Sunday, July 25, 2010

Trying to fix the ipod shuffle

Several weeks ago my wife got me an ipod shuffle. I was really excited because I thought it would be great for running.

I ran for many years without any music (unless you count the cadence we sang in the Army). When I started running again last December, I would listen to music on my iphone. However, as my runs got longer and I got sweatier, I began to get concerned about the wear and tear on my iphone. So I decided to look for something new.

The ipod shuffle seemed like the perfect choice. Not only was it compact, but I could easily transfer my iphone music to my new ipod using my mac without having to mess with file conversions, new software, etc.

Unfortunately, the ipod shuffle has been a bit of a disappointment. The ipod shuffle is very sensitive to moisture, which makes it a poor choice for running. The problem seems to be with the headphones. The ipod controls are on a switch that is built into the headphone wires. The problems are well-documented across the internet (just try googling something like "ipod shuffle sweat"). Apparently if that switch gets just a bit of moisture, the ipod starts to mess up or just shuts down - which is what's been happening with mine.

The possible fixes range from duct tape to "get a different music player." I decided to try the duct tape solution.

I can't remember where I saw this, or I would gladly give credit. But basically the idea is to cover the switch with duct tape. You have to keep the tape loose enough around the switch so that it can still be pressed and spring back. Other than that, it's pretty straight-forward. Just create a (mostly) water-tight seal around the switch with the duct tape.

I'll give this a try during my run tonight and I'll report back on how it works. I'm hopeful it will do the trick, because the options only get more expensive from here.


  1. Hi Brian,
    Thanks for stopping by the Turtles blog today and contributing a quote to Monday Motivation. Much appreciated!

    What a bummer about the ipod shuffle. Hopefully, the Apple folks are listening! (I suspect they stay tuned in to bloggers everywhere!) Who knows? Maybe they'll send you a newer model to review. :)

    BTW: To this day, when I hear cadence, it's music to my ears (USN vet, here!)... so, I DO think cadence counts as music!!

    Have a great day, and if you've been visiting for a while, thanks for leaving a comment today, so I could return the gesture and now keep up with your running journey, too. Nice to meet you.


  2. p.s. ~ just noticed your unicorn more 'faith' message for me! (just read an analogy w/ unicorns in Seth Godin's "Tribes" this weekend. Fantastic!

  3. Thanks Robin, nice to meet you too!

  4. Ugg, I have the exact same issues as you. I'm just testing out the new sony walkman which is water "resistant". The cleaning instructions say to just wash it with water!!

    RE: Team Zombie. I'm not sure, but I assume it has something to do with Zombie Runner. It is huge within the ultra trail running community