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Apple Launches Talking Shuffle

new shuffleUntil recently when Apple geared up to launch a new product it was lights, camera and action; the full-on spectacle.  Lately though, the theater’s dark.  With recent launches, the company’s opting to use a simple press release instead of a big stage show.   To start the conversation, Apple’s letting products speak for themselves.  The approach suits the newly announced iPod Shuffle just fine.  The device speaks plenty, literally.

Announced today, the new generation of Apple’s tiniest iPod is billed as “the first music player that talks to you.” 

The tiny device features a Voice Over feature that acts like something of a virtual DJ.  Push the control button and it will call out the track name and artist of the song playing. Push it again and it can provide battery status information or even identify the names of different playlists.

The robotic voice prompts can be enabled in any of fourteen languages including English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Japanese and Chinese.

Measuring up at a tiny 1.8 x .7x .3inches, the rectangular Mp3 player is smaller than a double A battery. With 4GB of storage it should hold somewhere between 500 and 1000 songs. Available in silver and black to start, it will sell for $79.

The one complaint some users may have – the controls are all in-line on the earphone cord.   So until an adapter becomes available those trusted Shure or Bose earphones won’t exactly be compatible.

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