New iPod offers music fans variety on a budget

Bethany Dionne

The makers at Apple are continuously working to improve the latest developments in MP3 players, and the latest iPod Shuffle, launched last week, and likely to become the most popular one on the market.

The least expensive of the five Apple iPods, retailing for $99, the iPod Shuffle weighs less than a car key and is smaller than a pack of Bubblicious Chewing Gum. But that is not all. This tiny digital music player can hold up to 240 songs (if you have the 1 GB model and 120 songs for the 512 MB model) and will randomly shuffle your music for you, creating a variety of different play lists every time you turn it on.

“I think it makes sense that they would make a smaller one because even the iPod Mini is kind of bulky and inconvenient,” said Will Davenport, a sophomore political science major. “But the new shuffle feature is unnecessary.”

Although it has been improved since the original iPod, some are still not convinced that MP3 players and this new iPod are all they are cracked up to be. Sophomore occupational therapy major Michelle O’Hara thinks she would lose the new player because it is so small. She also mentioned the reduced cost is still expensive and said that 240 songs are not very many for dedicated music fans.

“[The idea of a new iPod] is awesome but the cost is an issue. I’ll wait till it drops and then I’d definitely think about getting one. But for now, I will enjoy burning my CDs for my [Sony] Discman,” O’Hara said.

The iPod Shuffle is much like the shuffle command on a CD player, or stereo, except you do not have to actually press the “shuffle” button. Every time a user turns it on, a different play list will automatically load. However, if music fans want specific songs, iPod owners can download a certain play list from their computer’s iTunes software to automatically program the list they want to hear.

Mike Forte, a junior computer information systems and economics major, likes MP3 players, and thinks iPods are the best on the market.

“I think MP3 players are cool, and an iPod would be the one to get,” he said. “I would get the original iPod if I were going to do it, because I would want to pick what songs I was listening to.”

Although iPods are the most popular brand of MP3 players these days, some still do not feel they are as cool as many imagine, and that the majority of the popularity comes from name-dropping.

“Sure, you can have them engraved, and they are cute and tiny, but they are way more expensive and do not hold as many songs,” said Danielle Rocchio, a junior psychology and elementary education major. “I think people are more in love with the name of it. I mean, I have told people I have a Dell DJ [comparable MP3 player] and they are like ‘ohhh it’s probably not as good huh?'”

To learn more about the new iPod Shuffle, check out manufacturer Apple’s Web site at for product specifications and purchasing details.