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Backstage: Reader on Rio’s Carbon and the 4G Audio Defect

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By Jeremy Horwitz

Editor-in-Chief, iLounge
Published: Saturday, October 9, 2004
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We were aware that some users of Rio’s Carbon audio player were having static-in-headphones problems similar to the 4G iPod Audio Defect. Then reader Jeff L. wrote to tell us that Rio now agrees that there’s a problem, has identified its source, and (in their words) “is making changes to the manufacturing process to eliminate this issue.”

Jeff’s comment: “I realize that iLounge is only concerned editorially with the Apple iPod, but it is interesting that this same problem occurs for the Rio Carbon. This is even more interesting given Apples silence on the issue.” Having updated the Audio Defect article with Apple’s latest (mid-September) ‘no comment’, we agree - it’s interesting. Your thoughts?

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Comments

1

IMHO Apple found there was a problem. Researched and found a manufacturing problem. Fixed the problem but is too concerned about hurting sales and not knowing which units have problems which could result in a flood of repairs. They are hoping the problem fades away. Personally My 4G 40 makes the noise but it has never botherecd me. I wouldn’t risk the shipment or repair for the minor sound.

Posted by SouthPaw in PV, NY on October 9, 2004 at 2:36 PM (PDT)

2

i think SouthPaw may be right.
I was unimpressed with the release of the 4G but probably would have upgraded anyway if it was not for the reporting of this defect and more importantly the complete lack of acknowledgement from apple.
bad form on thier part.

Posted by wastedTalent on October 10, 2004 at 9:58 PM (PDT)

3

It is wrong, but typical, of a company like Apple to remain silent. The choices are but, two: either, as stated above, they found the source and corrected the flaw in their design/manufacturing but are being too cheap to own up to their flaw and correct it, or they can’t isolate the problem.

One would think it’s the former, but if 4Gs continue to have this problem in the next month or so (I can’t believe their pre-defect manufactured stock was THAT great that they wouldn’t have sold through them worldwide by now or very soon), then it would seem to indicate the latter.

Either way, a company like Apple should do the right thing and publicly admit to the 4G’s flaw and offer remedial paths to all 4G owners whose units have the defect. If not, what does that say about Apple’s committment to its own life’s blood? If it is so minor a flaw as some say, then you would think not that many would go through the trouble of getting their 4G fixed. But, Apple has the responsibility to make it right, regardless of the cost to themselves…otherwise they become no better than the money-mongering Microsoft. Is that the image Apple wants to have?

Posted by jinzo-ningen on October 12, 2004 at 6:32 AM (PDT)

4

is that post insinuating that apple = rio?

Posted by Jaeboy on October 13, 2004 at 8:49 AM (PDT)

5

I don’t know what small fraction of people have the problem—it’s very real, but not as widespread as people POSTING about it: people with no problem are far less likely to post.

That said, I’m happy to know about the issue so I can test for it. But why should Apple be expected to make some public announcement about an occasional defect? Honestly, how often is that done? If it was done every time an issue like this existed in some fraction of a product, you’d see more of that from ALL companies than real press releases!

What Apple needs is a remedy—and the warranty is that remedy. Expecting some big public bad-PR “apology” is silliness.

Besides, if Apple has reduced this problem from 1 in 500 to 1 in 5000, or whatever, you’ll still see someone occasionally post that they have the problem. Concluding that Apple is “ignoring” the troublesome component is illogical.

Posted by Nagromme on November 1, 2004 at 6:56 AM (PDT)

6

test

Posted by stich on February 23, 2005 at 5:36 PM (PDT)

7

The Rio Carbon static in the headphones problem is not a mfg defect per say.

The static occurs when you plug a metal encased mini plug into the headphone in on the Carbon & it comes in contact with the chrome metal enclosure that surrounds the headphone jack on the Carbon.

Rio corrected the issues by shipping the units with a short plastic encased 1/8” mini plug adapter.

Not sure what the MFG defect is with the Ipods but the Rio is rock solid.

Stich

Posted by stich on February 23, 2005 at 5:41 PM (PDT)

If you have a comment, news tip, advertising inquiry, or coverage request, a question about iPods or accessories, or if you sell or market products, read iLounge's Comments + Questions policies before posting, and fully identify yourself if you do. We will delete comments containing advertising, astroturfing, trolling, personal attacks, offensive language, or other objectionable content, then ban and/or publicly identify violators. Wondering why we're talking about something other than iPods? Check the Archives: Backstage has been here and kicking it since 2004.

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