Apple’s new iPod Shuffle uses controls located on the headphones. Everyone knows that the stock headphones that come with all Apple products aren’t that good. However, is having easier to reach controls worth it? No, but it’s still a great idea.
It is annoying to reach into your pocket every time to you want to pause the music or change the volume. It’s more annoying when you have a bunch of things in your pocket. Having controls on the headphones themselves fixes the problem of reaching into your pocket to take out your iPod. And that is about the only problem with the controls on the iPod itself.
Having fixed the problem of reaching into your pocket, the issue now lies with the quality of the stock iPod headphones. They’re not as bad as the Sandisk Sansa e250 headphones, but they’re pretty bad and a lot of people upgrade them. Having controls on the headphones won’t let people upgrade, and a lot of people are already complaining about this.
However, according to Gizmodo, Apple will sell an adapter for third party headphones. This fixes the controls being in your pocket problem and the bad quality problem. The adapter will most likely cost at least $20, so that might put a few people off. But even with a price tag, it will be worth it to some people. And Apple will never give a free adapter with the Shuffle or any iPod, because it would cost them money.
So while the stock headphones having controls is a not-so-good tradeoff, third party headphones with controls on the headphones will be a great feature of the new iPod Shuffle. No more digging around in your pocket to find the buttons. Good job, Apple.
On a side note, Apple yet again oversimplifies controls and makes the interface complicated for no reason other than looks. (Apple+click, one button mouse, anyone?)