Tuesday, April 5, 2005
My feelings about the iPod have always been that it is too expensive and that the quality of the device wasn’t particularly all that great. That has all changed with my purchase of the iPod Shuffle. This device blows away the competition and is very reasonably priced. The reason I changed my mind was due to PC Magazine’s Bill Machrone with his most recent column.
Since I work with acoustic data for a living, I found his testing intriguing and greatly appreciated his thorough analysis of various devices. I received the device yesterday and it is, by far, everything Bill made it out to be. That said, there are a couple of things that could be fixed.
Although it would add a tiny bit of weight and make it slightly thicker, a display would be nice, even if only big enough to scroll a word or two of the song at a time.
The lanyard provided with the device is a joke. It’s not adjustable and somewhat short. My last player had headphones built into the lanyard. I miss that. But, unfortunately, I can’t effectively use my old lanyard because the Shuffle has no way to attach to it.
Having to use iTunes to load the music onto the device is inconvenient, although not horribly so since I can just load iTunes on all my machines. The software is free and easy to use, but I still prefer WinAmp to play my music. Apple really should have supported WMA. This choice could hurt them in the end since most other players that support DRM can do both WMA and AAC.
The device also has to be partitioned into the music side and the data side which is annoying. A very simple program could automatically catalog any music files placed on the device as they are copied on and remove them from the catalog if they are deleted. I did find an undocumented feature that, when browsing the device from Windows Explorer, a hidden directory contains the actual music files, so at least I can copy my music files as well as my data files off of the device without iTunes.
If you don’t need a week’s worth of continuous music on your device, and you want the convenience of a truly portable, high quality music player, the iPod Shuffle is a bargain.
» Posted by Queue at 08:50 AM (ET)
Category: Cool Technology
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