Apple iPod shuffle secret revealed: inspection shows five extra contacts on USB plug

“Close inspection of the [Apple iPod shuffle’s] USB plug reveals that there is something going on here… A normal USB plug has 4 contacts (5 counting the shield), but this one seems to have 5 extra,” Chipmunk International reports on a page they have posted that shows an iPod shuffle’s dissection. “There seems so be a secret extra something built into the iPod shuffle that can interface via the extra contacts hidden in the USB plug… This iPod shuffle is brand new and has not been plugged into anything since leaving the factory. Yet the middle of the 5 extra contacts has clearly been used. So whatever it is, the manufacturer is using the middle pin in the factory.”

Full article, with images here.

MacDailyNews Take: Calling all USB experts plug design experts! Any ideas and/or explanations?



  1. I would really like it if these were outputs, either digital or analog. I would love for a car audio company to put out a head unit that lets you easily pop/eject an iPod shuffle right into the dash. You can currently use the shuffle via RF or miniplug, but these cables are larger than the shuffle itself.

    Alpine, Aiwa…AC Delco?

  2. I don’t have a shuffle yet and so am not sure how it all works. Can you normally play music thru the USB like you can thru the dock connector in an iPod? If that is not a function yet maybe they are planning on having it so you could like just plug it into your car stereo and charge and play at the same time. No car stereos have this kind of connector yet but Apple could be anticipating.

  3. apple does not manufacture its products.
    it used a chip from a company that makes the chips for other uses. company a uses parts 1,2,4; company b uses 2,3,5, apples uses part 1.

    there are no secret or hidden uses for it.

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