Apple Downsizes iPod Shuffle

Believing size matters, Apple introduced the third generation of its iPod Shuffle to a waiting world today.

This time the computer / home electronics company reduced the size of its smallest player in the iPod line by half, with the device measuring only about 2 inches in length.

How did they do it? Simple. They removed the buttons.

Photo: AP Photo
The New iPod Shuffle.

Previous generations of the iPod Shuffle achieved the player’s well-known miniscule size by removing the screen that’s a standard feature on other iPods. Since the original Shuffle could only hold about 240 songs, Apple figured the screen wasn’t needed.

This time the company shrank its Shuffle, which can hold about 1,000 songs, by moving the control buttons from the front of the player to the ear buds cord. What’s more, Apple has come up with a new way for users to browse the music content on a Shuffle.

The new feature is called “VoiceOver,” which consists of small audio files loaded onto the player by the most recent version of the iTunes software. Each file contains a computerized voice speaking the title, artist and/or playlist name. What’s more, VoiceOver can do this in 14 different languages.

Priced at $79, the new iPod Shuffle goes on sale tomorrow. Unlike other iPods, only the ear buds accompanying the new iPod will work with the new player, but an Apple representative said third-party manufacturers will soon market their own ear buds and headphones for the device.

To read more about Apple’s new iPod Shuffle, click here.