This morning Apple introduced an all-new iPod shuffle, available in silver or black. The previous brightly colored models have apparently been discontinued.
The new shuffle is half the size of the previous generation, but now has 4GB of storage. This means the new shuffle will hold up to 1,000 songs.
Rather than using a display, the new shuffles have a new feature called VoiceOver. VoiceOver makes the iPod shuffle “the first music player that talks to you.”
If you’re listening to a song and want to know the title or the artist, simply press a button, and VoiceOver tells you, without interrupting your music. Apple writes:
You’ll notice how smoothly and easily VoiceOver works. A lot of thought has gone into creating an iPod shuffle that not only talks, but says the right things. It all begins with iTunes and its seamless integration with iPod. iTunes reads your song information, then uses the new VoiceOver Kit to generate the announcements for the songs, artists, and playlists on your iPod shuffle.
This is first iPod shuffle that can use multiple playlists, because VoiceOver announces their names, too. Previous shuffles could only maintain a single, undivided list of songs, podcasts, and audiobooks.
The volume controls for the new shuffle are located on the earbud cord. Apple says “with command central now strategically placed in this more convenient location, you can navigate your music — and activate the VoiceOver feature — without taking your eyes off your run, your ride, or whatever you’re doing.”
The iPod shuffle continues to feature a strong clip, so you can easily clip it on. You can use the iPod shuffle as to stores data as a USB flash drive.
The new shuffle has up to 10 hours of playtime when fully charged. It only takes about three hours to fully charge the battery; it’s 80% charged in two hours.
To use the new shuffle on a Mac, you’ll need a USB 2.0 port, Mac OS X v10.4.11 or later, and iTunes 8.1 or later (free download)
On Windows you’ll need a USB 2.0 port, Windows Vista or Windows XP Home or Professional with Service Pack 3 or later, as well as iTunes 8.1 or later (free download)
The iPod shuffle includes the new Apple Earphones with Remote, iPod shuffle USB cable, and a handy Quick Start guide.