Apple reveals new iPod shuffle with voice

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

A second-generation iPod Shuffle.
Image: HereToHelp.

Yesterday, Apple Computer revealed the third-generation version of its iPod Shuffle model, which introduces new features including a voice that tells the user what song is playing in their playlist through the user's headphones. Apple stated that the iPod will have 4 gigabytes of space, which is enough to hold approximately 1,000 songs, twice as much as the second-generation Shuffle.

In the announcement of the device, Apple told the media that the new voice system, called "VoiceOver", will completely replace all of the button controls on the device, and will allow the user to find information about the current song, playlist, and the current battery life remaining. It will be available in 14 languages, which include English, Japanese, German, and French. The new model is also about two times smaller than the second-generation Shuffle, being described as slightly smaller than the size of a AA Battery.

"You previously couldn't have multiple playlists on the iPod Shuffle because you couldn't really switch between them as there was no way to know how you would switch. So now instead of seeing, you get to hear," said Greg Joswiak, the Vice President of iPod Marketing at Apple.

The new iPod was stated to be available in two colors, silver and black, and is expected to be priced at $79, $10 higher than the previous model. The current second-generation's 1 gigabyte and 2 gigabyte models will continue to be sold after the release of the device.

"These are exactly the kinds of products you need to come up with in the midst of a recession. It's not a stripped-down experience. It has a new cool user interface that isn't even on the high-end iPods. Apple has worked hard not to make this a race to the bottom," said a market analyst for Jupiter Research.