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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So let me get this straight. The good people of Europe are not permitted to listen to their music as loudly as they wish because of the nanny state. Hmm. Are the good people of Europe permitted to, say, have a nice hot, steaming cup of coffee or must they settle for midly warm coffee instead. Or perhaps the good people of Europe must wear safety helmets in the shower to avoid the deadly head injuries that so often occur due too slippage. Of course one way to rid the world of the plague of slippage is outlaw the use of soap and shampoo while in the shower and require their application outside the shower due too the slippery film that can coat the shower floor.

We have our fair share of problems here and unfortunately I fear we are headed in Europe’s direction but hopefully not until I am dead and gone. But is it too much to demand that you retain the right to listen to your music damn well however you please so long as you are not infringing upon the rights of your fellow citizen. That of course is what makes portable music players like the amazing iPod so great.

You guys and gals in Europe need to realize that its only going to get worse.

Posted by gozorak on July 4, 2003 at 5:32 PM (CDT)


ummm thanks for the vote of confidence =x

Posted by Fusen in UK on July 4, 2003 at 5:42 PM (CDT)


For those asking about volume correction for Windows like iTunes has for Mac:

Try the free MP3Gain:

It will do lossless volume normalization using the best algorithm known for the task.

It is mainly used to make all your MP3s sound as if they are at the same volume, but I am certain you can use it boost the volume as well.

Unfortunately, this still doesn’t fix the underlying problem with the volume limited iPods.

Posted by Greg on July 4, 2003 at 5:46 PM (CDT)


Yeah, pretty soon we won’t be able to smoke in the pub…

Posted by Pac3r on July 4, 2003 at 5:46 PM (CDT)


well you got us there because in some parts here in the states you cant smoke in bars or pubs. Even if the owners and 100% of an establishments customers wish to smoke it isnt allowed due to the sensativities of those who wish to tell the rest of us how to live our lives. I am a nonsmoker by the way but it wont be long until they come after the double stuffing in my Oreos and when that day comes it will be war..

Posted by gozorak on July 4, 2003 at 5:54 PM (CDT)


Fusen, I cannot tell a difference between the two clips.

Posted by Rob on July 4, 2003 at 6:28 PM (CDT)



Time to hand in the IPod and get fitted for a hearing aid!

Just openend the two files in recorder and did a visual scan of the recordings. The size of the waveforms is way different. Try converting them to MP3 and using MP3Gain to do the analysis.
You really need to buy some Q-Tips. *LOL*


Posted by Pac3r on July 4, 2003 at 6:58 PM (CDT)


yeah pac3r I was watching the same in winamp and the abrs for afetr saty at top practically all the way through yet the befour they go as low as 60% , also Rob are you sure you didnt turn yuor speakers down on the after clip? or even listen to the befour clip twice lol

Posted by Fusen in UK on July 4, 2003 at 7:10 PM (CDT)


A warning on those following Gregs suggestion about MP3Gain. Once you boost the track past a certain point you start to get clicking from the track.

There’s a technical reason for it, something to do with the MP3 format. It’s all explained in the MP3 gain help files.

(great tool)


Posted by Pac3r on July 4, 2003 at 7:21 PM (CDT)


1] 3 words - “get over it!”
2] It may not be true, its just a rumour when Apple has not given any indication otherwise.
2] Even if it is true, ever thought the Regulation in place may be a good thing for you? just like most EU’s environmental regulations are so much better than the US? Who wastes most of the world’s natural resources? US! Who drives the most environmental-unfriendly cars in the world? US again! Stop your whine of “Why can’t we have the loudest, biggest things like the US citizens?” ever thought it’s there to prevent your lost of hearing 20 years down the track?

Posted by thinktwice on July 4, 2003 at 8:49 PM (CDT)


What was the name of that tune in the before and after WAVs? It’s really catchy and sounded like some kind of mid-to-late nineties chemical brothers type thing.

Posted by Andrew Stern on July 4, 2003 at 11:39 PM (CDT)



1] 2 words - “SHUT UP!”
2] It is true
3] I will be the one that decides if I would like to go deaf or not.

Posted by Tony on July 5, 2003 at 1:37 AM (CDT)


I called Apple support in the UK (or rather I think the desk is based in Ireland) and after going past 1st level support to the i-pod specialists desk I got a conirmation that there is a limit on European i-pods.

That there is a limit or not is not the question. The question is why? Why not only in France? Why don’t we have an official comment for the i-pod dev team?

And to answer that point 3 above: we’re not asking for a very high volume that busts our ears. We’re adults and can turn down the volume. The problem is that city dwellers such as ourselves can’t hear the music clearly when in a noisy environment. But with any competing product and also MD and CD walkmans etc we can. Why would we spend this much money to have a system that is overshadowed by cheapo alternatives in achieving the device’s primary task: namely listing to music on the go.

Posted by Chris Matchett on July 5, 2003 at 5:11 AM (CDT)


Thanks! That’s great infomation. Did they indicate that they were getting any negative feedback about this and if there is any help on the way?

And also, as to answer Point 3 above ... where do you draw the line? Do you want someone in your house monitoring the volume of your TV, checking the temperture of your coffee and making sure you are brushing your teeth properly, making sure you are eating the right foods and exercising enough? These things could all make you a modicum safer or healthier, I suspect. But do you really want to live like that.

I’ll take the risk on poor hearing, thanks.

Posted by Sam Martin on July 5, 2003 at 5:51 AM (CDT)


The tune in the befour and after clip is called

Body Rock by Shy FX

It’s actually a Drum’n'Bass tune from 1999 lol

if you want to ehar the full thing you can listen to it at

just clikc listen on the side and search for Body Rock

Posted by Fusen in UK on July 5, 2003 at 7:20 AM (CDT)


Also I don’t have a clue how people can saw “if this really is true” when I just posted 2 clips which prove its true! Are people that ignorant these days?

Posted by Fusen in UK on July 5, 2003 at 7:21 AM (CDT)


oops sorry about this got that wrong lol

Body Rock is by Andy C and MC Fearless NOT Shy FX =x lol

Posted by Fusen in UK on July 5, 2003 at 7:32 AM (CDT)


Perhaps someone could press Apple Support a bit harder and ask why there is this cap and if they intend to do anything about it. I will myself if i get the chance.

Posted by drumstick on July 5, 2003 at 9:05 AM (CDT)


the cap is off a french law which involves a restriction on the max volumn while listening to something in plainer terms the music cannot exceed a certain decibell level. but instead of trying to filter it so only the french have the limit they set it so all europe have the ban also this ban has been out since firmware above 1.2.2 so nothing is really going to happen by apple.

Posted by Fusen in UK on July 5, 2003 at 9:11 AM (CDT)


Yes but surely they can understand the annoyance of non-French Europeans and they should be able to find a way of accomodating Non-French Europeans.

Posted by drumstick on July 5, 2003 at 9:22 AM (CDT)

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