In praise of Apple’s iPod shuffle

“You may wonder why Apple is still selling the iPod shuffle. After all, when you can have an iPhone that runs apps, takes photos, records and plays HD video, and uses GPS to give you directions—or an iPod touch with most of those features—why keep selling a tiny little device that does nothing more than play audio?” Kirk McElhearn writes for Macworld. “Because the iPod shuffle plays audio and nothing more.”

“I’ve owned several iPod shuffles over the years,” McElhearn writes. “I often use my iPhone to listen to audio, but I still use the shuffle to listen to music or audiobooks when I walk, either outdoors or on my home treadmill.”

McElhearn writes, “It’s still very popular with people who use it when they’re active…”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: When walking or running, either outdoors or on our home treadmills, we use our Apple Watches to listen to music, of course. (And, we can even see the names of the artists and songs!)

With Apple Watches on our wrists, we can’t think of a single reason why we’d ever touch an iPod shuffle ever again, much less buy one. Oh, wait, we have one: If you’re building a sand castle and you need to listen to audio while doing do, you could clip the iPod shuffle to your shirt or cap and spare your Apple Watch from the abrasive sand and salt water. Here’s another: If you need some Taylor Swift while tunneling out of the federal pen with a spoon you stole from the prison cafeteria, you might want to go with an iPod shuffle instead. One more biggie: Audiobooks and podcasts aren’t currently compatible with Apple Watch, but they are with iPod shuffle. So, there’s your main use case! (Also, of course, it’s perfect for kids and costs much less than an iPhone and an Apple Watch.)

(Maybe with watchOS 2, audiobooks and podcasts will come to Apple Watch, too).

For our Apple Watches’ Bluetooth headphones, we chose JayBird BlueBuds X Sport Bluetooth Headphones in Midnight Black. They work perfectly, stay securely in our ears while running, are sweat resistant, and they sound just fine during runs and while working out (better than many wired headphones we’ve tested).

Why Apple’s watchOS 2 is brilliant news for runners – June 13, 2015
How to calibrate your Apple Watch for improved Workout and Activity accuracy – June 4, 2015
How to store, listen to, and remove music from your Apple Watch – May 6, 2015
Running with the Apple Watch: Yes, you can leave your iPhone behind – May 1, 2015
For runners: The lightest possible Apple Watch / Apple Band combo – March 11, 2015


  1. Maybe Apple still sells them because they’re profitable. Wow. There’s a thought. Profit. I usually agree with most MDN takes, but this time, they’re off the mark, and even insulting. I’ve got a 6th generation nano that I still use, and will continue to use until it dies. Why stop using it? I spent over $100 on it and it still works.

  2. Shuffles are a great little product. The only fault at this point is the capacity 2GB – why?
    Apart from their size and the many advantages mentioned above they also have the plus of NOT having a camera. There are many locations that cameras on devices are just not allowed.
    It seems MDN commenter leads a very sheltered / closeted / pampered life.

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