Apple has finally killed off the iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle. Even though there’s some movement towards dedicated music players once again, Apple isn’t backing up this trend. Instead, the company is focusing on connected apps and music through its iTunes setup.
Even though Apple’s iPhone plays music, the sound isn’t quite good enough to appease serious audiophiles. Regardless, the Nano and Shuffle are about to be extinct.
End of a Music Era
The Nano and Shuffle debuted in 2005, which was two years prior to the iPhone. Both the Nano and Shuffle were immediately popular with music enthusiasts and both sold relatively well. When the iPhone arrived in 2007, sales of both music players started to dwindle. Apple stopped support for the Nano and Shuffle in 2012, though many people still used both devices.
Apple saw not use for a device that was largely and completely replaced by the smartphone. For Apple, music now means iTunes, nothing else. So while you might not love the sound of music coming from your iPhone, it’s the way that this cookie crumbles. Luckily for the truly audio-centric, there are some additional dedicated music players still on the market.
Other Dedicated Music Players
There are many mixed reviews about Apple’s iTunes and the iPhone, which will drive some people that were still hanging onto the Nano and Shuffle to seek alternative music options. Some of those alternatives include a relatively new Sony Walkman (yes, Walkman), the HiFiMan Super Mini, the Onkyo Player, the Sony MP3 player, and a plethora of other options.
No More Single Use Devices
When the smartphone appeared, most single use devices started to phase out. A number of companies axed support for various devices with Apple’s music players being some of the remaining few. Presently there are still a few single use dedicated devices out there, but most companies aren’t seeing the point in spending money on devices that are largely not useful or not selling well.
It was also in Apple’s interest not to support the Nano or Shuffle further, since Apple wants to push its iPhone device (which isn’t selling that well at the moment) and force users to spend time on iTunes. So what do you do if you still have a Nano or Shuffle? You’ve got a few options.
What to Do with Your Nano or Shuffle
Apple hasn’t supported these devices in years, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still use them. If you have a Nano or Shuffle, keep listening to your music. But do be aware that unsupported devices might be more susceptible to hacks. Also be aware that Apple won’t be helping you out if your device dies. It’s somewhat sad to see an end to these devices but Apple isn’t the first.
Adobe has ended support for Flash recently too - another legacy program. Smartphones have, indeed, taken over. Let’s just hope that smartphones keep up with providing all the services that dedicated devices once did (or we might be stuck with no way of listening to music!).