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What is the difference between the second generation iPod shuffle and the first generation iPod shuffle?
Please note that all iPod models mentioned in this Q&A have been discontinued.
With a quick glance at the below photos, one can quickly assess the most striking difference between the first generation iPod shuffle (on the left) and the second generation iPod shuffle (on the right).
Photo Credit: Apple Computer
These product images are not precisely to scale, but should provide a decent idea of the size difference. The first generation iPod shuffle is a small 3.3 inches tall, 0.98 inches wide, and 0.33 inches deep. The second generation iPod shuffle is a tiny 1.07 inches tall, 1.62 inches wide, and 0.41 inches deep -- effectively the size of the previously released iPod Radio Remote -- including the "clip" which makes it very easy to attach the player to a pocket or other piece of clothing. Apple brags that the second generation iPod shuffle is "nearly half the size of the original... just half a cubic inch in volume, [and] weighs just half an ounce". The first generation iPod shuffle uses a white plastic case and the second generation a silver aluminum case.
One of the ways Apple was able to reduce the size of the iPod shuffle was by eliminating the integrated USB port. The second generation iPod shuffle only has a headphone jack, and this jack provides connectivity for the headphones, music synchronization, and power. Consequently, it ships with a tiny dock with a USB port to connect the device to your computer to synchronize songs and recharge the internal battery. The lack of integrated USB also means that accessories designed to use the USB port provided with the first generation iPod shuffle are not compatible with the second generation model.
The the first generation model was offered with 512 MB or 1 GB of storage, holding a reported 120 or 240 songs, and the second generation model was introduced with 1 GB of storage and likewise could hold 240 songs. On February 19, 2008, an upgraded configuration of the second generation model was unveiled that could hold 500 songs.
All iPod shuffle models provide an Apple estimated 12 hours of battery life. No iPod shuffle models have a screen, and consequently, only support music playback.
Photo Credit: Apple Computer
One of the most notable changes from a functionality standpoint is that the single "on, loop, shuffle slider" has been replaced with two switches (as shown above) -- an "on/off" switch and a "shuffle/loop switch". This image also shows the "clip" in detail.
Pricing was reduced as well. The first generation iPod shuffle was introduced for US$99 and US$149 for 512 MB and 1 GB configurations and sold for US$69 and US$99, respectively, when it was discontinued. The 1 GB configuration of the second generation iPod shuffle was introduced for US$79 and dropped to US$49 on February 19, 2008 with the introduction of a 2 GB configuration for US$69.
For your convenience, the major differences between the two generations are summarized below:
|First Generation||Second Generation|
|Flash Memory Size:||512 MB, 1 GB||1 GB, 2 GB†|
|Song Capacity:||120 Songs, 240 Songs||240 Songs, 500 Songs|
|Material:||White Plastic||Aluminum (Silver & Colors*)|
|Integrated USB Port:||Yes||No|
|Dimensions:||3.3 x 0.98 x 0.33 inches||1.07 x 1.62 x 0.41 inches|
|Price (As Introduced):||US$99, US$149||US$79†|
* When first introduced on September 12, 2006, the second generation iPod shuffle was offered only in silver, subsequent models have been offered in a variety of colors as well as silver.
† The second generation iPod shuffle was introduced in a 1 GB configuration for US$79. On February 19, 2008, Apple dropped the price of the 1 GB model to US$49 and introduced a 2 GB model for US$69.
Please note that all iPod models mentioned in this Q&A have been discontinued. The second generation "Late 2007" iPod shuffle models were replaced by the "Late 2008" iPod shuffle models on September 9, 2008.
The differences between the "Colors" second generation iPod shuffle line -- introduced on January 30, 2007 -- and the "Late 2007" line -- introduced on September 5, 2007 to replace the "Colors" models are best summarized with photos.
"Colors" iPod shuffle (2nd Generation)
"Late 2007" iPod shuffle (2nd Generation)
Photo Credits: Apple, Inc.
The difference between the lines originally only were the colors offered. The "Late 2007" models are available in light blue, light green, purple, and silver, as well as "Special Edition (PRODUCT) RED" -- compared to the models they replaced which were available in a darker blue, orange, lime green, and pink, as well as silver.
However, on February 19, 2008, Apple updated the "Late 2007" models to offer a 2 GB version, and continued to offer the original "Late 2007" 1 GB configuration.