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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It is a big deal because I CAN hear it when it happens, including when I’m at a bus stop waiting for the bus, surrounded by three science lab buildings within 50 yards, while cars pass by.  My ears are sensitive enough to hear the annoying squeal of the 4G iPod.

Posted by P on October 29, 2004 at 6:34 PM (CDT)


I have not purchased the 4th Generation ipod but I am not suprised of the defects. I had purchased at least 12 of the 3rd generation ipods (return or exchange) and not a single one was defect free. Some had hard drive buzzing and ringing defects. Some had screen defects such as patches of light and dark spots as well as lines going through screen. Some had battery defects. I can go on and on. I have also had a bad experience with Apple support. I had purchased the extended warranty and I realized that it wasn’t worth it at all. I had sent my ipod to Apple for repair 4 times and all 4 times it was returned with no repairs and a paper with a message stating “Your ipod has been through various testing and meets company standards”. Well if having those defects meet company standards that I am not suprised why the audio defect in the 4th Generation ipod hasn’t been fixed. Don’t worry guys go ahead and purchase the new ipod. After all it meets company standards, right? Apple only cares about quantity and not quality. When someone is going to pay $500.00 or even $600.00 on new ipod, I am sure they would want it to be defect free. Take my advice on it and dont purchase the Apple ipod. Its not worth wasting money on.

Posted by Brian Sharma on October 29, 2004 at 6:42 PM (CDT)


I am glad that some people are starting to get the message and they have stopped purchasing the ipods. It takes a while for a company to start seeing loss but that day will come. Maybe a change will be made with Apple and their products after the declining sales of the ipods.

Posted by Brian Sharma on October 29, 2004 at 6:46 PM (CDT)


wow, brian.
i know 13 people, including myself, that own iPods - all are 3rd gens [15/20/40] except for 4 4th [all 20s] gens.
None of them have any audio issues at all, and i am the only one that has taken the iPod to be repaired, because my audio jack became loose and wasn’t holding the headphones in properly.
So i guess you just have bad luck, hey.
Support wise, they took my iPod on the tuesday, and i had a brand new one on the thursday. Guess you just got jibbed.

Posted by Harrison in Melbourne, Australia on October 29, 2004 at 7:20 PM (CDT)


Actually, correction on my 60GB iPod Photo, but not really major. The noise is actually there, but it is really faint for my unit that the only way to detect it is to turn the volume off. I guess the defect indeed exists though it is not going to make that much of an issue for normal usage of mp3 files. Beside who wants to use the lossless format on an iPod anyway.

Posted by pboy2k5 on October 29, 2004 at 7:55 PM (CDT)


I’m formatting my 60GB iPod Photo right now.  I’m going to be pissed as hell if this crap is occuring on my first iPod.  Will report in when setup is done. :-

Posted by SiliconAddict on October 29, 2004 at 8:05 PM (CDT)


You know, if Apple provided an optical or electronic digitalk output then random stray noise from shorting or RF interference wouldn’t be a problem.

Creative gets a lot of things wrong with their players (size, looks, interface) but they do get the acoustics right. Those Zens sound remarkable. Why can’t Apple use some of their DAC hardware in the iPod?

Posted by spdif on October 29, 2004 at 8:39 PM (CDT)


why do so many of you buy so many ipods when you don’t even like them?

Posted by tmelb on October 29, 2004 at 8:41 PM (CDT)


stark23x, join the legions of ‘insiders’ who have been predicting Apple’s demise for years.

Just based on the comments on this page, it looks like only a few people have actually had this problem, and those who have had the problem have had their iPods replaced within two days. There are always going to be a bad batch, but as long as Apple replaces them, then they should be continuing to see success.

Quite frankly, I’m glad such a sour-puss like yourself isn’t a part of the Mac community.


Posted by narco in Burbank on October 29, 2004 at 8:55 PM (CDT)


what are they thinking?
Havent they recieved like a billion complaints about this? and still they do nothing about it? whats up with that?

Posted by Anirin on October 29, 2004 at 9:04 PM (CDT)


I have a 3g and a 4g iPod and they are absolutrly perfect. I dont think all iPods have the problem. Maybe somebody can confirm that.

Posted by bm in Brazil on October 29, 2004 at 9:08 PM (CDT)


i’m thinking about getting a 20GB 4G iPod for christmas this year (iPod photo would be cool for showing people pictures and stuff, but it’s too expensive for me)

i don’t like the look of the zen and all the others, i’m pretty much decided that i want an iPod.

but some of what you guys are saying is a little discouraging, but others only have good things to say.
and you say that the problem is mainly with high quality headphones, i won’t be using really good ones, just the ones that come with the iPod.

so what do you think?
get the iPod for christmas, or wait a while longer and see what happens?

Posted by wtp omen on October 29, 2004 at 9:22 PM (CDT)



Take a pill man. So, you’re one of the few that is having problems with a device you’re purchased. iPods are made a few different factories, so it’s possible those from from one factory are experiencing the problem(s) you speak of, but to banish all Apple products out of your anger is simply immature. You really have no idea what Apple is doing to address and correct this issue, so don’t claim to.

Posted by coolfactor on October 29, 2004 at 9:32 PM (CDT)


So i guess you just have bad luck, hey.
Support wise, they took my iPod on the tuesday, and i had a brand new one on the thursday. Guess you just got jibbed.

Harrison you probably didnt receive a new ipod but instead you recieved a refurbished one. The difference between a new one and a refurbished one is that a refurbished one is a used ipod that was returned because of a defect that the company repaired. It depends on Apple’s quality standards that determines wether or not you recieve a nicely repaired ipod. Next time you get a chance, ask the wonderful support if the ipods that are given in exchange for the one to be repaired new or refurbished.The reason why i didnt receive a refurbished ipod is because that particular ipod had been personalized with my name on it. Since it had been personalized, they couldnt give it to someone like you who sent their ipod for repair thinking they got a new one. So you see Harrison, your ipod is most likely a used and damaged or defected ipod that had been repaired to company standards. You know how Apple standards are. I hope you understand and you dont try to purchase a new ipod because Harrison it really isnt really worth it at all. HOPE YOU TAKE MY ADVICE!

Posted by Brian Sharma on October 29, 2004 at 9:32 PM (CDT)


I have an Hpod… and it works perfect! Recently bought… JUST DON’T BUY STUFF THE SAME DAY IT COMES OUT!!!!!

Posted by David on October 29, 2004 at 9:39 PM (CDT)


I have owned every generation of iPod made. None of the units I have purchased have ever had this audio defect. I did have a 2G unit that after a long period of time,  began to show a vertical line running the length of the display.

Posted by cimark on October 29, 2004 at 9:41 PM (CDT)


I have had 2G and curently have a 3G, No problems other then the actual sources, which often originate from audio tape. Because of this many digitized recordings show tape alignment problems, wow and flutter, sudden dropouts, and sudden speed bursts. One recording of Japanese shakuhachi, originally recorded in the sixties has actually been sold on LP and CD with all the glaring flaws of the portable tape deck used to record the original session (talk about greedy RIAA). This recorder had a flat spot in it’s capstan, so there was a constant tick-tick approximately every second and a half or so. Before the iPod, your historical Walkman compounded these audio problems by layering its own tape flaws on top of the originals. Be so lucky that only once in a while you hear an audible flaw in the iPod.

Posted by shaitan on October 29, 2004 at 9:45 PM (CDT)


wel i was thinking about a 20 gb 4g “pod” for x-mas but if apple dont get this sorted out i might get the perfect iRiver H-320 but i want an ipod because i can get 20% off duty free at the airport :P so apple beter fix it if they want MY MONEY.

just my 2 cents worth

Posted by j()() on October 29, 2004 at 9:57 PM (CDT)


I am also happy to be problem free on my 20gig 4G. I’m sure glad ipodlounge gave that lossless file test for it to check.

Posted by jellyMEETSjam in NA on October 29, 2004 at 10:33 PM (CDT)


I just got my new 40 gb ipod photo and it works great.  No static or anything like that.  My old 4G 40gb had a little static, but the ipod photo has no defects that i can hear.  I am very satisfied with my purchase! Apple rocks!

Posted by MrNiggz42004 on October 29, 2004 at 10:35 PM (CDT)

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