O.k., we know that iPod shuffle isn’t exactly something new – after all it was released 16 months ago. But with the release of the 2 GB model last month the price of the 1 GB dropped dramatically, being easily found for $50 at Apple, BestBuy, Circuit City and In this review we will explore Apple’s cheapest iPod to date.

iPod shuffle isn’t only the cheapest MP3 player from Apple, but also the smallest and lightest, measuring only 1.07” (2.73 cm) x 1.62” (4.12 cm) x 0.41” (1.05 cm) (H x W x D) and weighting only half ounce (15.6 grams), making it the most discreet iPod, which is a very desirable feature if you want to use it for jogging, biking or working out, if you don’t want something bulky inside your pocket or if you simply just don’t like the idea of flashing your iPod around whenever you want to select a song (this model don’t allow you to select any specific song, as it doesn’t have an LCD display), what can be dangerous for people walking on an unsafe neighborhood.

According to Apple with 1 GB you can store up to 240 songs with 128 Kbps quality in AAC format, of course you can store more or less depending on the quality of the files you have. The 2 GB model holds up to 500 songs. We think this is more than enough for the average user, but if you want even more then you will need to buy a different iPod model, like iPod nano (4 GB or 8 GB), iPod touch (8 GB, 16 GB or 32 GB) or iPod classic (80 GB or 160 GB) or buy a MP3 player from a different brand – if you can find one at the same size of Shuffle’s.

We all know that Apple’s strongest features today are their design, branding and marketing. For some gadget enthusiasts having an Apple product is like owning a Ferrari. Apple’s meticulous care with design can be seen in every aspect of iPod shuffle, starting with the minimalist design of the box.

iPod ShuffleFigure 1: IPod shuffle’s box.

iPod ShuffleFigure 2: IPod shuffle’s box.

Another very careful marketing detail is the use of the phrase “Designed in California” (as opposed to “Designed in the USA”) in all places where the famous “Made in China” is printed and also inside the box, to make it clear that you don’t have a lousy “Made in China” product or an MP3 player that is similar to any other you’ve seen around.

iPod ShuffleFigure 3: “Designed in California,” great marketing strategy.

iPod shuffle also comes with two stickers from Apple’s logo in white.

Gabriel Torres is a Brazilian best-selling ICT expert, with 24 books published. He started his online career in 1996, when he launched Clube do Hardware, which is one of the oldest and largest websites about technology in Brazil. He created Hardware Secrets in 1999 to expand his knowledge outside his home country.