Today in Apple history: iPod shuffle randomizes our music

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The iPod shuffle did away with the display (and celebrated randomness).
The iPod shuffle did away with the display (and celebrated randomness).
Photo: Apple

January 11: Today in Apple history: iPod shuffle randomizes our music January 11, 2005: Steve Jobs introduces the world to iPod shuffle, an entry-level music player that lacks a display. The device randomly shuffles the audio files it holds, but lets users easily skip songs they don’t like.

The first iPod to use flash memory, the iPod shuffle plugs directly into a computer using onboard USB 2.0 and comes in 512MB and 1GB configurations. Oh, and it’s smaller than a pack of gum — and weighs less than an ounce!

The ‘iPod shuffle of Spotify’ is back and better than ever

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Mighty Vibe 1
The Mighty Vibe is the iPod Shuffle but... well, not.
Photo: Mighty Vibe

It’s been a few years since the iPod shuffle was last updated, but there are still plenty of fans out there with fond memories of Apple’s tiniest iPod music player.

If you fall into that camp, you might want to check out the Mighty, a music player that’s basically an iPod shuffle for Spotify. The latest version, called the Mighty Vibe, brings increased battery life and an improved Bluetooth antenna. (It also boasts a refreshed companion app.)

Apple discontinues iPod nano and iPod shuffle

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iPod nano
Apple pulls the plug on its old-school music players.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple pulled the iPod nano and iPod shuffle from its website today, confirming that the models have been discontinued.

The iPod touch, which just received a storage boost, remains as the company’s only dedicated music player.

RED or dead? Apple’s best and worst PRODUCT(RED) devices

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Which Apple PRODUCT(RED) product has us seeing red?
Which Apple PRODUCT(RED) products have you seeing red?
Image: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The new PRODUCT(RED) iPhone is the latest limited-edition Apple product to turn a crimson paint job into a pile of green, all for a worthy charity.

Apple got involved 11 years ago with The Global Fund to benefit AIDS programs in Africa. In that time, Apple has raised millions of dollars for the charity — and released some pretty sweet special-edition products to boot.

Here are our picks for the best Apple PRODUCT(RED) products (plus, the absolute worst of all time).

The value of old iPods could be music to your ears

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Tony Hawk, Madonna and No Doubt are just a few of the names whose signatures graced Special Edition models of the iPod Classic.
Tony Hawk, Madonna and No Doubt are just a few of the names whose signatures graced Special Edition models of the iPod Classic.
Photo: Ivan Chernov

Cult of Mac 2.0 bugNick Wellings listens to music on his iPhone, preferring not to disturb any one of his 108 iPods.

He figures his collection would hold 231,000 songs, but only one has ever been touched or seen the light of day. They remain factory sealed in their boxes.

The iPod’s status as an icon was brief but seismic, a sleek and at times colorful trigger of upheaval to the music industry in the middle of the century’s first decade. Soon the iPhone with a media player, that grew more powerful with each generation, relegated the iPod to junk drawers, closets and boxes, next to that cassette-tape-playing Sony Walkman.

Beloved iPod shuffle is reborn for the Spotify era

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Mighty Clipped and plugged in
The new Mighty wants to bring Spotify to those with an active lifestyle.
Photo: Mighty Audio

Today, the iPod shuffle you’ve been hoping for is getting a shot at life — no thanks to Apple. Mighty Audio is launching its Kickstarter campaign for the new Mighty streaming music player, a small clip-on device that can stream Spotify wherever you go without having to use your smartphone. A portable, affordable music player with streaming capabilities? Yes please.

Apple unveils new iPods in six colors

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iPod, therefore I am.
iPod, therefore I am.
Photo: Apple

After a short amount of time offline, the Apple Online Store is back up and running — selling a refreshed line of iPods, featuring some feature upgrades, and a nifty new gold color option.

Apple has released new iPod shuffle, nano, and touch devices, representing the first major upgrade for the product lines since way back in 2012. While the shuffle and nano both get the new gold color — alongside five other color options — the biggest upgrade is reserved for the iPod touch.

Vibrant new iPod colors revealed in iTunes update

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apple-ipod-itunes-leaked-colors
Apple revealed some new iPod colors in the iTunes 12.2 update.
Photo: Apple

You may have written off the iPod as something Apple doesn’t care to breathe new life into by this point, but the iPod is exactly what appears to be getting an update. Alongside the release of iTunes 12.2 to support Apple Music, some users quickly discovered that images of the iPod family within the app feature new, unreleased colors.

‘It’s been way too long’ since Apple updated these products

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Apple's new improved TV could be coming as early as this fall.
Will there be a new Apple TV next week? If so, it's been a long time coming. Photo: Robert S. Donovan/Flickr CC
Photo: Robert S. DonovanFlickr CC

The tagline for next week’s Apple media event is “It’s been way too long.” While that might be nothing more than a sarcastic nod to the fact that Cupertino announced the Apple Watch and iPhone 6 just last month, it could be a cryptic indication that we’ll see updates to some of the company’s neglected products.

Rumors suggest new iPads and Macs will share the stage at Apple’s October 16 event, and we’ll probably get OS X Yosemite’s release date and more talk about iOS 8 and Apple Pay, but what about the rest of the product lineup?

Here’s a look at Apple products currently languishing in update hell, along with some rumors and speculation about what the future might hold.