Accessible portable music device: Can you suggest an iTunes-compatible MP3 player for people with low vision?

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Can you suggest an iTunes-compatible MP3 player for people with low vision?


My husband is a life-long musician, but has been losing his sight. He loves listening to music and has been using an iPod shuffle to play his favourite tunes. Recently, however, his iPod shuffle broke and unfortunately Apple no longer makes these easy-to-use MP3 devices. Can you recommend another iTunes-compatible portable music player that is accessible for those with vision challenges?

Our answer

You are right in that Apple no longer makes new iPod shuffles. However, if your husband likes this device and finds that it works well for him, he may be able to find a refurbished or used one online. Below are direct links to some iPod shuffles available for purchase on Amazon Canada, which range in price from $130 to $250 (CDN), plus a shipping fee:

You may also consider purchasing an iPod touch, which is the only iPod that Apple still manufactures and sells. As noted in an article published in The Guardian entitled Are there any good portable MP3 players for blind and visually impaired people?, the iPod touch offers a number of features that may make it usable by those with low vision. For example, it offers VoiceOver screen reader and Voice Control, which recognize commands such as shuffle, pause and next song. You can purchase the iPod touch, which typically costs between $200 and $400 (CDN) at a number of retailers, including BestBuy Canada, Walmart Canada and The Source

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