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I like to start my reviews with a personal touch. It is important to know how the reviewer came to own/use the product. When I read reviews I believe a little background info can go a long way.
I am a music fanatic, I have a song for every emotion and moment of my life, the most memorable may have to be Bewitched 'The Weather Man' but I shall not go into detail about what moment of my life it was as I may embarrass myself (says she, as if she hasn't embarrassed herself already admitting she used to listen to Bewitched, and went to their concert). Anyways I like to have all sorts of music at my immediate disposal for the pure fact that if I have Déjà vu or some kind of flashback (which I often have) I can stick on the track that relates to that moment in time. Strange you may say, but very true!
I eventually got fed up of using CD's so asked for an iPod for Christmas. I didn't want one that held 30,000 songs like my brother, I just didn't see the point so I asked for a cute little thing that held enough songs to last me on my long journeys and enough of a variety for my work outs at the gym. That is exactly what I got. My beautiful PINK iPod Shuffle 2GB. Ahhhhhh, it is adorable, very small, and so easy to use (literally press the forward button then play) and it is PINK!
In this review I shall go into slight detail about why this gorgeous little music machine is a great purchase and a must have for those of you wanting something simple and modern to use instead of an old cassette or handheld CD player. (I know some of you out there still use them, don't try to deny it readers!)
What is an Ipod and how do you use it? The simplest way of answering the first part of this question is that it is a pocket sized portable device that plays music files. How you get the music files is another matter. When you purchase the iPod you get a little helpful leaflet called the 'quick start guide' explaining that you need to download iTunes in order to purchase music which you then transfer onto your iPod. I shall not go into detail about this as my review is about the iPod itself and not the music files, however I shall say that iTunes is very easy to download and once you have set it all up you simply enter your card details and start purchasing! If you have CD's that you would also like to place on your iPod you can also do this with fair simplicity.
What do I do with it? When you first receive your iPod, in the box you will get the iPod (obviously), earphones, dock and start up guide. You must read this as it really will help you in terms of getting the best out of your music machine. If you're a virgin iPod user follow it word for word or you may get a little lost. (Ahem, yes I was the poor lost soul for an hour or so). Before you use your iPod you must charge it fully for approximately 4 hours. This is important as it will help its future battery life. I know it is hard to receive a present or buy something and not be able to use it for a few hours but it is important if you want it to last, so hands off! Once it is charged you simply plug in your earphones to the top of the iPod, turn it on (the on/off slide button is found with the shuffle/order of music in your iTunes button), press start and enjoy!
The slide button for shuffle as mentioned above is what I like most about this little device. Even though Apple gave it the name 'shuffle' that is not all it does. You can slide the button to the right to play the music files how they appear in your iTunes library. This is very handy as the iPod does not have a screen so you can not pick and choose songs but if you play the music as it is on your iTunes you have a fair idea of what song may be coming next or what letter of the alphabet you are on in terms of song names or bands etc. (This all depends on how you organise your files on iTunes). If you really feel adventurous you can change the letter of the alphabet you are on. An example of this would be 'say you are playing Coldplay (on the shuffle mode) and you fancy a bit of Take That, you must keep pressing the forward button until you find a song or band beginning with T, then you change the mode to order (rather than shuffle) and press the forward button again through the T's until you find Take That. It may sound a little complicated but once you get the hang of it you feel like a pro that has just conquered modern technology! Hooray! (I was very proud of myself anyway and had to tell everyone on Facebook).
Now to the specifications of the phone. Especially for those of you who understand what all of this means ;) All this information has been take from the apple.com. (They explain it much better than I ever could).
SIZE AND WEIGHT (so tiny) Height: 1.07 inches (27.3 mm) Width: 1.62 inches (41.2 mm) Depth: 0.41 inch (10.5 mm) including clip Weight: 0.55 ounce (15.6 grams)
CAPACITY 1GB or 2GB flash drive2 Holds up to 240 or 500 songs in 128-Kbps AAC format3 Stores data via USB flash drive
AUDIO Skip-free playback Frequency response: 20Hz to 20,000Hz Audio formats supported: AAC (8 to 320 Kbps), Protected AAC (from iTunes Store), MP3 (8 to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, Audible (formats 2, 3, and 4), WAV, and AIFF
HEADPHONES Earphones Frequency response: 20Hz to 20,000Hz Impedance: 32 ohms
IN THE BOX iPod shuffle (I would be a bit worried if this wasn't in the box) Earphones Dock Quick Start guide
INPUT AND OUTPUT 3.5-mm stereo headphone jack
BATTERY AND POWER Built-in rechargeable lithium polymer battery Playtime: Up to 12 hours when fully charged Charging via included USB dock Full-charge time: about 4 hours
MAC SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS (pardon?) Mac computer with USB 2.0 port Mac OS X v10.4.10 or later iTunes 7.7 or later (oh yes I know this bit, check your iTunes for updates constantly)
WINDOWS SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS PC with USB 2.0 port Windows Vista or Windows XP Home or Professional with Service Pack 2 or later iTunes 7.7 or later
ENVIRONMENTAL REQUIREMENTS (it has a temperature?) Operating temperature: 32° to 95° F (0° to 35° C) Nonoperating temperature: -4° to 113° F (-20° to 45° C) Relative humidity: 5% to 95% noncondensing Maximum operating altitude: 10,000 feet (3000 m)
Aside from all this there is a comparison chart on the website that is extremely useful in terms of helping you make the decision which iPod you would like to purchase. My choice obviously was the iPod shuffle. I shall now go on to the positives and negatives of the shuffle, this is normally the most useful part of a review.
The + of the iPod shuffle 2GB Great price (currently £44 at Argos) Very petite and feels weightless. Comes in 5 different colours, silver, blue, green, red and pink. Can be played through a radio connector in most vehicles. Lasts for 12 hours once fully charged. Also plays podcasts, audiobooks. Perfect use for the gym. You can get quite a few songs on there considering the size of it. ( Mine at the moment has about 450 songs and still going).
The - of the iPod Shuffle 2GB I am constantly weary of loosing it as it is too small. Doesn't have a screen.
Is there anything I would suggest to Apple for next time? Have a little screen that shows percentage of battery time left, which would be very useful.
Would I recommend this to consumers? Definitely yes, if you want a portable music device that is easy to use, reliable, modern looking and inexpensive then this is the iPod for you.
I hope you have enjoyed my review of the iPod Shuffle 2GB