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.

iTunes uses DisplayPort’s digital restrictions management

ArsTechnica reports that DisplayPort uses DPCP (the DisplayPort version of the evil HDCP) on iTunes purchased content. So if you want to watch that movie you bought off the iTunes store on an external display such as a projector or your 30 inch cinema display, you may not be able to, if you have any non-conforming display connected. Instead you see a dialogue proclaiming:

This movie cannot be played because a display that is not authorized to play protected movies is connected. Try disconnecting any displays that are not HDCP authorized

via MWJ

So one has to think this is likely to increase the probability that rather than downloading it from iTunes people will download the pirated torrent instead.