PC Magazine review gives Apple’s iPod shuffle 4 out of 5 stars

“Minimalism has always been a guiding principle at Apple, and the new iPod shuffle is an outstanding example. The slim white shell encases a 512MB or 1GB flash-based player, with nothing more than a four-way rocker ring and play/pause button on the front and a power switch and battery-check button on the back. You pull off one end of the 0.8-ounce player to expose the USB plug. The shuffle has no display to tell you what song you’re listening to, no playlists, no navigating to the next song, and no EQ settings. Instead, you get a new version of iTunes that can randomly load the shuffle with songs; two positions on the power switch let you play them in order or randomly. The big idea here, such as it is, is that shuffle owners want to be continually surprised at which songs pop up from their music collections,” Bill Machrone writes for PC Magazine.

“We admire the functional simplicity of the shuffle, and recognize there are times (such as during a workout) that you won’t miss the display (and will be happy to do without the extra weight it necessitates). Still, overall we prefer a player with a navigation window. When we use random play on our personal digital audio player, we often find that it stimulates a musical mood; we’ll then switch to a specific playlist or group of albums,” Machrone writes.

“The shuffle’s value is interesting. Though the $99 price for the 512MB player ($149 for 1GB) is low, it isn’t unique. For example, the 512MB SanDisk Digital Audio Player can be found for $99 and has a functional navigation window, voice recording, and FM radio. Of course, it isn’t as tiny, light, or sleek as the iPod shuffle. So if you want a low-cost player that stores just hundreds (as opposed to thousands) of songs and don’t need to see what’s playing, the iPod shuffle is a very good choice.”

Full review here.


  1. Too bad I have to wait till Feb 7th before mine comes. It sound like it is being well recieved by all except our friends at Dell and Creative.

    I think I’ll get a Mac mini to go with it when the store opens tomorrow. My Apple store is opening an hour early. Don’t expect Airport to be available though. Apparently that option is not ready and will be coming as a non-user-installable kit in a couple weeks.

    Magic word: “lines”, as in, I hope I don’t have to wait in long lines with my two kids when I show up at the store tomorrow.

  2. No “navigating to the next song”?!?!?! These people either don’t know what the hell they are talking about or don’t understand how to word product review articles to keep them from making products sound less capable than they really are. Either way they don’t deserve as much public attention as they get with articles like this. I’m glad they gave it a good rating but, isn’t the >> button designed to navigate to the next song? Can’t you put playlists/albums into it and skip from one to the next?
    Magic word is “actually”… The shuffle actually has a lot of the features and functionality this article claims it doesn’t!!

  3. Well, “navigating” means seeing where you’re going by definition, so they’re right… Still, the genius at apple was to call it the “shuffle” in the first place… critiquing a device called “shuffle” for not allowing you to navigate its contents is like critiquing a car for not flying.

  4. The iPod Shuffle is great for people on the go like going to the gym, bike riding, or even fishing (imagine dropping your bigger iPod in the water, ouch). As for no navigation its fine as you suck in a Playlist you want to hear for the day or hour or two. Great form factor as its so small & fairly cheap it will never get in your way. I imagine its going to outsell iPod mini by a huge margin. Have to admit I want one.

  5. pretty fair review, I think. There are certainly people out there who really want a screen all the time. This product will simply not work for them–at least, not until Apple or a 3rd party makes an add-on that has a screen of some kind.

  6. Just keep in mind that this is not meant to be all things to all people, it was designed specifically to fill the only whole in the iPod line up. Take 2 and call me in the morning…

  7. Anyone tried copying full AIFF audio to an iPod (why would anyone want to do that?). If you did, 512 MB would get you about 2/3 of a CD (or about 15 songs) and 1 GB would get you a full CD plus (about 30 songs). Then you’d basically have a Walkman/Discman. How did people who owned these devices get along without a navigation screen?

  8. I have a Philips key013 thats about as big in size as the shuffle, it has a rechargeable batery, screen and remote control. When i compare the sound to my 3G iPod however its worlds apart. Concidering the iPod shuffle almost has the same sound quallity as my bigPod the price is even more amazing. The sound quality is more important then features i think!!


    Dammit. PC World gets the Sandisk pricing wrong. The Sandisk 512 MB Digital Audio Player retails at 149.99.
    The only Sandisk digital audio player that retails close the the 512MB ipod shuffle is the 256 MB Sandisk player, which is 89.99–BUT IT HAS HALF THE STORAGE SPACE.

  10. I used my 1GB iPs all weekend, working out, walking the dog, in the office and I can tell you that I don’t miss a screen. In fact, I’ve been using the iPs more than my 4G 40GB iPod so far. It’s so small and portable.

    Magic Word: taking. As I’ll be “taking” my iPs with me everywhere.

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