The iPod shuffle Comes with Earbuds, not EarPods

Ipod shuffle redIt’s not a big deal, but I find it interesting that, even after yesterday’s refresh of the iPod line, the iPod shuffle still ships with earbuds, not Apple’s EarPods. It’s the only device that includes these headphones.

Personally, I don’t like the EarPods; they fall out of my ears too easily. I’ve actually ordered a new iPod shuffle – in Red – because I like the idea of such a small, light device for listening to audiobooks. It’s good that it will have earbuds; I’m not sure I still have any that work.

Apple Updates iPods

Remember the iPod? That’s the thing that can play music, run apps, show videos, play games, and lots more, just not make phone calls. (Well, the iPod touch is, at least.)

Today, Apple updated the entire iPod line. The iPod touch gets pride of place with a 64-bit, A8 processor, on 8 megapixel camera, and new colors. It also gets storage options of up to 128 GB, twice that of the previous model.

New ipod touch

The iPod nano and shuffle also get new colors.

I had expected that the nano might get wi-fi, so it could use Apple Music, but I guess it’s not an interesting enough device. And I’m a bit surprised that the shuffle still exists, but it is a neat device to use when working out. It’s got one job, and it does it well.

I’ve ordered a new iPod touch. I have the 5th generation model, which I use for testing iOS betas, and it’s very sluggish with iOS 9. The new iPod touch, with the A8 processor, will last several years. Other than that, I only plan to use it to stream music, so I opted for the 32 GB model.

It’s interesting to note how long these devices have been around since their last update. The iPod shuffle dates back to September, 2010. The iPod nano was last updated in September, 2012. And the iPod touch in September, 2012 as well, though there was a 16 GB model added to the iPod touch line in May, 2013. So that’s nearly five years for the iPod shuffle, and it’s clearly still selling enough for Apple to refresh the model.

Do any of you still use iPods? I’ve got an iPod classic that I use sometimes, listening around the house with headphones. And I do use my touch for streaming, since I don’t want to turn on iCloud Music Library on my iPhone.

Will the New iPod nano Support Apple Music?

New nano

A graphic that’s hidden away in the resources of the latest version of iTunes shows new colors for the iPod nano, touch, and shuffle. There are suggestions that the iPod line, and the iPhone 5c or its successor, will sport the colors of the Apple Watch’s sport bands.

This, of course, leads one to believe that the iPod nano and shuffle will not be discontinued. (I have no doubt that the iPod touch will not be axed.) If Apple updates this device for more than new colors, I wonder if it will be able to use Apple Music. It would need Wi-Fi, both for streaming, and for subscription verification to authorize downloaded tracks. But it’s certainly possible to pack those features in the existing iPod nano form factor.

Apple has traditionally updated iPods in the fall, but as updates have become more irregular, they could update the nano at any time. We’ll have to see if the nano becomes the smallest device that can play Apple Music.

And who knows? Maybe we’ll see the iPod classic come back, with flash storage, and with Wi-Fi, so it, too, can use Apple Music.

iPod Madness: Warn Your Children!

Ipod itunes garageGoing through my archives, I came across some files from a book I wrote about the iPod in 2004: iPod & iTunes Garage. Published by Prentice Hall, it was one of the first comprehensive books about using iTunes and the iPod.

I had forgotten about this somewhat humorous preface I had written to the book. I hereby post the text for those who want a laugh. To be honest, I wasn’t entirely wrong…

The book you are about to read may startle you. It would not have been possible, otherwise, to sufficiently emphasize the frightful toll of the new menace which is destroying the youth of America in alarmingly increasing numbers. In depicting its soul-destroying effects, no attempt has been made to equivocate.

The scenes and incidents depicted in this book are all based on actual research into the results of this menace. If their stark reality will make you think, will make you aware that something must be done to wipe out this ghastly menace, then the book will not have failed in its purpose…
Because the dreaded iPod may be reaching forth next for your son or daughter…or even you!

A disturbing scene has been witnessed across America in recent years and is spreading throughout the world at an alarming pace. People who look normal from the outside–young and old, rich and poor–have joined a new cult. They may be your neighbors, your doctor, your children’s teachers, your stockbroker, your local mechanic or mailman, or even one of your children, but they are really part of a new cult that is slowly and quietly spreading its influence and capturing new members.

This cult sprang from nothing in 2001 to now count more than 4 million members, and its ranks are growing daily. There seems to be little the authorities can do to slow its progression, and if the current trend continues, the majority of Americans will be affected in just 12 years.

You can spot the members of this cult by the glassy look in their eyes and the distinctive white wires that run from their pockets to their ears. Few people realize what these wires are for, but you see them on people everywhere: on campus; in buses, trains, and airplanes; even on people walking down the street. These odd people all exhibit strange, rhythmic body movements as they walk; some have been observed moving in similar ways when seated as well.

“They’re everywhere,” said Rob Griffiths, a Webmaster from Portland, Oregon. “I counted at least ten people with those white wires on my last flight home. Even the guy sitting next to me had them!”

Is this an invasion by creatures from another planet? How have these people been taken over by these strange white wires? What purpose do they serve?
This book is the fruit of three years of research. From Maine to California, from the United States to France, I have investigated this odd new cult: the cult of the iPod.

Why do so many people wear these strange white wires, and what do these wires do to their brains? What are the tiny white devices, with cryptic symbols on their faces and a screen that displays text that looks like gibberish? In an attempt to answer these questions and many more, I went undercover, interviewed dozens of members of this cult, and even donned the accoutrements of one myself, all to provide you with this unparalleled exposé of truth.

This book contains five parts.

Part 1: After a great deal of research and investigation, doors were opened to me, and I was able to examine the iTunes program, which is said to be the gateway for members of this cult to pass information onto their tiny electronic devices called iPods. I explain how it works, how cult members use it to manage “playlists,” and how it serves as a conduit for the iPod itself.

Part 2: After obtaining several iPods, at great risk and peril, I have plumbed their depths and attempted to understand how they function. I present to you, dear reader, the most harrowing details, the most surprising information about this tiny device. You will discover what the secret controls operate, how to decipher the text on their screens, and how to use them for their nefarious, mind-numbing effects.

Part 3: Many people are worried about the influence of this cult, and none more so than musicians, who see it as a way to take total control of their music. I interviewed many representatives of this trade in search of their feelings on this new cult. While some cult members say they are “infatuated” or “obsessed,” the musicians I spoke with shrink back in horror at the potential ramifications of this device.

Part 4: In spite of warnings by authorities and public health officials, computer programmers around the world have created tools to further the influence of this cult and allow its members to manipulate information in ways unimagined when the cult first appeared. I scoured the lower depths of the Internet in search of the most powerful programs that cult members use, and present, here, an unabashed discussion of what these programs can do.

Part 5: Perhaps the most worrying element of this phenomenon is the many vendors of trinkets and baubles designed for members of this cult so they can protect their iPods and use them for other evil tasks. To write this final section, I traveled across the seven seas to find out which of these products were the most popular and why members of the iPod cult would want to use them.

You will surely understand, dear reader, that I put my life in peril to investigate this cult. While the incidents presented herein are all factual, I have had to change some of the names to protect the obviously guilty.

This peril is real, dear reader, and it is coming for you. Only through education, such as what this book offers, can this scourge be wiped out. If you are not aware of the forms it takes and the ways it hides, you may be its next victim.

Bonus: Here’s Doug Adams, of Doug’s AppleScripts for iTunes, showing that he still has a copy of the book:

Dougscripts 2015 Jun 26

Apple Turns the iPod into a Second-Class Citizen

Remember back in the day, about ten years ago, when the iPod was the biggest thing in the tech world? It certainly didn’t bring in as much money as computers, but it was the first really sexy tech gadget, the one that everyone had to have. (One could argue that the Walkman was also sexy, but I don’t think it was the same. Back in those days, the Walkman, and other portable cassette players, were more utilitarian.)

Yesterday, following the launch of Apple Music, Apple removed the iPod from the navigation bar on the company’s website, adding a Music entry instead (replacing iTunes as well).

Apple nav bar

The iPod page is still there, and you can still buy three different types of iPods. Also, the Apple TV shows up on that page. But it’s hard to find; you can get to it through the Music page, near the bottom.

iPod is still in the Apple Store’s navigation bar; because Music isn’t something they sell in that store. You can Shop iPod, and Shop Apple TV. But as far as Apple is concerned, the iPod is the past.

The removal of the iPod from the navigation bar makes the end of the era. For many years, this was Apple’s most noticeable product, the one that turned Apple into a global brand selling more than just computers. But, like every tech gadget, its life is limited, and it has been superseded by the iPhone and iPad. With streaming music now the hot topic, you technically don’t need much storage, assuming you have a data plan that lets you download what you want.

But that’s another story…

The iPod may be gone, but it’s not forgotten. We wouldn’t have gotten here without it.

8 Clever Ways to Re-Use Your Old iPhone or iPod touch

If you’ve recently bought a new iPhone, or if you’ve got an iPod touch that you’re not using any more, it’d be a shame for it to just sit in a cold, dark drawer, waiting for someone to come along and borrow it. That iPhone or iPod is still useful, unless you’ve broken it (though even if the screen is cracked, there is a lot you can do with it).

You could hand the iPhone down to a child, use it as a home surveillance camera, dedicate it as an in-car music repository, and much more. Here are 8 clever ways you can put your old mobile device to good use.

Read the rest of the article on the Mac Security Blog.

Prevent iTunes from Automatically Syncing Your iOS Device

Most people want their iOS devices to sync with iTunes each time they connect the device to their computer. But sometimes you don’t want this to happen. If you’re one of the many people suffering from iTunes sync problems, you may want to connect your device to charge it, but not sync. Here’s how you can change this setting.

First, select your iOS device. You’ll see an icon at the top-left of the iTunes window, to the right of the media kind icons; click it.

Select ios device

Next, click Summary in the sidebar. On the Summary screen, you’ll see some options:

Auto sync ios device

Uncheck Automatically sync when this iPhone [or iPad, or iPod] is connected.

After you do this, click Apply at the bottom of the window. In the future, your device will only sync when you want it to. Connect it, select it as above, and click Sync at the bottom of the window.

Sync button

Access all the Files on Your iOS Device with iExplorer

While it’s easy to sync media and other content from iTunes to your iOS device, there’s no simple way to get stuff off your iPhone and iPad. iExplorer can let you access all of this content.

Connect your iOS device to your computer (iExplorer has both Mac and Windows versions), and launch iExplorer. Here’s what you see:

Iexplorer all

As you can see, iExplorer lets you access a number of different types of content on your iOS device:

  • Documents
  • Backups (on your Mac or PC)
  • Media
  • iCloud
  • Apps
  • Bookmarks
  • And more

You can transfer music from your iOS device to iTunes, copy your photos, files and more.

You can also access data from your device; copy your messages, your call history, contacts, notes, and more.

Check out iExplorer if you want to be able to copy files and content from your iOS device. There are both Mac and Windows versions, and it supports all iOS devices and iPods ever made.

Apple Is Not Killing Off the iPod Shuffle

The other day, I reported on rumors that the iPod shuffle may be disappearing. These rumors arose because stock was low everywhere: in retail stores and on line.

According to Billboard, “Apple is actually going thorough component supplier changes that have interrupted production of the Shuffle.”

I still wonder if there’s a market for the shuffle, but, for now, it seems that there is.

Is It Time to Retire the iPod Shuffle?


We saw the demise of the iPod classic last year; is it time for the iPod shuffle to retire? As reported by 9to5 Mac, the device is shipping in 7-10 days on Apple’s online store (both US and UK), and is out of stock in many stores as well. According to 9to5 Mac:

“Apple has warned its retail employees that Shuffle supplies will be short for an unspecified period of time and that customers seeking to buy a Shuffle via a retail store should be directed to Apple’s online store.”

It’s true that the iPod shuffle is a dying product. It’s likely that the only people who buy it are those who want a very compact device to listen to music while working out. But since it requires wired headphones or earbuds, it’s not the best choice if you’re moving. The iPod nano, which offers Bluetooth, is far more useful, since you can use wireless headphones.

If Apple does kill off the iPod shuffle, it won’t be, as they said about the iPod classic, because they can’t get the components any more. It will really be because the device just isn’t selling. It’s a low-price device, with an archaic system of control and syncing.

I can imagine Apple ditching the iPod shuffle, as well as the nano, when the Apple Watch joins the product line-up. While these devices do help provide a line of music players to meet all budgets, I think Apple doesn’t care about that any more.