iPod shuffle lacks AIFF, Apple Lossless support | iLounge News


iPod shuffle lacks AIFF, Apple Lossless support

iLounge has discovered that Apple’s newly announced iPod shuffle does not offer support for high-quality AIFF or Apple Lossless audio files. According to Apple’s technical specifications page for the iPod shuffle, the tiny player only plays AAC, MP3, MP3 VBR, Audible and WAV, unlike the iPod mini, 4G iPod and iPod photo models. This omission joins the player’s lack of screen, Dock Connector port, and accessory port. It is not currently known if the iPod shuffle was intentionally crippled by Apple to not allow users to play these two high-quality formats, or if the technology inside the device simply not capable of handling them.

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I dont think anyone would need it. so, why bother?

Posted by frankthetank on January 12, 2005 at 5:05 PM (CST)


Could always be that they figured if a consumer only wanted to listen to the, what, 10-20 songs that would fit in a half gig of space, they’d use a CD instead.  Of course, they do support wav, but they probably kept that in there so you could listen to things recorded with one of the ipod voice recorders.

Posted by JCO on January 12, 2005 at 5:07 PM (CST)


WAV is a substitute for AIFF.

Anyway, if you wanna know if it’s crippled or the technology is incapable, open it up and tell us!

Posted by Taphil on January 12, 2005 at 5:15 PM (CST)


the shuffle would fill up way to fast using AIFF

Posted by podskater on January 12, 2005 at 5:17 PM (CST)


The new version of iTunes (4.7.1) will automatically transcode your music files down to 128 bit AAC files as it transfers them onto an iPod Shuffle.  Doesn’t seem to be much of a problem if your music is encoded as Apple Lossless or AIFF, you can just store a lot more music on your Shuffle.


Posted by chis on January 12, 2005 at 5:47 PM (CST)


Using AIFF would only let you put 10 songs on an iPod shuffle.  Seems that wouldn’t be very practical.  I don’t see a problem here…

Posted by m. sherman on January 12, 2005 at 6:00 PM (CST)


chris is correct, the new version of iTunes will take AIFF and Apple Lossless files and auto transcribe them to 128 kbp AAC files during the sync, with no changes to the orginial files within iTunes. while of course the quality will not be the same, users CAN “seemlessly” sync those files without having to manually create duplicates in other formats.

i think apple did this mainly to avoid situations where only a handful of songs would fit on the much more limited memory of a iPod shuffle.

Posted by canyonblue737 on January 12, 2005 at 6:02 PM (CST)


I agree that it make little sense to use large-sized files on a player with limited storage capacity.  But if that’s the thinking, it also makes only partial sense to allow the playback of WAV files at the same time denying users the opportunity to fully take advantage of their Apple Lossless files, which are only about half the size of comparable WAVs.  While I rarely use any of the large file formats, and likely won’t miss the capability, it does seem like the device is cheapened by the strategy.  More of a problem for me is the lack of an LCD screen.  Finally, Apple makes an AAC-friendly player I wouldn’t mind using in a dusty, dirty environment, but it’s got no display, and the dogma of dictating to the user how best to use the player (shuffle or playlist). Must mean us independant-thinking types who enjoy adjusting on the run (as I often do on my 4G) don’t count for much in a flash-based reality.

Guess my old, dinged up flashmem iRiver’s not going to be retired anytime soon.

Posted by flatline response on January 12, 2005 at 9:05 PM (CST)


The new version of iTunes (4.7.1) will automatically transcode your music files down to 128 bit AAC files

That’s a nice feature, especially for iTunes. Other advanced jukebox software has done something like this for a while now to deal with limited storage players. With Media Center, for example, you can define transcoding profiles, where specific devices get specific transcode bitrates, or you can even manipulate them on a per-song, per-playlist, or per-smartlist basis. This is useful for a case where, for example, you will transcode “pop” music down to 96, keep classical at a minimum of 128, but will accept spoken word at 64 Kbps.

Posted by Demosthenes on January 12, 2005 at 9:38 PM (CST)


Anyone who uses the Shuffle really wont care about sound quality, so there isn’t a need for Lossless quality audio.

If I am running/working out/waiting in line at the Jiffy Lube, then how the heck could I tell if a file was AIFF or not?!

Posted by mg196 on January 13, 2005 at 7:34 AM (CST)


The whole point of the shuffle would seem to be a couple hours worth of music while working out or commuting,  I think the sound quality for that is fine. Setting up a playlist and just letting it go is ok, and it saves the pod for getting beat up.

Posted by Philip Schy on January 13, 2005 at 8:00 AM (CST)


I agree that the omission of large file support makes lots of sense for the iShuffle. It is simply too small to have that be very practical.

The lack of a screen is kind of a plus, really. With so few songs, a display just adds fragility (something to scratch) and I am sure that 90% of users won’t care. They will treat it like a radio and just listen to “the next song” without bothering to look.

In my own informal survey of other iPod owners, I find that easily 70% don’t even use playlists. They just “shuffle the Library”. This tells me that the iShuffle is about right for that crowd.

Most people have very small music collections (100 CDs or less) and more or less uniform tastes, which further argues for such a simple device.

Most iPodloungers probably don’t fall into this category:-). I use playlists all the time to keep my varied tastes from colliding on the iPod with the 3000+ tunes and compositions that are usually on it. For me, the iShuffle is appealing as an “extra” music player for rougher use.

Posted by BradPDX on January 13, 2005 at 11:07 AM (CST)


It is simply too small to have that be very practical

Odd, then, that it supports WAVs.

Posted by Demosthenes on January 13, 2005 at 11:22 AM (CST)


Apple obviously is encouraging people to NOT use lossless formats because it defeats the purpose of the machine.  It supports WAVs because it is a popular sound format (for voice recording and such)...but that doesn’t mean that Apple wants you to put like 10 songs on the iPod Shuffle.

Posted by VertigoLimit on January 13, 2005 at 12:14 PM (CST)


Yeah. It seems like this is a no-brainer. Making the iPod Shuffle support large formats is kind of stupid. Wav is understandable because it’s so popular for non-music files, but AIFF and Apple Lossless would just make having a digital player pointless when the storage is that small.

Posted by Wilder_K_Wight on January 14, 2005 at 4:12 AM (CST)


The lack of support for Apple Lossless format is regretable.  Let the user decide how to use their memory. I wanted to use the iShuffle to do listening therapy for my kids which requires lossless repreduction and 10 songs would be fine.

Posted by Ed Musall on September 12, 2005 at 7:45 PM (CDT)

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