iPod discontinuations and possible replacements

Yes, we covered the iPod discontinuations:

Yep, I missed it—or forgot I’d read it. I’m still using an iPod classic. I checked on Amazon. There are plenty of inexpensive MP3 players out there, with built-in Bluetooth and a slot for a memory card.

As for the iPod touch, it hasn’t been upgraded in years. I need a bigger screen. I suspect the iPhone killed the iPod.

Yes, in all our analytics, when we look at device usage, the iPod touch is basically nonexistent. It’s a weird niche, since someone who wants an iOS device that’s not an iPhone is probably going to go for an iPad.

That’s definitely a valid point. However, we are also just now witnessing Apple’s special abandonment treatment for the iPad mini. ;) If indeed Apple drops the mini there will be no compact iOS device left that’s not an iPhone. It’ll be either iPhone (most of which will by then be the size of cutting boards) or frying-pan sized iPads. :smiley:

I missed that, too. No doubt the iPad impacted iPod sales too. And Apple probably likes it that way. iPhones and iPads cost more and return more to Apple. In the end, though, users had their say. Below a certain point it probably makes no sense to manufacture and sell them. While you can still get used iPods online, they cost a pretty penny. It makes more sense, if you need an MP3 player, to buy a lower priced model from Amazon. Though they have expensive versions too, if you are an audiophile; indeed many of the inexpensive players can handle hi-res audio files as well. And most of them have slots for memory cards if you want to ramp up the storage, something iPods never had. So you can buy an inexpensive player and an inexpensive memory card and go to town. Save your money for a good pair of headphones. :wink:

It was a real shame the Shuffle was discontinued. Much easier to run with that vs a phone


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Exactly. No way I am going to mount a phone to my arm when I run.

I guess Apple would like us to get an Apple Watch for that. With AirPods that could work. Will the Apple Watch play music and record my time/distance w/o an iPhone?

With a Series 2 or a Series 3 - yes. (A Series 1 or Gen 1 will only approximate distance based on calibration when you do run with an iPhone, from accelerometer readings, but the S2 and S3 have GPS radios and all of them can store up to 2 GB of music - and more storage on the S3 cellular version.)

The cellular model should, but the GPS-enabled Series 3 should also. I haven’t tested mine for either.

Mark W from my iPhone

Interesting. So if I understand correctly, a Series 3 model even without LTE/contract should be able to acquire my running distance through GPS and has music memory comparable to my old shuffle. My $80 Garmin watch does the GPS part, but not the shuffle part. I guess if I had AirPods already, the Apple Watch could make sense. Not $329 worth, but maybe there will be a cheaper model once S4 shows up.

What about the interface and controls? Is that any god for running? My Garmin is very simple, but since it’s designed for running it’s quite good at it. Time, distance, current pace - it has the essentials front and center (although I do miss pace during the entire run so far). Plus it has four buttons. Buttons I would imagine are a whole lot easier to use while running than a touch screen, but in honesty I’ve never tested the latter during a run.

Oops, just noticed we’ve gone entirely off the rails now. Sorry about that, Adam. Time for a split maybe?

Yep. Happily, Discourse makes that really easy.

An Apple Watch Series 2 or 3 will work for running—I’d recommend the Strava app or another third-party app, although the way the Workouts app starts and stops automatically in watchOS 5 is nice.

But no Apple Watch will be as easy to interact with as a Garmin or other dedicated running watch. The problem is that the touchscreen just isn’t as good an interface as a dedicated button, especially when you’re sweaty or it’s raining.

Newer Garmin Forerunner watches can store and play music as well, but they’re no cheaper than an Apple Watch.

If you want a real running watch, Garmin now has several models that can store and play music over Bluetooth. From what I’ve read it’s a real pain to get music on or off, and trying to listen to something like podcasts seems like it would be a real horror. Of course, most Garmin watches are more expensive than the Apple Watch, and they don’t do the smartwatch thing nearly as well. But they’re way better for actual runners than an AW.

Not being a runner, I don’t use a watch for cycling, but I have recently been wearing my Apple Watch while riding. (I don’t bother using it to record; I have a Garmin Edge 1000, a cycling GPS head unit, for that.) My new(ish) helmet is a Coros Linx, and it has a built in sound system (bone conduction speakers on the straps) and I’ve been trying it out paired to my iPhone 8. The AW is useful to control the volume with the crown, and also to see what the heck is playing when wind noise overpowers the sound. (You don’t want to try to play something you want to listen to, you want things that your brain can reconstruct from familiarity after hear a few snatches of sound. And, of course, you don’t want the sound so loud that you can’t hear what’s going on around you.)

The Apple Watch is decent for running if you are not an extremely serious runner. The stock workouts app can show up to five metrics at a time (I use time, distance, heart rate, average pace, current pace), and the music controls are a swipe to the left away. You can set a specific playlist to play when you start a workout if you wish. WatchOS 5 will add the ability to play podcasts synced to the watch.

I used Garmin watches for years, but for me they are finicky about staying BT connected to the iPhone in a way that the Apple Watch is not (I also had no issues when I used an Android phone. This may be the one instance I can think of where Android BT was better than iOS.). If you are doing workouts like running intervals (400 meters with a 60 second rest), you’ll want to use a dedicated running watch like a Garmin. If you are just going out for a run or walk and want to record and store data, and particularly if you don’t care about the social things that Strava can do, the Apple Watch is just fine. (And if you do care about Strava, there are ways to get data there from the AW even if you don’t use the Strava app itself, which has never been a favorite of mine.)

Thanks for the split, Adam.

That’s a lot of great advice, guys. Thanks. I’m not at all into any of the social stuff or sharing any of my running data. I’m very happy with my simple Garmin watch, apart from showing average pace (vs. just current) which on long runs would be nice. I would use an Apple Watch for music with AirPods, but I’m not sure having music outweighs the usability disadvantage compared to the Garmin that’s been made for this task. OTOH I’m definitely not going to get an expensive Garmin just for the music to then only learn that they are clueless about seamless syncing.

I should probably just stick to my Garmin and forget about music.

There’s a way to get actual workout data from the Workouts app to Strava? When I tried that (I once forgot my Garmin and just used Workouts on the Apple Watch instead of the Strava app), all I got was a “post” in Strava, not an “activity.”

Which Garmin do you have? I would think that most of them could be configured to show average pace instead of current pace. I generally have it show me lap pace, and set it to create laps automatically every mile. That way I know what I’m running for the current mile, which is a good compromise between average for the entire run (which isn’t necessarily useful if I started slow) and real-time pace (which is almost never useful because it’s so terrain-dependent).

There are two iPhone apps, HealthFit and RunGap, which can export AW workouts to Strava. One is automatic, one must be done manually, iirc.


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I like using the Shuffle for a few reasons.

  • I can put only the music on it that I want to listen to while working out.
  • I can keep more than one charged (I used to compete in 24 hour MTB races and could grab a secondary one and charge the first one back up)
  • In that same vein, because I am often out for long training rides, I want my phone to have a battery in case of emergency
  • I often use the Shuffle while working in the house or yard. There are times I don’t want my phone anywhere near me as I am “off the clock” but I still want music in my ears
  • and the number one reason - it’s so much cheaper than any of the other options! Phone, watch etc. I’m not yet ready to go outside the garden for something else but I suppose I will have to some day.

I do use my phone for music on occasion but since I haven’t setup specific playlists (thanks Apple for making iTunes more difficult), I tend to skip songs often.

I don’t have a way to record heart rate on my phone which means I have to use my Garmin if that’s important for me.

I have used MotionX GPS on my phone as well - it’s great for an impromptu hike or walk - but again no HR (it will record it but I don’t have what it needs).

I have NO interest in Strava or any sharing/social media workout apps. Anything that asks me to setup an account before I can get into it gets deleted.

I really think dropping the Shuffle was a stupid idea.


Luckily, it looks like iPod shuffles are readily accessible on eBay.

Well, I still have my iPod Photo, a 7th generation iPod Nano, and my “iPod 3GS”!

The last one is my old iPhone 3GS retired from being the back-up to my iPhone 6 (which is now the back-up to my iPhone 10 Anniversary). Eventually the iPhone 6 will replace the “iPod 3GS”.

Th major problem with both the iPod Photo & “3GS” is that my music library now exceeds their capacities.