According to a New York Times article, Apple is introducing the latest iteration of its popular, petite iPod shuffle. The new shuffle is about half the size of the previous generation (The Times says it is roughly the size of a piece of Trident gum— 1.8" tall x 0.3" to be exact) but with 4GB it has twice the storage capacity and room enough for about 1,000 songs. The Shuffle is so miniscule that its sleek aluminum body no longer has room for any controls at all (let alone a screen) save for a three-position power/shuffle/play-in-order switch. The play/pause, volume, skip track, and other controls are now housed on the right cord of the earbuds. Apple maintains that this is a convenient location for the control, but if users prefer using second-party earbuds, they will have to forgo controls.
Apple’s Web site says that perhaps the most innovative new feature is VoiceOver, an electronic voice that announces the artist and track with the push of a button. The voice can speak in 14 languages so pronouncing Der Ring des Nibelungen shouldn’t present any problems. Additionally, the shuffle can play for up to 10 hours on a single charge.
The new shuffle is available now for $79 and the previous generation 2GB shuffle will remain in the lineup, costing $50.
For more information, visit www.apple.com