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Over the years me and my other half have owned 4 ipod shuffles - 3 different generations of them! This might sound like they aren't much good if we've gone through 4 of them already, but 2 of them are still alive and kicking, 1 from an earlier generation went through the wash never to play music again and another one we had admittedly did break - we could not get it to charge so once the battery ran out it was useless - this has also happened with an ipod video that we had, but that's another story!
~ About the ipod shuffle ~ The ipod shuffle is a small mp3 player made by Apple ideal for using in the gym or out jogging. It is about 1"x1" in size with a large round button in the middle and a raised circle round the outside with 4 different buttons for skipping songs backwards, forwards, raising and lowering the volume. This tiny device holds 2GB of music. The ipod shuffle is available in pink, blue, silver, orange and green - I have the green one! (My partner has a 3rd generation ipod shuffle, which is very different and far inferior so he uses mine more than I do!) ~ Price and availability ~ The 4th generation ipod shuffle is available for around £35 (not bad considering previous generations have cost £50) and can be purchased online at Amazon.co.uk or play.com or in store at Argos, HMV, Curry's, John Lewis, Sainsbury's, Asda, PC World the list goes on...
~ 2GB - is it enough? ~ My other half and I also have a 160GB ipod video each so the ipod shuffles are mainly used while exercising or occasionally when we're travelling to and from work when our ipod video batteries are flat. I think 2GB is big enough to hold a good variety of music you want for exercising or being on the go, but not having your whole library with you, you're always going to just fancy listening to that song you haven't listened to for the past 6 years that isn't on there! Saying that, I do know a lot of people who aren't massive music fans that could fit all of their music onto one of these 2GB ipod shuffles!
~ Use ~ As well as the buttons on the front there is a small slide along button on the top of the ipod to turn it off, to choose to play your songs in order or to play your songs in shuffle mode. The ipod has a clip on the back to clip it to your clothing while you're exercising or on the go. It is lightweight and even if you were to drop it with your earphones in the earphones would be able to take the weight of it and the wire would not come out of the socket. It is so light that you can't feel it pulling on your clothing like you'd get with heavier devices. The buttons are easy to use when running and can be used easily without unclipping the ipod from your clothing.
~ Battery ~ To charge the battery on the product a small USB to headphone wire comes with the device (as well as the earphones) and you plug the USB into your computer and the other end into the headphone socket on your ipod shuffle and it takes it's power from there. It only takes about one hour to charge and according to apple the charge last 10 hours, but I'd say it lasts around 8 hours - I suppose it would depend on the volume you were playing the music at though. I think the battery life for a device this small is fantastic.
~ Durability ~ As well as this device being dropped a few times without a problem this morning my partner urged me to review the ipod shuffle after discovering, to my annoyance, that mine has now been through the wash twice and still works perfectly! However, I would not recommend this as previous generations haven't been as enthusiastic in water.
~ Would I recommend it? ~ I would recommend this to runners, gym-goers and exercisers of other kinds. I do enjoy using mine - the size and weight is invaluable, but if you're just looking for an mp3 player you can get devices with much more storage and even a screen (making the mp3 player easier to navigate and you are able to see track and artist names) for the same price. Unless you can take advantage of the size or weight of this tiny product, I don't really think it is worth having. If you must have an Apple product and you have a reasonable amount of music, if I were you I'd go for the 5th generation ipod nano because they hold 8GB of music, have a display screen and most importantly they come in lot's of shiny colours (and that's what Apple products are all about really - nice shiny gadgets)!