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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Well that’s Apple. They don’t care about their customers. They just want your money. Although the iPod Photo is the sexiest iPod ever, i would rather purchase an non-US model of the H320. Instead of 65k color the iPod Photo has. The H320 has 252k color and will soon probably support video playback. Yay. Good luck to you iPod fans. I have always liked the looks not the performance.

Posted by H0p3l355 on October 29, 2004 at 10:40 PM (CDT)


I think 99% of the devices have this problem. Some are more audible than others. I was comparing the 4G iPods with some of my friends with normal stock earphones and more expensive Shure earphones and the 5 4Gs all produced the problem with the more expensive earphones. Actually you could hear static (even with the clicker off) when using the wheel. All but 2 were alright with the stock earphones. My older 2G iPod does not produce this problem with either earphones.

Posted by oplex on October 29, 2004 at 11:13 PM (CDT)


I had the problem and nearly had to make a career change (I was on the phone so much) to get Apple to fix it. They were totally combative and arrogant about it. Apple customer (non)service is among the worst I’ve encountered. And, yes, the defect was extremely noticeable on my etymotics, but not the stock earbuds. That’s because the earbuds are not that great.

Posted by G from Seattle on October 30, 2004 at 12:16 AM (CDT)


My 60 GB ipod photo just arrived, it’s been charged and music has been dumped (well about half the music collection, as I still wish they would come out with a 100 GB ipod).  I have a set of the Shure headphones, and the static is audible when the volume is above about half.  I can actually hear static when turning the volume up and down with the song paused. You get static if it is paused and switching tracks.  Now with it playing I hear hardly any static, just a slight bit if the volume is above the half way point.

Since the Shure headphones cut out so much noise from the outside world, I don’t have the volume much above a 1/3 of the full, so I am barely hearing it.  If it gets worse I will be calling Apple and complaining.  I am not paying this much for a an MP3 player and have to put up with ANY static, let alone dependant on the headphones.

Posted by Michael on October 30, 2004 at 12:21 AM (CDT)


get over these minute problems, more that 50% of population uses like cd players and garbage mp3 players and you guys complain about the best

Posted by canadian me on October 30, 2004 at 12:23 AM (CDT)


Well if I only payed $100 for a CD player, or $150 for a garbage mp3 player then I probably wouldn’t complain as much, but since I just forked over more than $500 for an MP3 player, I expect it to work without a problem.  If it does I will demand a replacement without the problem or my money back. 

Same thing goes for anything you buy.  If you pay for it, and it doesn’t work like advertised, you have every right to complain, and to try and get a replacement or get it fixed.

Would you drive a car that is suppose to run smooth, but when you get it, every time you switch gears it missed and backfired.  Now it doesn’t do it all the time, just when you are passing someone, entering an interstate, or taking off from a dead stop.  I think you would want that fixed.  Same thing here.  I expect it to work, if on the box it said something like “possible mechanical noise or static when loading larger than 3 MB songs” then I would think different about buying it, but needless to say, Apple says they have the best product, the reviews say they have one of the best products, and they say that the audio quality is top rate, so I expect to hold them to it.

If I want to just accept the minute problems I will buy a creative player, or some other Best Buy reject and save money, but I want to hear my favorite music without static, if I wanted the static I would go back to cassette tapes.

Posted by blamemefornothing on October 30, 2004 at 12:38 AM (CDT)


Some of you are confusing a constant static/hiss with the high pitched squeal that occurs whenever the hard drive is running.  Static/hiss occurs on all typical devices, some worse than others, and the iPod has no problem with that, even though there are static noises when adjusting volume.  It’s the high pitched squeal that’s the problem.

Posted by Phil on October 30, 2004 at 1:08 AM (CDT)


apple will improve on the problem, they will come out with a solution.
Don’t worry be happy
but its priced 150$ too much

Posted by man on October 30, 2004 at 4:06 AM (CDT)


“I’m glad such a sour-puss like yourself isn’t a part of the Mac community.”
I suspect that this attitude makes some people blind to the fact that even the holy apple can have worms.
If I get one of the most expensive MP3 Players (Which handling- and design wise is most unarguably the best), I want it to be as flawless as the cheaper competition.

The audio quality is not the most perfect to start with for the price of the product. If Apple doesn’t take this seriously (and they don’t seem to do so), it will surely harm their image at a dangerous time, just when the competition is slowly catching up.

Posted by Elhabash on October 30, 2004 at 4:53 AM (CDT)


This is what I have feared. I sincerely hope Apple addresses this issue right away.

Posted by hihlordjp on October 30, 2004 at 7:17 AM (CDT)


All you people who think their 4g’s are fine should take your heads out of the sand, or the cheap ear buds outta your ears- All 4g ipods have this problem, as anyone with high-end earphones or acute hearing can attest.
This problem must transcend manufacturing defects and in fact is probably an irrevocable design flaw. Apple feels secure in the naivete of their customers, as they evidently seem intent on “Bushing” (ignoring truth and reality) this entire debacle.
Signed-three time 4g loser

Posted by mike on October 30, 2004 at 7:21 AM (CDT)


i don’t get what the big deal is… it doesn’t work. it’s under warranty? get a new one and who cares.

i’m sure apple is working on the problem but it’s not a smart business strategy to advertise it.

Posted by t on October 30, 2004 at 7:22 AM (CDT)


I love how all you people assume that this is a “problem” or an “issue”  Electronics make funny noises…. and yes i have done tests on 4G ipods and iPod photo, the sound heard is so faint and again just like any other electronic on the market….. there is a slight dip in voltages as more power is consumed and then it spikes for a second giving you a “buzz”.  You all are trusting the information from a 3rd party site…  And with this “apple must fix this problem”  iPod lounge is the only site i have seen this issue appear on.  This is an accepted and normal response…. so grow up…..

Posted by cswadner on October 30, 2004 at 7:36 AM (CDT)


I have a 3g 40gig Ipod and have had no problems whatsoever. If you guys are so concerned, buy the 3g. I’ve never tried the 4g because my 3g works just fine.

Posted by bicmedic on October 30, 2004 at 8:49 AM (CDT)


“Electronics make funny noises…. and yes i have done tests on 4G ipods and iPod photo, the sound heard is so faint and again just like any other electronic on the market”

As was mentioned earlier, try listening to a Zen. Those things seem to have a completely flat, undistrubed response right across the spectrum. So it seems like if a manufacturer wants to invest extra cash in quality hardware, they can achieve results.

I think Apple is cutting corners.

Posted by flatline on October 30, 2004 at 9:48 AM (CDT)


Actually AOL was made for “PCs” after a service called QLink was made exclusively for Commodore 64s and then dumped in favor of the PCs by Steve Case, AOLs founder.

Also the software backend for AOL was based off of Apple software used for the ancient AppleLink online service for software developers and vendors.

Posted by Revisionist History on October 30, 2004 at 9:59 AM (CDT)


my 4G iPod had this problem, the static and whirring sound. i shipped to Apple for repair in first 30 days of ownership. they sent me a new iPod. the new iPod does NOT have the static, so they know how to get you a fixed one. mz

Posted by Michael Zyda on October 30, 2004 at 10:24 AM (CDT)


Obviously, the sound is different for different people. On mine, it’s *loud*—I can hear it over the music in much the same way that you can hear static in your car radio when going into underground parking… it’s not just static, it’s a loud whine, with a loud crackling sound… but I don’t think it’s because my headphones are magically more sensitive… that’s a misnomer. The problem is that nicer headphones seem to be more likely to have a wider metal base around the plug, and that’s probably improperly grounding the little electrical signal the ipod runs through the jack so it can detect when the phones are unplugged to pause the system. A new ipod probably isn’t going to help… just put something nonconductive there so the metal disk doesnt touch the surface of the ipod, or ina pinch, pull your headphones out of the jack a millimeter or so.

Posted by JC on October 30, 2004 at 10:37 AM (CDT)


To all those users who hear this sound try pulling your headphone plug out of the ipod a millimetre or so, and lo and behold!!!

Posted by bm in Brazil on October 30, 2004 at 11:57 AM (CDT)


“apple will improve on the problem, they will come out with a solution.”

Pre-tell… based on what information???

It was a problem in the 3rd Gen iPod and now a bigger problem in the 4th Gen. Apple hasn’t even acknowledged the problem. Like other on this post and elsewhere, I found Apple support to be a horrid experience. They were arrogant and apathetic about the problem. They actually told me it was something I was doing wrong. 

I tried 2x 4th Gen iPods that each exhibited this problem. After the second, I returned for a full refund. Went back to my 2nd Gen, which does not have as many features, but works nicely without the sound problem.

Apple is not the company it used to be. How sad. :-(

Posted by dede on October 30, 2004 at 12:10 PM (CDT)

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