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ATPM 11.04
April 2005



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Review: iPod shuffle

by Ellyn Ritterskamp,


Developer: Apple

Price: $99 (512 MB); $149 (1 GB)

Requirements: Mac OS X 10.1.5 or Windows 2000 or XP

Trial: None

The iPod shuffle is a gadget that does exactly what it is designed to do. It provides portable music-playing, it is inexpensive, and—like all Apple products—it just works.

The shuffle is the current evolution of the product line that has made Apple a success on Wall Street again. The iPod, in all its forms, and the iTunes Music Store, have revolutionized digital music. I think the iPod would still be a success without the Music Store, because plenty of consumers already use their existing music collection to compile their playlists. But the notion of buying one song at a time, instead of having to commit to an entire album, is one that has been long overdue. Of course, popular songs have always been available as singles, from the days of LPs. But over the past few years, consumers have wanted access to single digital files, and Apple has provided that.


Single songs would not matter as much if we did not have this music player. This is the music player that pulls it all together. Having said that, I will agree it has its limitations. If those limitations bother you, I suggest you stick with an iPod mini.

There is no display on the shuffle, which saves bunches of real estate, and I guess weight, because there is no gimcrackery to run the display. With no display, you cannot see a written thing to tell you what song or file you are hearing, or who the artist is. I fail to see what the big deal is about this. You choose which songs to put in the playlist, or at least which songs to put on your hard drive (if you let the Shuffle randomly pick songs), so what is the big mystery?

The Shuffle holds 512 MB (about 120 songs) or 1 GB in the high-end version. I was able to fit 93 on my first playlist. Your mileage will vary. The iPod mini holds about 1000 songs for $199 on the low-end version, so if you need a large library on the go, again, stick with the Mini. You get more storage space for the dollar, but you give up the incredible light weight of the Shuffle. Not that the Mini is ponderous, at 3.6 ounces. But the Shuffle is just unbelievably light. You could make it a hair accessory.

As far as operating the unit, those are the only limitations I can see. There’s one other thing that I would change if I could, which is that you have to plug the Shuffle into a computer (that’s on) to charge it, or else purchase an adapter or dock. The other iPods come with wall chargers.

The Shuffle has a 12-hour rechargeable battery, which you need to plug in to charge before doing anything else. The instructions to load the software are simple. iTunes does most of the work for you. You can let the Shuffle select songs from the library, or create your own custom playlist. The Shuffle does not support AIFF files. You can have the songs play in sequence, or allow them to shuffle, which is sort of the point of the whole approach, for me. I like not knowing what the next song will be.

The Shuffle weighs less than one ounce. The USB connector is the butt end of the unit, which comes with a cap to cover it when it is not plugged in. The unit and the lanyard are white, but I bet it won’t be long before there are other colors available. Maybe not. Maybe one way Apple keeps down cost is to make them all the same color. For a music player that does what this one does, for $99, I say they could make it puke green and it would still sell. Oh, and there is no shipping charge from the Apple Store. My order took about three weeks to arrive, as they predicted, but right now the Web site predicts shipping within 1-3 days.

It comes with those crummy earbuds they send with all the iPods, which give me headaches. But if you like them, great for you. You can plug in any standard headphones into the jack.

The unit runs on flash memory instead of a hard drive, so the songs will not skip. The iPod Mini has 25-minute skip protection, which is probably good enough for most of us. Have I mentioned that the Shuffle weighs next to nothing? Wearing it is like hanging a pack of gum around your neck. It might lose a fight with a paper clip.

If you understand that you will not see a display of your songs as they come up, and you do not care that the song selection is more limited than on the Mini or the grownup iPod, this is the toy for you. It is cheap, convenient, and ideally suited for exercising, which I assume is one of the most popular applications for portable music players. I have written more on iPods and exercise. I have not seen any Shuffles at my gym yet, but I bet it won’t take long. Already, I have been getting lots of envious looks and questions about mine.

Reader Comments (96)

Damian Simmons · April 2, 2005 - 00:15 EST #1
One possible "big deal" with not being able to see song names is if you're not listening to songs! I have over 400 CDs of classical music (hint: no words). A Shuffle is out for me, since I cannot memorize all of the musical pieces and figure out which of the close to 6720 classical pieces I might be listening to at one moment on the Shuffle. That might be important to me, since I might want to listen to a particular piece later, on the stereo, when I got home. I know this is one possible answer to the question you've posed.
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · April 2, 2005 - 01:40 EST #2
Damian - while you're correct, I don't really think it qualifies as "a big deal." I don't think there's a single product anywhere that's an end-all, meant-for-every-situation product. Obviously, the iPod shuffle isn't for you. But for those people who just want to grab a few CDs for a road trip, or just need some power rock to work out to, and it doesn't matter to know what's playing, the iPod shuffle seems perfect—for that type of customer.
steve harris · April 3, 2005 - 00:02 EST #3
for me, i like the idea of having an iPod shuffle as a companion to a white iPod. the shuffle lets me leave the 'big' one at home when i go to the gym or need to not be distracted when it's crunch time on some work. it's still an iPod, i should mention that the coolest thing is that such AMAZING sound is coming from something so small and near-weightless. solid review guys, nice e-zine you got going on here.
lacey brown · April 25, 2005 - 11:48 EST #4
I think that the ipod shuffle is a todal waste of money... i mean i would rather see what song is playing than have any random song come on. I personaly think the ipod mini is a better buy. My father just got me a ipod shuffle and it sucks!! I abosolutly hate it. I would rather have a ipod mini, no question. I men the sound is good and all but the ipod mini is so much better! It was a todal waste of money!
Burt Yust · April 30, 2005 - 03:04 EST #5
Does what they said it would. Just put on your favorites, shuffle, and you'll always have something you want to hear. In practice, it works seamlessly. You don't usually walk and read so this is as good in practice as in theory.
julissa padilla barajas · May 15, 2005 - 13:51 EST #6
what web sit do i go to put music on the shuffle
ATPM Staff · May 15, 2005 - 15:19 EST #7
Julissa - anywhere that you can obtain MP3 files is where you can go. Unfortunately, most web sites that legally sell music only offer Windows Media Player format which is not supported by any iPod.

The preferred iPod format is AAC, and those can be purchased, among other places, directly within the iTunes application which you can download from Apple's web site.
Tony · May 16, 2005 - 08:14 EST #8
I do not see the point of spending $130.00 for an ipod shuffle when the battery will die after a few hundred charges. What are we supposed to do buy one every year? It really is amazing all the positve reviews this product gets when the biggest drawback is not the lack of lcd screen but the fact that it costs almost as much to replace the battery as it is to buy a new one.

Will the ipod shuffle play all mp3s or only the ones purchased on itunes?
ATPM Staff · May 16, 2005 - 09:47 EST #9
Tony - it's highly subjective as to whether the shuffle's battery will die after only a few hundred charges. Just because you read one or two people reporting this, doesn't mean it's a fact. Usually, these things turn out to be unusual circumstances that are not the norm.

As for MP3s, your question is sort of off tilt. iTunes does not sell MP3s. It sells AACs. As for MP3s you acquire elsewhere or rip yourself, yes the iPod shuffle will play standard MP3s.
Tony · May 16, 2005 - 09:56 EST #10
Are you saying the battery lasts forever because that is certainly not the case. The battery will have to be replaced after so many charges. I have read this on many reviews. Yet many do not see this as a problem. How long do you think the battery will last? I believe it's one to two years.
ATPM Staff · May 16, 2005 - 11:45 EST #11
Definitely not saying the batteries last forever—only that the iPod shuffle is still a very new product and its battery should, at least, last several years under typical circumstances. It's way too soon for "reviewers" to start claiming that batteries in the shuffle only last X amount of time.

I would, however, agree with you about the price of a battery replacement, if it is the same price as a normal iPod. I'd put money on the thought that Apple will probably have a cheaper pricing plan for replacing an iPod shuffle's battery, considering the $99 price tag is the same as the low-end iPod shuffle. My guess is that Apple's simply not yet offered pricing for an iPod shuffle because it's so early in it's life.
TONY · May 16, 2005 - 19:40 EST #12
I have gone from definitely purchasing the iPod shuffle to totally forgetting about it because of the battery issue. Now you convinced to give it serious consideration. It fits my needs perfectly. I want to use it for jogging and the gym. The battery will last at least 8 hours, so if I charge it once a week, it should last four years. That's good enough for me. My walkmans never lasted that long. Thank you.
Dave · May 27, 2005 - 14:44 EST #13
Carlos et al. I just purchased a wall charger for USB 2.0 devices and it works great! I Paid ~8$US and the delivery to Canada was free since I purchased a few other gizmos adding up to more than 30$.

Car chargers for USB 2.0 are about 6$US. My recommendation is to use a small wall charger you place somewhere obvious (i.e. Kitchen) to remind you to charge your shuffle.

The sound of the shuffle is great and it is meant for those who know what's on the player and don't care to be reminded.

roy harrison · June 3, 2005 - 06:31 EST #14
hello yer i was just wondering can the ipod shuffle take triple A brattery so yer can u please write back to my email address
ATPM Staff · June 3, 2005 - 10:38 EST #15
Roy - no, all iPods have an integrated battery that is not intended (though possible) to be user-replaceable.
Ray · June 4, 2005 - 12:28 EST #16
I'm planning to get an ipod shuffle, and i'm really attracted to it. haha..the size and the simple features and the look. But one thing, how's the transfer speed? there's a reason why i ditched the sony ones, they transfer everything to Atrac and then they transfer which takes a heck of a long time just to put 100 to 200 the player. So what about the shuffle? is it faster? I really like something where..i can just turn on my computer, shove the thing in...stuff 200 songs...take it out, and leave the house, enjoying my day, and enjoying the music haha
Ellyn Ritterskamp (ATPM Staff) · June 4, 2005 - 12:45 EST #17
I did not clock it, but it could not have been more than ten minutes for my first transfer of 95 songs. Probably less.
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · June 5, 2005 - 00:09 EST #18
Ray - If you're using USB 2, you'll be very happy with the transfer speed. The 95 songs Ellyn mentioned would probably go in just a couple minutes over USB 2. If, however, you're like me and stuck with USB 1.1, it's going to seem like the speed is at a crawl. Personally, though, I have a 30GB third generation iPod and use Firewire to transfer songs, so no worries here.
Mark · June 5, 2005 - 11:00 EST #19
I have the Shuffle, installed ths SW, installed the update, plugged it into my Dell (that's on), and it doesn't recognize the Shuffle. Do I have to format the Shuffle? I was assuming it worked like any other USB storage device, or am I wrong?

Also, iTunes does not have an option button. Needless to say, this thing is crap, until I can get it to work. Never had this problem with my MPIO player....
ATPM Staff · June 5, 2005 - 19:32 EST #20
Mark - you probably just need to enable hard disk usage for the iPod. The setting is in the iTunes preferences. This Apple Support Page has the information. I recommend watching the little movie on that page and you'll see exactly how to do it.
Ray · June 7, 2005 - 02:08 EST #21
thanks for the reply...hmm...ohh but another thing..i really like the sport looks good and very reliable when it comes to protect the shuffle..and i also like the 20 hour extended battery pack...what i'm asking is..i can't have both of best worlds can i? like put the pack on..and the case at the same time? to get maximum battery? and protection?
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · June 7, 2005 - 09:32 EST #22
Ray - having not personally gotten my hands on an iPod shuffle, nor the battery pack, nor the sport case, I have no answer. Ellyn may chime in, but I wonder that she probably hasn't seen those accessories, either. Based solely on Apple's screenshots, I'd wager a guess that you can't use the two together. If you're not too far away from an Apple store, you might just stop in and look at them for yourself and/or ask the employees.
Ray · June 10, 2005 - 12:41 EST #23
there's store around where i live...but i'll check it out...thanks!=P
Gino · June 11, 2005 - 17:22 EST #24
I went in to My Computer to format my ipod shuffle. What shouls I do?
Ellyn Ritterskamp · June 11, 2005 - 17:44 EST #25
Gino, please see Lee's note roughly four posts previous. Apple's web page has help, and so will the help menu in iTunes.
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · June 11, 2005 - 18:08 EST #26
Yes, Apple's support page has instructions. In a nutshell, you need to initialize it from within iTunes...not from the contextual menu visible within My Computer.
gurdz basra · July 23, 2005 - 16:37 EST #27
i have heard that ipods only have a 18 month battery life is that the same with the ipod shuffle
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · July 23, 2005 - 17:21 EST #28
Gurdz - it's really not possible to answer a question like that about the iPod shuffle when it's based on a a statement that is not true.

I've had my 3rd-generation iPod for more than two years and its battery is maybe not quite as robust as it originally was, but my only current wish to replace it is based on capacity—not battery wear.
james pierce · August 3, 2005 - 03:44 EST #29
the ipod shuffle was thinking of buying it but i read on about problems but then good things i guess the bigest is batter life i hope last a long time and can the ipod shuffle recharge on a dell laptop windows xp if not im going to get the plug recharge into the outlet
ATPM Staff · August 3, 2005 - 20:26 EST #30
James - the platform makes no difference, though bear in mind ATPM does not directly support Windows topics.

That said, Apple's web site states that the iPod shuffle will fully charge in about four hours while plugged into a USB port (and while syncing with iTunes). Therefore, no you don't have to get a power adapter to charge it.
riley · August 13, 2005 - 02:21 EST #31
i think personally that the apple iPod mini is better looking etc. nearly all my friends have a apple ipod mini and they're really cool! i was thinking of getting one but there too expensive for what they are! (my personal opinion)after all $299 is alot for something you dont even know will last long and you wont have to buy another one, because the batterys will run out! the same with the ipod shuffle. well the shuffles are a good price but i probably wont get either because all my friends different ipods have something wrong wit them at da moment!i'd rather get a new phone or something! (that will last)plz reply and change my opinion on this!
Ellyn Ritterskamp (ATPM Staff) · August 13, 2005 - 02:29 EST #32
I'm not sure it's my function to persuade you to buy one product or another. As a reviewer, I wanted to present the good and bad points of the product, to help you decide if you want it.

I bet you can buy a phone that will play music. If not now, soon. Good luck.
Jen · August 15, 2005 - 23:02 EST #33
i like the apple shuffle very much because of its super small size. it's super convenient. but i have a question-- how much time does shuffle's first charging time need?
ATPM Staff · August 15, 2005 - 23:34 EST #34
Jen - Apple's spec page doesn't suggest an initial charge time. It does, however, state that 4 hours are required from a nearly depleted charge to fully charged, so I'd advise at least that long. If possible, just leave it charging overnight and you'll be fine.
Jen · August 15, 2005 - 23:39 EST #35
is the battery really gonna last for 1-2 years? if so, how much is it for replacing the battery? Thank you for answering my questions
Ellyn Ritterskamp · August 16, 2005 - 00:25 EST #36
Jen, I don't see how we can know if it will last a year.....until a year has gone by. These babies have only been out for what, 4-5 months?

I doubt Apple would sell us a product whose battery life is only one year. But that is just my opinion. This company has a history of not putting out crummy products, at least not in recent years.

Everybody (not necessarily Jen): if you don't want to buy a shuffle, don't buy one. Our job at atpm is not to sell you a product.

Thanks for reading.
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · August 16, 2005 - 00:25 EST #37
Jen - Personally, I don't buy into the 1-2 years theory. As stated above, I've had a 3G iPod for more than two years. While its battery isn't quite at the same performance it originally was, I've no plans to replace it any time soon. And the iPod shuffle doesn't even have to expend juice to spin a hard drive!

But to answer your question, a battery replacement would run about $66 with shipping. I wouldn't let that dissuade you, however. Just follow Apple's suggestions on getting the most out of your battery and I'm betting it'll provide years of usable life.
Ken Blum · August 22, 2005 - 09:30 EST #38
I just purchased a 1GB IPOD shuffle off of EBay which was supposedly New In Box. I can't get it to hold a charge. The yellow light blinks and then goes off when I plug it in to various USB ports on various machines. How should the lights blink so I know if it's charging or not? I also purchased a car charger for it and that does not work either.
Ellyn Ritterskamp (ATPM Staff) · August 22, 2005 - 11:12 EST #39
When the unit is charging, the light on the front of the unit (over the controls) will blink or show solid orange.
barry · September 1, 2005 - 23:44 EST #40
I got my ipod shuffle off ebay and shipped to me here in India.At 85$(including shipping) it was a steal considering it retails here for 175$.Initially I was looking for something cheaper in the range of 50$ and was considering the samsung yepp 256 mb,but when I saw a 512mb ipod shuffle going for 70-80$ I didnt think twice before ordering one.I find the shuffle's sound just outstanding, almost concert like at full volume(only for nuts like me).The shuffle's lack of a display is no big deal for me considering I use it mainly for jogging when I obviously woudlnt be bothered with fiddling around with the songs.Look at it like a DJ playing your favourite songs.In shuffle mode it plays the songs in a different order each time and so it doesnt get predictable and boring.Pricewise also I think it beats the more expensive and lousy sounding samsung yepp and creative.But the biggest plus of the ipod shuffle is its extremely light weight and awesome sound.There is no distortion in speakers even at full volume and bass sounds great.Some people might say other mp3 players have sound recording,display etc but do they play and sound as good ?The only issue maybe with the battery life but I guess with proper care(avoid direct sun and extreme heat) you can prolong the life.Moreover you can have battery leaks and other issues with normal batteries and they're also bulky and heavy.To sum up I would recommend the ipod shuffle for someone with an active lifestyle and for joggin/working out and for the rest(lazybones) maybe they could get themselves a bigger ipod with display and stuff.Have fun with your ipod guys.
PS for residents of USA I suggest you get your ipod from Apple directly instead of getting refurbished ones on ebay at almost the same price.I got mine( a brand new one at a cheap 70$) only after a lot of searching.
Latoya Webster · September 5, 2005 - 05:34 EST #41
I just purchased an ipod shuffle and the salesman informed me that I should pick the shuffle over the ipod mini because it has "loose components" inside it that could jar off over time (I was looking for an exercise companion). I took his advice and got the shuffle, but deep down I really wanted the other. Is his information accurate? Would you recommend the mini for a jogging mate or did I make the correct pick with the shuffle?
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · September 5, 2005 - 13:38 EST #42
Latoya - I've never personally heard any reports of people shaking their iPod mini apart just from jogging. Activities like that are exactly what Apple had in mind in making the iPod mini.

If you can return the shuffle, I might suggest waiting a few more months and getting the new generation of iPod minis. Rumors have it that the next round will have more capacity, have color screens, and be solid-state (flash memory) based. No hard drive to worry about "shaking."
Ken Ziegenbein · September 7, 2005 - 01:13 EST #43
While installing the Ipod software, at nearly the beginning of installation, it asks if I want to check if the Ipod Shuffle needs to be formatted and if so, to plug it into a USB2 port. This was before any software was installed (it offers to let me skip this formatting until later, but I went ahead and plugged it in). Now the yellow light is blinking - I assume its charging the batteries, but it also said it needed formatting (on my PC, not Apple, computer). Is it both charging the battery and will it format the shuffle? Should I have passed this step and installed the software first? There's NOTHING in the instruction booklet about formatting - all it said was to install the software first, but it asked me if I wanted to check if it needed formatting before I did so. How long will this take? Will it continue charging/formatting after my computer goes to sleep? Also I won't be around for 8 hours (going to work) - will it finish installation on its own while I'm gone?
Ellyn Ritterskamp (ATPM Staff) · September 8, 2005 - 13:54 EST #44
Ken, I was out of town. Did you get answers to your questions, using the try-it-and-see-what-happens method?

I believe all that would have happened while it was plugged in was that the battery would charge. The formatting and installation need you to take actions.

Try Apple's online support. The link is farther up in the comments section.
anonymous · September 13, 2005 - 03:04 EST #45
Im facing a problem starting up the ipod shuffle..The green light comes on and just wont turn off like its supposed to..also the shuffle doesnt respond or play music and the light remains on till i switch it off..what do i do? Please help!!
Ellyn Ritterskamp (ATPM Staff) · September 13, 2005 - 11:29 EST #46
There is a link to the Apple Support Page earlier in these comments. See what you can find there.

You may have a bad unit which will need to be replaced at the point of purchase.
Paul Gower · September 19, 2005 - 13:39 EST #47
Hi everyone, I wonder if you can help? My ipod shuffle is refusing to play anything instead it blinks green and yellow when I press the play button but nothing happens... Furthermore when I plug my ipod into my PC and it automatically loads ITunes there is an error message five seconds into to it loading which says it needs to shutdown.. Please help as I'm no wizard with technology and perhaps it's something fairly obvious.. Thanks in anticipation..
christian galla · September 27, 2005 - 02:03 EST #48
can you help my ipod shuffle when i got it i put songs into it and then i went to play and a green and yellow light came up and didb't do anything after that futhermore i charged it for like 5 hours and it didn't play can i be logged off but would it still be charging or not.

also, for the ipod shuffle can you just get songs of your windows media player and put it in it or does it have to be i-tunes.
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · September 27, 2005 - 09:42 EST #49
Christian - not owning a shuffle personally, I'll have to let someone else answer the first part of your question. As for the Media Player files, neither iTunes nor iPods directly support the format, but if your files are not encoded with digital rights management (e.g. something you possibly purchased and downloaded online), iTunes can convert those WMA files to MP3s or AACs. If your WMAs are protected, they only thing you can do is determine whether your application that managed the WMAs can burn an audio CD, then rip that audio CD back into iTunes as MP3 or AAC.
Michael Tsai (ATPM Staff) · September 27, 2005 - 09:47 EST #50
Christian, the green and orange lights mean that you need to add songs or reset the Shuffle.
Mario · October 2, 2005 - 04:53 EST #51
Hello people, i wonder if you can help me. I recently bought a shuffle and have downloaded several songs to it successfully - however they dont seem to play on the shuffle and they are compatible files? Any idea peeps ??? Thanks
John McCann · October 5, 2005 - 17:06 EST #52
I have had my iPod Shuffle since shortly after they came out. I use it while running on the treadmill at lunchtime. I tuck it into a rolled bandanna tied around my head. Lately, it hasn't been charging anywhere near the way it used to. It has been conking out at less than two hours after an overnight charge.

My question: Can perspiration soaking through the bandanna have caused damage to components bringing on this charging problem, or am I likely to be suffering from some other difficulty.
anonymous · October 5, 2005 - 19:35 EST #53
John, I can't think that dampness would be good for any electronic equipment. But I don't know.
Dan · October 7, 2005 - 23:55 EST #54
I was wondering if there is any problem leaving the ipod connected to USB for many more than four hours for charging? Will this deplete battery life, leaving it connected longer than the recommended four hour charge?

Incidentally I just found this via google - a company sells a Shuffle battery replacement kit for the shuffle at
ATPM Staff · October 8, 2005 - 00:56 EST #55
Dan - there is little or no harm in leaving an iPod on the charger for many hours. Generally what happens is, after a full charge has been attained, it goes into trickle charge mode. This means the charging stops for a while until the battery falls a certain amount below a full charge. Only then will charging start up again. This prevents the battery from becoming overcharged. I do not know what the threshold is for iPods, but it's about 95% on PowerBooks.
Dan · October 8, 2005 - 09:07 EST #56

By the way I tried charging my Ipod for the first time on my desktop PC, left it connected overnight, and it did not charge!? Battery light is red and it only plays for a minute or 2. I can download songs to it though and they played fine for several hours yesterday - the unit was partially charged when I bought it. I can even load songs onto it with the battery empty.

My USB slot is a powered slot and I run a Wacom tablet on the same port which requires power, so I'm sure the usb port has power.

Couple of thoughts, does the Shuffle switch need to be in the on or off position while charging, or does it matter? I also noticed that when I plug it in, the amber light flashes for a few seconds then goes off. Isn't the light supposed to be continuously lit (or flashing) all during charging?
Dan · October 8, 2005 - 10:25 EST #57
I was also wondering, I would like to skip complete albums - instead of individual songs - using the fast forward three click option, with the Shuffle.

Is the only way I can do this, is to create an individual playlist for each album and place all the songs for that album into seperate playlists before downloading to shuffle?
Ellyn Ritterskamp (ATPM Staff) · October 8, 2005 - 12:09 EST #58
Dan, I believe the switch should be set to On while you charge, but you can look it up as fast as I can.

As for the playlist question, I have no idea. I get about 90 songs at a time on my shuffle, and I have always treated it as one playlist. If I wanted more playlists I would have a unit that held more songs.
Jun · October 11, 2005 - 05:07 EST #59
Does it bother anyone that Shuffle does not play while charging? When battery is out, and I want to charge it while working on my notebook pc, I cannot enjoy music while charging it. This is not true for other ipods. So that's basically a music-less 4 hours while working and charging. Big bummer.
Denise · October 12, 2005 - 20:45 EST #60
I am having seriuos problems with my iPod Shuffle. When turn on my iPod the green light goes on, seconds later the amber brown brights 3 times. I start to press the play/pause button untill something happens but nothing really does!
Lightning Count · October 17, 2005 - 20:52 EST #61
ive owned one
and the idea of me not being able to see im listening to bothers me
so i just bought a sony nw-hd1
total pwnage
GAVIN MOWAT · October 25, 2005 - 12:16 EST #62
I love my 1GB shuffle but to my dismay only one headphone operates with the jack fully inserted and the other only with the jack half inserted. Have tried other headphones with the same results and proved them against my partners shuffle. I requested repairs on the apple support page in mid september but the status is still hold! Have e mailed and got a response saying that the 24hr reply may take a while but still waiting! Any advice?
Ellyn Ritterskamp (ATPM Staff) · October 25, 2005 - 12:24 EST #63
Gavin, keep pestering Apple, is all I've got. Good luck.
tim · October 26, 2005 - 16:00 EST #64
Remember if the shuffel gives you problems you do have a 1 year warrenty. The shuffel has not even been out 1 year so all of your suffels should still be under warrenty. I took mine back without a reciept. I mean what were they gonna say "we know you've had it longer than a year"?
Aleysha · November 2, 2005 - 18:40 EST #65
I recently got an ipod, shuffle and it was working great until a few days ago. I turned it on, the light went green as it usually does,and i pressed play, and nothing happened,all my songs are on there, and its fully charged, but unfortunately i lostmy guidebook, can you tell me whats going on with it?
Aleysha · November 2, 2005 - 18:41 EST #66
oh yes, and a yellow and green light where flashing, whats does that mean?
Ellyn Ritterskamp (ATPM Staff) · November 2, 2005 - 22:29 EST #67
Aleysha, please go here for technical questions:
GAVIN MOWAT · November 6, 2005 - 14:31 EST #68
Still no reply from apple and no working shuffle! I see the claim about the warranty but no reply from apple is no warranty! I bought mine from amazon who only have a three month return policy! Even worse i spoke my better half into buying a shuffle and then bought a nano! I now have grave doubts about apple period! Surely it cant be that hard too supply a new one under warranty! Or respond in a timely manner regarding the fault!
Emilee · November 6, 2005 - 23:39 EST #69
I just bought a never-been used, sealed in box iPod Shuffle from eBay, and when I tried to install the software it came with onto my Windows XP laptop, I got the screen that says "Please plug in iPod to see if it needs formatting." I plug it in to the usb port, and nothing happens. The shuffle is not recognized by my computer whatsoever. I have been all over the Apple support pages like white on rice, tried everything there to no avail. Any suggestions?
Ellyn Ritterskamp (ATPM Staff) · November 7, 2005 - 01:41 EST #70
Sorry, I have no experience with this software in Windows. This is a Macintosh publication; you may want to try an iPod forum.
Tamer · November 11, 2005 - 15:45 EST #71
Can this thing be used like a flash drive and used to hold word docs?
ATPM Staff · November 11, 2005 - 17:00 EST #72
Tamer - yes. Simply activate disk access mode from within iTunes while the iPod shuffle is attached so that your computer will see it as a mountable volume. You'll also need to be sure that your iPod is formatted for the platform (Mac or Windows) on which you'll be using it, and that it's attached to a high-power USB port and not a low-power port usually provided on the backs of keyboards and USB hubs.
Tim Sawatzky · December 7, 2005 - 06:03 EST #73
I got one of these shuffles and installing everything went good but i cannot get the think to make a sound...the battery is fully charged...when i plug it into the computer the computer recognizes it and will show the whole playlist that i put on it...but when i try to listen to music nothing plays. i have fiddled with the buttons like crazy and it still wont play.
How do you get them to play???
ATPM Staff · December 7, 2005 - 09:32 EST #74
Tim - just hit the play button in the middle. You're not trying to play music from it through the computer while connected, are you? That's not how it works. You can play music on your computer with iTunes. For the shuffle, you should just plug in some headphones to the device and let 'er rip. Did you also sync songs from iTunes into the shuffle?
Aaron · December 19, 2005 - 20:37 EST #75
yeh i would just like to clear something up, my ipod shuffle, bought in september time, its been ok up until christmas, i was just plainly listening to it, paused it then unpaused it then it wouldnt work, i tried playing it again but there was a green light followed by an amber light, i read the manual and it says add songs or restore your ipod, so i tried this but when i try restoring it using the ipod updater, it says internal error, and i cant seem to find my ipod on itunes or my computer is there something wrong?

Oh and it also said something about the ipod might need service? can i send the ipod in for repair and still keep my data? Cause i have some important stuff on the ipod and i dont want to lose it!
ATPM Staff · December 19, 2005 - 21:53 EST #76
Aaron - Apple's repair request form specifically states that items stored on the iPod will not be transferred and that you must back them up. If Apple repairs your iPod and doesn't simply replace it, there's a chance your items will still be there, but better not to gamble on that.

Segue to our firm belief that anything you put on your iPod should never be the only copy.
cotey tennant · December 20, 2005 - 17:17 EST #77
when i try to put songs on my ipod shuffle i get an error message saying ipod cannot be read or written to so i cant use it what do i do
Josh Furlow · December 21, 2005 - 16:22 EST #78
ive got the same problem as many of the peeps here when i put music files on it they go on to it then i take it out and i try to play the music but it just blinks for green to amber when i press play and i get nothing can you help me solve or i might as well just take it back theres no point in paying $130 for a 1gb usb memory card and not being able to use the music player on it personaly i think you get better quality from other makes like sony, creative and some small companys have better producks
ashleigh dee · December 21, 2005 - 19:01 EST #79
i have no idea whats wrong with my ipod shuffle. I downloaded the songs onto the ipod and it just wont play. I have read every troubleshooting guide i could find, and nothing has worked. Should i just return my ipod for another one?
Amy Farnsworth · December 22, 2005 - 16:16 EST #80
Like many others, stumbled onto this site looking for assistance with the ipod shuffle. my hub got one for christmas and after downloading the software twice, I finally got the ipod icon to show up on the ituned. There seems to be music loaded, but when I turn the unit on and press the play button, nothing happens. No probs with the headphones and did other troubleshooting stuff to no avail. Any suggestions?
David C. · December 25, 2005 - 10:17 EST #81
How long does it take to format the iPod shuffle, generally? Thanks.
ATPM Staff · December 25, 2005 - 11:36 EST #82
David - the biggest is only 1GB and it's flash, not hard drive. Should only be a couple minutes or less.
Bryan Bhoop · December 25, 2005 - 13:13 EST #83
My ipod shuffle doess not format, it has been "waiting for ipod..." for hours and still doesnt work, and also how, in detail, do u add songs on to an ipod shuffle???????????????????
Dylan Normile · December 25, 2005 - 14:54 EST #84
When I plug the iPod shuffle into the USB port, nothing happens. The status light blinks light green and I have no idea what it means. I have only been able to find information about the amber light blinking, but it is definently the green light that is blinking on mine.
Ellyn Ritterskamp (ATPM Staff) · December 25, 2005 - 15:34 EST #85
Folks with questions about iPod shuffles and other iPods, please ask them in an iPod forum. This is an online magazine. We do accept emailed questions, but all these operational everyday issues need to be handled by you investigating the online Apple support, or asking folks at a fourm designed to handle them. I suggest the iPod Lounge at this address:

I suggest you consult their FAQs before you start asking questions they may have already answered.

Thanks for reading. As I mentioned in an earlier comment, our job at ATPM is to review a product, so you will know what you're getting. If you don't want to buy a shuffle, don't buy one. If you have a complaint or comment that you think would be useful for a prospective buyer, that's an appropriate use of this section.
ATPM Staff · December 25, 2005 - 16:06 EST #86
The iPod 101 site is also a good reference:
Lizzie Eriksson · January 16, 2006 - 11:33 EST #87
hi. i could use some advice from anyone who is willing to help. i'm thinking of buy the ipod shuffel, feel in love with the design. is it worth the price? and the battery thing, how many times can u rechagre it before u have to pay a new one? does it cost a lot for a new battery?

i'm happy for any info on the apple ipod shuffel.

ATPM Staff · January 16, 2006 - 17:23 EST #88
Lizzie - did you see the "Excellent" rating at the top of this review page? If that doesn't suggest what we think about the product, nothing else will. No one likely has a true answer to the "how many recharges" question since it'll vary from person to person. We might have one answer, but someone else may think differently.
Dead Shuffle Guy · February 27, 2006 - 22:59 EST #89
I got a notice Feb 20th 2006 that my one year warrenty expires on my Shuffle "soon" and I should pay $59 for an extended warranty. Well Lo and behold my shuffle died today 2/27. No PC or Apple recognizes it. I have tried resetting it, ipod updating it, fresh instal of itunes, and charging it. While charging there is no amber lights at all. I think the battery is dead. Its been unused for a few weeks now. I think its odd I get their email and then it does a week later. Buyer beware.
ATPM Staff · February 27, 2006 - 23:37 EST #90
We suggest browsing Apple's iPod 101 site for starters:

And if you still cannot resurrect it, use a forum better-suited to troubleshooting iPods:
Brandon McG · March 6, 2006 - 20:57 EST #91
i found an ipod shuffle 2 weeks ago at my school (now returned). i listened to it for about a week until i downloaded some songs off my friends computer (dell). when we unplugged it from the computer, i turned it on, pressed play, NOTHING happened, just flashed green and yellow. me and him thougt it was a security block due to it being someone elses. was it security or did his computer wipe out the songs.

i am wondering if i get an ipod myself and get songs from his itunes, because my model is a 98, will it do the same thing to my ipod. if so, what can i do
ATPM Staff · March 6, 2006 - 22:08 EST #92
Brandon - the answer depends on how both yours and the owners' copy of iTunes is configured. Normally, iTunes automatically syncs everything in the library to the iPod. In this case, the second copy of iTunes would want to erase the existing iPod contents and sync it's own contents onto it. If, however, both copies of iTunes were set to manually add and remove songs, I believe it should have been able to do so. But there's a chance I'm wrong and that even in manual operation, iPods can only reflect all or part of one computer's iTunes library at a time.

As for your last question, not only will it not do the same thing, it won't work at all. You must be running Windows 2000 with Service Pack 4 or later, or Windows XP with Service Pack 2 or later for iPod compatibility.
James · March 10, 2006 - 10:18 EST #93
I am considering purchasing a Shuffle to connect to our phone system for music-on-hold. Can anyone tell me if the Shuffle (or any other Ipod) will play while being plugged up? Since it will be running 24/7 I do not want to use the battery, I need for it to be able to play while it is plugged into an A/C outlet. Any thoughts? Thanks in advance.
ATPM Staff · March 10, 2006 - 11:53 EST #94
James - very interesting idea. We're taking for granted you intend to pick up an iPod A/C adapter since charging it via a computer's USB port is rather pointless since you could, instead, simply run the music directly from iTunes on the computer. Besides, when you attach an iPod to a computer, it usually goes into "Do Not Disconnect" mode for syncing and you cannot use the iPod's controls.

With nano and full-size iPods, you could purchase an iPod A/C adapter and connect the iPod with the bundled USB cable. Since the shuffle has an integrated USB port, it gets trickier.

Our theory (emphasis on 'theory') is that you could get both the A/C adapter and a male-to-female USB extension cable to connect the shuffle to the power, then tap the audio off the headphone jack. If the shuffle operates like the other iPods, then yes it would remain powered and playable 24/7. You may can also plug the shuffle directly into the A/C adapter if it will fit and just have enough 3.5mm audio cable to reach from the shuffle to your phone system.

We emphasize that we're not 100% sure that a shuffle remains playable while plugged into a non-computer-based power source, but it should, since nanos and full size versions are playable. We recommend either poking through Apple's Tech Info Library or visiting an Apple retail store or perhaps a Best Buy or CompUSA who may have shuffles on display and plugged into power that you can test yourself.
James · March 10, 2006 - 12:34 EST #95
Thanks for the quick response. Yes, I was planning to purchase the A/C adapter to plug into the USB port on the shuffle. Are you saying that I will need to also purchase a cable to do this, or does one come with the USB adapter? Also, does the shuffle have a feature that will continuously repeat songs? I couldn't find any mention of this feature about the shuffle, but I did find it about the nano. I have been using CD players to play music-on-hold, but they only run for a few months and then fizzle out (I guess from the constant use).
ATPM Staff · March 10, 2006 - 16:51 EST #96
James - the iPod shuffle has an integrated USB port. Then entire device attaches to the computer just like a USB thumb drive, so you do not need any cables (ergo, no cables are bundled). I'm imagining you could plug the shuffle into the USB on the A/C adapter, but it might be more convent to pick up a USB extension cable (male on one end, female on the other) to go between the A/C adapter and the shuffle.

This Gadgeteer review page has several pictures that should help. There is a switch where you choose between Off, Repeat, and Shuffle. From the looks of it, you can choose Repeat or Shuffle, but not both simultaneously. That may not be a real concern for the use you describe. If you want both, you may want to consider getting an iPod nano instead which would let you set both modes simultaneously. A nano would also include the cable to connect the dock port on the bottom to a USB jack such as the one on an iPod A/C adapter.