Posted April 21, 2005
I've been playing around with my new iPod Shuffle, and I can tell you that it's just as cool as it seems: It's insanely small and astonishingly light, and the $150 version holds 240 songs. The only flaw is in Apple's marketing campaign, with its variations on the theme Life is random. The idea is to turn the Shuffle's one negative—the lack of an LCD screen to let you know what song is currently playing, and to let you choose which one plays next—into a positive. Well, I say, Life doesn't have to be random! I've paired my iPod Shuffle with Griffin Technology's ingenious RadioShark, a beautifully designed, fin-shaped device that plugs into the USB port of your Mac or Windows PC and not only adds an AM/FM radio to your computer, but lets you schedule automatic recordings of your favorite radio shows and then load them onto your Shuffle or regular iPod—or any other MP3 player, for that matter. Now you can listen to National Public Radio's "Car Talk" any time on your iPod Shuffle—on the subway if you want!—instead of wondering if 50 Cent's "Candy Shop" or Lou Reed's "Perfect Day" is going to play next. The software that comes with the RadioShark is so elegantly, intuitively designed (I had it all figured out in about two minutes flat) that it really does live up to its "TiVo for radio" rep. Currently on sale at Amazon for 31% off the list price ($79.99), it's a total bargain, too.
$54.94 (not including the iPod Shuffle, of course) at amazon.com.