I would like to think that I am quick to admit when I am wrong (a common occurrence in my world) and this is one of those times.
A few months ago I was a bit harsh on the 3rd Generation iPod Shuffle. I believe I referred to it in this way…
I think we have a one generation device here. Unless Apple or a third party provider develops an accessory that has buttons and a non-proprietary connector into which the current shuffle can slip. That would provide the flexibility of a 4GB device that HAS tactile controls or a tiny one without. Short of that… anyone interested in an upcoming collector’s item?!
Well, I admit it… I was wrong… dead wrong. Let me explain why.
Part of my routine when we are up here in the mountains each July is to take a walk around one of the lakes. The “large lake” is a 2.1 mile walk while the ”small lake“ is a 1.2 mile walk. I try to go around each at least once a day. (In prior years Maisy accompanied me but having reached 9 years old she now gets three minutes into it, sits down and gives me a look that says, ”You’re joking, right human?“)
When we were up here for a few days last month I found myself fussing with both the iPod Nano I was using and the headphone. There just wasn’t a comfortable way to hold the Nano and the headphones were, at best, uncomfortable. (That prompted my post on the need to rethink headphone designs.
The result was that I repurchased a shuffle prior to coming up here for the month. How is it? I love the thing.
First of there is the device itself. The small size, light weight and sturdy clip mean I can place it in a variety of locations.
I can clip it to the back of my baseball hat, to my shirt sleeve, to the collar or to the bottom of the shirt. Once there it is all but unnoticeable.
Next there is the cord. While i still don’t love the stock earbuds that ship with the Shuffle they are good enough for a country walk. Add to that the light weight and you buds that aren’t constantly pulling themselves out of your ears.
Moreover, having now used them for a week I am finding the placement of the inline controller, something I originally complained about, is something I now find to be perfect. It sits just above my shirt collar and is easily accessible without having to search for it. Running the cord from the buds to the shuffle INSIDE my shirt, keeps the cord from either swaying or pulling on the buds. It is pretty much a perfect situation.
Finally there is the VoiceOver feature. It works wonderfully. After a few days of use the control scheme of the headset, (one click in the middle to pause, two to skip one song forward, click and hold to hear the name of the group and song, and click and hold loner to cycle through the playlists) has become second nature to me. I am now able to skip songs or change playlists without stopping my walk, looking down or even having to think about it all that much. That feature alone makes the 3rd generation Shuffle a worthwhile upgrade to its predecessor.
The end result is this- the iPod Shuffle shouldn’t be anyone’s primary iPod but if you already have an iPod or iPhone and want music during any activity it is a great choice for a secondary device. I was wrong, I admit it and I’m glad to be using a Shuffle again.
Now where ARE THOSE AFTER-MARKET EARBUDS we heard were coming???