Where did the idea of having the controls on the headset come from?
It seems that this story comes from when Apple released its new headphones for the iPod nano, classic and iPod touch. These headphones have a central button to start and stop playback, advance a song (with two clicks) or rewind (with three clicks). These headphones made Apple engineers realize that they didn’t really need controls on the iPod nano to do these simple actions.
What about users who want to use a different headphone or who want to connect iPod shuffle to their car kit?
Apple has stated that third parties are preparing accessories to add these controls to any headphones. Similarly, some third parties have already announced their intention to make iPod shuffle-compatible headphones.
There’s a bit of good news, though: When you turn on iPod shuffle with a cable plugged into its headphone jack, it automatically starts playing. In this way, if you previously choose a playlist and the volume with the Apple headphones, then you can connect the cable that goes to your car radio and listen to the music. You won’t be able to vary the iPod’s output volume or pause playback, but at least it’s something.
How does the voice navigation system work?
When you first install shuffle, iTunes automatically downloads extra software called the VoiceOver kit. In Leopard, use the “Alex” voice for all spoken shuffle messages: artists, song titles, and playlist names. On pre-leopard or Windows systems, the VoiceOver Kit uses its own text-to-speech engine to generate these messages. Sounds are generated on the computer and transferred invisibly to the player.
iTunes then lets you choose a language, but if, for example, you speak Spanish, and some of your songs or artists are in French or English, will it pronounce them in Spanish?
It surely will. iTunes will try to detect the language of the songs or artists, and if they are not in English, it will try to use an appropriate voice for that language to pronounce correctly. However, you can skip this language by choosing the Get Info option in iTunes and clicking the options tab. Among these options you can select the VoiceOver language setting among the 14 available: Spanish, English, German, Dutch, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Czech, Polish, Portuguese, Swedish, Turkish and Chinese.
How can I play from a playlist instead of all the content on the iPod?
When you hold down the center button on the headphones until after the playing track and artist are spoken, you will hear a beep. When you release the button, the player will start listing the names of all your playlists. Click the middle button when you hear the one you want and your iPod will begin playing that list. The iPod power button will determine whether that list will be played in sequential or random mode.
On the other hand, if you are impatient or have a lot of playlists, you can use the up or down buttons at that moment to move forward and back through them.
If I load podcasts or audiobooks into my shuffle, what happens?
Every audiobook you upload is shown as a playlist in that section. Podcasts are stacked into a single playlist that is created automatically.
Is it difficult to control the iPod using spoken messages?
No, but it takes some getting used to using an interface that consists of a cable hanging from your headset.
Are the headphones the same size as the iPhone 3G?
Basically yes. But it is important to note that although they are the usual Apple type, those of the iPhone 3G will not help you control the shuffle. This three button earbud will probably work on all Apple products.
It is curious that Apple sells one headphones with the same buttons for 79 euros. If I lose or damage them, how much will it cost to replace them?
Apple sells the headphones that come with the shuffle for 29 euros.
Is the shiny clip on the shuffle scratched easily?
It is very similar in this respect to any iPod, or that means that it will be scratched and is very prone to showing fingerprints.
Can you use it as a USB memory key?
Of course, as in the previous versions. You just have to assign in iTunes that it can be used as a disk and it will mount on the desktop as a drive.
Is the connector the same as other iPods?
No, it is a new connector. It’s basically a small cable with a USB port on one end and a minijack connection on the other. Oh, and there’s bad news, if you bought an accessory to connect a second-generation iPod shuffle without using the included dock, it won’t work with the new iPod shuffle.