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iPod Shuffle Finds Its Voice 379

Posted by Soulskill
from the easy-to-use-easy-to-lose dept.
theodp writes "Steve Jobs wasn't around to convince you that you should be impressed, but on Wednesday Apple unveiled a 4GB Shuffle that's half the size of its predecessor. Holding up to 1,000 songs, the pre-shrunk Shuffle sports a 10-hour battery life and also adds a new VoiceOver feature that can recite song titles, artists, and playlist names, as well as provide status information. Even without a show from Steve, the new player is generally leaving folks dazzled, although there are some complaints." Update: 3/14 at 14:10 by SS: Reader Mike points out some disturbing news that the new Shuffle contains DRM which, according to a review at iLounge, prevents it from fully working with any headphones that don't have an Apple "authentication chip."
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iPod Shuffle Finds Its Voice

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 14, 2009 @05:15AM (#27191097)

    Maybe consumers will draw the line when Apple requires its users to install DRM-equipped electrodes in their own frontal lobes.

    Maybe [eff.org].

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 14, 2009 @05:18AM (#27191109)

      And before anyone says the Voice function is innovative, Rockbox has had it for years. Luckily Apple prevented the installation of Rockbox onto iPods with the 6th gen Classic :/

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by CrankyFool (680025)

      What in heaven's name are you talking about?

      The headphones have no DRM built into them. You could argue that, maybe, Apple is actually making the Shuffle 'closed-source' by requiring a user to use their headphones with their player (I'll insert the customary car analogy -- they're producing a car and restricting you to putting their wheels on their car!), but frankly Apple has long been in the business of coming up wit new ways of doing things and letting the rest of the market catch up. Unless we hear Ap

      • What in heaven's name are you talking about? The headphones have no DRM built into them

        Oh really? The EFF disagrees: http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2009/03/apple-adds-still-more-drm-ipod-shuffle [eff.org]

        • by broken_chaos (1188549) on Saturday March 14, 2009 @05:46AM (#27191207)

          That's going, as I've noted in another reply, on a single iLounge review. Not exactly a technical analysis of what's going on inside the earphones. It sounds more like a non-standard control chip, as opposed to a DRM chip.

          See also my reply with the definition of Digital Rights Management (short version - the music is entirely unaffected and can play through any headphones).

          • by makomk (752139) on Saturday March 14, 2009 @07:24AM (#27191481) Journal
            You must've missed the iPod TV out debacle. All the recent iPods won't do TV out unless they can detect a special Apple authentication chip in the TV out adapter. There's no technical reason for this - they're quite capable of doing TV out via old-fashioned adaptors without the chip, and I think some of them even display a message via the TV out in this case. The sole purpose is to require accessory manufacturers to get authorised and pay a per-item fee to Apple - enforced by the requirement to put the Apple-supplied lockout chip in each one.

            It really shouldn't surprise you if they start doing the same things with headphones.
          • by Firehed (942385) on Saturday March 14, 2009 @10:39AM (#27192327) Homepage

            That's going, as I've noted in another reply, on a single iLounge review. Not exactly a technical analysis of what's going on inside the earphones. It sounds more like a non-standard control chip, as opposed to a DRM chip.

            According to iLounge, even Apple's own previous headphones with remotes built in (for the iPhone and recent Nanos) refuse to control the new shuffle properly. So non-standard that it doesn't even work with your existing products seems pretty unlikely, though I'll happily be proven wrong if someone smashes open the remotes on either set of headphones and finds out what's in there.

            See also my reply with the definition of Digital Rights Management (short version - the music is entirely unaffected and can play through any headphones).

            Is the music player not also a digital device? It may not be DRM to the letter, but it's still technology to prevent you from freely interacting with your purchases.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          The impression I get about the EFF is that they've become a bit too much like Greenpeace. I'm an environmentalist, but I do get sick of Greenpeace. I also don't like the DMCA, but the amount of spin coming from the EFF lately is a bit too much for me. When organisations like this start going after the small stuff, I think they undermine the very importance of what they're fighting for and just end up preaching to the choir.

          • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

            by Anonymous Coward

            What else is new. The EFF has spent their entire existence trying to run out in front of every parade.

            You want to like the guys, but then you realize that they survive by pandering to the type of mongoloids who Slashdot and Digg appeal to.

          • Unfortunately when you have a cause people gravitate to the nutjobs do the same.

          • by mrsquid0 (1335303) on Saturday March 14, 2009 @09:34AM (#27191983) Homepage

            The thing that one needs to remember is that anyone, no matter who they are, who questions Apple or points out any problem with Apple's behaviour, is evil. Apple is always right. We are fortunate to be living at the same time that Apple exists.

            • I don't think the IP issues with Apple are a big problem, so I must blindly support Apple on everything and never question them? You know, it is possible to both be a supporter of Free software and open hardware standards, yet also tolerate to some extent the practice of using today's IP laws in business.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 14, 2009 @07:51AM (#27191571)

          You can't play it through normal amplifiers without losing the ability to change tracks.

          You can't plug it into a cars MP3 port, you can't plug it into previous iPod docks.

          This is useless without its headphones, you're stuck with those crappy Apple ones.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by broken_chaos (1188549)

        Ah, you beat me to it (I replied below). This really doesn't seem anything beyond a non-standard control interface - particularly since it doesn't seem to fit the definition of "Digital Rights Management" at all. It more accurately fits "Physical Rights Management" - in terms of restricting what accessories are required to do something with their device. It does nothing to the (digital) music playback (music is reported to play just fine through any headphones).

        I wouldn't doubt that one could, with a little

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          The EFF are doing exactly the same thing as the RIAA/MPAA do when they call copyright infringement stealing. They are using a similar but technically different term to describe something because of the emotional weight behind the word. It is dishonest and the EFF should be above doing it. Frankly I sense the presence of a certain attention grabbing campaigner behind this.

          What Apple has done is no different to mobile phones with non-standard power adapters, cars with non-standard stereo systems and cameras t

        • by Nerdfest (867930)
          It would be more appropriate to say they "SONYed" it than added DRM. It's the more generic term.
        • by Skuld-Chan (302449) on Saturday March 14, 2009 @10:37AM (#27192319)

          This is debatable - what ilounge is claiming is that if you don't have headphones with controls all it does is play a loop of the playlist - because the player doesn't have any physical controls on the device.

          Apple is *forcing* you to buy their headphones if you want to control it and from what I understand is that 3rd parties cannot make these special headphones without a special chip only apple has.

          So yes - its drm.

          And while some 3rd party could reverse engineer the lockout chip apple could in turn shut them down with the dmca.

          • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Saturday March 14, 2009 @11:21AM (#27192603)

            Apple is *forcing* you to buy their headphones if you want to control it and from what I understand is that 3rd parties cannot make these special headphones without a special chip only apple has.

            The problem being, this part is just speculation at this point and seems unlikely. No one has seen said chip or tried to reverse engineer the new interface from Apple.

            So yes - its drm.

            Assuming said speculation was true it wouldn't be DRM, but it would be intentionally enforced hardware component lock-in. If you want to call it DRM, go ahead, but it is inaccurate. Either way it is annoying and likely actionable if someone had the legal muscle.

            And while some 3rd party could reverse engineer the lockout chip apple could in turn shut them down with the dmca.

            ...if any such chip exists as opposed to the more likely scenario that Apple built a nonstandard interface and did not include a special locking chip. So far, all anyone has seen is the interface, not this supposed chip.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by broken_chaos (1188549)

      Is there actually any evidence of the chip being a DRM "authentication" chip, as opposed to just a non-standard control interface? A single iLounge review is hardly what I'd call conclusive evidence - considering they note in there that there are likely to be 3rd-party remotes that do not have headphones attached before long.

      While not an ideal situation, by far, I think it may not be quite as bad as your initial reaction paints it to be. It *is* also explicitly noted in the review that it still does play mu

    • by SoupIsGoodFood_42 (521389) on Saturday March 14, 2009 @06:22AM (#27191287)

      Non-standard != proprietary DRM.

      People have already started announcing 3rd party accessories for the new iPod shuffle. It may not be a standard headphone jack, but it's not locked-down. I'm sure in a months time there will be people who've made their own iPod shuffle headphone controller just for the fun of it. If you want to talk about price of accessories making the whole package too expensive, then that's something else.

      • by goombah99 (560566) on Saturday March 14, 2009 @10:29AM (#27192275)

        The headphones do not contain Digitial Rights Management. device will play just fine with ordinary headphones. in no way does it block access to your music.

        the headphones can contain a controller to tell it to advance to a given song or change volume. Were you somehow expecting unmodified headpones to do that? how exactly?

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Firehed (942385)

          I would expect at the very least Apple's existing headphones with a remote to do that, yes. I'm given the impression that's not the case. As I do own a couple sets of third-party headphones with a remote built in (to replace the headset that comes with the iPhone), I'll wait until I can test them. Either way, I find the requirement for an external remote when using a music player with any non-headphone audio output (which I'm doing 95% of the time) completely idiotic.

        • Think you've replied to the wrong person :)

  • I Like It (Score:5, Informative)

    by CrankyFool (680025) on Saturday March 14, 2009 @05:15AM (#27191099)

    I suspect I was one of the first few people on Thursday to pick one up. This Shuffle is my first, complementing my 30GB Video, 60GB Video, and iPhone devices. Basically, I've gotten tired of lugging around the bigger devices while I bike.

    So far, I'm really pleased with it. Hate the headphone arrangement in principle, but I can live with it for now. It's tiny, as noted, and I've already lost it (and found it again) once. I suspect that's the biggest risk to owning a small, black device like that.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Here it is: iSophagus

    http://store.sluggy.com/detailed-isoph.html

    • by Bazman (4849)

      Perfect for connecting to iTunes via your MacTini:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGGOn-H7s3Q [youtube.com]

    • ... just check that eff.org link before the last in the summary:

      iLounge sums up what this means for consumers:

      This is, in short, a nightmare scenario for long-time iPod fans:
      are we entering a world in which Apple controls and taxes literally every piece of the iPod purchase from headphones to chargers, jacking up their prices, forcing customers to re-purchase things they already own, while making only marginal improvements in their functionality?
      It's a shame, and one that consumers should feel empowered to fight.

      I don't know why... but cluelessness of iPhans never seizes to amuse me.

  • Headphones (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ganty (1223066) on Saturday March 14, 2009 @05:28AM (#27191147)

    The inability to use your own headphones is a big problem, in fact this makes the new shuffle unusable for me as I can't use earbuds.

    Ganty

    • Re:Headphones (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mlts (1038732) on Saturday March 14, 2009 @05:50AM (#27191215)

      I'm not sure who Apple is catering to by forcing people to either wait for third parties to license the earbud chip, or use the "one size fits some" earbuds that are included.

      Children who are given this as their first MP3 player might not be able to use the earbuds.

      People who want an inexpensive iPod for jogging or campus won't be able to use these earbuds, because earbuds tend to fall out.

      Which leaves people who are just buying a really low end iPod for financial reasons. If someone wants a generic MP3 player, choices abound in this market segment. Apple has competition here, as opposed to the other models which the choices thin out dramatically, especially the high capacity iPod Classic.

      This is a head scratcher, because Apple tends to know better than this. Maybe they will make an adapter with the volume controls and button for $29 or so, so people can use their own cans.

      UI-wise, features seem to have been lost. Say I have a long DJ mix with no breaks in it. From what I've seen, I can't fast forward or rewind in a song, its either go to the beginning or skip, with no in between.

      All and all, I am disappointed. Yes, this is their low-end product, but there are some definite features that some people use everyday that are missing. At least the 2G Shuffle is still for sale. If I had to buy a Shuffle, I'd buy the 2G which has half the capacity, but allows me to do basic music navigation actions with a single button press as opposed to multiple triple-clicks.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      It will probably be about a week before some taiwanese company is selling a reverse-engineered inline headphone pigtail with buttons. You can control the volume by using headphones with a volume control. Why would you buy a mp3 player the size of a suppository anyway? There is such a thing as it being too small. But I guess there's a market, or they would never have made the thing. Personally I got a phone which is an mp3 player and requires special headphones (RAZR V3i) and it has not been a serious impedi

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by SpecBear (769433)

        Why would you buy a mp3 player the size of a suppository anyway?

        I can only think of one reason. And I sorely wish I could unthink it.

  • Rockbox (Score:5, Informative)

    by bcmm (768152) on Saturday March 14, 2009 @05:46AM (#27191205)
    I am surprised, with Apple constantly spouting "The first music player that talks to you", that no one has yet mentioned Rockbox [rockbox.org]'s voice capabilities.

    It has existed for some time, and even supports it on some very cheap hardware, by calculating and storing the speech synth on a PC while the player is plugged in.

    So, Apple has, in fact, been fighting to keep speech synth off the iPod for years.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      But that's not really a music player -- It's software that you can install on a music player. Apple is not fighting to keep it off the iPod, they just don't care about supporting it. Big difference. And why are you surprised? Apple isn't a bad company IMHO, but they're not there to be everyone's best friend, either.

      • Re:Rockbox (Score:5, Informative)

        by CRCulver (715279) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Saturday March 14, 2009 @07:35AM (#27191509) Homepage

        Apple is not fighting to keep it off the iPod, they just don't care about supporting it.

        The establishment of encrypted firmware with the iPod Touch and iPod Classic was an intentional move towards preventing third-party firmware installations like Rockbox. Apple made an effort to ensure you can't install it, so the issue is a lot more than a neutral "lack of support".

        • Yeah, I'll admit that they are biased towards not wanting such things, but I doubt they were targeting Rockbox specifically. My impression was that you can still install your own firmware if you wanted, even if you can no longer simply modify Apple's. I think Apple does it because it solves a lot of support issues for them and they care about that more than keeping OSS advocates happy. Otherwise, I don't see much evidence that they would care that much about hacking. I think it would be nice if they were mo

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Firehed (942385)

          I think it's much more likely that they don't want someone ripping off their iPod OS for their own $39 Chinese knock-off device. Nor do they want people to be easily able to reverse-engineer the app store protocols and hack the thing for their own profits. That it broke third-party replacement firmwares was probably more of a happy (for them) coincidence.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by maeka (518272)

            I think it's much more likely that they don't want someone ripping off their iPod OS for their own $39 Chinese knock-off device. Nor do they want people to be easily able to reverse-engineer the app store protocols and hack the thing for their own profits

            You are ignoring the difference between encrypting your firmware and using a bootloader which only loads encrypted code.
            They could have easily done the first and not done the second.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by kestasjk (933987) *

      It has existed for some time, and even supports it on some very cheap hardware, by calculating and storing the speech synth on a PC while the player is plugged in.

      The shuffle also works that way; it sounds different on Windows than on OS X.

      • Hey it just a matter of time before someone figures out how to hack it and we can intall the Talking Moose on the iPod Shuffle.

        "The more you jog over a dead cat, the flatter it gets."

        It'll be like 1990 all over again!

      • My car radio and my home stereo also have this "talking to announce song title and singer name" feature. It's called "the DJ" although some of the older stations call this feature "the MC". ;-)

        "Ha! I kill me." - Alf

  • by should_be_linear (779431) on Saturday March 14, 2009 @05:56AM (#27191231)
    I always thought how big and clumsy my Shuffle is, thank god they finally addressed this issue !
    • by MikeURL (890801)
      I was thinking the same thing. This seems like a solution in search of a problem.

      I use my shuffle when I'm running or biking and what really what annoys me is the wire. So far I'm not aware of any good solution to that problem. I think Apple has now arrived at the point where the wire weighs more than the player. OK, that is cool but what I'd really like to see is an elegant wireless solution that caters to active people.
  • by cyberjessy (444290) on Saturday March 14, 2009 @06:18AM (#27191279) Homepage

    Though voice is more accessible and helps blind people, for the vast majority of non-blind users it is simply very inconvenient.

    Many years back, I got a shuffle when I wanted a tiny MP3 player. It drove me nuts, and I bought a Sansa; same size, but comes with a screen and some useful features.

    Just about every tiny MP3 player has a screen these days, but Apple is probably having the NIH syndrome.

    • Because putting in a screen costs money, and occupies case space. Voice is free - the feature is entirely software.

      From the blurb, the voice differs depending on which OS you use, so odds-on the voice synth is done on the computer and the output is stored on the device, so they didn't even need to optimize their voice synth to run on the Shuffle.

      • by gbarules2999 (1440265) on Saturday March 14, 2009 @10:56AM (#27192445)
        For $80, I can get the iPod shuffle with no screen, or a comparably sized Sansa Clip with a small screen, FM Tuner, voice recorder, OGG/FLAC support, and compatibility with every OS. The Sansa Clip also happens to be on sale at the Sansa store; it's only $60. So, where's that "screen costs too much," charge Sansa should be forcing on me, then?
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by ukyoCE (106879)

          Are you joking? You're comparing a 2.3 cubic inch device with a clunky 1-word "screen" to a 0.3 cubic inch device with a no-eyes-required audio interface.

          The Sansa Clip is almost 8 times bigger than the Shuffle. And that screen? That's a "feature"? The Sansa has 7 buttons plus some kind of radial ipod-ripoff pad. You want to be squinting at that screen pressing those buttons while jogging down the sidewalk?

          It's certainly a valid question to ask whether the Shuffle's size and interface are worth $20 to

          • by RzUpAnmsCwrds (262647) on Saturday March 14, 2009 @02:42PM (#27194359)

            Are you joking? You're comparing a 2.3 cubic inch device with a clunky 1-word "screen" to a 0.3 cubic inch device with a no-eyes-required audio interface.

            Yes, he is. At some point there are diminishing returns regarding size.

            over having a clunky device with a bad interface

            You concluded that from, what, the fact that it's not an iPod? The Sansa clip actually has a pretty decent UI, as does the rest of the Sansa line. And you can load it without needing special software - it's a freaking mass storage device.

            It certainly is not, unless you start with the assumption that size and interface are worthless.

            Yes, it certainly is. It has more features (screen, FM radio, voice recording) for less dollars. It's not an evaluation of the quality of the Sansa or the iPod, it's just a fact.

            I don't personally have a need for a tiny jogging-targeted music player

            Apparently neither do any of the people buying the new Shuffle, because (according to Gizmodo) the tiny little headphone-cord cables are extremely tricky to use when jogging because they are too close to your head and too small (which makes them difficult to manipulate when you're bouncing around.

            Look, I like the previous-gen Shuffle's design (I own one). But there's a point when things get absurd. Requiring proprietary headphones means I can't use it in my car and I can't use it with my Shure e2g canalphones. There will probably be a $30 adapter at some point, but then we're talking about a $110 music player, which is getting into iPod Nano territory.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ClosedSource (238333)

        "Because putting in a screen costs money"

        So Apple passes-on those savings to customers .. oh wait.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by drinkypoo (153816)

      The shuffle is your own portable radio station. The typical use is to have it dump a selection of your favorite songs from iTunes into the player every time you sit at your desk, so you have a constantly-changing bunch of music. You can skip tracks if you want to, but the interface is too primitive to want to do more. That's fine; if you want a screen, pay for it and buy a Nano instead of a shuffle, and stop complaining about things that aren't problems. If you want to harsh on Apple, why not harsh on the l

  • big deal (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I don't know why anyone is impressed by this at all, even though I'm a mac fan, this new shuffle is lame and isn't all that innovative. If you are going to make it that small, it's dumb to have a long cord dangling, why don't you build the ipod right into the headphones, that would be innovative, and illiminate the annoying need for chord tangles.

  • Oh Joy... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by drew (2081) on Saturday March 14, 2009 @06:57AM (#27191385) Homepage

    As if iTunes wasn't already bloated enough...

    The first time you sync one of the new iPod Shuffles with iTunes, Apple will install software on your Mac or PC that makes the voice feature possible.

    I'd be curious to see how accurate that statement actually is. "Apple Mobile Device Support", which as far as I can tell is only needed for iPhone or iPod Touch, is installed automatically with iTunes. Sure enough, I just checked in Apple Software Update, and the new version "Supports syncing with iPod shuffle (3rd generation)." If Apple insists on installing half a dozen other unrelated or semi-related software packages with iTunes, it would be nice if they would provide an interface to only install (or update) the ones that you actually want. At the very least, I'd appreciate it if the iTunes installer would recognize when certain components aren't installed so I wouldn't have to uninstall Bonjour every single time I upgrade. (Why anyone ever thought it would be a good idea for system level network autoconfiguration and application level sharing to be handled by the same program in the first place is beyond me. The only thing I find more baffling is that anyone else in the world thought it would be a good idea to follow their example. avahi, I'm looking at you...)

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by ickoonite (639305)
      Not sure about on Windows, but on the Mac, it doesn't install the VoiceOver Kit unless you have one of the new Shuffles. I was a bit disappointed by this, as I would quite like my Mac to be able to speak something other than English.
  • My Sansa (Score:4, Interesting)

    by B1oodAnge1 (1485419) on Saturday March 14, 2009 @07:30AM (#27191503)

    Man I love my 25 dollar, 2 gig Sansa with a 4 gig microSD card.

    I've had speech functionality since I installed Rockbox in January of '07.
    Plus, I can play doom and gameboy ROMs in class.

    Did I mention I got it brand new for 25 bucks?

    Jus' sayin'...

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Which model do you have? Sounds like you have the one that doesn't suck, and I want to see if I can find the same one used.

  • Teardown (Score:5, Interesting)

    by joelholdsworth (1095165) on Saturday March 14, 2009 @07:58AM (#27191595)
    ...and already someones pulled it to bits [ifixit.com]
  • by Mendenhall (32321) on Saturday March 14, 2009 @08:26AM (#27191699)

    OK, this is an interesting new marketing strategy for a company as a way to remove a product from their line. You don't ever have to stop selling it. You just keep halving its size until no one is sure whether they have bought one or not.

    With some good access to the RDF, everyone will continue to hear music, whether or not there was actually a device in the box.

    I still own a first generation Shuffle. I think it weighs 50 grams. Really, that's just to much to bear, carrying it in my briefcase. I know that if my briefcase only had a 10.7 gram Shuffle in it, it would be MUCH easier on my walk to work.

  • by nloop (665733) on Saturday March 14, 2009 @08:38AM (#27191755)
    I appreciate Apple trying to get rid of too many control interfaces. For the most part I am behind them all the way.

    However, the one button to control this thing is rediculous. On a shuffle I often end up jumping forward or backwords through a fair amount of songs to find something I am in the mood for. On this one you double click to go forward, triple click(?!) to go back. Fastworward/rewind? double click and hold, triple click and hold (but only if you are more than 6 seconds into the track, or the triple click restarts the track). Say the name of the song? Click once and hold for 1 second. NOT FOR LONGER, if you hold longer, then you go to playlist selection!

    This is not a step forward. Apple's approach to a simple design before made them accessible to nondorks. Grandmother friendly. My grandmother would need a cheat sheet to operate this. It honest reminds me of The Onion's coverage of The Wheel [theonion.com].
  • So if you load the player using a MAC you get one voice... if you load it using anything else you get a completely different voice.

    This is a rather interesting thing to do... I mean, what happens if the MAC users like the other voice?

    Why would they do such a thing unless the MAC voice was "better" is some way?

  • Half the size = BS (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Jason1729 (561790)
    They shrunk the size by moving UI parts into a second unit.

    By that logic I have a full blown PC the size of a USB memory stick. Just ignore the big beige box attached to the stick, that's only the power and reset buttons.
  • by spike2131 (468840) on Saturday March 14, 2009 @10:02AM (#27192117) Homepage

    The 4GB Sansa Clip [amazon.com] is a similar size, $18 cheaper, similar battery life, has a small screen, and doesn't lock you into the iTunes ecosystem.

  • disclaimer: I have no MP3 player at all actually, I don't listen to music, but I want to say something about the no-buttons interface.

    The new Shuffle talks to the user, excellent, but since it has no buttons, why not allow the user to control the damn thing by voice?

    I would not buy an MP3 player unless it was also a voice recorder, because that would be my usage of it: record voice, play voice back. So if Shuffle featured a microphone, then I could buy it, BUT BUT. I cannot buy something I cannot control,

    • by roman_mir (125474)

      Just came to me that with that technology you may as well add voice recognition and imprint your voice into the device and set security on some chosen records, so that the only person who can listen/delete record is the one, whose voice gave specific commands.

      Shuffle Play Record $NAME$: OH NO, YOU DON'T. YOU ARE NOT AUTHORIZED. Shuffle Play Record $NAME$ Overwrite Security Now: THIS SHUFFLE WILL SELF DESTRUCT IN 5 SECONDS! 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 BAM!!!

  • by krunk7 (748055) on Saturday March 14, 2009 @11:27AM (#27192641)

    So I'm reading all these heated DRM posts and do something incredibly silly: before posting, I did a little research.

    Calling this "DRM" is simply wrong headed. It doesn't meet any definition of "DRM". Not even remotely. And lockin? How can it possibly be lockin if anyone who wants to can manufacturer them?

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