What IS this!?

Well, I made it to Arkansas and am once again employed. This place makes me very happy and I am honestly excited (despite my comment in my last post) to start writing about design again. So without further ado:

The other day I went to Apple’s website to see what was new. I was a bit shocked to see they’ve come out with a new Shuffle. Even more shocked that they changed it so much. And though I don’t own one and haven’t tried it out, I would still like to relay my first impressions.

At first I was like, “Wha?” and then I was like “huh?” and now I’m like “pschaw.” Let me explain: Apple boasts that this shuffle is hardly bigger than a paper clip. Translation: You will lose it within a week of owning it–via garbage disposal, toilet, couch cushion, etc.

Apple also brags about its aluminum casing and how sturdy it is. Problem #2: Limited color options. Only two to be exact. No bright blue or green squares attached to your gym clothes anymore. You get silver or black. Hooray for individuality. I wouldn’t trade my hot pink shuffle for any fancy new dull and boring MP3 player.

With this Shuffle, Apple introduces VoiceOver, which will let you know which song and playlist you are listening to. While this could potentially be useful, I could also see it being incredibly annoying. My favorite technology review website, cnet.com, agrees with me on most of these downfalls. About VoiceOver they say this:

To be clear, even though the Shuffle can speak, it doesn’t respond to your voice–so don’t go talking to your iPod like a crazy person.

Next, there are the headphones. Because the thing is so small, Apple decided to put the controls on the headphones. This presents several problems. First, if you’ve ever used headphones with volume control on the wire you can imagine how annoying this feature is. It makes the headphones bulky and doesn’t allow for a smooth untangling maneuver when they’ve been in your bag overnight. Second, because this is the only way to control the Shuffle, you can’t use any other headphones with the device. So you are stuck with those crappy Apple headphones that you used to throw away.

And lastly, everyone’s all impressed with how this new generation comes in 4GB. OMG. Why not just get a Nano? Seriously, people. Seriously.

Much better, thank you.

Much better, thank you.