Mar 11 2009
New talking iPod shuffle released. Talks funny to PC users and annoys Apple earbud haters.
Apple announced its newly designed iPod shuffle today. It’s nearly half of the size of the previous model and now it talks to you. The same VoiceOver technology found in Mac OS X now enables the iPod shuffle to speak your song titles, artists and playlist names (oh, yeah, you can have multiple playlists now!!).
This is now the third generation iPod shuffle and you’ll find all of its controls have moved from the device to the earphone cord. This means, with the press of a button on the supplied Apple earbuds, you can play, pause, adjust volume, switch playlists and hear the name of the song and artist. It also means if you’re one of the multitude of people that prefer not to use Apple earbuds with your iPod, you’re out of luck when it comes to the shuffle until third party adapters come along:
The new iPod shuffle comes in silver or black at a capacity of 4GB selling for USD$79. The new iPod shuffle requires a Mac with a USB 2.0 port, Mac OS X v10.4.11 or later and iTunes 8.1 or later; or a Windows PC with a USB 2.0 port and Windows Vista, Windows XP Home or Professional (Service Pack 3) or later and iTunes 8.1.
As this is a Mac website, I don’t usually list Windows PC requirements in the posts I make here, but thought I would this time since I’m going to talk about an interesting difference in using the 3rd Gen iPod shuffle on a PC than on a Mac: it talks funny on a PC. Watch this guided tour and at about 3 minutes and 24 seconds in you’ll hear what VoiceOver sounds like for PC users.
You might have noticed the mention of iTunes 8.1 in the shuffle’s requirements. iTunes 8.1 was released today as well. Here’s its list of added features:
- Supports syncing with iPod shuffle (3rd generation).
- Allows friends to request songs for iTunes DJ.
- Adds Genius sidebar for your Movies and TV Shows.
- Improves performance when downloading iTunes Plus songs.
- Provides AutoFill for manually managed iPods.
- Allows CDs to be imported at the same sound quality as iTunes Plus.
- Includes many accessibility improvements.
- Allows iTunes U and the iTunes Store to be disabled separately using Parental Controls.