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(National) March 10, 2005 - Apple's commercial for the new iPod Shuffle features the dancing silhouettes from iPod's original campaign. It also touts the price tag of $99, which is significantly less than any other iPod.
Consumer Reports just took a look at the Shuffle to see if it really is a bargain.
The Shuffle is tiny, just three inches high and an inch wide. It weighs less than one ounce. Consumer Reports tester Chris Lam found it has excellent capacity for the money. It holds 120 songs, "The reason why it's called the Shuffle is because it allows you to play them randomly, in shuffle mode."
It does have drawbacks. The Shuffle has no display, so you can't see what song is playing. More expensive iPods and other MP3 players allow you to make your own playlists and switch between them or go directly to a specific song. You can't do this with the Shuffle.
Lam says the iPod Shuffle does offer plenty of the features that made the original such a hit, "The headphones are among the best we've tested. And the Shuffle has so few features that it is simple to use."
All in all, Consumer Reports says, if you can live with its limitations, the iPod Shuffle offers a great way to get music on the go.
Apple also offers a second version of the iPod Shuffle that can hold 240 songs. It goes for $149, which is still much less than the original iPods.