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Apple: No DRM in iPod Shuffle Earphones

Contrary to Internet speculation, there are no DRM controls embedded in the iPod shuffle's new earphones according to Apple spokespersons speaking to Macworld and Michael Gartenberg. The mystery chip uncovered by iLounge over the weekend is a control chip that is included in the Made for iPod licensing program, as opposed to an authentication or other DRM chip.

The issue arose when iLounge discovered a mystery chip embedded in the earphones. In an review of the iPod shuffle, iLounge said the chip imposed some sort of DRM controls controlling the use of headphones on the device, and called the situation a "nightmare scenario for long-time iPod fans.

It turns out, however, that the mystery chip is not so mysterious, and is merely the circuitry needed by a set of headphones or earphones to control the otherwise-controllerless iPod shuffle.

"In fact, it's not even authentication. It just gives us a way to control the iPod." Kevin Lee of Monster Cable told Macworld.

That means that developers could, in theory, develop a set of earphones without Apple's chip that would still control the iPod shuffle, but they would be doing so outside of Apple's Made for iPod umbrella.

Apple introduced the Made for iPod program that imposes a fee in exchange for the right to display a "Made for iPod" logo on the packaging for third party iPod accessories shortly after the iPod became a runaway success. The program covers devices that have iPod docks or are otherwise designed to work with iPods.

3 comments from the community.

You can post your own below.

geoduck said:

I just wandered out to iLounge. not only are they NOT retracting their earlier inaccurate story, they are making a big deal about how they are fighting the good fight and how the rest of the Mac Press is muzzled by Apple bullying

I have no patience for Foil Nat/National Enquiorer journalism. I won’t be going to iLounge any monger.


Lee Dronick said:

“I just wandered out to iLounge. not only are they NOT retracting their earlier inaccurate story, they are making a big deal about how they are fighting the good fight and how the rest of the Mac Press is muzzled by Apple bullying”

Sometimes it is all about the whining. I will check CNET and see if they are along similar lines


derpassante said:

If you read the iLounge review of the new shuffle you could tell he had a bug up his [email protected]@ about the shuffle.

Quote “iPod Shuffle 3G.  Worst ipod yet, by far”

I used to think that iLounge gave really good thoughtful reviews.  Their coverage new Shuffle is worthy of ZDNet.


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