"Strength in Weakness"4.5 starson by maverickmartin
Pros: Smal, lightweight, long battery life, simple to operate
Cons: Limited formats
Summary: I don't understand the folks who complain that this iPod has no LCD or fancy features. It's not supposed to! That is where it's strength is. I have had mine for a couple of weeks now. You can store over 24 hours of music on it and you have the choice of listening to it in the playlist order or random shuffle mode. If you put the songs on it you already know who performs it, if you don't then simply go back to your computer to find out. By eliminating the LCD you gain portability, you have one less thing to to get scratched or broken, and you aren't distracted by information overload. You get to enjoy music for the shear sake of enjoying music and maybe work a brain cell or two by trying to remember who did that song.
Also, this little device has plenty of fidelity. Just how much do you need when you are out jogging, walking, or riding in a car? Even if you are in a quiet environment you will be pleased with the sound. Want better sound quality? Buy a nice set of headphones. The iPod Shuffle will deliver.
I have read reviews that say the battery life is not great. Mine goes for many, many hours without a charge. I have probably listened to 15 hours of music without charging it.
The simplistic design is elegant and functional. It just plain looks cool. A simple switch on the back allows you to choose playlist or shuffle modes. The controls on the front are intuitive. I especially like the feature that allows you to lock the controls so that buttons aren't inadvertantly pressed while in your pocket.
The only down side I have is not with the iPod itself but with the iTunes software. It is a little quirkey, it took me a while to figure it out. Once I figured it out the transfers went smoothly. It may take a while to transfer files if they are not already in mp3 or acc format. It would be nice if other formats were supported but really it is not necessary.
Overall I give the iPod Shuffle high marks for doing what it was designed to do and doing it quite well.