Synching my iPod Shuffle (4th generation) updates the Last Played column in iTunes, and it looks as though the updated value matches closely to the time I played the song on the Shuffle. But ... how does the Shuffle know? Does it have a clock? If it has a clock, does it have other stuff?

  • 1
    Don't know about the 4th gen (why would it not have a clock?), but the first gen shuffle (which did not have one) used the time that you sync'd with iTunes as an approximation. So if you sync'd daily it would at least have the date right.
    – Thilo
    Dec 19 '10 at 23:27
  • It would not have a clock because a clock is a clock consumes battery, and with no user-visible interface to read the clock's time, set it for Daylight Savings vs Standard, etc. it is a rather rarified instrument. I remember the earlier model Shuffles using synchronization time as Last Played, so I was surprised to see the 4G doing something more precise. And unsung. Dec 20 '10 at 1:54
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    Just a guess: it might be storing not the current time, but an offset time—i.e., 28 hours ago or some such. Then when you sync, it figures out what the date & time was, based on the computer's current settings.
    – Dori
    Dec 20 '10 at 6:20
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    My money is on it having a clock - computers just use them. Otherwise how would it know when to go to sleep / turn itself off / get started on dinner? I'd say it has a clock (like nearly every computer based device) that loosely syncs with iTunes. If it doesn't have a clock then I'm with Dori, it's got to have a timer of some description.
    – glenstorey
    Dec 20 '10 at 6:32
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    "If it doesn't have a clock then I'm with Dori, it's got to have a timer of some description. " And I'd say that still counts as a clock.
    – Thilo
    Dec 21 '10 at 4:46

You can find some information about the guts of an iPod Shuffle here.
Also because the selling point of a Shuffle is price (and portability) while still maintaining the Apple quality I don't think Apple would put much more components into it than what is absolutely necessary.

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