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MP3 Players

Apple tries to patent iPod Shuffle speaker

The iPod Shuffle could soon be getting a speaker, if a recent Apple patent is to be believed. And yes, we agree, it would sound awful.

Never one to rest on its laurels, Apple is looking to build a speaker into its lower-end iPods. That's according to a patent application, reports Mac Rumors.

The speaker would be built into the clip of the nano or Shuffle. And maybe it's not quite as crackers an idea as it sounds…

According to the patent application, a recessed portion within the clip would house a piezoelectric speaker. A small domed or dimpled cover over it would produce acoustic effects, amplifying the music and stopping it from sounding like a bee in an envelope. It sounds like the same principle as the AirCurve Play speaker, so shouldn't drain the battery either. Result.

The speaker would need to be connected to the main part of the iPod, and Apple plans to use thin, flexible wires or microstrips routed alongside or through the hinge of the clip.

Yet we still think any speaker that size would sound pretty terrible. It's annoying enough being on the bus with someone blaring tunes out of their phone without the sound being tinny. Apple doesn't specify what purpose the speaker would have, so it might give beeps and feedback rather than play music (but good luck hearing them with your headphones in).

The exploded view of the design also shows quite a large hole in the clip. Camera coming to the iPod nano, anyone?

The patent was filed in May 2010. Apple usually refreshes its iPod range at this time of year, but there was no mention of it at the iPhone event last month.

Would you want a speaker built into the iPod nano and Shuffle? Let us know on our Facebook page.