As downloads tail off, Apple kills its old i-players

As downloads tail off, Apple kills its old i-players


norman lebrecht

July 28, 2017

Apple Inc has axed the iPod Shuffle and iPod Nano because they are incompatible with its new streaming service.

It looks like downloading is being written off.

The iPod Shuffle and iPod Nano are offshoots of Steve Jobs’s 2001 iPod, itself the progenitor of the iPhone. They play downloads from iTunes, and not much else.

Anyone still use them?


  • mr oakmountain says:

    Well, I use them a lot, however not for playing downloads, but for playing my own CDs which I convert to mp3 on my PC (… i know, rediculously old style …).
    The i-tunes programme still works reasonably well for mp3 conversion and moving the files to the player, it is however a bit of a bother, trying to make it do what you want, not what it wants. The amazing thing about these apple products is their long life, however the next player of my choice will be one where I can simply drag and drop mp3s onto the player or an sd card rather than having to do this whole apple “synchronisation” (thou shalt not transfer mp3s from one pc to another) business. Most people younger than me stream onto their mobiles anyway, so maybe mp3 players will become specialised articles for senior citizens …

  • Greg says:

    Most of this tech stuff eludes me, but I import my CDs into iTunes to load my trusty 160GB iPod Classic. I still have a Nano, too, which is used in the same manner. I’m not big into downloads, I don’t stream any audio, and I never use my phone for music. Now get off my lawn.

  • Augustine says:

    It is not just music. Audio books play on ipods, and downloads from Audible dot com have been getting a free ride on ipods for years. Apple is closing off the competition.

  • Used to use the I-Pod Nano, Classic & Shuffle. Now use a Fiio X1 DAP, sounds better and can hold a lot more music. Right now listening to the Takacs Quartet, Beethoven Early Quartets, got the Apple lossless files on the DA{ this morning, still filling up the 128 gig micro-card to capacity. The X1 sounds better than any of my ‘component’ digital players. Apple might have started the ball rolling, but companies like Fiio have far outstripped them in sound quality and ease of use. No contest.

  • J P Falcon says:

    As an owner of a number of iPod classics, they will never be out of date for me. Whether ripping cds for them or downloading mp3s from emusic, I will always find plenty of music to store on them. And now that I purchased a bluetooth adapter for the iPod Classic, it is even more versatile…

  • Byron says:

    My ipod shuffle was packed with mp3 classical music. I listened to music all the way from San Francisco, to Beijing and back and still had some battery left. It is my backup player now but I won’t get rid of it. I download and listen to DSD now.

    • Ana says:

      Is DSD any good? I mean, could you hear any real difference?

      • Byron says:

        DSD is much better than FLAC or MP3 of course and FLAC is better than ALAC. If you listen to classical or music which require high resolution then DSD is the only way to go although expensive and few providers. I converted all my CD to FLAC as there is no DSD converters. If you listen to rap or jazz you probably won’t notice any difference and might be waste of money to buy DSD player. I also have balanced headphones which have to be made or converted. Balanced players cost more money but you get a higher level of fidelity. DSD players have come down in price and you can get Chinese ones that cost around $100, little over. They won’t have balanced output but will play mp3, flac, alac, dsd, etc. The user interface is not as good as high end. Some very expensive DSD players are junk also like Hifiman.A DSD album runs about $23.