Quick thinking :
$ 49.99 for 256 mb about 60 songs vs $ 99.00 512mb 120 songs
it's about 1/2 the price for 1/2 capacity IMO it's not a real bargain
out of curiousity checked quickly Centon website and overall support for apple looks weak to me and no tech or sys requirement info given but foundthis in product detail "Plug and play USB 2.0 direct connection is built in"
Unable to answer second part of your post as no experience with shuffle/iPod so far.