Reports of its demise were a bit premature. Apple has announced the new redesigned iPod shuffle that features both clickable “ring” buttons and Apple’s innovative VoiceOver technology, enabling users to navigate their music and playlists without ever looking at their iPod shuffle.
The new wearable iPod shuffle has an all-aluminum enclosure with a built-in clip and comes in five colors: silver, blue, green, orange and pink. With nearly 50% more battery life, the new iPod shuffle features over 15 hours of music playback on a single battery charge and offers 2GB of storage for US$49.
The iPod shuffle is based on Apple’s popular shuffle feature, which randomly selects songs from a user’s music library. The clickable buttons make the new iPod shuffle even easier to use, according to Apple CEO Steve Jobs. Press the center button to play and pause, press the outer buttons to skip forward and back or adjust the volume up and down.
The new VoiceOver button on top of iPod shuffle allows users to hear the name of the currently playing song and to switch between songs, playlists or Genius Mixes. VoiceOver speaks 25 different languages and even alerts users when their battery needs charging.
The new iPod shuffle now supports Genius Mixes, the iTunes feature that automatically creates mixes from songs in a user’s music library that go together.
The fourth generation iPod shuffle will be available next week through the Apple Store (http://www.apple.com), Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers. It comes with Apple Earphones and the iPod shuffle USB cable. iPod shuffle requires a Mac with a USB 2.0 port, Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later and iTunes 10 or later; or a Windows PC with a USB 2.0 port and Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP Home or Professional (Service Pack 3) or later.