Monday, March 16, 2009
Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple iPods" @ 10:00 AM
"Sigh, it looks like Apple's habit of squeezing iPod accessory manufacturers for license fees has now extended to freaking headphones -- iLounge is reporting that the new iPod shuffle can only be controlled by headphones with a special hardware authentication chip. That means that third parties will have to pay Apple for the privilege of making shuffle-compatible accessories, and you can bet they'll just pass that cost right on to consumers -- we wouldn't expect any cheap headphone adapters or inexpensive replacement headphones for this thing."
I'm so tired of the idiots making this uproar. Really. There's no requirement to buy a new Shuffle. If your old one works, fine. Enjoy it. If it doesn't, but an old one if you simply must use your $4,000 custom moulded headphones on a $79 music player. As usual, the "everything must be free" people forget to examine the obvious: these aren't regular headphones. They're the remote control for the player unit that sits in your pocket. They do more than just put the music into that cavernous void you call a skull; they actually are the controls for the device, so of course they aren't going to be standard buds, and of course Apple is going to put a chip in there to do its thing.
Has Apple "locked out" third parties? Nope. The same ones who proudly stamped that "Made for iPod" logo on their stuff can still make Shuffle headphones or adapters if they so choose. If you weren't in that program and just producing plain vanilla headphones, then your buds ain't gonna work here. Sorry.
Am I happy that Apple took the controls off the Shuffle itself? Not terribly, but the frothing seething outrage over this stupid little chip and the association of it with the most famous boogeyman of the modern era, DRM, is laughable to say the least. Get over it people and tell the guy next to you with a gun at your temple that you're an independent enough thinker to not buy a device you don't like.