iPod Photo manifests audio defect | iLounge News


iPod Photo manifests audio defect

After preliminary testing of our new 60GB iPod Photo hardware, iLounge has confirmed the presence of the same audio defect widely reported in the fourth-generation iPod shortly after its release. The defect can be heard in headphones when the iPod Photo’s hard drive reloads its music memory buffer, and sounds like static accompanied by hard drive accessing noises, overlapping for several seconds the beginning of a music track.

As a reader noted in iLounge Backstage earlier this month, an almost identical problem has been reported, acknowledged, and addressed by Rio, the manufacturer of Carbon music players. Though iLounge provided two affected fourth-generation iPods to Apple in late July, the company has to date has had no official comment on or public solution for the defect.

Though we realize that few of our readers will have purchased the $599 60GB unit, we ask that those with iPod Photos read the prior reports and testing procedure, and add comments to this story’s thread so that we can determine the scope of these issues. We note that the sounds appear to be more faint and intermittent in our iPod Photo hardware than in our 4G iPods, however, they can still be heard.

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all 4G seem to have the same problem. I think its due to the new headphone jacks apple put in the 4G units. sometimes, its pretty annoying. I will replace mine just before the warranty runs out. maybe I can get my battery replaced as well.

Posted by lol on October 29, 2004 at 1:13 PM (CDT)


no, i have a 4G and i don’t have this.

That is really awful of Apple not to have fixed this by now….what the hell are they thinking?

Posted by MBHockey on October 29, 2004 at 1:30 PM (CDT)


This sort of complacency will cost apple dear.

Posted by bm in Brazil on October 29, 2004 at 1:47 PM (CDT)


this is why you shouldnt buy stuff the SAME day it comes out. wait to see if there are problems first.

Posted by doodoo on October 29, 2004 at 1:50 PM (CDT)


Yep, this sort of complacency has sure hurt Apple so far.

Posted by Craig P. in San Diego, CA on October 29, 2004 at 2:05 PM (CDT)


Yeah, it’s killed Apple, selling as many ipods in the last quarter than they have in the history of it’s existance before that.  It’s sales like that which drive companies into the ground…  My 4G is perfect.

Posted by the shiznit on October 29, 2004 at 2:30 PM (CDT)


Until Apple sees sales decline, static noises are a ‘feature’ not a ‘bug’. 

Posted by Takeo on October 29, 2004 at 2:49 PM (CDT)


I know this isn’t part of the testing procedure, but if you see that your unit has the audio defect try the experiment again with a set of headphones or ear plugs that have plastic rather than metal at the base of the plug.

I thought my 40Gb 4G unit was defect-free until I used a pair of headphones with a metal base at the plug, so the metal of the headphone plug touched the metal of the top of the iPod.

It sounds like a short somewhere is causing it, and you should hear it on ANY hard drive access - the reason they suggest making Apple Lossless tracks is that they tend to be pretty big and fill the 32mb buffer quickly.

Posted by Jough Dempsey on October 29, 2004 at 3:00 PM (CDT)


“Yeah, it’s killed Apple, selling as many ipods in the last quarter than they have in the history of it’s existance before that. It’s sales like that which drive companies into the ground”

One word: Commodore.

In the 1980s it sold more home computers than everyone else. For a few years it could do no wrong. But its complacency let quality slide, margins erode, and end-user satisfaction plummet.

Few people now can appreciate how badly Commodore fudged the future. The original version of AOL, for instance, was made exclisively for Commodore 64s.

The fact that Apple has neglected to spend the money to fix an obvious and distressingly common design flaw worries me greatly. As an Apple shareholder for 20 years I have watrched the company time and again reach an inflexion point where it could go on to great things, but then a weird kind of in-the-moment amnesia sets in and they bollix things up. Deciding to ship two models of iPod with sub-par quality is, I fear, a symptom of a possible impending collective corporate brain fart.

Posted by commodore on October 29, 2004 at 3:20 PM (CDT)


It seems to be related to the change they made that pauses the ipod when you unplug it…. doesn’t require any disk access at all for me… just shifting the headphone jack around.

Jough’s comment is interesting. I wonder if popping a thin plastic slip to keep the metal circle from touching would help… an icondom or something. lol

Posted by JC on October 29, 2004 at 3:28 PM (CDT)


My 40GB Photo DOES NOT have the problem.  And I know what it is because my 20GB 4G iPod DOES.

Posted by Phil on October 29, 2004 at 3:39 PM (CDT)


I had it on my 3g too, highly annoying, it only happens when the socket recesses a little so that the earphones metal can gain contanct with the metal back which acts as an earth for all the electrics and at the time when the drive is spinning (highest voltage) it becomes apparent.

Posted by I had it on my 3g too on October 29, 2004 at 3:51 PM (CDT)


I don’t seem to have the problem on my 4G 40GB model, but if I pause the track and change the volume wheel up and down rapidly I hear static in the right earphone. Does anyone else have this? Or is this a rarity?

Posted by Mani on October 29, 2004 at 4:50 PM (CDT)


I did the test on my 60GB iPod Photo and there seemed to be no indication of the problem on the unit.

Posted by pboy2k5 on October 29, 2004 at 5:09 PM (CDT)


whats the big deal.you cant even notice the problem unless you are listening for it.
stop complaining about something which is not going to kill your ipod and in no way affects playback

Posted by islayer on October 29, 2004 at 5:31 PM (CDT)


I have a new 60 GB iPod Photo with no problems whatsoever and my headphones have a full metal base in contact with the iPod. I used these same headphones on a friend’s 40 GB 4G iPod also with no effect whatsoever.
In short, this sounds like such a rare/minor issue that I am not surprised Apple is not moving heaven and earth about it. I also think it is irresponsible of iPodLounge to warn people away from the 4G and iPod Photo iPods because of something so minor.

Posted by Larry on October 29, 2004 at 5:43 PM (CDT)


islayer, some of us care deeply about the quality of our sound.  I have 400 headphones and a hand-built amp that I use.

This IS a big deal and should NOT be a problem.

Typical Apple arrogance.  They simply don’t care.

I have wanted a bigger ipod since a day after I got my 3G 40GB.  I was going to buy a Powerbook.  But after the way Apple has treated us this past 12 months?  Screw ‘em.  I’ll never buy another Apple product, and you can bet this growth spurt they’re feeling will be crushed just as soon as the “stylishness” wears off, or Sony gets serious about making a good player.

Apple’s living on borrowed time.

Posted by stark23x on October 29, 2004 at 5:45 PM (CDT)


I have a 40 gig 4G and it doesn’t ave this problem. I guess I was lucky…

Posted by shaun3000 on October 29, 2004 at 5:53 PM (CDT)


Shaun3000 - perhpas you were lucky but more likely you are just part of the norm. On specialty sites such as this, the few who need to complain or even have legitimate problems will almost always outweigh those with no issues by a much larger percentage than the ratio of problems to no problems in the general public.

Posted by Larry on October 29, 2004 at 6:12 PM (CDT)


The difference is barely noticeable if you use stock earbuds. When I use shure e2c, its pretty annoying.

Posted by frank on October 29, 2004 at 6:17 PM (CDT)

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