Apple has updated its iPod Shuffle range with a new model that's not only half the size of the previous generation but also comes with a few features that sets it apart from the competition.
The Cupertino-based company has introduced a new Voiceover feature that uses a speech engine to tell you the name of the singer or the title of the song in up to 14 different languages, through iTunes.
At half the size of the previous generation shuffle, the diminutive 7.8mm thich MP3 player looks like a miniature ciggie lighter and has no control buttons. Apple says that it is the world's smallest music player.
The only switch on the player is the shuffle switch which also doubles as the on-off switch. Another significant improvement is the addition of multiple playlists to suit the user's mood.
The volume control is situated on the right ear bud cord which allows you to control the music volume without having to access the player itself.
The new iPod Shuffle comes in an anodised silver or black aluminium case and can store up to 1000 songs.
The 4GB version is available for £59 making it by far the most expensive mass produced audio-only player on the market.
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Apple has sold nearly 23 million iPods in 2008 and is likely to reach this one easily. The MP3 player market is already well saturated and the technology is already mature. Apple knows that the next step is morphing the iPod into the iPhone. For now though, it will try its best to milk the remaining of the market.