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Walt Mossberg: iPod shuffle \'exceeds expectations\'

updated 01:00 pm EST, Wed January 12, 2005

WSJ reviews iPod shuffle

"I've been for a couple of days, and, in my tests, it fulfilled -- and even exceeded -- Apple's claims for convenience, battery life and song capacity, writes renowned Wall Street Journal columnist, Walt Mossberg. "Sound quality is so good you can barely believe the music is coming from something so small." Mossberg praises the iPod shuffle's battery life, which in his tests faired much better than Apple's 12 hour estimate, lasting nearly 16 hours. He also found that the new iPod actually holds more songs than Apple claims because Apple's calculation is based on four-minute songs, while many pop and rock tunes are actually much shorter than that. Mossberg does, however, lists a few downsides to the iPod shuffle, including a lack of display to view playlists, contact info and calendars. He also found the three-way mode button on the back difficult to move. Still, he believes iPod shuffle is "a good product that will enlarge the iPod's appeal, especially with kids, people on low budgets, or people who work out."

by MacNN Staff




  1. LordJohnWhorfin

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Reality distorsion field

    Check out the web, Fry's, etc... You can get a really nice flash-based MP3 player with 512MB, a _screen_, FM radio, MP3 recording from a good brand for between $100 and $150. The iPod Shuffle is a horribly overpriced, underfeatured device. I think it's going to be a great test of the strength of the iPod brand name and the strength of Steve Jobs' reality distorsion field. If it sells well, Apple got themselves a new license to print money.

  1. bobthenob

    Joined: Dec 1969



    My guess is that the switch on the back was made "difficult to move" so that it won't move accidently. I would also think that the switch will wear a little over time and be a bit easier to move, but still not move by itself when jogging.

    Macs Rule!

  1. velocitychannel

    Joined: Dec 1969


    To: LordJohnWhorefin

    Then go to Frys and buy one of those. Simple as that.

  1. rok

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: RDF

    okay, Lord John Whoremonger, i checked out fry's (which redirected me to outpost, so i guess that's what you meant by "etc." - otherwise that was just an a**-coverage blanket statement), and after drilling through their terrible site (hmmm... Electronics Audio & Video» Audio» Personal Audio»Portable MP3 - Memory), i couldn't find ANY players that either matched your description, or didn't lack some feature (such as the memory size) that the shuffle has. so unless you'd like to provide a direct link, we'll just assume you're full of sh..........

  1. Faceplant

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Something that small...

    ...Has to be really snappy.

  1. Saint_Stryfe

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Sorry buddy...

    I work at an Office Depot store. The first thing I did when I got the news about iPod Shuffle is go over and look at our selection. The most expensive flash player was 150, and only held 256 megs. So 99 for a 512 or 1 gig for 150 is a fine deal. And FM? Who cares? PEople can get extremely cheap FM radios if they want to listen to the TV c*** at the gym. personally I use captions, but eh, to each thier own. iPod Shuffle is going to do great. on my crappy salary, it's just a few week's savings, as opposed to a few months, and I'll make that sacrifice to replace a 6+ year old Rio 500 that doesn't work right. At 150, I can get a 512 player, and a 512 flash drive. That's good for me.

  1. jscotta

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Shuffle Competitors


    *This is not a defense of LordJohnWhorfin.

    There are players out there that list more features for near the same price as the iPod Shuffle and the rest of the iPod line. However, many of those features are more marketing check-offs than real features. For example, we picked up an apparently nice (name brand, but name not given to avoid giving them undue exposure) flash-based MP3 player before Christmas for my daughter. One of the features was the FM radio. Not worth it. It barely picks up 2 of the many radio stations that we get over the typical car radio.

    Before the critics chime in, I know that the car has a larger antenna. But that is not the point. The point is that I bought a product with an FM receiver with the expectation of it being usable. It is not.

    I won't even go into buying music and then navigating the terrible user interface for music. Suffice it to say, that just saying that you have a MP3 player with certain features does not mean that it is the same or better value than the isn't.

    So LordJohnWhorfin can go and buy his preferred attempt at quality. I'll stick with Apple, for now.

  1. darcybaston

    Joined: Dec 1969



    "a lack of display to view playlists, contact info and calendars."

    It has 1 playlist, and doesn't do contacts and calendars. It's meant to play from one playlist in order, or shuffled. DUH!

    It's also a flashrom drive, which you access from a computer anyway which HAS a GUI.

  1. olmeca

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Watch out for featuritis

    Whenever I use my expensive kitchen knife I never wonder why I didn't opt for the cheaper swiss army knife. Need I say any more?

  1. Manthas

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Flash drive

    I think Jobs should have really stressed that this is a USB flash drive that you can also use as an iPod. If you compare with some of the others: the Cyclone 512MB drive is 107.99 at Best Buy. I know I have made my decision...

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