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Last weekend I bought a small gadget, the latest iPod Shuffle. Literally small, becacause it’s about the size of a stamp – see the picture of the mp3 player next to my pen. I lost my black iPod video (probably left it on a plane, very stupid of course), and I cannot really live without an iPod anymore.

I still have an ancient white iPod bought in 2002, but its battery has long given up. If connected to a power outlet I can still use it, but that’s a bit inconvenient when going for a run. And my wife’s pink iPod nano is a bit too shiny for me. So I got myself the Generation 2 Shuffle.

It’s a great toy: very small and light so you don’t notice it while running, and with enough memory (1 GB) for hours of listening to music and podcasts. True, you cannot watch video’s on it (I use my PSP for that now), and you have to create your playlists before going on a run because you don’t have a screen. But the battery is exceptionally good: I turned the music on last night to run the battery down for a reload. And I was very surprised that the iPod was still playing this morning. Even after lunch there was still music coming through my earphones. Only after more than 16 hours the battery run out, much better than the 4-5 hours I got on my iPod video.

If you want to buy one, you can get it in most electronics shopping malls in Shanghai (I prefer Hong Kong Plaza, on Huaihai Lu / Huangpi Nan Lu). The price is similar to the rest of the world, about RMB 700. The official Apple shop charges RMB 788, and then you can be sure the product is not fake. Of course you can also buy one of the Chinese brands, I saw one similar-sized 2GB model with mini-screen for just RMB 200! But those products don’t look as good (they are actually plain ugly), and no guarantees for sound quality nor life span of course.

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  1. Hi Mark,

    Sorry to hear about the spam stuff, on an unrelated problem I have been experiencing, I wonder if you can help me.
    I have been having a problem using the chat client QQEnglish – also have a lot of others in the world outside China.

    Have you any idea if China has blocked incomming QQ messages, I really hoped I would be able to use your technical expertise and contacts to be able to find out the answer from the “horses mouth”.

    Has China stopped Laowei communication through QQ – Chinas’ biggest chat program?
    It would make for a good news story on your site.

    Many Thanks,
    Your reader,

    Chris Brown

  2. Hi Chris, I did some fact checking but could not find anything about this. One of my colleagues will dig deeper into the QQEnglish problem, if it turns out to be that the messages are indeed blocked you’ll certainly find a post on this blog about it.

  3. A little (belated) tip perhaps about emptying your iPod cells:

    using old NiCad batteries we did have to run them until empty (I used very high-performance batteries in those days) to get a full recharge; but for todays NiMH or LiIon batteries, you do not have to ‘run them down’ at all. In fact, from what I know it’s actually very bad for those modern cells to be emptied completely – may cost you your iPod batt if you do it too much. Gij zijt gewaarschuwd..! 😉

    Regards, Ruud (Holland)

  4. Thanks Ruud, this is new for me. But good to keep in mind, I always empty batteries completely once or twice before I start to use them regularly.