iPod Shuffle: meh

There’ve been a couple of times that my 256MB USB key wasn’t quite big enough, so I was in the market for a 1GB unit. Since the iPod Shuffle was only slightly more expensive than a plain memory key, I thought it would be a good purchase.

Um, wrong. While it’s undoubtedly a decent (if slightly portly) USB key, it has huge deficiencies as a music player:

  • you can’t skip to the next album in the play list.
  • shuffle mode seems more like ‘play a few songs out of order from the same album until you manually skip to something different’.
  • why is my music hidden away in weirdly-named files?
  • iTunes doesn’t always sync all of the tunes in the playlist, leaving you with missing albums.

For me, I think the most the Shuffle will be is a way of listening to the couple of albums I’ve bought on the weekend. It is small, light, and sounds pretty reasonable, but it won’t replace my iRiver H120 for musical goodness.


  1. The complaints about the iPod Shuffle made me think, “This guy should get an iRiver for music.” And it turns out you have one! Figures another Ivor fan would make a smart choice for a DAP. (I have an H140.)

    BTW, if you haven’t, you should check out rockbox.org, a group of programmers who write alternate DAP firmware for multiple platforms. They’re doing TREMENDOUS work with the iRiver H-series — customizable screens, new play options, even getting rid of the recording click!

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