Today’s geek drama: That Apple’s (AAPL) new iPod shuffle headphones — which are the only play/pause/volume controls on the gadget — have a nefarious “DRM chip” inside them. This, in theory, could prevent other manufacturers from making iPod shuffle headphones. Or something.
Either way, it’s not true. Apple tells BoingBoing that there’s no encryption or authentication features on the chip. Instead, it’s just part of the standard “made for iPod” licensing system, whereby companies pay Apple for the right to advertise that their wares work with iPods.
That doesn’t mean that it’s going to be easy (or very cheap) to find headphones that can control the new iPod shuffle. But that’s the case any time technologies change (like the last time Apple changed the way the iPod remote/accessory system worked, moving it from near the headphone jack to the charging cable). In any case, as long as iPods (and the shuffle) continue to sell well, we expect many headphone companies to follow Apple’s lead.