The UPS guy finally showed up with my iPod Shuffle... I've been waiting all morning! While I am waiting for it to finish charging, I'd like to point out a few observations I've made.
First of all, the design is elegant and functional in traditional Apple style. A nice small package with all sorts of little details like a battery status light and laser etched letters that say 1GB on the USB connector. Very classy. Documentation is a little lacking as to the install process... No mention was made that if you already have the latest versions of iTunes and the iPod Updater from Software Update, you don't need the CD. A small annoyance, but a good waste of ten minutes.
I have only one legitimate complaint about the iPod Shuffle, and that is that automatic transfer of podcasts isn't supported with the Shuffle models. I was extremely disappointed to learn this when I connected the iPod as there was no mention of it on Apple's website, and I had to dig through the help files to find the smallest sidenote that simply stated that you can only transfer podcasts manually with no further explanation as to why. I have already filled out a feedback form on Apple's website about this. I just don't understand why Apple wouldn't allow users to do this when the code is already there. Furthermore, why wouldn't they at least mention it on the website? If I had known that the iPod Shuffle doesn't support podcasts, I would surely have upgraded to the iPod mini, or even the full iPod. I still haven't decided if I'm going to return it or not, pending a response from Apple. I really hope they decide to fix this. I paid a premium for excellent hardware, shouldn't that be accompanied by excellent software?
Overall, my impressions of the iPod Shuffle are good. The design is elegant, it integrates well into OS X and iTunes, and it just works without a hassle (unlike Creative's players that require at least an hour of driver and software installations).