At just half a cubic inch in volume, 1.62 inches long, weighing half an ounce and coming complete with a built-in clip and little else to spoil the minimalist aluminum design, the smallest digital music player on the planet goes on sale this coming Friday. The surprising thing about this announcement is that it comes from Apple, which has until now pretty much ignored the clamor to be the smallest in favor of being the most popular.
Yes, this is the all new iPod Shuffle, which as well as laying claim to that smallest ever title is also fighting hard for ‘most wearable’ as well. Certainly it will be the most wearable iPod straight out of the box, with no requirement to purchase a rubber armband and look like some kind of MP3 Nazi. Indeed, the whole thing is actually a digital clip, a really clever design of the type that we have come to expect of Apple over the years. In fact, I really, really love the clip design it is the best thing about the new Shuffle.
Unfortunately, there’s plenty not to like. Such as small on the outside meaning small on the inside as well, as the new iPod Shuffle only comes with a disappointing 1Gb of Flash memory. It would have been nice to see the storage capacity double to go along with the halving in physical size of the Shuffle. Yeah, sure, I know you can get more than 200 songs on the thing, but I want more than that, I want 500 songs minimum. I want a device that packs in the kind of bang for my buck that I know is possible. In other words I want more than just good design, I want cutting edge technology as well.
And I want it all at less than the £55 in the UK and $79 in the US that the Shuffle will retail for.