The iPod Shuffle is a digital audio player designed and marketed by Apple Inc (as iPod shuffle). It is the budget model in Apple's iPod family. It was announced at the Macworld Conference & Expo on January 11, 2005, using the tagline "life is random." Instead of storing data on a hard disk, it was the first iPod to use flash memory. The current second generation model weighs about 15 grams (0.55 ounces). It was introduced in September 2006 along with the revamped fifth generation iPod Classic and second generation iPod Nano. The iPod Shuffle is the smallest device made by Apple.
|Generation||Image||Capacity||Colors||Connection||Original release date||Minimum OS to sync||Rated battery life (hours)|
(no adaptor required)
|11 January 2005||Mac: 10.2|
|New entry-level model. Uses flash memory and has no screen.|
(with included dock)
|12 September 2006||Mac: 10.3|
|2 GB||n/a||26 February 2008|
|Smaller clip design with anodized aluminum casing; 4 color options added later on 30 January 2007; Green and blue changed to lighter shade, pink and orange replaced on 5 September 2007; 2 GB model introduced on 19 February 2008. Blue and green reverted to brighter shades and purple replaced with pink on 09 September 2008.|
It lacks the trademark display, scroll wheel, playlist management features, games, address book, calendar, and notes capability of earlier iPods, and cannot be used with iSync. In addition, due to its lower processing power, it is incapable of playing Apple Lossless and AIFF audio files, unlike other iPod models. The iPod Shuffle has a better bass response than 4th generation iPod, according to one review published days after its release. The first generation shuffle weighed 0.78 ounces.
iTunes offers some new features for iPod Shuffle. One is the ability to reduce the bit rate of songs to 128 kbit/s AAC. The conversion is done automatically, with the original file left untouched on the computer and the smaller (lower bit rate) file sent to the iPod Shuffle. Older versions of iTunes allowed an iPod Shuffle playlist to be viewed and changed while the unit is not connected; the next time the unit is connected, it can then be updated with the changed playlist. This functionality is no longer a part of iTunes as of iTunes 7.
The front of the iPod Shuffle has buttons for Play/Pause, Next Song/Fast Forward, Previous Song/Fast Reverse, and up and down volume adjustment. On the reverse, it has a battery level indicator light (activated by a button) and a three-position switch to turn the unit off or set it to play music in order or shuffled. It plugs directly into a computer's USB port (either 1.1 or 2.0), through which it also recharges its battery, which has an expected life of around 12 hours between charges. The USB plug is hidden beneath a cap. The unit also comes with a lanyard that attaches to the iPod Shuffle via an attached cap and this allows the user to wear the iPod Shuffle around his or her neck.
The iPod Shuffle can also be used as a USB flash drive. iTunes allows a user to set how much of the drive will be allowed for storing files, and how much will be used for storing music.
First generation iPod Shuffles were originally sold at US$99 for 512 MB (0.5 GB) models, and US$149 for 1 GB models. In June 2005, the price for the first generation 1 GB iPod Shuffle was lowered to US$129. In February 2006, the prices for first generation iPod Shuffles were lowered to US$69 and US$99 respectively.
On September 12 2006, Apple announced the release of the second generation iPod Shuffle, calling it "the most wearable iPod ever". First shipments of the unit were slated for an October 2006 arrival, but actually started shipping on Friday, November 3 2006. The new generation featured a lone 1 GB model at US$79, GB£49, CA$89, AU$119 or €89 (France) in a silver brushed aluminum case similar to the second generation iPod nano and the older iPod mini. The new model is less than half the size of the first generation model at 41.2 x 27.3 x 10.5 mm (1.62 x 1.07 x 0.41 in), and is reminiscent of the iPod radio remote available for iPod nanos and 5th generation iPods. Apple branded it as the "world's smallest MP3 player". This size includes the new built-in belt clip; the actual unit itself is thinner, with the entire device weighing only 15.5 g (0.55 ounces). The power and shuffle/no shuffle switches were also separated into two controls to prevent accidental choice of shuffle when that may not be the desired mode of operation. The formatting of the iPod itself is new to Apple, as the 2G (2nd Generation) shuffle will only format itself to FAT32. iTunes issues a warning that the iPod is incorrectly formatted if brought to the Macintosh format HFS+. All previous iPod models have allowed the usage of either the Mac format or the PC format.
On the second generation iPod Shuffle, USB connectivity is provided via an included dock, which transfers data through the headphone jack. The second generation iPod Shuffle is also able to act as a flash drive, just like the first generation iPod Shuffle. However, unlike the first generation iPod Shuffle, the second generation does not have a built-in USB connector. This means the dock is required for connection to a computer on the second generation model.
The second generation shuffle can play MP3, MP3 VBR, AAC, Protected AAC, Audible (formats 2, 3 and 4), WAV and AIFF, meaning that the only iTunes format not supported is Apple Lossless. Using WAV or AIFF will very quickly fill the device's 1GB capacity. iPod Shuffle cannot play music from music video files.
On January 30, 2007, Apple announced the addition of four new colors to the iPod Shuffle line. In addition to the original silver, a pink, orange, green, and blue color has been made available via the Apple Store (online). Of the colors the blue, green, and pink are essentially the same hues as the second generation minis and nanos. The new orange color is a first for the iPod franchise. They also now come with the new redesigned headphones that were not included with the original silver model. The box was also changed to have gray text instead of the lime-green text, lime-green showing that the original headphones are included, and gray text showing that the new headphones are included.
On September 5, 2007, Apple refreshed the line with four new colors including a Product Red version. The new colors (turquoise, lavender, mint green, and Product Red) replaced the previous colors (pink, orange, green, and blue). On February 19 2008, Apple reduced the price of the 1 GB model to $49 and announced the 2 GB version for $69 though the sale of the larger one was released later that month, The UK sale price is £32 for the 1GB version and £45 for the 2GB version.
By April 2005, the end of Apple's second fiscal quarter, the iPod Shuffle had already proven itself to be a successful product for its manufacturer. Although Apple has chosen not to specify how many iPod Shuffles were sold in the product's first three months of existence, analysts at Piper Jaffray estimated that 1.8 million of the 5.3 million iPods sold in the second quarter were shuffles. NPD Group estimates that the iPod Shuffle captured 43% of the flash-based music player market in February 2005, after only its second month of existence. By March 2005 the iPod Shuffle's market share had risen to 58%.
Due to its small size (8.38 × 2.49 × 0.84 cm or 3.3 × 0.98 × 0.33 inches), Apple's web site declared the first generation iPod Shuffle "smaller than a pack of gum and much more fun," with the footnote on its American web site: "Do not eat iPod shuffle." As of September 29, 2005, the footnote has disappeared from the American website.
On October 26 2006, Apple released an iPod Shuffle Reset Utility that corrected this problem for some owners of first generation iPod Shuffles. The reset utility has not currently been updated to run on Windows Vista.