March 29, 2006 9:28 AM PST

Apple offers volume limits for iPods

Apple Computer has released a free software update for some iPods that lets listeners set a maximum volume limit.

The free update, available for video iPods and all iPod Nano models, also includes a parental lock option. After setting the volume limit, parents can lock the setting with a combination code to prevent children from raising the maximum volume without their knowledge.

The move follows a string of news articles and research reports, including a recent hearing in Washington, warning people not to listen to their MP3 players at excessive volume levels for prolonged periods.

The Mac maker also faces a class-action lawsuit that charges the company of not taking adequate steps to prevent hearing loss among American iPod consumers, despite limiting the output of the devices to 100 decibels in France.

"With the increased attention (on digital music players), we want to offer customers an easy-to-use option to set their own personal volume limit," Greg Joswiak, Apple vice president of worldwide iPod product marketing, said in a statement.

iPod owners can go to Apple's Web site to get the software update. An Apple ID and password login are required to obtain the download.

iPod owners will also be prompted to download the upgrade when they connect to their computers via iTunes.

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24 comments

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Good Move
Now Apple has done a good job by providing this update, which was one of the requirements of the suit filed on behalf of John Kiel Patterson.
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.buckleupnow.com" target="_newWindow">http://www.buckleupnow.com</a>
Posted by itispals (56 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Good Move
Now Apple has done a good job by providing this update, which was one of the requirements of the suit filed on behalf of John Kiel Patterson.
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.buckleupnow.com" target="_newWindow">http://www.buckleupnow.com</a>
Posted by itispals (56 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Now if only they could develop software
To keep the people who didn't know repeat exposure loud noises can dammage your ears from breeding.
Posted by Bob Brinkman (556 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Now if only they could develop software
To keep the people who didn't know repeat exposure loud noises can dammage your ears from breeding.
Posted by Bob Brinkman (556 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Great decision
One can make a case that people should be responsible for their own hearing health.

However, the research shows that people are not paying much attention to how loud and how long they listen to music and how it will affect their ability to communicate in the future. At the very least, Apple is bringing attention to this through their update.

Terry Portis, Executive Director
Hearing Loss Association of America
Posted by tportis (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Great decision
One can make a case that people should be responsible for their own hearing health.

However, the research shows that people are not paying much attention to how loud and how long they listen to music and how it will affect their ability to communicate in the future. At the very least, Apple is bringing attention to this through their update.

Terry Portis, Executive Director
Hearing Loss Association of America
Posted by tportis (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Personal Responsbility Needed
I applaud Apple for this update, and I suspect it will be put to
good use. However, people need to take responsibility for their
own actions. And I don't think iPods are the cause of all hearing
loss, as people have been jammin to the music for years prior to
the iPod and other players coming on the market.

Maybe we should sue Rockford Fosgate for their amps and
speakers that kill eardrums inside the cars and outside to those
who are forced to listen. Point is, where do we stop? We stop
when we all take responsibility for what we do.

If you want to kill your ears, its fine by me. I will take care of my
ears, and you can take care of yours. Just don't sue Apple to
make them do it for me.
Posted by deanwaterman (10 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Personal Responsbility Needed
I applaud Apple for this update, and I suspect it will be put to
good use. However, people need to take responsibility for their
own actions. And I don't think iPods are the cause of all hearing
loss, as people have been jammin to the music for years prior to
the iPod and other players coming on the market.

Maybe we should sue Rockford Fosgate for their amps and
speakers that kill eardrums inside the cars and outside to those
who are forced to listen. Point is, where do we stop? We stop
when we all take responsibility for what we do.

If you want to kill your ears, its fine by me. I will take care of my
ears, and you can take care of yours. Just don't sue Apple to
make them do it for me.
Posted by deanwaterman (10 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Great...
Now if the will only fix the video bugs such as encoding h264 and it being extremely choppy on your iPod, or tagging your videos as TV shows in iTunes and having them disappear from your iPod index.
Posted by SeizeCTRL (1333 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Encoding Choppy?
I have not experienced that. I am using the original 499. MacMini
with 2gb Ram.
Posted by Thomas, David (1947 comments )
Link Flag
Great...
Now if the will only fix the video bugs such as encoding h264 and it being extremely choppy on your iPod, or tagging your videos as TV shows in iTunes and having them disappear from your iPod index.
Posted by SeizeCTRL (1333 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Encoding Choppy?
I have not experienced that. I am using the original 499. MacMini
with 2gb Ram.
Posted by Thomas, David (1947 comments )
Link Flag
Does that mean...
Does that mean we have to download a new version of iTunes, too, or just the iTunes updater?

Why is it that every time some tiny incremental "improvement" comes along for iTunes, we have to download the whole darn program from their website? Hasn't Apple ever heard of patching? Not everyone can stand to download 20-something megabyte files every month or so.
Posted by Christopher Hall (1205 comments )
Reply Link Flag
This has nothing to do with iTunes
It's an update of the iPod's software.
Posted by mvora (38 comments )
Link Flag
Does that mean...
Does that mean we have to download a new version of iTunes, too, or just the iTunes updater?

Why is it that every time some tiny incremental "improvement" comes along for iTunes, we have to download the whole darn program from their website? Hasn't Apple ever heard of patching? Not everyone can stand to download 20-something megabyte files every month or so.
Posted by Christopher Hall (1205 comments )
Reply Link Flag
This has nothing to do with iTunes
It's an update of the iPod's software.
Posted by mvora (38 comments )
Link Flag
What about cars?
Ok now that Apple has agreed to save our ears. When are the auto manufactures going to limit the speed that cars go? I think this will limit the amount of people the drunks kill when they get behind the wheel.
Posted by gbrooks1 (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
What about cars?
Ok now that Apple has agreed to save our ears. When are the auto manufactures going to limit the speed that cars go? I think this will limit the amount of people the drunks kill when they get behind the wheel.
Posted by gbrooks1 (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Take note Microsoft!
Bill should pay attention here: it was just a few months ago that the stories about "iPods causing hearing loss" surfaced (complete rubbish that has nothing to do with iPods and has been an issue for decades, but hype sells news stories) and Apple has responded with a fix. Meanwhile I can't get a patch for what everybody considers a serious and dangerous flaw in IE for a month...

I think this fix is kind of bogus in that it fixes a problem that doesn't exist, but the parent lock idea is novel and good. Limiting how loud a child can listen should be on every player...

disclaimer: I am not a Mac fan, don't own an iPod or use iTunes, but I have to respect the responsiveness of Apple on this. Perception is everything with consumers. Apple just gave the perception they care, even when they didn't really need to. Meanwhile this month I am feeling no love from MS.
Posted by skeptik (590 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Take note Microsoft!
Bill should pay attention here: it was just a few months ago that the stories about "iPods causing hearing loss" surfaced (complete rubbish that has nothing to do with iPods and has been an issue for decades, but hype sells news stories) and Apple has responded with a fix. Meanwhile I can't get a patch for what everybody considers a serious and dangerous flaw in IE for a month...

I think this fix is kind of bogus in that it fixes a problem that doesn't exist, but the parent lock idea is novel and good. Limiting how loud a child can listen should be on every player...

disclaimer: I am not a Mac fan, don't own an iPod or use iTunes, but I have to respect the responsiveness of Apple on this. Perception is everything with consumers. Apple just gave the perception they care, even when they didn't really need to. Meanwhile this month I am feeling no love from MS.
Posted by skeptik (590 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Who will install the patch??
Ok, the Volume patch appears to be available for people who are irresponsible enough to not know that they are listening to the music too loud. This would seem to include three groups. Teenagers, little kids, and stupid adults.

So, little kids, yeah, parents can help them out there with installing the patch, fine and good. But what about the other two groups?

The stupid adults are too stupid to realize that they are listening too loud, so they'll, by definition, be too stupid to know how to install the patch.

The teenagers, are most likely NOT stupid but are just rebellious in trying to 'tune out' the rest of the world by listening to their music loudly (as have many generations before). So, why would they want to install the patch? Furthermore, their parents, may not be technologically inclined enough to be able to install the patch. And Further-Furthermore, if their parents are technologically inclined enough to be able to install the patch, then it would be a sure thing that their teenagers will be technologically inclined enough to use the Internet to find a way to overcome the parental lock. (I give it about two weeks before CNET's next headline 'iPod Users Break Parental Lock Code! click here to find out how you can too...')

So, the patch really only seems to protect little kids. And the only thing you have to worry about there is that they'll be the ones most likely to flush your $300 iPod down the toilet just to see what happens. Or, feed it to the dog, or leave the headphone cords exposed to the rocking chair's rockers, or ... umm you get the point.
Posted by TMB333 (115 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Who will install the patch??
Ok, the Volume patch appears to be available for people who are irresponsible enough to not know that they are listening to the music too loud. This would seem to include three groups. Teenagers, little kids, and stupid adults.

So, little kids, yeah, parents can help them out there with installing the patch, fine and good. But what about the other two groups?

The stupid adults are too stupid to realize that they are listening too loud, so they'll, by definition, be too stupid to know how to install the patch.

The teenagers, are most likely NOT stupid but are just rebellious in trying to 'tune out' the rest of the world by listening to their music loudly (as have many generations before). So, why would they want to install the patch? Furthermore, their parents, may not be technologically inclined enough to be able to install the patch. And Further-Furthermore, if their parents are technologically inclined enough to be able to install the patch, then it would be a sure thing that their teenagers will be technologically inclined enough to use the Internet to find a way to overcome the parental lock. (I give it about two weeks before CNET's next headline 'iPod Users Break Parental Lock Code! click here to find out how you can too...')

So, the patch really only seems to protect little kids. And the only thing you have to worry about there is that they'll be the ones most likely to flush your $300 iPod down the toilet just to see what happens. Or, feed it to the dog, or leave the headphone cords exposed to the rocking chair's rockers, or ... umm you get the point.
Posted by TMB333 (115 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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