The iPod shuffle’s death marks the end of an era for physical buttons

This week, Apple announced that it would be unceremoniously killing off the iPod nano and the iPod shuffle, two of the last vestiges of the iPod era. While the nano may have been the spotlight product (quite literally stealing the show from the Motorola ROKR when they were announced alongside one another), the shuffle has always been a sort of black sheep in the iPod family, remaining frozen in time while the rest of Apple’s lineup leapt forward into the future.

While Apple would iterate slightly on the shuffle’s design over the years — including the incredibly puzzling third-generation shuffle, which killed playback controls entirely — the product was a constant in…

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