With the rise of Spotify and streaming music came the slow slide toward obscurity of the iPod Shuffle, one of our most beloved music gadgets.
Before streaming, the Shuffle was perfect for everyone who wanted to listen to music while working out. It was tough, cheap, easy-to-use, and had enough storage space. But in a world where many people don’t “buy” digital downloads anymore, the market for the Shuffle is shrinking.
Now a company called Mighty Audio is trying to resurrect the Shuffle for the Spotify era, and has launched a Kickstarter to build a tiny Shuffle clone that you can fill with “offline” Spotify playlists.
Before launching the Kickstarter, Mighty Audio had been talking informally with Spotify for about a year, cofounder Anthony Pu tells Business Insider.
While part of this dialogue has helped the team optimize the product, the other part was, presumably, to make sure they wouldn't get slapped with a lawsuit for the “Mighty” looking like an official Spotify product. The companies don’t have a formal partnership.
Here are the details
Pu says the Mighty will cost $79 and have 4GB of storage (recently raised from 2GB). This is enough for a few days of music — the current Apple iPod Shuffle gives you 2GB for $50. At launch, Pu says the Mighty will support five hours of continuous music playback.
The Mighty will powered by Android and use Bluetooth to sync playlists from your smartphone (your phone itself doesn’t have to be running Android, however). You’ll mark off which playlists to sync using the Mighty app, which connects to Spotify and closely resembles it. You have to have a Spotify premium subscription for the device to work, and the Might will count as one of the three offline devices you are allowed to connect to your Spotify account.
Once you’ve synced, you'll be ready to go. There will a button on the Mighty that lets you switch between playlists (and which will "read" the names to you in your headphones). This will sit alongside the standard shuffle controls (next song, pause, play, volume).
The Mighty, unlike the actual Shuffle, will also work with Bluetooth headphones.
Pu showed Business Insider the current shell of the Mighty, and a "proof of concept" device that ran the guts on a board.
Now the company has to raise money to put those two pieces together, and then fill the orders from Kickstarter ($150,000 with 26 days to go, as of writing).
Pu says Mighty Audio is open to the idea of Mighty supporting streaming services other than Spotify, but he says that right now, the team is focused on Spotify. The color scheme makes that pretty clear.
And while the Kickstarter is selling pre-orders for $80, Pu hopes to get down to $50, similar to the cost of Apple's iPod Shuffle.
Here is what the Mighty looks like out in the wild (keep in mind this is just the shell):