Apple Releases New iPod Shuffle With Speech Capabilities

apple ipod shuffle mp3
Following up last week's new desktop announcements, Apple today released a redesigned iPod Shuffle. Even smaller than the last one, the new iPod Shuffle has no playback controls on the player itself--instead, the playback controls are on the headphone wire. This change does beg the question: What happens if you lose the bundled headphones? Does this rule out using third-party headphones?

The big new feature is the iPod Shuffle's inclusion of Apple's VoiceOver technology. VoiceOver on Mac OS X is Apple's built-in screen reader for the visually impaired. On the iPod Shuffle, VoiceOver will read you the current song's title and artist information with a touch of a button. The function was added to iTunes last fall.

According to Apple, VoiceOver now makes it possible to switch between playlists on the iPod Shuffle. The iPod Shuffle is multi-lingual, and knows how to speak 14 languages, including Spanish, Japanese, Greek, and Dutch. This begs another question: What happens if you play a song tagged as explicit? Apple's press release makes no mention of what happens, but wouldn't it be amusing if it spoke a warning to you? Imagine: "I'm afraid I can't play that, Dave."

The new iPod Shuffle costs $79 and stores 4GB worth of music, or roughly 1000 songs. If you want one, you'll need WIndows XP SP3 or Windows Vista (or Mac OS X 10.4.11 or higher), and iTunes 8.1.

This story, "Apple Releases New iPod Shuffle With Speech Capabilities" was originally published by PCWorld.

To comment on this article and other TechHive content, visit our Facebook page or our Twitter feed.
Shop Tech Products at Amazon
Notice to our Readers
We're now using social media to take your comments and feedback. Learn more about this here.