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TidBITS: Apple Discontinues the iPod nano and iPod shuffle

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Apple Discontinues the iPod nano and iPod shuffle

This article was just published by TidBITS and sent to you at your request.

Apple Discontinues the iPod nano and iPod shuffle

By Josh Centers and Adam C. Engst
http://tidbits.com/article/17368

Say goodbye to non-iOS iPods: Apple has officially tossed the iPod nano and the iPod shuffle into the dustbin of history, where they’ve landed on top of the iPod classic (see “Eulogy for the iPod classic,” 11 September 2014).


Watchful observers noticed that the links to both products on Apple’s Web site went defunct last week, and Apple confirmed to the Verge that both products have been discontinued.

To smooth things over, Apple has doubled the storage capacity of the iPod touch: “Today, we are simplifying our iPod lineup with two models of iPod touch now with double the capacity starting at just $199 and we are discontinuing the iPod shuffle and iPod nano,” Apple said. That means you can now buy a 32 GB iPod touch for $199 and a 128 GB model for $299; the 16 GB and 64 GB models have disappeared.


The writing has been on the wall for a while — neither of these products have seen substantial updates in years. Apple last revised the iPod nano in a significant way in 2012 (see “Apple Redesigns iPod touch, iPod nano, and iTunes,” 12 September 2012) and the iPod shuffle in 2010 (see “Apple Releases Smaller and Thinner iPods,” 1 September 2010). You may still be able to buy them from other sources for a while, but stock will eventually run out.

If you’re in the market for a small music player, Apple would prefer that you purchase an Apple Watch and a pair of AirPods, which at over $500 nets the company much more profit than the relatively cheap iPods. Of course, the Apple Watch can hold only a single playlist and syncing is slow — we’d like to see Apple make the Apple Watch a better replacement for the small iPods in future versions of watchOS.


For those who prefer Spotify to Apple Music, an $85.99 music player called Mighty aims to replace the iPod shuffle. We haven’t tried it, but it claims to clip to clothing, pair with Bluetooth headsets, hold 1000 songs, provide up to 5 hours of battery life, and be drop and water resistant.

Are there any other devices you’re considering as a replacement for the iPod nano and iPod shuffle? Tell us about them in the comments!

Post a comment

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Article copyright © 2017 By Josh Centers and Adam C. Engst . Reuse governed by Creative Commons License.




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Re: TidBITS: Apple Discontinues the iPod nano and iPod shuffle

dianed143@comcast.net
Yikes!!! Do you think the stores will have any left? That is essential to my long rides.

Diane


On Jul 31, 2017, at 10:56 AM, TidBITS Articles <[hidden email]> wrote:

Apple Discontinues the iPod nano and iPod shuffle

This article was just published by TidBITS and sent to you at your request.

Apple Discontinues the iPod nano and iPod shuffle

By Josh Centers and Adam C. Engst
http://tidbits.com/article/17368

Say goodbye to non-iOS iPods: Apple has officially tossed the iPod nano and the iPod shuffle into the dustbin of history, where they’ve landed on top of the iPod classic (see “Eulogy for the iPod classic,” 11 September 2014).


Watchful observers noticed that the links to both products on Apple’s Web site went defunct last week, and Apple confirmed to the Verge that both products have been discontinued.

To smooth things over, Apple has doubled the storage capacity of the iPod touch: “Today, we are simplifying our iPod lineup with two models of iPod touch now with double the capacity starting at just $199 and we are discontinuing the iPod shuffle and iPod nano,” Apple said. That means you can now buy a 32 GB iPod touch for $199 and a 128 GB model for $299; the 16 GB and 64 GB models have disappeared.


The writing has been on the wall for a while — neither of these products have seen substantial updates in years. Apple last revised the iPod nano in a significant way in 2012 (see “Apple Redesigns iPod touch, iPod nano, and iTunes,” 12 September 2012) and the iPod shuffle in 2010 (see “Apple Releases Smaller and Thinner iPods,” 1 September 2010). You may still be able to buy them from other sources for a while, but stock will eventually run out.

If you’re in the market for a small music player, Apple would prefer that you purchase an Apple Watch and a pair of AirPods, which at over $500 nets the company much more profit than the relatively cheap iPods. Of course, the Apple Watch can hold only a single playlist and syncing is slow — we’d like to see Apple make the Apple Watch a better replacement for the small iPods in future versions of watchOS.


For those who prefer Spotify to Apple Music, an $85.99 music player called Mighty aims to replace the iPod shuffle. We haven’t tried it, but it claims to clip to clothing, pair with Bluetooth headsets, hold 1000 songs, provide up to 5 hours of battery life, and be drop and water resistant.

Are there any other devices you’re considering as a replacement for the iPod nano and iPod shuffle? Tell us about them in the comments!

Post a comment





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Re: TidBITS: Apple Discontinues the iPod nano and iPod shuffle

Rodney

On Jul 31, 2017, at 17:11, Diane <[hidden email]> wrote:

Yikes!!! Do you think the stores will have any left? That is essential to my long rides.

You’ll probably need to keep an old version of iTunes around if you want to manage the music on them. I don’t know how long newer versions of iTunes will support them.



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Re: TidBITS: Apple Discontinues the iPod nano and iPod shuffle

dianed143@comcast.net

On Jul 31, 2017, at 11:25 AM, Rodney <[hidden email]> wrote:


On Jul 31, 2017, at 17:11, Diane <[hidden email]> wrote:

Yikes!!! Do you think the stores will have any left? That is essential to my long rides.

You’ll probably need to keep an old version of iTunes around if you want to manage the music on them. I don’t know how long newer versions of iTunes will support them.

That’s fine, I have a couple of older machines. Thanks Apple - SHEESH!!!!!

Diane




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Re: TidBITS: Apple Discontinues the iPod nano and iPod shuffle

Curtis Wilcox
In reply to this post by Rodney
On Jul 31, 2017, at 11:25 AM, Rodney <[hidden email]> wrote:


On Jul 31, 2017, at 17:11, Diane <[hidden email]> wrote:

Yikes!!! Do you think the stores will have any left? That is essential to my long rides.

You’ll probably need to keep an old version of iTunes around if you want to manage the music on them. I don’t know how long newer versions of iTunes will support them.


Are there any previously discontinued iPods that no longer sync with iTunes? I expect syncing to keep working for years and maybe only stop if they stop using iTunes to sync iPhones and iPod touches.

I still use a 5th gen. nano, the last with a click wheel. I'm pretty sure I got it as a refurb right when the first touchscreen nano was introduced so I guess that means I've been using it almost seven years. I haven't always had headphones with in-line controls so physical buttons are good for controlling without looking. I'm almost always listening to podcasts so having a display is very helpful for picking what I'm going to listen to. I listen while commuting (walking, train) and at the gym. I don't want to worry about or deal with my phone at the gym and I want to keep my place so I listen on the nano everywhere rather than using the nano only at the gym.

I don't know what I'll do when my nano dies. My wife also has a 5th gen., maybe I'll steal hers but get her wireless headphones for her iPhone (probably not AirPods, I don't think they'd fit her well and are pricy).




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Re: TidBITS: Apple Discontinues the iPod nano and iPod shuffle

Rodney

On Aug 1, 2017, at 17:50, Curtis Wilcox <[hidden email]> wrote:

Are there any previously discontinued iPods that no longer sync with iTunes?

I don’t know. I think that I still have an old 2nd generation iPod somewhere. If I can find it, it might be interesting to connect it and see what happens…

I expect syncing to keep working for years and maybe only stop if they stop using iTunes to sync iPhones and iPod touches.

Could be, for certain values of “syncing”. I don’t know if these old devices use a different protocol from modern devices. I remember back in the day you could put an iPod into “disk mode” where it showed up as just an external hard drive and you could go digging through it to your heart’s content. I miss that feature.

My attitude towards using obsolete tech is the same as my attitude towards beta software; have fun, just don’t use it for anything critical.

It seems that whenever Apple decides to EOL something we get a bit of, “How could they???” It costs more than just money to support “legacy” tech. I can understand why they wouldn’t want to do it.



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Re: TidBITS: Apple Discontinues the iPod nano and iPod shuffle

Curtis Wilcox
On Aug 1, 2017, at 12:15 PM, Rodney <[hidden email]> wrote:

Could be, for certain values of “syncing”. I don’t know if these old devices use a different protocol from modern devices. I remember back in the day you could put an iPod into “disk mode” where it showed up as just an external hard drive and you could go digging through it to your heart’s content. I miss that feature.

By default, "disk mode" doesn't display all the contents of my nano in the Finder, the audio files, preferences, etc. are in a hidden folder called iPod_Control. I thought Apple went to greater lengths to hide/protect the audio content and maybe in earlier iterations they did. It's never been possible to manage the audio contents just by dragging and dropping files on an iPod, there are indexes that need updating, something iTunes does when syncing and something I assume 3rd party software has reverse-engineered.

It seems that whenever Apple decides to EOL something we get a bit of, “How could they???” It costs more than just money to support “legacy” tech. I can understand why they wouldn’t want to do it.

My guess is syncing hasn't fundamentally changed, so as long as they still sold any iPods, supporting earlier models didn't require any effort (iOS devices, including the iPod touch, may be similar when syncing but it's easy to imagine them being, or becoming, very different). Since they've stopped selling them, the countdown starts now. How long should someone who just bought an iPod expect it to sync with a current computer? To me, three years is the absolute minimum. 

Laws in some places may require support to continue longer. I was thinking about other countries but then saw Apple's repair and battery services are available to California customers for nanos that are 9-10 years old. Will the law allow Apple to repair hardware but take away the ability to put files on it? Even if California law does, I bet some other country with with a similar law won't allow it; as long as Apple has to support iPod syncing in one country, they might as well do it everywhere. 





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Re: TidBITS: Apple Discontinues the iPod nano and iPod shuffle

Marc Zeedar-2
In reply to this post by Curtis Wilcox

> On Aug 1, 2017, at 8:50 AM, Curtis Wilcox <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Are there any previously discontinued iPods that no longer sync with iTunes?

This is fascinating timing.

First, last week I was in Montreal (Canada) and I stopped at an Apple Store (just for fun -- and the air conditioning). I was surprised to see rows of iPod nanos and shuffles for sale. I haven't seen them at my U.S. store for years. Then when I got back home, the big news was they'd been discontinued! I now wonder if I should have snagged one...

Then this weekend, as I was helping my mom prepare for a trip to California (10+ hour drive), she asked me about audiobooks. I grabbed an old iPod touch I had been using as a clock (attached to a charger) and loaded it with some books she chose. Then I went to her car (my old car) where I have an audio system that has an iPod charging/audio cable wired through the glove compartment so the sound plays through the car's speakers.

I was surprised to find an old iPod nano there, but it appeared to be dead. When I hooked up the touch, it worked, but said it couldn't charge. I remembered something about that -- at one time I had to have some sort of adapter that would allow iPods to charge (Apple had made some change to the 9-pin system on new iPods, I think).

I couldn't find the adapter, unfortunately, but I found my old "watch" nano (the square ones with the clip). But though it also worked in the car, it wouldn't charge, either.

I finally took the nano into the house and hooked it up to iTunes (latest version) and to my pleasure, it said the nano's system software needed to be "restored" and it did that just fine. I then tried to copy over the audiobooks my mom wanted -- only some were in a newer Audible format that was incompatible with the old iPod. I had to redownload those in an older format to get them to copy.

Long story short: the "dead" nano seems to be working just fine and the audiobooks are playing back great, so that's going in the car for my mom's trip.

I was actually very impressed that iTunes still works with such old devices -- and that they themselves still work. (I'm not sure which nano I have: I remember I bought it used on Craigslist eons ago and it was old then!)


Marc Zeedar
Publisher, xDev Magazine and xDevLibrary
www.xdevmag.com | www.xdevlibrary.com






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Re: TidBITS: Apple Discontinues the iPod nano and iPod shuffle

Paul Schinder
In reply to this post by Curtis Wilcox

> On Aug 1, 2017, at 11:50 AM, Curtis Wilcox <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Are there any previously discontinued iPods that no longer sync with iTunes? I expect syncing to keep working for years and maybe only stop if they stop using iTunes to sync iPhones and iPod touches.
>

I have an old iPod Touch (1st gen I think, running iOS 3.1.3) that I regularly used until recently when my as-old Bose Sounddock decided to stop working.  For a year or so iTunes hasn’t been able to back it up, but it still synced.  I have even older iPods still around (2 2nd gen, 1 video), but I can’t do much with them because I can’t locate a Firewire (still would work with my MacPro) to iPod cable, and the USB cables won’t work.  The iPods still function, since I can charge them in the now silent Sounddock, but I can’t make any changes to whatever’s on them at the moment.


--
Paul Schinder
[hidden email]






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Re: TidBITS: Apple Discontinues the iPod nano and iPod shuffle

dianed143@comcast.net
I had an appointment near my local store this morning so I stopped by and picked up an extra Shuffle. They said they had a lot left. They had one of each color Shuffle and Nano on the shelf. (I also grabbed the full sized wireless keyboard to see how I like that - no unwrapped ones in sight there!)

Diane



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Re: TidBITS: Apple Discontinues the iPod nano and iPod shuffle

Rodney
In reply to this post by Curtis Wilcox

> On Aug 1, 2017, at 19:17, Curtis Wilcox <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> By default, "disk mode" doesn't display all the contents of my nano in the Finder, the audio files, preferences, etc. are in a hidden folder called iPod_Control. I thought Apple went to greater lengths to hide/protect the audio content and maybe in earlier iterations they did.

I didn’t know that the feature still existed. I used it more than 15 years ago to copy music out of an iPod (I was still a Windows user at the time), but I don’t recall ever trying to copy anything in.

> It's never been possible to manage the audio contents just by dragging and dropping files on an iPod, there are indexes that need updating, something iTunes does when syncing and something I assume 3rd party software has reverse-engineered.

As I recall, there was a big battle over 3rd party software syncing iPods. Apple wasn’t very happy about it, and took steps to prevent it.

> My guess is syncing hasn't fundamentally changed, so as long as they still sold any iPods, supporting earlier models didn't require any effort (iOS devices, including the iPod touch, may be similar when syncing but it's easy to imagine them being, or becoming, very different).

That’s my guess. Apple seems to be moving more towards streaming and wireless, so I suspect that it’ll just be a matter of time before syncing via cable will disappear.

> Laws in some places may require support to continue longer.
...
> Will the law allow Apple to repair hardware but take away the ability to put files on it?

Exactly. In this age where products are parts of ecosystems, it is difficult to guess how much of the legacy a company like Apple will be required to support, and for how long. As I said, once a product is EOL, I don’t use it for anything critical.


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Re: TidBITS: Apple Discontinues the iPod nano and iPod shuffle

Heng-Cheong Leong-2
In reply to this post by Curtis Wilcox

> On 1 Aug 2017, at 11:50 PM, Curtis Wilcox <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Are there any previously discontinued iPods that no longer sync with iTunes? I expect syncing to keep working for years and maybe only stop if they stop using iTunes to sync iPhones and iPod touches.
>

This will the first time that Apple has stopped selling all non-iOS iPods, which may be incentive for Apple to drop support for all non-iOS iPods in a future version of iTunes. This may be motivated by a desire to completely rewrite iTunes, to break iTunes in multiple apps (Apple Music, Apple Podcast, iTunes U, etc), to move towards cloud-only syncing, or just to simply “remove dead code”.

Heng-Cheong


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Re: TidBITS: Apple Discontinues the iPod nano and iPod shuffle

Marilyn Matty


>> On Aug 2, 2017, at 10:42 AM, Heng-Cheong Leong <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> This will the first time that Apple has stopped selling all non-iOS iPods, which may be incentive for Apple to drop support for all non-iOS iPods in a future version of iTunes. This may be motivated by a desire to completely rewrite iTunes, to break iTunes in multiple apps (Apple Music, Apple Podcast, iTunes U, etc), to move towards cloud-only syncing, or just to simply “remove dead code”.

This makes sense for Apple, the company that revolutionized the music business with iPod. Since they will be making a big push for HomePod, I suspect they want to make devices and services that will support HomeKit and Siri.

Marilyn






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Re: TidBITS: Apple Discontinues the iPod nano and iPod shuffle

Nigel Stanger-2
In reply to this post by Curtis Wilcox
On Wed Aug 02 2017 03:50:17, Curtis Wilcox spake thus:
>
> Are there any previously discontinued iPods that no longer sync with iTunes?

I have a 40 gig 5th gen iPod that still works fine. I last synced it, I guess, a couple of months ago? This is the model that came out in mid 2004, and predates all the shuffles and nanos. It’s had one battery replacement and is still chugging along just fine 13 years later in my car’s glovebox.

--
Nigel Stanger, Dunedin, NEW ZEALAND.  http://xri.net/=nigel.stanger




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Re: TidBITS: Apple Discontinues the iPod nano and iPod shuffle

George Wade
Wrapped in shock absorbing Sheep's Fleece, to last so well ?
G.

On 2 Aug 2017, at 18:02, Nigel Stanger wrote:

> On Wed Aug 02 2017 03:50:17, Curtis Wilcox spake thus:
>>
>> Are there any previously discontinued iPods that no longer sync with iTunes?
>
> I have a 40 gig 5th gen iPod that still works fine. I last synced it, I guess, a couple of months ago? This is the model that came out in mid 2004, and predates all the shuffles and nanos. It’s had one battery replacement and is still chugging along just fine 13 years later in my car’s glovebox.
>
> --
> Nigel Stanger, Dunedin, NEW ZEALAND.  http://xri.net/=nigel.stanger



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Re: TidBITS: Apple Discontinues the iPod nano and iPod shuffle

Nigel Stanger-2
On Fri Aug 04 2017 00:29:00, George Wade spake thus:
>
> Wrapped in shock absorbing Sheep's Fleece, to last so well ?

I am slightly astonished that the hard drive is still going :). It has led a fairly sheltered life, though. I don’t go running, and even if I did, I wouldn’t be listening to music anyway as I don’t like not being able to hear traffic, etc. The most strenuous thing it used to do was record my lectures, but my phone does that now. So it’s spent probably the better part of ten years in quiet retirement in the car…

--
Nigel Stanger, Dunedin, NEW ZEALAND.  http://xri.net/=nigel.stanger




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Re: TidBITS: Apple Discontinues the iPod nano and iPod shuffle

Travis Butler

> On Aug 3, 2017, at 4:53 PM, Nigel Stanger <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> On Fri Aug 04 2017 00:29:00, George Wade spake thus:
>>
>> Wrapped in shock absorbing Sheep's Fleece, to last so well ?
>
> I am slightly astonished that the hard drive is still going :). It has led a fairly sheltered life, though. I don’t go running, and even if I did, I wouldn’t be listening to music anyway as I don’t like not being able to hear traffic, etc. The most strenuous thing it used to do was record my lectures, but my phone does that now. So it’s spent probably the better part of ten years in quiet retirement in the car…

I’ve still got a 3rd-gen (the one with all-capacitive buttons) that was my main music player in the bedroom, before I got a pair of Airport Expresses to stream. I need to try hooking it back up. :)






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