back to article Mystery chip found inside talking iPod Shuffle's earphones

Discovery of an as-yet-unidentified chip inside a dissected pair of new iPod Shuffle earphones has sparked rumours that the control-less player can only be driven by Apple-approved cans. iPod Shuffle 3G The mystery chip's located underneath the controller's three buttons The chip – which carries the marking “8A83E3” on its …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
Coat

Apple....

I'm pretty sure this is people just making conspiracy theries, but hey, it would not surprise me if Apple did indeed try this on.

0
0

3rd parties

Surely if 3rd party companies have already produced alternate headphones for the new ipod, they must work with it? And so either the chip isn't required or is something that they have fitted into the new ones?

0
0
Bronze badge
Boffin

Alternatives

"However, that hasn’t stopped third-party firms, such as Scosche Industries, from developing alternative cans for the new Shuffle"

Surely that proves that this is no more than a simple encoder - after all, without adding pins to the plug, there is no way to control the shuffle with the old-fashioned open/closed circuit type of thing - that would short out the audio.

0
0

What is there...

...about this piece of blatant, baseless speculation that qualifies it as news?

0
0

Yet another reason...

...why my music player is not an iPod.

I like devices that are not tied to the same brand headphones, computer connector, computer software, etc.

0
0
Black Helicopters

If it was anyone else...

How silly, it's not for IP protection.

It contains subliminal messages that are played backwards under the music, things like 'Steve is God', ' Now buy an iPhone', 'These are not the MP3s you are looking for' etc. How else to explain the rabid Apple fanbois?

0
0
Dead Vulture

Bollocks

"That said, it's entirely possible that the chip is simply there to ensure that in-line single-, double- and triple-clicks are signalled to the player"

Indeed. But don't let that get in the way of your desire for a sensationalist story full of wild speculation.

I stopped reading Slashdot because of this kind of crap. Please don't let the Register go the same way.

0
0
g e
Silver badge

True?

If so that's utter arse... aren't Apple renowned for providing shitty headphones as standard?

Someone get a 'scope on the audio output of the new player to see if it's providing some kind of HF AC power to the chips at somewhere above human hearing range. Or send me a free one and I'll do it ;o) (player, not 'scope.. I got a 'scope)

0
1
Thumb Down

Breaking News - Electronic Device contains IC

So, this article is really just a bunch of speculation based on the shocking discovery of a chip inside a electronic control?

0
0
Anonymous Coward

either way

get your tin foil hats out

0
0
Alien

It's true purpose

is to link you direct to the CIA mind control satellite....

0
0
Bod

Rubbish buds

Well if Apple want to lock consumers into rubbish ear phones, that's their problem.

Or maybe it's a tactic to reduce the quality of iTunes downloads as decent third party phones will show up the flaws.

0
0
Thumb Down

It's Mind Control!

I think you'll find that the chip in question puts in a subliminal message that forces the wearer to buy the next piece of over-priced tat that Steve Jobs' stylists think looks pretty.

0
0
Alien

It's the mind-control implant!

No wonder we couldn't find anything when we opened up Apple fanbois' empty skulls to look for a chip there - they were using the iPods to control them all along! Obvious really now you think about it.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

PFM?

Report's a bit vague, but I would imagine there to be SOME form of digital shenanigans within the cable. How else are you going to translate a button press into 1, 2 or 3 clicks? (incidentally, doesn't this sound like a rotary telephone? Progress eh!)

Unless of course Apple are using Pure F'n Magic to translate the buttons into commands in the Shuffle.

Next thing you know, they'll discover a circuit board, flash ram and a battery inside the Shuffle itself...

0
0
Thumb Down

What a load of cobblers!

Perhaps it might have been better had the writer actually done some research and found out what the chip was for, rather than spouting a load of unfounded and certainly unsubstantiated propellor-head speculation.

Frankly, the content of the article adds nothing beyond what's communicated by the headline. It could just as easily (and equally as validly) have claimed that the chip was a mind-control device to link Apple fanbois' minds directly to Jobs's.

No, I'm not an Apple fanboi - the only Apple product I've owned is a G4 Mac Mini. I'd just like to see some better journalism than this at El Reg.

0
0
Dom

Well, yeah...

Photos on the Scosche story show five connectors on the minijack. That'll be three for the audio, and assuming you don't want to mix your digital and analogue grounds, a single serial pair for the control signals. So you've pretty much *got* to have some sort of microcontroller there to encode the three buttons - or at any rate it's no surprise, for those about to point at all sorts of whacky analogue multiplexing schemes.

0
0
Stop

hmm, enough with the bashing folks, it's all over the net already

i've seen several new stories from different sites quoting headphone manufacturers as sources stating that the chip is there for authentication purposes and that licencingfrom apple will be requied to produce 3rd party headphones for the new shuffle.

check out ilounge and engadget for more info, but it's not something that el reg is making up, so quit bashing them.

0
0
Ash
Dead Vulture

@Rik Hemsley

Ironic, really. I find myself reading SlashDot more than The Register now, as the community is far more diverse and involved. You can get opinion from people who know exactly what's going on, from lawyers to physicists to PHBs.

At least you can filter out the Lester Haynes's on /. by browsing at +4

0
0
Coat

iDRM

Apple has gone way beyond taking the piss.

Fanboys are now the beaten wife pathetically defending their husband:

"But he says he loves me!"

I'll just get my non-fruit-related MP3 player.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

iLounge were right

It's a chip then, not a resistor and hence this iPod cannot be used with normal devices unless you pay extra for a special cable.

What a piece of junk.

0
0
Silver badge

...five connectors

If there is a chip, there must be some form of multiplexing going on because it will need some power. I suggest that common ground, left, right, power, and control signal. But there are tricks with variable DC offsets that could be applied, and it is possible to use one line for both power and control signal, but common ground would be easier.

0
0
E

Macaddicts

Could this not be a new mechanism by which Jobs' mob will control the minds of their slaves?

0
0
Thumb Down

Erm?

What's to stop me from cutting the cable from the controller to the phones and attaching a jack inline? If Apple were going to slip in some sort of chip to tie the phones to the player they would have put the chip in the ear buds not in the controller.

Please think before typing.

Oh and one for Wize. My iPod is not "tied to the same brand headphones, computer connector, computer software, etc." what is there about an iPod that suggests to you that it would be tied in this way? It works perfectly happilly with my Sennheiser phones, Compaq laptop, Linux OS and RhythmBox software. The only thing that is Apple specific is the cable and since this came with the iPod I can't see it as a problem, even if I try to emulate your tinfoil hat thinking.

0
0

shame

It would be a great shame if this turns out to be the case, especially having made such great strides in binning iTunes drm

0
0

re: hmm, enough with the bashing folks, it's all over the net already

No it is FUD as the only source they are quoting is the single source of an ilounge article that does not prove anything other than a chip is included within the headphones cable and that apple is licensing the chip to manufacturers probable so it can be labelled ipod shuffle compatible.

i have read that there is a manufacturer source that says it is an authentication chip but the meaning of this wording is very vague in the area of electronic communication. i bet the chip is still a simple encoder as many other posts have pointed out and the shuffle will not work if the exact sequence of signals are received. Furthermore i think the output can easily be intercepted and duplicated in a 3rd part chip.

in summary this is not a apple trying to lockdown the shuffle but simply a solution to the problem of too many functions on a remote cable!

0
0
Stop

Doctorow's FUD machine runs wild

Cory Doctorow and an EFF buddy concocted this and got it all over Boing Boing and from there most of the internet without even doing the bare minimum of investigation. Which they didn't do because they didn't want to find out there was nothing in their conspiracy theory before they had started the internet rolling on this.

Turns out it is just a controller chip for the buttons and you only have to apply for a license to use it in you product if you want the "designed for iPod" sticker on your product. There is no encryption involved so reverse engineering is fair game. Boing Boing are already well into disaster recovery mode (Doctorow is no where to be seen mind) and blaming everyone else for their lack of journalistic integrity. Which I guess is to be expected as they are just a bunch of bloggers and not proper journalists. Not like you guys. ;)

But don't feel too bad though. Half the internet has fallen for it. It will all be brushed under the carpet and forgotten about by tomorrow and nobody will mention it again. Then everyone will sit back and wait for the Copyleft Demagogue to issue another call to arms.

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.

Forums