Apple have released the new iPod Shuffle today, which I found out by complete fluke. It seems to have some very clever technology, but then I realised it was just semi-clever engineering.
The new iPod Shuffle http://www.apple.com/uk/ipodshuffle/features.html has got a Voice Over feature where it can speak to you about what track is currently playing, and also which playlist you’re listening to. That’s very good, and I was impressed that they managed to get the software onto the tiny little thing, but then the guided video went on to mention that the voice changes dependant on the machine you sync it with. All the voice overs sounded great until they showed you what it was like when sync’d with Windows and then I heard Microsoft Sam. It seems to me that all they do is render the names of the tracks and playlists on the computer and store them in the database when syncing the iPod. This is not so impressive.
However, I notice that they have a new remote which uses the same style connection as the iPod Touch and iPhone for their headsets, but this remote has a volume control on it. This is an interesting development because that’s what really annoys me about my iPod Touch remote, the fact I can’t change the volume without getting the iPod out of my pocket. I’m hoping this is a backwards-compatible technology and that someone like Griffin will release a remote with it on that allows me to use decent headphones which does rip my ears to shreds.