It’s no secret that the iPod is made by a Taiwan company for Apple. Supplies of Apple’s iPod shuffle have been in short supply since the launch in early January.
It’s possible there’s a shortage because Taiwan is manufacturing iPod shuffle “clones” and selling them in Aisa and Europe, not in the United States.
LuxPro’s Super shuffle was announced and on display at the CeBIT Conference in Germany.
The shuffle clone looks exactly like Apple’s diminutive iPod shuffle, right down to the round scroll wheel, color, size, AND, LuxPro says it works with Mac OS X (though doesn’t say it works with iTunes or plays AAC files).
What do you get with this blatant iPod shuffle knock off (can you hear the sounds of Apple’s legal staff and lawyers drooling over this?)? An FM tuner and a voice recorder. And white ear buds that look like Apple’s iPod ear buds.
The LuxPro model comes in 512 megabyte and 1 gigabyte models and can act as a storage device, just like the Apple iPod shuffle.
It’s a USB 1.1/2.0 device that also works with various flavors of Windows. Literature from the LuxPro web site says the Super shuffle can handle MP3 files, WAV files, and WMA-DRM files in various bit rates.
Interestingly, the WMA-DRM files would require cooperation with Microsoft to implement, so it’s possible that Microsoft had prior knowledge and consent before manufacture. Is this revenge from Microsoft?
LuxPro says the Super shuffle has a built-in FM receive and a battery length of 12 hours when playing MP3s recorded at 128Kbps.
What’s Apple legal have to say about the LuxPro Super shuffle? So far, nothing, as calls to Apple in Cupertino have not been returned.
Accessories for the Super shuffle include a Share Connector, a Wireless Transmitter, a Horoscope Panel (it’s a Chinese thing), and a Digital Tube Boombox.
The “Share Connector” is interesting as it appears to allow two USB portable music devices to “couple” and allow file exchange. So much for illegal downloads.
The “Wireless Transmitter” appears to be similar to those available for Apple’s regular iPod models and allows the portable music device to transmit a radio signal to a car radio.
No price is mentioned in the LuxPro product material for the Super shuffle or on the LuxPro web site.