Review: Ipod Shuffle 2nd Gen 1 Gig

In this last review I reviewed my new Chinese MP3 player with OLED screen and 4 gigs of memory. Last Saturday night I was at a party and my friend Paula had her new Christmas present out causing a considerable wow. It was the second generation IPOD Shuffle and my lord, it was a thing of beauty.

I had to have one. I simply had to. It is rare that I know I need something so much, especially on the tech/gadget level where I am pretty jaded. I pretty much forced my wife to purchase me one (“If you don’t get me one in your lunch break we are through, beeeotch!”) and yesterday she did just that.

This thing is tiny, this thing is light and this thing is remarkably cheap (£50/$79) for what it is. I would happily sleep with it plugged in or take it out on a night on the town, which I wouldn’t do with its bigger more vulnerable, and costly, siblings.

In terms of the design ergonomics I can’t find fault, and I can normally find fault in most interfaces. In fact it has aspects that I hadn’t thought of, like when you skip a from one track to the next and back again it goes back to the point you left. Smart.

It doesn’t have a screen. It doesn’t need one. It doesn’t even need an off button - but it has one. In essence it is a stylish aluminium clip not much bigger or heavier than a postage stamp.


I have used Itunes for months to download podcasts, but that was it. Last night I spend a good few hours bringing all my music into Itunes and I love it. Its really well design software that has the apple aura that Windows Media player lacks. The cover flow view has, as Jobs said in his September keynote, shown me music forgot I had in such a delightful way.

The way Itunes works with the Ipod is something I have never experienced before. I have always had to hack my own synchronizations methods using SyncyToy etc. But now the Ipod+Itunes coupling really is a seamless union. It’s the MP3 version of the EPR paradox.


The IPOD shuffle is for people who are always close to their PC. At one Gig it can hold 250 songs but with no screen its not much use for that quantity unless you like want to always be stochastic. The idea is, you USB2 whatever you want over to it in a few seconds and it does the rest. And for this purpose, right now I think it’s the best gadget in existence.