Beware of buying ipod shuffles

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I recently purchased an ipod shuffle and it is most certainly not the genuine Apple iPod Shuffle.  The main problem is they will not play music purchased through iTunes Music Store. These are simply ordinary MP3/WMA players that look similar to an iPod Shuffle but with none of the features.

One of the main ways to spot these fakes is that they do not include an iTunes software CD (since it would be useless anyway). Another point of difference is the configuration of the buttons on the back of the Shuffle. The fake (left) has a sliding selector with only two positions "on" and "off" the true iPod Shuffle (pictured right) has three positions "OFF"; play in order represented by two arrows in a circle and; shuffle represented by two arrows crossing one another. The real iPod also has a battery check button which is absent in the fakes.

The sellers of these fakes use the advertising copy either lifted from the Apple website or copied from the back of the box (which seems genuine to me) and this copy describes a real Apple iPod Shuffle which to my mind is deliberately deceptive. Some sellers will be a little more up front and list the item as iPod "Style" Shuffle or some such language and admit that the player only plays MP3s and WMAs not AAC (MP4) which is the iTunes format. They will, however, then go on to show the advertising for the genuine article. DO NOT BUY THESE FAKES, they are a total rip off, they are sold for more than AUD120.00 and have fewer features than an MP3 player half that price. You cannot play songs downloaded from iTunes on them, they are no more than a very expensive jump disk with headphones.

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