New iPod Shuffle DRM chip – not.

“Paranoia strikes deep…”

It seems that Boing Boing gadgets found (gasp!) a chip lurking in the 3rd generation iPod shuffle headphone controller. Donning their tinfoil hats they then proceeded to speculate it was a DRM chip, preventing non-approved headphones from working with the Shuffle. Could this be the start of Apple using its 70% of the MP3 player market to crush the headphone industry?

Erm… No.

The craziness even spread as far as the usually more sensible Macintouch, where a user’s post of a link to BoingBoing caused mention of the authentication chip to be rolled into their Shuffle review.

Fortunately after a bit more digging some rationality seems to have prevailed. Yes, you still have to license it from Apple, but on the plus side it means you can sell your wares to all the iPod Shuffle owners out there.

Of course, the Shuffle still starts playing through plain old stereo headphones when you plug them in.