European iPod Buyers Decry Volume Limits | iLounge News

European iPod Buyers Decry Volume Limits

There is considerable discussion on Apple’s iPods discussion boards from European owners of new iPods regarding volume limitors that are present in the European models—but not in US models.

Because of EU health regulations, European models are not capable of producing the same volume levels as their US brethern, causing considerable indignation from buyers who were not made aware of these limits.

Apple has not responded to any user feedback or comment on the subject, nor have any fixes been offered by the company or users.

iPod advertising, packaging and user information makes no note of these limits.

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That thread generally only relates to G2 and not the G3 volume cap issue. If this issue is resolved I can die happy. Why doesn’t someone incarcerate an Apple employee and only let him out after he responds. Or if that doesn’t work maybe a litttle bribery. What about media pressure and a demo at Apple premises ? There is a ref to the Ipod adhering to specific EC regulations at the back of the user guide. But has any other company other than Apple adhered to these regulations ?

Posted by warthog in Irvine, CA on July 3, 2003 at 1:46 PM (CDT)


I have read about the limit befour but never really took it in but after reading this post I just tried it and the different is amazing I also recorded a 30 second clip off my iPod’s earphones into my PC Mic befour I took off the limit and then recorded the same clip at same volume after I took the limit off and as soon as the music starts to play you can tell straight away its a HUGE difference.

Posted by Fusen in Irvine, CA on July 3, 2003 at 2:16 PM (CDT)


Besides the deafening silence from Apple HQ on the subject, what annoys me is that the health regulations the iPod is adhering to are in fact French regulations, not EU ones. So, if Apple thinks it needs to be compliant with some overseas regulations, they shouldn’t try to be “more catholic than the Pope”. Just make the firmware a little smarter (sorry for the French-iPod owners). Or even better, let consumers decide for themselves, and make it a configurable option in the menu.

Posted by mage in Irvine, CA on July 3, 2003 at 2:44 PM (CDT)


I simply don’t beleive this myth.  I have listened to the same songs at the same on both a US and European iPod with no differences noticed.  Apple are prohibited from advertising a product which is not capable of performing as such in the real world and both the US and Euro models share the same spec.  Seems to be just an excuse for anorak conspiracy theorists with time on their hands.

Posted by Sir Alien in Irvine, CA on July 3, 2003 at 3:00 PM (CDT)


It is Apple’s deafening silence that particularly annoys me inspite of the fact that people are returning their Ipods for refunds in droves and they are getting bad publicity.

What arrogance !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by warthog in Irvine, CA on July 3, 2003 at 3:46 PM (CDT)


I think the momentum of the complaints about this will increase indefinately until Apple pull their finger out and do something.

It is seriously damaging the reputation of Apple.

Posted by warthog in Irvine, CA on July 3, 2003 at 3:53 PM (CDT)


Erm… haven’t we discussed all this before?

Posted by Gidds in Irvine, CA on July 3, 2003 at 3:55 PM (CDT)


Yes but it NEEDS action by Apple to resolve it and may be us lot making as much noise as possible in various ways will make them see sense.

Posted by warthog in Irvine, CA on July 3, 2003 at 3:58 PM (CDT)



Posted by Sir Alien in Irvine, CA on July 4, 2003 at 12:22 AM (CDT)


@Sir Alien

It seems odd to me that someone who does not have an experience of the European IPod can call others liars and be basicly obnoxious to unknown individuals.

You would not perchance, be a troll sir?


Who flattened his G2 european firmware with the US firmware and found the difference significant. (Still not as loud as my Creative DAP/Nomad)

Posted by Pac3r in Irvine, CA on July 4, 2003 at 1:37 AM (CDT)


love it…  in Europe we pay +/- 100 USD (list price) for a *seemingly* inferior product.

can’t understand why Apple just don’t comply with the letter of the law rather than the spirit, i.e. updater looks at location reported by OS and then decides whether to impose a volume cap or not (this way you could temporarily tell your OS that you’re actually in Outer Mongolia or wherever to get rid of the cap).

oh well, the cap isn’t that annoying (and the iPod is overall a very nice piece of kit with only a few minor annoyances), but I hate the feeling that I’m missing out on something!

Posted by kristofer in Irvine, CA on July 4, 2003 at 2:21 AM (CDT)


Why do people like warthog exist???

Ahh, just to remind us just how stupid humans can be.

Posted by Tony in Irvine, CA on July 4, 2003 at 2:57 AM (CDT)


My sincere appologies warthog, was meant to type SIR ALIEN.

Again, my appologies warthog.

I can’t beleave it!  Sir Alien has infected my brain, and now I’m starting to think like him!!!

Posted by Tony in Irvine, CA on July 4, 2003 at 3:00 AM (CDT)


Just to underline the mistake, Warthog, we need more peoplle like you, to make up for the shear amount of idiots like sir alien!

Posted by Tony in Irvine, CA on July 4, 2003 at 3:01 AM (CDT)


I tried the “fix” of downloading 2.0.1 software as refered to elsewhere, but at least in my case it didn’t work.

A fiend of mine wrote a fairly glowing review of the iPod on the Amazon review board but did mention the volume issue. And of course Amazon didn’t accept the review.

Bottom Line: If folks know about the extent of the volume issue, new iPod sales in Europe would collapse.

I’ll be curious to see if any of the mainstream European Applephile magazines dig into this.

Instead of just fixing the issue, it’s easier to sweep it under the rug.

Posted by Sam Martin in Irvine, CA on July 4, 2003 at 3:23 AM (CDT)


I really do think that the volume limitation, is being set by the serial number.

A good experiment would be for a US iPod owner, to post his/her serial number here, and let us Europeans try to update our iPods with it.

It would make for an interesting experiment.

Posted by Tony in Irvine, CA on July 4, 2003 at 3:43 AM (CDT)


I’m not sure what everyone expects Apple to do, write on the box “This iPod is quieter than the US iPods. Suck on that!”?

If it’s the law, then Apple is complying with it. Having to explain the law on the box is like having to put “Caution, coffee is hot” on McDonald’s cups.

I feel for the European iPod owners. And if it’s just the French making up this law, then yeah, it’s be cool to only restrict the French units. Or maybe do what Sony does with their MD (and maybe Walkman) devices, put a switch on the back that toggles between volume levels. I don’t know if this complies with the law or not, though.

It’s not Apple’s fault. Email the French.

Posted by Bob in Irvine, CA on July 4, 2003 at 3:51 AM (CDT)


It IS Apples fault, simply by enforcing FRENCE law on to non-French citzens.

I know that this subject gets little sympathy from our US friends, but beleave me, this is the most annoying thing ever!

I really have difficulty hearing the damn thing when I’m on the train, going to work.  And that is THE reason why I got the iPod in the first place!!!

Why won’t anybody help us NON-FRENCH people?

Posted by Tony in Irvine, CA on July 4, 2003 at 4:01 AM (CDT)


Oh, and if I thought that emailing the French government would help, then I would.

But there is only one thing more arrogant than Apple, and that’s the French government.  So you could imagine how far 10,000 of us would get!

Posted by Tony in Irvine, CA on July 4, 2003 at 4:03 AM (CDT)


In the Sysinfo file it may be worth entering a US serial number but it also looks as if the region codes and policy codes are relevant. In the US they are set to:

RegionCode: LL(0x0001)
PolicyFlags: 0x00000000

Posted by warthog in Irvine, CA on July 4, 2003 at 5:21 AM (CDT)

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