Attorneys: iPod maximum volume update not good enough | iLounge News


Attorneys: iPod maximum volume update not good enough

Following Apple’s announcement today of an iPod update to limit volume levels, attorneys involved in a class-action lawsuit over iPod hearing loss have released a statement, saying that they “lauded Apple’s decision to provide a way to limit the volume of the popular iPod devices, but said the company’s actions fall far short.”

“It is good to know that Apple finally acknowledges that there is a serious flaw with its iPod product, and is giving U.S. purchasers the same protection it has been giving French purchasers since 2002,” said Steve Berman, an attorney for the plaintiffs. “Unfortunately, this patch doesn’t help the millions of people who own older models—it is a jack-legged workaround that falls well short of what consumers demand and deserve.”

“While the software allows users to set levels, the company does next to nothing to educate consumers about what is safe,” J.R. Whaley, another attorney representing the plaintiffs. “Many consumers would conclude that 100 DB is twice as loud as 50 DB but that’s not the case; for every 10 decibels, the loudness actually increases twofold. Fifty decibels is twice as loud as 40, 60 is four times as loud as 40, and so on.”

“We contend that Apple has done next to nothing to inform consumers regarding these issues,” Berman concluded.

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Posted by ludite on March 29, 2006 at 6:08 PM (CST)


Soon apple will have to send someone to teach you how to play a song.

Posted by Victor on March 29, 2006 at 6:11 PM (CST)


Why are they talking about decibels? Who’s listening to their iPod and thinking about the number of decibels?
If people lose their hearing from listening to music too loudly it’s their own stupid fault. What next? Sue a car company because you crashed one of their cars whilst speeding and hurt yourself?

Posted by stadidas on March 29, 2006 at 6:16 PM (CST)


The “serious flaw” is not in the iPod, it is in the idiot user who cannot figure out how loud is too loud.

Posted by crunkmaster on March 29, 2006 at 6:16 PM (CST)


I agree with both comments, but really, I dont see all the other mp3 makers doing the same. If you are too stupid to crank the volume up on the iPod so that it damages your hearing you should be shot, but then again, If im at a rock concert, do I have to ask them to turn the music down as it might damage my hearing?

Posted by Paul on March 29, 2006 at 6:17 PM (CST)


...the company does next to nothing to educate consumers about what is safe…

Hmmm, wonder what this is all about then?......

A man went to a brain store to get some brain to complete a study. He sees a sign remarking on the quality of professional brain offerred at this particular brain store. He begins to question the butcher about the cost of these brains.

“How much does it cost for engineer brain?”

“Three dollars an ounce.”

“How much does it cost for programmer brain?”

“Four dollars an ounce.”

“How much for lawyer brain?”

“$1,000 an ounce.”

“Why is lawyer brain so much more?”

“Do you know how many lawyers we had to kill to get one ounce of brain?”
How many personal injury attorneys does it take to change a light bulb?

Three—one to turn the bulb, one to shake him off the ladder, and the third to sue the ladder company.

Posted by Bob Levens on March 29, 2006 at 6:19 PM (CST)


Here’s the smart thing to do. Why not sue the government. Isn’t public safety’s responsibility to educate? They should be sueing everyone not just apple. I hate stupid people.

Posted by Glorybox3737 on March 29, 2006 at 6:21 PM (CST)


Sounds to me like the lawyers just want the latest software version for their old iPods. Did you know the 5Gs can group compilations and the 4Gs can’t?

Posted by rhythmicmoose on March 29, 2006 at 6:29 PM (CST)


I’m not a huge Apple fan, but this is getting rediculous.  Why are these lawyers not suing all other DAP manufacturers?  Pretty much any of the players on the market can cause hearing damage if you crank up the volume loud enough.

It’s not about placing restrictions, it’s about educating the consumers.  With this kind of logic, they should have utensil manufacturers dull the blades on all knives to prevent accidental hearing damage when someone decides to jam a knife into their ear.

Posted by Chahk on March 29, 2006 at 6:38 PM (CST)


I was saying this when I heard that the iPod update came out. People with 1G-4G iPods are not covered and Apple should have not released the update until they all could.

Apple has a nasty habit of not releasing updates for iPods older than 1 year old. It is not like they have perfected the iPod OS on these older iPods, they just don’t care about them anymore. They only care about this years model.

Posted by Randy Smith on March 29, 2006 at 6:45 PM (CST)


I have a 3G iPod and a 1G shuffle.  I don’t want the latest and greatest features, but I do want to protect my hearing and want a volume limit control for both these models.

I agree with the attorneys that releasing this update only for the latest models isn’t enough.

Posted by Michael Portuesi on March 29, 2006 at 7:10 PM (CST)


“The “serious flaw

Posted by jasontho on March 29, 2006 at 7:16 PM (CST)


@Michael Portuesi

You are part of the problem.  If you want to protect your hearing, how about YOU taking the responsibility to listen at a reasonable volume.

Posted by The Raven on March 29, 2006 at 7:16 PM (CST)


That’s funny, I had my iPod playing Dokken’s “Into the Fire” around 2AM and it was near topped out.  I was shocked to see I had hit the limit and this is BEFORE the patch.

There is no case here.  Move along.

Posted by Adam on March 29, 2006 at 7:18 PM (CST)


Hmm.  My car can do 125 mph.  I better start a class action suit against the manufacturer because the car can go so fast I might permanently injure myself.  They never warned me.

Posted by deadesq on March 29, 2006 at 7:37 PM (CST)


Michael Portuesi,
  Please give me your address. I want to come and see you. I want to see what an idiot looks like.. . . . if you want to protect YOUR hearing, how ‘bout if YOU turn the volume down. Keyword here is “YOU” !!!!

Posted by cmecu on March 29, 2006 at 7:43 PM (CST)


@ rhythmicmoose

The 4G iPod can group compilations. It’s in the settings.

And I do have to say that this lawsuit b/s is a bit too over the top.

It’s far too convenient for people not to take responsibility for anything they’ve done anymore.

But there’s nothing that can be done.

If some stupid shmuck can get himself millions of dollars by burning himself on HOT coffee, then I suppose anything injuring you, even if the danger is BLATANTLY OBVIOUS, is grounds for a good, old fashioned trial nowadays.

Posted by Freddy_Ramone on March 29, 2006 at 7:50 PM (CST)


How about an update that checks the user’s IQ and switches the iPod off if the user is too stupid?

Posted by NSA247 on March 29, 2006 at 8:04 PM (CST)


@The Raven

“You are part of the problem.  If you want to protect your hearing, how about YOU taking the responsibility to listen at a reasonable volume.”

I am taking the responsbility, by asking for an update.  A hard volume limit on the device is by far the safest way to make sure you don’t play the volume too loud, and it’s also the most convenient - you don’t need to think about it.

You can go back to blasting your ears out now.

Posted by Michael Portuesi on March 29, 2006 at 8:12 PM (CST)


what the hell do they want, apple to pull the ipod from the shelves?
some tool screwed his hearing because he listened to music too loudly. 100% his fault.

Posted by Noah Gomberg on March 29, 2006 at 8:15 PM (CST)

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