Newspaper article News Mail Bundaberg Qld.

Apple Makes Another Leap; the New iPod Shuffle Has One Distinguishing Feature {Ndash} No Controls on the Device. Instead, They're on the Earbuds. Oh, and It's Smaller Than an AA Battery

Newspaper article News Mail Bundaberg Qld.

Apple Makes Another Leap; the New iPod Shuffle Has One Distinguishing Feature {Ndash} No Controls on the Device. Instead, They're on the Earbuds. Oh, and It's Smaller Than an AA Battery

Article excerpt

APPLE has a history of making things without features that many people consider essential.

The original iMac lacked a floppy-disk drive, and the MacBook Air did not have an Ethernet port.

In both cases, Apple's rationale was the older standard was no longer needed because it was being replaced by newer ones - CD drives and Wi-Fi.

The latest example is the new iPod shuffle ($129), which in addition to being smaller than an AA battery, does not feature essential controls such as volume, play/pause or next/previous song on the device itself.

Instead, the controls are on the cord of the white Apple earbuds that come with it.

This means if you use any other headphones with it, you can listen, but you can't pause the music, skip to the next song or make other adjustments.

Same thing goes for connecting it to speakers or a car stereo.

The device does have a switch to turn it off and choose if you want to shuffle your songs or listen in order.

Why did Apple do this? Putting controls on the iPod would have prevented the company from making the device as small as it wanted.

Apple says third-party vendors including Sony, Klipsch and v-moda are planning on making headphones and adapter cables that work with the new shuffle, the first of which should be available in the US in May.

Housing the controls on the earbud cords will limit the shuffle's appeal, but then again, the shuffle has never been for everyone.

As Apple's entry-level iPod, it lacks a screen to display song titles or video, and it's never been good for listening to podcasts or audio books.

It has always been popular with runners and gym rats, and some of its new features make it more versatile.

If you don't mind only using the included Apple earbuds, the new shuffle is a brilliant device that packs a lot into a small package.

First, its storage capacity has improved dramatically to 4GB, allowing you to store up to 1000 songs. …

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