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iPod mini sound distortion issue

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By Dennis Lloyd

Publisher, iLounge
Published: Friday, April 9, 2004
News Categories: iPod mini

Many forum members have been reporting that their iPod mini is creating audio distortion when used. One such member claims to have discovered a major ‘design flaw’ in the iPod mini, which results in sound distortion when placing pressure anywhere on its surface or headphone port. The source of the noise may be a weak connection between the headphone port and the main circuit board.

“My iPod mini after two weeks of gentle use started to make horrible static noises; sometimes sound will disappear completely. Then the sound will return to normal, but any pressure as small as thumb pressure anywhere on iPod mini will make sounds to come back. Resetting iPod did not help. Guided by the detailed ‘iPod mini Autopsy’ posted here on iPodLounge, I disassembled by iPod rather easily. To check the reason of these noises, I started to play the iPod and disconnected the wheel, then the hard drive, but iPod was still playing (out of 25 min flash memory) and still making noises. Eventually, I narrowed the problem to a small little part that contains headphone and remote jack and metallic part in the shape of the white plastic top.”

“This small part attaches to main iPod board ONLY via small black connector that sits on on the main board. WHAT AN OVERSIGHT on Apple’s ENGINEER"S PART!!!
Their mistake is OBVIOUS. The small part with the headphone jack attaches via screews to the aluminium case, but does NOT screw to the MAIN board. Because of this any pressure on iPod case, dock connector, or simply plugging in and out headphones, creates TENSION between the small part and the MAIN board.

Since only the black connector sits between these two parts, it quickly wears out.
What is even worse is that the black connector is attached to the main board via ten very fragile copper pins that stick out of the main board (sorry for not using proper electronics terminology). With regular use, contacts get loose and slightest pressure on iPod creates nasty squeaky static type noises killing all the joy iPod brings.

I am sure this problem will surge in time. Future iPod minis need to have the part with headphone jack screwed to the main board (not just to the case like it is on current MINIs) OR to use FLEXIBLE cable. To rely on ten tiny fragile pins is just plain irresponsible.

If you have the same problem, I do NOT advise you to take apart iPod. The copper needles that stick out of the main board are very very brittle and once broken will require replacing the entire board.

Irakli Loladze”

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Comments

41

Hi, i am travelling to New York next week, and was considering buying a mini ipod until i heard of these problems. Does anyone know if the more recent batch has been modified? If mine did go wrong could i get it fixed in the UK?
Thanks

Posted by Ben on April 14, 2004 at 11:31 AM (PDT)

42

Hmm, let’s see, I just bought mine from Apple yesterday and it should get here by “May 19, 2004”  Now, considering what’s going on with the iPods getting all stackicy I hope I don’t get one of those ones and I kinda would like to get my iPod sometime before next year.

Posted by Melis on April 14, 2004 at 1:10 PM (PDT)

43

Nicky G, yet again you need a kick in the pants. you are probably just some geek in denial, and you sound like a chick.

*gives nicky G a swift kick in the pants *

Posted by Kick 'em in the pants on April 14, 2004 at 1:27 PM (PDT)

44

MMMM…. S*** I going to buy a Lyra or a NetMD

Posted by Pablo on April 14, 2004 at 3:42 PM (PDT)

45

Hi, I’m an apple user, I’m 30 years old, I live with my mom and dad, I have no life but to test my ipod mini on different types of surfaces looking for a flaw, I heard Steve Jobs is buying an island so he and all the apple users can live happily ever after, I’m so going there dude, YEAAA, I love all of you apple users, this one time, a guy with a dell beat me up, we need to gang up and get him back, we’re a mac community

Posted by Jericho on April 14, 2004 at 5:53 PM (PDT)

46

Hey Jericho, stop lying, I looked all over, Steve Jobs is not buying an island, hey guys, fellow macers, do not get excited about what this guy is saying, it is not true, thanks to this rumor, I told my parents I’m moving out, they already changed my room into a bathroom, guys, any of you willing to let me move in with you and your parents? I can help you be a leech and eat, sleep, and MAC, yeaaaaaa!!

Posted by Nicky G on April 14, 2004 at 6:29 PM (PDT)

47

Apple’s world market share is down to ~2.3% - and dropping. Soon there won’t be anymore pc’s just ipod’s that make noise. Then What??

Posted by BB on April 14, 2004 at 6:54 PM (PDT)

48

THE IPOD MINI IS FANTASTIC!!!

I got mine the first week they came out and have been using it ever since…works great!

I WONDER IF THESE POSTINGS REGARDING THE DESIGN DEFECT ARE FALSE or at the very least a small percentage way over reacting??? I am sure there are some people out there that hate Apple (competitors? and others) or just want to make a splash.

I REALLY wish CNN would have investigated the matter with an electronics expert before they posted a story about it. NOT very good journalism in my book to simply parrot what’s been posted on the Internet.

If you read that post that is cited, who seriously uses such language “My MasterCard was immediately burdened by $229+tax?” Weird.
Anyone have any thoughts about this???

Posted by Dan the Man on April 14, 2004 at 7:50 PM (PDT)

49

So let me get this straight: Apple products cost 2-3x more than competitive products, yet exhibit more faulty engineering designs?

Who would’ve guessed?  I mean, it’s obvious more money means higher quality!  *cough*

This sort-of thing at Apple has been going on for years now.  It’s almost ALWAYS some sort-of hardware flaw, and as usual, Apple always takes the “isolated incident” stance.

What’s even more depressing is the fact that most of the problems with Apple products only seem to rear their ugly heads after prolonged or heavy usage—meaning, shortly after your “warranty” (I use double-quotes for obvious reasons) expires.  It’s all about money, folks.

All of this makes me glad that I sold my iMac…

Posted by koitsu on April 14, 2004 at 11:07 PM (PDT)

50

Perhaps Apple should invest the 27% margin they make on the units on more extensive product testing before they launch products..

I am going to buy a Cowon iAudio M3.

Laterzzzzzz

Posted by ruffas on April 15, 2004 at 1:13 AM (PDT)

51

yes - my MINI is broken as well. AppleCare was nice about it - i got to upgrade to a 15 GB iPod at no extra cost, shipped overnight. they took care of the problem as far as i’m concerned, great customer service. still doesn’t fix the MINI though. let’s hope they decide that spending the extra $0.04 is worth it next time.

Posted by will on April 15, 2004 at 8:03 AM (PDT)

52

I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of my iPod mini. Then someone told me that it has this sound distortion problem. What if, I plug in the headphones and never remove them to reduce stress on the faulty connector? What do you think?

Posted by squeegy on April 15, 2004 at 10:06 AM (PDT)

53

We are gay! Just thought we’d take time out to admit that. You are free to go on with your gay—er, I mean day—now.

Posted by iPodMods on April 15, 2004 at 2:03 PM (PDT)

54

Most of the criticisms are WAY OVER BLOWN. Seems like a bunch of unhappy people that find joy in things not going right for Apple. Sad really. It will be good to find out that the “problem” is not as extensive as these blowhards are hoping it is.

Posted by Dan the Man on April 15, 2004 at 2:45 PM (PDT)

55

Dan the Man:

Seriously, if you’ve not noticed, the iPod audio distortion problem is REAL and the number of users who experience this problem is HUGE.  It makes sense that a lot of people have this problem because all iPods are built the same way. Although the iPod Mini is ‘fantastic’, it doesn’t mean it has design flaws… and it DOES BIG TIME.

Posted by Wake up fool on April 16, 2004 at 6:54 AM (PDT)

56

I am eagerly anticipating the arrival of the new iPod attachment: the iDildo. It will pleasure me forever!

Posted by squeegy on April 16, 2004 at 4:48 PM (PDT)

57

Its a pity apple didn’t test the mini properly. You would think that with all the experience they get from the iPod, they would be able to make a “mini” version without to many problems . Well, at least it comes with a 1yr warrenty.
Company makes a bad product -> Company pays for replacements

Posted by Booksacool1 on April 17, 2004 at 4:03 AM (PDT)

58

how do ypu fix the static problem in mini ipod

Posted by anton on April 18, 2004 at 3:00 PM (PDT)

59

Okay 3-5 weeks, ;P Im just hoping I aint gonna get defected one. And I am also hopin it to last for 3-100 years for me. Damn you americans! I WANT MY MINI NOW!! >.<(just jokin) 1 year warrenty.. damn… ;-; also 3-5 weeks!? I DONT WANT TO WAIT THAT LONG!

Posted by Paiser on April 18, 2004 at 5:01 PM (PDT)

60

Oh no! someone used my name and posted something dirty! And anyway, when I get my iDildo attachment, it will have to work with my new MINI iPod, therefore I doubt it will pleasure me forever…..................

Posted by squeegy on April 19, 2004 at 5:21 AM (PDT)

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