So immediately after the keynote finished, fellow Engadgeteer Lenn Pryor and I decided we had to have iPod Shuffles RIGHT NOW! It just made sense for the kind of iPod users we are to snap them up. I have too much music on my iPod (25 Gigs, actually) to pick what I want to play, but with so much music on there, shuffle never comes out quite right. Plus the iPod is too big, and too susceptible to crashing from being shook up for my active lifestyle, and so I mainly only use it only trips these days. I figured the Shuffle was the answer to all my prayers — and if it wasn't the 99 bucks wouldn't kill me.
But getting one was like the tasks of Hercules. First we had to fight our way out of the Moscone Center ? since we
watched the keynote downstairs in the press room, we had to wait for the throngs to make the mad dash down to the show
floor before we could get up to the exit, and we were worried they would be sold out by the time we could make it up
the stairs and down the street. Then we had to persevere a long line out the door of the Apple Store and around the
corner. Our patience paid off the minute we hit the door, when the black clad employees were walking down the line with
crates full of the precious green boxes. We had nothing to worry about, Apple had planned for the high demand. Not that
there?ll be any left by tomorrow or anything, because while we just bought two each (one for ourselves, one for a
special someone), others were buying six to 10 of them obviously expecting to eBay them for fun and profit.
When we got to the register, our new main man Jesse hooked us up, and seconds later we were out the door, Shuffles in
We patiently kept our mitts off the box, biting our nails instead until we could get back to a good camera to bring you these pictures.
Yes, you can turn the shuffle off with the flick of a switch if your playlist is in perfect order.
Some things never change, Apple still reminds us ?Don?t steal music.?
The new Autofill dialog. We love this feature.
Now that it?s all charged up and we?ve had a chance to use it, here?s a few initial impressions:
We love Autofill. It makes the shuffle even more random since you never even know what will wind up on your Shuffle. Sure, you can narrow it down to music from a playlist, or do it all manually, but where?s the fun in that?
We?re spoiled by Firewire. The USB 2.0 moved the songs onto the iPod Shuffle pretty quickly, but it?s not the song per second speed of the regular iPod over Firewire.
Apple claims 120 songs probably fit on the 512 MB version. We managed to fit 110, but we have lots of 160 and 192 kbps mp3 files.
This thing is tiny ? and light. You?ll never feel it around your neck or in your pocket. It?s like a stick of gum, not a pack. Just be sure not to leave it in your jeans when you wash them.
The controls take a second or two to get used to, then you never think about them again.
The sound is great. It?s easily as loud and seems to be more clear with better bass response than our 3G iPod.