Apple announced this week, via press release, that they will be discontinuing the iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle. To compensate, they’ll be doubling the storage capacity of the iPod Shuffle.
While the iPod Nano was perhaps the most popular model of the ubiqutous audio player, I have always loved the Shuffle.
I bought a Second Generation iPod Shuffle in 2006 to replace my pitiful Rio Forge MP3 Player. Billed as “the most wearable iPod ever,” it had a clip on the back that fit perfectly onto a t-shirt, jeans pocket or (in my case) the front pocket of a hoodie.
I already owned a 128gb iPod Video, but I bought the Shuffle as an ultra-portable device to listen to on the school bus. It’s small size also made it perfect for slipping out of a pocket and secretly listening to during class.
The Third Generation iPod Shuffle, with it’s infamous lack of buttons, moved all of the controls of the device to the new ear buds in-wire controller. My mom had a bright pink Shuffle from around this time that she ran through the wash with her gym clothes a dozen times. It still works.
When the controls returned to the device’s body for the Fourth Generation iPod Shuffle in 2010 I was relieved, fearing that I might some day have to replace my beloved Second Gen. Shuffle. That day never came. By 2012 I was only carrying my iPhone 5 and my iPod Classic was relegated to the glove box of my car.
My friend and podcast co-host Shaun Evans still runs every day with an iPod Shuffle. I’ve also seen people keep them in cars, hooked up to stereos and in their gym bags.
The iPod Shuffle was never the most popular, or even the most convenient, iPod. Every iteration after the first required specialty syncing and charging cables. The largest their internal storage ever got was 4gb. It was often hard to tell if one was charged or not.
Despite all of its short-comings, I loved the iPod Shuffle. It was a purpose-built device executed perfectly. It’s simplicity made it the perfect device for exercising, walking around town or ignoring your high school health teacher.
Even though I accidentally destroyed mine a few years back during an Instructable gone wrong, I’ll miss the iPod Shuffle. All it did was play your music. It was in your pocket or clipped to your shirt. And it played your music. And that’s all I ever wanted from it.