Apple Has A New iPod Shuffe… And It Talks [UPDATED x2]

Apple has released a new iPod Shuffle that is 4GB in size, half the size of the last iPod Shuffle, and it talks to you:

Introducing VoiceOver, the feature that gives iPod shuffle a voice. With the press of a button, it tells you what song is playing and who’s performing it. It can even tell you the names of your playlists, giving you a new way to navigate your music.

I guess I have to see this first hand, but this sounds like an interesting feature as my one gripe about the iPod Shuffe has been the fact that it didn’t have a screen. VoiceOver solves that issue, assuming it works well.  It’s available now for $80 US. Oh, if you still have an attachment to the last generation iPod Shuffle, you’ll be happy to know that it’s still available.

UPDATE: I noticed two things. First, the controls for the new iPod Shuffle are on the headset. Can you say “Cha Chnig” as there’s no third party products that work with this iPod (yet?). Second, the new iPod Shuffle requires iTunes 8.1 according to the system requirements page. The current version is 8. I’m guessing that version 8.1 will appear in software update at any second seeing as the iPod Shuffle is available now.

UPDATE #2: iTunes 8.1 is out. The new features are:

iTunes 8.1 is now faster and more responsive. You will enjoy noticeable improvements when working with large libraries, browsing the iTunes Store, preparing to sync with iPod or iPhone, and optimizing photos for syncing.

In addition, iTunes 8.1 provides many other improvements and bug fixes, including:

– Supports syncing with iPod shuffle (3rd generation)
– Allows friends to request songs for iTunes DJ
– Adds Genius sidebar for your Movies and TV Shows
– Improves performance when downloading iTunes Plus songs
– Provides AutoFill for manually managed iPods
– Allows CDs to be imported at the same sound quality as iTunes Plus
– Includes many accessibility improvements
– Allows iTunes U and the iTunes Store to be disabled separately using Parental Controls

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