Apple's given the shuffle back its buttons, despite the smallest form factor yet. Even more impressive: it's got 15 hours of battery life, 2GB storage, and a price tag of $50. And I have to admit, it's kind of adorable.
The official presentation:
Here's Steve Jobs on stage presenting the new iPod shuffle:
The main features:
Here are the main features of the new Shuffle:
• It supports Genius mixes, playlists, and VoiceOver
• It comes in blue, pink, black, green and yellow
• It's good for 15 hours of battery life
• It's got 2GB of storage
• It costs $50
• You can clip it to your clothes for working out
• It's got buttons again.
The differences with the previous generation
In a lot of ways this Shuffle is a hybrid of previous generations, which is good! It's got the buttons and squareish form of two Shuffles ago, while sharing features like VoiceOver and Genius with the most recent Shuffle. The biggest difference from any previous Shuffle, though, is the size: at 1.14 x 1.24 inches, it's the teeniest iPod yet.
What's cool, what's not
I like a small PMP as much as anybody, but having control over your playlist is essential, especially if you're using it to exercise. So hooray for the return of those buttons. And the $50 price is pretty sweet. In fact, the only not cool thing about the Shuffle is that you can get the similarly sized but much, much more capable iPod Nano for a hundred bucks more—which might well actually be worth it.