The third-generation iPod shuffle now features VoiceOver technology and is billed as the first music player that actually talks to you.
Available in a sedate choice of silver or black, rather than the rainbow of colours for the second-generation iPod shuffle, the new shuffle has no controls or buttons on the device itself.
VoiceOver offers a way to discover what tracks are playing; the iPod shuffle speaks the song titles, artists and playlist names.
"Imagine your music player talking to you, telling you your song titles, artists and playlist names," said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of iPod and iPhone Product Marketing.
Nearly half the size of the previous model, the third-generation iPod shuffle is significantly smaller than a AA battery and can hold up to 1,000 songs encoded at 128 Kbps. A built-in stainless steel clip makes it ultra-wearable, says Apple.
"The amazingly small new iPod shuffle takes a revolutionary approach to how you listen to your music by talking to you, also making it the first iPod shuffle with playlists."
Controls are now conveniently – says Apple - located on the earphone cord, which could prove expensive as earphones often break or are replaced by choice for black or less obvious signs that you are carrying an iPod.
With the press of a button, you can play, pause, adjust volume, switch playlists and hear the name of the song and artist, promises Apple.
The new iPod shuffle controls are now located on the earphone cord.
The new shuffle also lets you sync multiple playlists from iTunes for the first time.
Multilingual, the iPod shuffle can now speak 14 languages – English, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish.
For Mac users, the iPod shuffle requires Mac OS X 10.4.11 or later and iTunes 8.1 or later.
The third-generation 4GB iPod shuffle is now shipping, with '5 business days' listed on the UK Apple Store for delivery. The new iPod shuffle has a suggested price of £59, while a choice of 1GB second-generation iPod shuffles are still being offered by Apple for £31.
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