iPod Shuffle With FM Tuner? Nope.

By Richard Menta 3/11/05

Wait a minute! Did Apple just release an iPod Shuffle with an FM Tuner and voice recorder? The picture on the right certainly was inspired by the Apple graphics department. The issue here is that it was not made by the Apple graphics department. Just take a close look at the two photos and you will see one has the iPod logo and the other says Super Shuffle.

Enter Taiwanese manufacturer LuxPro who has decided to release their iPod Shuffle knockoff without even the hint of concern that the litigious forces of Apple will come looking for them. Their player, dubbed the Super Shuffle MX-575D/1075D comes with the above mentioned features in a case that mirrors the real Shuffle's profile.

The LuxPro Super Shuffle

The Super Shuffle is the same weight as the iPod with a slightly longer body. Two switches on the back handle the FM and record functions. Luxpro is obviously aiming to serve the whining of iPod fans who want to see their favorite portable add more features to an otherwise fairly straightforward player. Serving a market is one thing, cloning it to fool people to increase sales is another.

The irony here is that inside the LuxPro may turn out to be quite a competant player. I say that because the iPod is made in Asia where incestuous electronics companies have been doing business together long before Steve Jobs started placing his first orders. It would be interesting if someone opened up this puppy just to see exactly which components are used.

It might be pointed out that one of the chief negatives against the entire iPod line is that it possess lower audio quality than competing manufacturers.

The Real iPod Shuffle is available on Amazon

Just pick up an issue of Consumer Reports and you can see how Apple compares sound-wise against the likes of Creative, Rio and Archos. The iPod gets a very good rating for sound quality versus the other manufacturer's excellent rating. Supposedly the sound on the iPod Shuffle improved the line overall, but it is just quite possible that the impersonator is the better portable unit.

Of course this would require a head-to-head comparison and we have no desire to reward a company for lack of imagination. Let's just say that many of the same components can be found in all digital music portables and leave it at that.

So if you are interested in an faux iPod Shuffle I expect they will soon fill those Asian consumer electronics stores along Broadway in NY. You know, the ones that have had the 'Going Out of Business' sign posted in their window for 20 years straight.

Kudos for Engadget for finding this one. It gave me a good chuckle.

Other MP3 stories:
iTunes Prices Too High
Can Free Broadcast TV Really Be Napsterized?
Rated "I" for Inappropriate

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