Apple iPod Shuffle Redux

The Shuffle is pretty simple, and though I wrote about my free iPod Shuffle just a couple days ago, I feel confident that I've put it through its paces.\n\nI suppose it's a little late in the game to be posting a Shuffle review, but it's new to me, and from what I can tell, quite a few people still run searches for all things iPod Shuffle.\n\nipod shuffle\n\nI have the smallest Shuffle, the 512 MB version. This seems ridiculously small, considering the real iPod comes in a 60 GB version. In reality, it turns out to be more than adequate. Though Apple claims you can store about 120 songs on the Shuffle, I've found that the high bitrates of modern MP3's makes this more like 90-100. Still, because it's so easy to plug it into a USB port (I hate extraneous cables) and Autofill it, you can keep your selections current.\n\nYou don't need any special iPod Shuffle software or drivers, besides iTunes, which comes on a CD, though you could also download it off of Apple's website. I normally wouldn't mention that, but in looking around for Shuffle information I noticed some confusion on the matter.\n\nAdding music to the Shuffle is just like it is with the other iPods, except for Autofill, which makes it easy to pick a random subset of your playlists. If you're worried about getting some of your older, less-favored music picked, you can bias iTunes towards songs with higher ratings.\n\nautofill\n\nThe Autofill dialog lets you replace all songs, or, if you want to press Autofill a few times (to sample from multiple playlists) you can uncheck the box to keep adding to the Shuffle.\n\nThe battery life on all iPods is pretty impressive. My clunky Archos lasted for 6 hours, but it's a brick. I fell asleep last night listening to the Shuffle and woke up to find it still playing. I pressed the little battery indicator button on the back and it glowed green. Nice. And, for those of you with too many cables and adapters under your desk, you'll enjoy how the Shuffle's charger is the computer you connect it to. It just sips off the USB line.\n\nNo review is complete without drawing attention to drawbacks. My main gripe is the lack of a display. I can see how not having one fits into the see where it takes you mentality, but I find that even with a great selection of songs, I still want to skip around. And doing that without an interface sucks. It would be even worse on the 1 GB iPod Shuffle.\n\nThere are, of course, tons of iPod accessories for your consumption.\n\n