was leaving out. But looking back I realise I could have done with a much smaller capacity machine as I generally listened to a couple of hundred tracks on favoured albums in the year I had it.

Managing the music is very simple. You can randomly fill the device every time you plug it in, but you can nearly as easily fill it with a proper programme of music you choose. All you do is clear the iPod of its contents and then drag a playlist into the iPod symbol in iTunes. You can therefore pre prepare programmes depending on the mood you expect you'll be in that day. And you can still have a huge collection in iTunes to make your selections from. I wish particularly that this aspect of the thing had occurred to me sooner - now my iTunes library is going to be complete, perhaps 100 GB or more, and I'll just take with me what I want that day.

There's a change of mind set with the shuffle. You know you're limited to 966MB as you fill it(not the advertised Gigabyte... why take up the machine's capacity with software and not put that in a printed circuit?), but that's still a lot of music. You tend to plan your playlist a bit more carefully than you might with a bigger machine. After a week I already have my favourite rock, blues, classical and so on set up in playlists of the right size so I can just load and go any morning. Apart form the radio shows I record form off streams (using `Total Recorder' at 128kbs) all my music is encoded at 192kbs so I don't get the advertised 240 songs into my shuffle, just 150... but that is still a long day's entertainment.

Another big change is that the bulky, awkward and fragile iPod is replaced by a few grams of easily forgotten about metal and plastic. It clips to my tee shirt pocket and seems to disappear. You don't know you're wearing it.

There are some drawbacks compared to the bigger machines. Obviously without a screen you can't see what is playing and you can only find a specific track by shuttling forward through possibly hundreds of others... unless you recall where you put them. I do miss the battery life indicator and the bar showing you the progress through the song. There are some less obvious limitations and one of these is that the iPod shuffle is charged using the same hole as the headphones plug into. It is no longer possible to charge and play at the same time. You can't manage the equalisation of the music either but with decent `phones the machine plays beautifully anyway.

The new headphones are an improvement on the old ones, although to be honest they are still poor compared to the array of Sennhieser cans I bought for my old 4th Gen. MX500s for speech when I'm on my bike (I can hear trouble coming). PX100s for comfy indoor listening and CX300s for those times when I still want base response and I want to block out a noisy environment. Incidentally the fact you can clip the iPod shuffle to a shirt pocket or collar means that the old problem of too-short headphone cables has disappeared for good.

Overall five stars is entirely justified for this. (....) is a small price to play for a marvel whose size belies its ability. If I got a year out of it before it died I'd buy another immediately.

One last thing - don't bother buying a case. The aluminuim finish is much less prone to marking and scratching than the soft plastic of regular iPods and, with no screen to damage, the machine stands up well on its own.
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on 8 December 2007
First the good. This player is the smallest yet most robust piece of electronic equipment I've bought in a while. It is so small is reminds me of some of Ben Elton's rambling's in Stark where he suggests that Japanese led electronics are becoming so small that we can barely find them half the time, let alone use them. Thankfully, Apple negate this problem with the ingenious clip, which seems strong and highly practical, bravo Apple - yet another innovation in the smallest of their devices to date.

So why only 3 stars? The sound quality. It is loud, yes. Quite full, there is a lot of detail there, but ultimately it just sounds a bit flat. This has caused me to send mine back - I'm a bit of an audiogeek, I use the Shure e2c's and expect a decent sonic experience. Instead, I'm going to buy the 1st gen shuffle - since from what I can gather, the sound quality on that device was applauded at the time. Indeed, if you do a quick search on some of the mac forums, I'm sure you will find questions over the sound quality on this 2nd gen as compared to the 1st.

So in all then, a great player, if you can live without brilliant quality sound. It seems to me that a lot of the work at Apple went into the design and aesthetics with this device, at the expense of a 'iPod quality sound' that they managed to maintain in the 1st Gen shuffle.
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on 12 September 2007
I already had a video i-pod when I bought my shuffle so I knew basically what to expect from Apple i.e. an easy to operate and reliable product.
The Shuffle was chosen for one purpose; providing music while I walked the dogs and it has one feature which made it superbly ideal for this- the ability to clip it to you. I can wear my i-Pod wherever I go and it stays, securely, in position.In addition I also use it while I`m doing the housework. It is brilliant!
It just looks so neat.It connects fautlessly with my laptop so it is quite easy to change the music on your Shuffle when you get bored with it.I have never regretted buying my Shuffle.
One tip; buy a plug in charger- it`s just more convenient than using your computer and the one I bought also had a continental adaptor so I could take my Shuffle on holiday too.
My daughter was so impressed when mine arrived that she wanted one too. Like me she is very happy with her Shuffle.
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