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I’ve been following the Super Shuffle, now called the Super Tangent for awhile. A small company in Taiwan called Luxpro took the iPod Shuffle and made their own version of sorts. It can play MP3, WMA (and DRM’ed WMA), it has an FM tuner and it does high quality audio recording. It’s a funny little mutant, that’s for sure. Photos, recorded audio samples and more after the jump…
I’m not sure why I’m so fascinated with the growing population of knock off products, perhaps it’s because they’re not only getting to market faster than ever (and cheaper) but they’re adding features their bonafide counterparts haven’t got around to yet. The “Super Shuffle” made its debut at the CeBIT conference back in March much to the dismay of Apple, creators of the iPod Shuffle. Lawyers on the scene managed to get the display removed, but the next day Luxpro was back. Months passed and now the Super Shuffle has been reborn- the Super Tangent. It looks at little different than the Super Shuffle, notably the controls on the front, but it is what it is. So here it is, in all its glory- the Super Tangent. I also recorded a podcast on it- Right click or Control + click to download this MP3 to you local system or add the MAKE Audio feed to your podcasting application and get the show automatically!

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Outside packaging. MP3/WMA-DRM, FM Tuner and Voice Recorder.

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Back of package. Full specs here.

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Contents in the box.

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The headphones are cheap feeling (and looking). I use my regular iPod ones.

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Front of the Super Tangent. iPod Shufflely.

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Back of Super Tangent. The musical note is play, FM lets you scan for music- the neat things about it is is actually “speaks” the radio station number in non-robotic english sounding words. Reception was fine. Since I use the iPod Shuffle at the gym, I’ll try out the Super Tangent at the next outing and see how well it tunes in to the TVs there. The last option is (the microphone) is for recording, the slider on the side control playback or recording of the voice recorder. It’s quite good quality, I was surprised (32Khz). Here’s a sample 7 minutes, 7 MB, MP3.

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Super Tangent and the iPod Shuffle. One thing I like, you can just drag and drop MP3s on the Super Tangent, you can do that with some 3rd party apps with the Shuffle though now.

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Super Tangent is a few millimeters thicker than the iPod Shuffle. The cap of the Super Tangent seems to pop off once and awhile, kinda crummy in that regard.

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Super Tangent works with the iPod shuffle accessories it seems, but doesn’t fit perfectly.

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One of these things is not like the other.

While you can’t get these in the USA it seems, or ever, they’ve been spotted on Ebay from $100 on up. I’ll use this little mutant clone as long as it lasts report back on battery life as I use it.

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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Comments

  1. SPYDER says:

    its odd how, this review seems positive and the folks over at ipodlounge.com hates on it like no tommorow. I take the Zine’s word over it especially since they say the voice recording doesnt work and you made a pretty clear mp3 out of their recording.

  2. gafisher says:

    The recording sounded fine from here; maybe the ipodlounge poster got a defective Super Tangent, or maybe the technology was just beyond them. The ST is clearly superior to the Shuffle in concept, including several features iPodders have said they wanted, but the execution seems flawed, especially those cheap earbuds and the cover’s poor fit. Frankly, it’s too bad Luxpro decided to mimic the Shuffle appearance; after improving on the technology, one-upping the package would not have been all that difficult and would have avoided the legal hassles.

    On the other hand, it would also have avoided all that free publicity . . .

  3. richpav says:

    Looks like they have two models with monochrome LCD displays in the works: http://www2.luxpro.com.tw/

  4. madphilosopher says:

    you can just drag and drop MP3s on the Super Tangent

    Does this mean the thing is just a VFAT USB drive? When you use it to record your voice and create an mp3 file, does it give the file a timestamp in the filesystem? That would mean it has an on-board clock. Does it? I’m curious.

  5. philliptorrone says:

    yep, when you record it makes a WAV with the time and date, so it seems to have a clock.

  6. EuphoricVideos says:

    So it has been over a year since the original post, is this little mutuant’s battery still functional? I read somewhere that they have filed a lawsuit against Apple for a $100 Million over the new functionalities that was added to the Super Tangent, but not in the original iPod Shuffle.

  7. philliptorrone says:

    still works!

  8. Tom Clark says:

    Looking for a small, rechargeable amplifying device. Can you use an external mic for the voice recorder? If so, does it provide “plug-in Power”, for electret mics? Can you monitor the recording on the earbuds as it is being made? Thanks.

  9. Tom Clark says:

    Looking for a small, rechargeable amplifying device. Can you use an external mic for the voice recorder? If so, does it provide “plug-in Power”, for electret mics? Can you monitor the recording on the earbuds as it is being made? Thanks.

  10. Tom Clark says:

    Looking for a small, rechargeable amplifying device. Can you use an external mic for the voice recorder? If so, does it provide “plug-in Power”, for electret mics? Can you monitor the recording on the earbuds as it is being made? Thanks.