The iPod Shuffle Lives

My main machine at home runs Catalina. It’s nice. I’ve grown to like it, and despite losing 32-bit apps, I appreciate the direction Apple is taking the Mac (for the most part).

When I found my old iPod Shuffle at the bottom of a box of parts, I wondered if it worked. Plugging it in to my Mac had it verified and Music.app open in a flash. However, when I tried to sync music onto it, nothing. Other users have reported similar problems, a loss of functionality with Catalina. Maybe an old device like this is just not on Apple’s radar?

However, things are different on my Power Mac G5. iTunes still works. I was able to access the iTunes Store, download purchased music (since streaming music won’t load on these ol’ shuffles), and quickly sync a number of songs to the iPod. Easy peasy. Another reason to keep old tech around.

I do give credit to Apple for making sure iTunes is backwards compatible at least to Leopard. At some point, it will break, but for now, load up those old Shuffles and keep using them.

The iPod Shuffle is a great form factor. I dig the chewing gum size of the device, and it’s overall sturdiness. The thing still works. I imagine the battery life is less than it used to be, but it’s darn cool even in its aged state.

The only other issue I’ve had with the iPod Shuffle is that newer EarPods with the mic need to be plugged in carefully. Don’t push the jack all the way in. Otherwise, you end up with a weak, strange sound. Pull it out just a tad, and you still have a quality listening device for workouts or whatever.

Looks like various iPod Shuffles go for around $15 on eBay if you are in the market for one.

— Nathan

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