We all know that when you buy certain content from the iTunes store that it will come with some digital rights management. That’s expected and generally understood, but did you know that the Apple hardware itself could come with some DRM protection?
As it turns out, the in-line controls for the new iPod Shuffle come with their own form of proprietary protection. In order to use a set of headphones as the external controls on your new shuffle, those headphones need to be equipped with a special Apple authentication chip. Yup, they have to be Apple-approved to get past that “DRM” protection.
The thinking, I assume, is that Apple wants a piece of the action for every set of headphones sold for the new iPod shuffle. This way, random third party manufacturers can’t just go around and sell unapproved headphones. Further still, you can’t use a third party remote control device either, because that would need to have the Apple authentication chip too.
To make matters even more frustrating, the authentication chip is not yet available for accessory makers, so you’re stuck with the bundled headphones until they pony up the money for the chip. Shucks.