Well posted, Nate. The new 3rd Generation Shuffle, while incorporating cool new features and getting yet impossibly smaller, has its drawbacks to be sure. In brief, there’s no 1GB $49 version, which may be unsettling to those who just want 240 songs to work out to and don’t want to spend $79. Also the Voiceover feature is an interesting concept for an MP3 player with no screen, but you’d think someone would create an automated voice feature that doesn’t sound so robotic. On the bright side, every time you click the song ID button it’s almost like you’re listening to Radiohead’s Fitter Happier. Lastly- and this is perhaps the one that will most likely dissuade potential buyers -the device won’t work without the specially designed headphones. Ouch. If you’re anything like me and you go through headphones at a rate of about a pair per month, you’re not going to be happy about paying $29 every time you need a replacement. Poppycock, if you ask me.
But alas! Good news for those of you who have any other iPod and dislike the ubiquitous white ear buds. Don’t get me wrong- they’re a huge improvement over the early iPod buds and they sound pretty good for their size, but they never seem to fit quite right in my ears. Well, now there’s something to get excited about. I’m talking about Skull Candy. Let me explain; I’ve been using expensive professional in-ear monitors for playing live music for about two years now, and no matter what I use I can’t seem to get a good balance of sound from every member of a band without cranking the gain and blowing out either my ears or the speakers. About a month ago my bassist friend Tyler started endorsing a $10 pair of buds called Skull Candy, made by Ink’d. I bought a pair last week and I can’t stop recommending them. Full, rich lows and clear highs and they come with three different sizes of rubber buds to fit any ear. You can find them by the register of your local discount merch store (Marshalls, TJ Maxx, Ross), and they beat the heck out of buds that go for over $100. So go get some and try them on your iPod. I’ll bet you didn’t even know your music sounded that good. Later everybody.