Sure Apple could have used a mini-B USB interface instead (the original shuffle used a full-sized USB connector, the original iPod used a standard firewire connector), but that would have been insufficiently greedy (aka unfair to Apple shareholders and stakeholders). Apple makes a zillion dollars off their ownership of the full sized iPod interface. They needed another proprietary connector for devices that are too small for the current iPod connector.
Grrrrrrr. This alone is reason enough to buy a Shuffle alternative -- if anyone would make one that played AAC encoded music. (Apple does not own AAC, they own FairPlay. Most iTunes users with any sense do not rely on FairPlay encoded music.)
Those of us who bit (I had a $50 certificate burning a hole in my pocket) really want a mini-USB adapter that would permanently sit on the base of the Shuffle. It would extend the Shuffle about 1 cm and would include both a mini-B connector, a insertion point for the earphones, and a small ring for string, chain, etc. Ideally it would let one charge the Shuffle and listen to it at the same time (if the Shuffle would allow that).
Maybe Griffin will make one for us -- if Apple lets them! I'm sure to do this legally one has to pay a license to Apple. For now (until Apple shuts them down?) there's a big honking full-sized USB connector from Incipio. The $6 price is right, but it is too big and too ugly for longterm use:
IncipioBud - USB adapter for the 2 Gen Apple iPod ShuffleIf Apple shuts out any US manufacturer (Griffin?) of the device we want, then maybe we'll see a black market in a future mini-B version. I'll buy this one for now!
Ken Tidwell (via Macintouch)
If Apple shuts out any US manufacturer (Griffin?) of the device we want, then maybe we'll see a lbac
Works for me - says the product is out of stock*, but the page/link, with images, etc. loads right up. However, using their search for 'IP-300' fails, as it does for other items that are also currently listed as OOS.IncipioBud - USB adapter for the 2 Gen Apple iPod Shuffle
The IncipioBud allows you to easily connect a iPod Shuffle to any USB port without having to use the relatively large iPod Shuffle Dock (included with your iPod Shuffle)... The IncipioBud is the perfect travel companion, taking up virtually no space in a bag or pocket. No need to haul around the Dock and cables that came with your iPod Shuffle, just pack the IncipioBud and a user all set. The IncipioBud also comes with a convenient lanyard loop on the side so you can attach it to backpack or laptop case.
This tiny adapter weighs in at only 5.6 grams and measures a mere 47mm X 16mm!
* No Cables or Clumsy Cradle to take with you
* Works with Both Mac and PC
* Allows you to Charge off of one of our USB charging solutions
This Google search phrase '2g shuffle usb dongle' returns several by other outfits..., including an endgadget article for one from a vendor by the name of 'Thought Out', which discusses how Apple legal wolves were after them over something iPod related back in 2005.
kw: adapter, converter, dongle, USB, mini-B, iPod Shuffle, 2G, 2nd generation, 2gen