March 11, 2009 by Arlen Schweiger
Apple looks like it has another nifty little digital music player update. The company announced today its third-generation iPod Shuffle, which increases storage to 4 gigabytes and also talks to you.
The $79 Shuffle now lets you stuff up to 1,000 or so songs on it (provided they’re encoded at 128 kbps) or 500 if you’re grabbing all of those 256 kbps DRM-free files now.
There’s a sweet new aluminum design, easy snap-on clip and convenient earphone cord controls—but the wow factor addition is a feature Apple calls VoiceOver.
Doesn’t look like you can talk to your Shuffle, but rather your Shuffle will speak to you, and in 14 different languages (English, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish).
It can tell you what song you’re listening to and what artist—since you’re shuffling, you may find music in your collection you’re unfamiliar with—as well as status updates on what playlist is engaged, and even if you need to rejuice the battery.
Just make sure to clip the little guy onto something, since it’s smaller than your average house key and you don’t want to misplace it or rummage down deep in your pocketbook to find it.
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Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com
and Electronic House magazine.
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