Should I get an iPod Shuffle?

Last night I discovered I lost my Rio Cali MP3 player. This morning I discovered the gym is absolutely unbearable without my own music ('cuz as far as the gym staff seems to be concerned, Truly, Madly, Deeply is a great song to get your heart racing to).

The Cali was a graduation gift in 2004 and has served me well, but I would like to try something new. I was thinking of getting an iPod or iPod mini, but I don’t want to spend that much and I don’t need something that holds that many songs. So to the Shuffle I researched. The small model (512) seems to hold more than enough songs (120…I only use it for the gym, so less would even be fine), it is nice and small, and the price is right (about $100).

The only thing that worries me: do I HAVE to use iTunes? I like loading my cds on my computer and putting them on my MP3 player-- I really don’t want to have to download music (crappy, crappy dialup).

Does anyone have a Shuffle? Do you like it? Does anybody want to suggest a better MP3 player?
And I feel lame for starting two IMHO threads today :slight_smile:

iTunes handles your songs on your computer, too, whether they’re downloaded or ripped from CDs. It’s more than just the music store.

I love my Shuffle. The Ipod software will automatically convert your MP3s to a format you can load onto your Shuffle (provided they weren’t purchased online through a site other than I-Tunes). I also thought I wouldn’t purchase any songs online, but be careful - they’ve already got me for about 25 songs in about two months. It’s just so frickin’ easy (even with dial-up).


Personally, I’d hate the Shuffle. Not being able to cue up the songs you want would make me nuts.

I got a freebie Shuffle and it is just terrific. I use it on my walk to and from work every day now, and the time passes so quickly. The only downside is as Sleeepy2 says, you can’t exactly pick and choose songs as you listen, but in the gym you won’t be doing that anyway.

Using iTunes you can fill it up with either a random selection of your songs from your PC, or drag-n-drop your own choice. Once they are on the Shuffle, you can play them in order or shuffle them. So if you drop your own choice of songs down and play them in that order, then you have kinda chosen your songs, you just have to do it in advance. But the randomness is interesting, and you can easily skip a song if your not in teh mood for that exact one right now.

Mine’s the smaller one and it fits about 120 songs for me, and the battery lasts me at least 2 days, it’s never run out yet. And it is so small and light and robust, perfect for your use I’d think.

As the others say, iTunes is not just the music store, it’s the app that organises your tunes and downloads them to the iPod. In fact here in Australia we have no iTunes store yet so I only use iTunes for the iPod. Works fine for that, but I’ve not tried anything else - not sure why you’d want to

Shuffle’s play MP3s… in any order you want… (They shoulda named the damn thing the wand.)

Was it through the “spam your friends for free stuff” program, or by some other means? Could I please ask you to elaborate?

If you really don’t want to use iTunes (I hate it…I found it needlessly difficult to put just the songs I wanted onto my Shuffle, and it kept erasing my selections and being a pain in my arse) then there is a way to DL songs onto the Shuffle without iTunes.

You use the database builder here.

Of course, you also need Python, whatever that is. It is more complicated initially than iTunes, but after the first set up, all you need to do is just drag and drop any MP3’s you want into the iPod like you would any other mass storage deivce, then run the database builder program.

There’s also a [url=""Winamp plugin that downloads MP3’s to your iPod (shuffle or otherwise.)

I also am thinking about getting a shuffle, my parents love getting me little technotoys for birthday and christmas. I currently have a cd player in the car that sucks, it is ancient and has serious trouble not skipping on bumps, and errors out all the time. So, I was wondering if anybody has tried the apple brand radio transmitter, and the belkin brand radio transmitter and if they have any recommendations.

I can’t answer for the OP, but I’m in training this week and one of the perks is a 512k Shuffle. Seems like it did a GREAT job filling classes in a usually lower attendence part of the year.

No, nothing that interesting. It was a gift from a company I did some favours for.

Difficult? You just drag-n-drop them, no problem.

I’ve never had it erase anything I did’t want erased.

I love it for the gym! It is so small, and wearing it on a cord around my neck in the sport case is so much nicer for me than wearing something around my neck. Taking songs from my CDs is no problem. Count me as a fan.

I like mine, but I got it because I already had an ipod which I was using sort-of as a shuffle anyway, and the shuffle was smaller and for some reason I am more likely to vary up the playlists on it and load different music every few days - I was tending to stagnate even with 5 gigs of music, getting decision paralysis about what to take off or put on my ipod. I’m just weird. The shuffle is lovely, I use playlist I set up, or have it pull from everything I own, depending on my mood, and I know I will get a mix of stuff I will enjoy hearing. Playlists are very easy to make in iTunes, too.

I don’t know that I’d recommend the shuffle to everyone, but it really does what I want in a music player. I enjoy not knowing exactly what is coming next on the playlist, it’s great for the kind of casual zone-out listening I do on public transport and if I am trying to concentrate at work, just not great for the more active “I want to hear this piece of music now!” listening, that I tend to do at home.

I live in the Dark Ages, but my ex had a Shuffle. Her biggest gripe: the random setting wasn’t random enough. The algorithm* was fixed so that the same songs would play anytime she used the shuffle mode. Was she confused (which happened a lot) or did she get a buggy Shuffle?
*Caution: non-techie trying to sound techie. Please send her now.

She was confused. When I reset my shuffle, despite having the same songs on it they come out in a different order. Perhaps she used the Random Download button in iTunes to pick her music, but not the Shuffle setting on the iPod itself? In that case they would play in the same order each time.

Actually, I don’t think the random is random enough either. I’ve got over 2,500 songs to choose from and a shuffle that holds 250 songs…I shouldn’t be getting 50% of them as repeats over and over and over and over again…It seems like it favors songs that have already been played, which is silly! I know there is a setting for that “Play higher rated songs more often” and another one, but they are switched off. I can only think the algorithm is favoring certain songs over others, consistently.

How I noticed it is that I have a very large variety of music from Blues and Bluegrass to Marilyn Manson, Kidd Rock, etc. I’ll go through days where all I hear are songs from the “Oh Brother Where art Thou?” soundtrack…

That said, I do like the thing. I have a 1gig, but I could have just gotten the cheaper 512k because I plug it into my computer everyday, so it switches the songs all the time. I have just gotten used to hitting ‘Next’ all the time to skip the repeat songs. I like how long the battery lasts (12 hours) and I also like the way the neck strap and earplugs are set up - I’m a Klutz, I’ve had that thing ripped off my body a few times. With the way the strap and earplugs are, Both keep it from hitting the ground and I don’t risk breaking the cables, iPod or strap itself. I do think the earplug cable is a tad long…They obviously made it long enough to hand the plugs to a friend and say “Listen to this!” But for single use, the cable hangs to my crotch, and I’m tall.

My $0.02


I got REALLY selective with loading my 10 gb iPod with only music I’d want to listen to. (it’s at 5gb…otu og a 100 gb collection)

My new favorite way to listen is a playlist called ‘never listened to’…it’s a random list of everything with a zero playcount on the ipod. you’d be amazed at how much music you put on there that never gets played.

I didn’t come here looking for trouble, so yes… you should get the iPod shuffle!

I love my shuffle for running. It’s an enjoyable aspect to me that I don’t know what song is coming up next, I just have a playlist full of good running-tempo music. Yesterday I went from a Le Tigre song into a Sousa march, it was fun. But there is a setting to play the songs in order, so I’m not sure I understand the complaints about not being able to play the songs in the order you want. You don’t have to let it pick up songs from the playlist in random order, you can put them on the shuffle any way you want.

I’ve preferred iTunes as a music-organizing tool over any other mp3 players I’ve used. I do tend to download songs a lot lately, but I didn’t do that at all for a long time. Also here I prefer to manually arrange stuff rather than having iTunes automatically organize things.