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.

« iPod Halloween costumes

Ten Technology announces flexDock charger/mount for mini »

Related Stories



“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 12:11 PM (CDT)


Wow, when I signed in here to check out potential problems with the new Photo Pods, I didn’t realize I would have to read through a bunch of post from 6 year olds to get to the thoughtfull, helpfull comments. Apple sells the best and most expensive MP3 player available. Customers have every right to expect that they work flawlwssly. The attitude (expressed here by many) that you should be happy that Apple has deemed you worthy to purchase one of their divinely created products is childish and unproductive. Such comments add nothing to a discussion about the pros and cons of a product. If I want to hear from constomers who bend over every time Steve Jobs taps them on the shoulder I’ll subscribe Mac Addict.

Randy (imac, G4 Quicksilver, G52GB, 17"PB)

Posted by Randy Holder on October 30, 2004 at 12:39 PM (CDT)


On my 3G I have the static and hardrive spinning noise through the headphones ONLY when placed in the dock. If I remove it from the dock it instantly goes away. I’m not sure what causes it but I just don’t listen through the headphones while having it in the dock. Usually the only time I have it in the dock is for charging and syncing anyway so no big deal, but I would be annoyed if I had a 4G that did it while not in the dock.

Posted by BigFil on October 30, 2004 at 12:55 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

By j()() on Oct 29, 04 8:57 pm

The ipod really isnt worth it at all. I haven’t purchased the iRiver H-320, but i am sure that it is alot better than the ipod. I encourage you to purchase the iRiver. If a company is notified that there is a defect in their product, they immediately fix it. Apple didn’t fix the 4th generation ipod nor did they even think about repairing the ipod photo. This just goes to show to all of you that Apple really doesn’t care about quality but quantity. Unless the product stops running will they make a small effort to fix the problem. Little actions such as these sends companies down the drain to having loss. For those of you who see it as a minor problem may have a minor problem in your heads. When something is free then only will it make sense not to complain. However, paying for something that even cost a dollar should have quality. You have to be stupid to purchase something that you know has a defect in it. For those of you that want to purchase the ipod go right ahead. Get a taste of Apple’s support team. For the wise people out there, just purcase a different branded product. Sure it may not look attractive as the ipod but as we all know it is what is inside that counts and not what is outside.

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


Maybe this is all over the web, but I haven’t seen it mentioned on any sites… I got the idea from an anecdotal comment on a possible cause of the problem on ipod lounge, and when I looked, it seemed to make sense. Basically, the problem stems from the changes Apple made in the 4G to pause the ipod when you unplug your phones… there’s a small charge running through it somehow, so when the circuit breaks, the ipod pauses. The problem occurs with headphones which have a metal disk around the plug, which seem to include most of the higher end ‘phones, including my Shure E2s. It’s probably because the metal disk is touching the metal back of the ipod… but at any rate, a quick and dirty fix is just to take a small piece of plastic wrap, punch a tiny hole in it and run your headphone jack through it… sort of a broken icondom. :-) So your plug issticking through the plastic, but the metal base is still covered by it. I just gave it a try and I’m listening to my 4g static free, no matter what position the plug is in. Give it a try. Much better than continually returning ipods, or giving up your good ‘phones. I might try putting some clear nail polish or something on the ipod around the headphone jack, or on the disk around the plug, since the plastic will tear off fairly quickly… but it works for now.

Posted by bm in Brazil on October 30, 2004 at 1:32 PM (CDT)


I want steve jobs head on a platter how dare Apple put out a pice of crap like this!!!! (sarcarstic)  get over it people….

Posted by Wash on October 30, 2004 at 1:39 PM (CDT)


Lord.  There is no proof that this alleged design flaw even exists. Yet, someone plants the idea and folks run around screeching as if they know it to be true.  I wish to congratulate the cool heads on the thread who are not jumping on the bandwagon.  If it turns out there is a problem, Apple will acknowledge and remedy it, as it did with the iPod warranty and battery issues.  But, people are putting the cart before the horse.  I suspect many of the claims of static on iPods are pure suggestibility.  Someone suggested it, so now they think they hear it.

Jeremy do you have any real evidence of the design defect you allege?  By that, I mean measuring devices that have picked up the static or distortion.  There is too much subjectivity in asking people whether they hear a sound.

. . . I thought not.  But posting an entry claiming to have found a design flaw right after the release of the two new iPods is a good way to get attention, isn’t it?

Posted by Podesta in Portland, OR on October 30, 2004 at 1:45 PM (CDT)


I have a new ipod Photo and i can report i have not heard anything out of the ordinary at all. in fact i absolutly love this new ipod!

Posted by Nick on October 30, 2004 at 1:55 PM (CDT)


lol the negativity and peevishness of these comment pages never ceases to amaze me.

Ipodlounge must have one of the worst communities I have ever encountered.

Do you silly people really care so much about MAC VS PC?

It is beyond hillarious.

Posted by Michael on October 30, 2004 at 2:36 PM (CDT)


Podesta, if you bothered to read the site’s official defect thread you would see that hundreds of people have reported the same problem. if you’re so blind as to ignore the obvious facts about a design flaw that are in front of you, i beseech you to do everyone a favor, buy an old model ford pinto, and let someone rear-end you.

Posted by zephyr on October 30, 2004 at 3:59 PM (CDT)


Uh, BM, if you’re going to swipe my article from forevergeek, at least give me a link back. Jerk.

It’d be nice if the ipodlounge mods would post something about that. It’s a very simple fix and worked quite nicely.

Posted by JC on October 30, 2004 at 4:19 PM (CDT)


The fact is that, there should be NO problems with the product.  It should be perfect when you buy it.  The poeple on this forum know a little bit more than the average person who doesnt come here.  This is why apple wont fix it.  They see it as most peeople buying Ipods now are new and this is there 1st one.  So how could you compare iut to somthing you have never used before.  So apple doesnt ahve to fix it.  And not every Ipod had this issue I had a 20gb 4G and it did not, But I returned it for a 40gb 3G becosue the 4G are crap quality IMO. 

All products should be perfect when bought and if somthing is not then it should be recalled and fixed.  Duch as the Computer chip maker intel has a problem with there chips, they has to recall thema nd they lost 2 billion.  Its just what good companys do.

The iPod used to be a cool nice thing to have.  Now everybody has them even old men on the Bus when im going to school.  I think i am going to take a look at Sony or another brand next time

and all of you idiots that defend apple as if its not THAT BIG Of A PROBLEM You are crazy becouse you are getting suckered out of your money when steve jobs is worth 872 million and you make 40-100k a year.  Thnk about it

Posted by Vinny77 on October 30, 2004 at 5:09 PM (CDT)


“The iPod used to be a cool nice thing to have. Now everybody has them even old men on the Bus when im going to school. I think i am going to take a look at Sony or another brand next time”

Personally I use tech gadgets that work for me, that perform useful functions and deliver something useful that improves my life or enhances my productivity. Sometimes that’s an Apple product, more often (due to the law of big numbers in the marketplace), it’s not.

But if you prefer to buy something just because it’s “cool” then more power to you. You are the kind of instinctual well-trained and compliant consumer that big companies just adore.

Posted by brand slave whores on October 30, 2004 at 6:22 PM (CDT)


i don’t have an iPod (or any other mp3 player) but i still plan on getting a 20GB 4G for christmas this year.

(this has already been posted, but i have a slightly different way of doing it)
iCondom (sorry, but i can’t remember who posted that). instead of using something really thin like plastic wrap, try using one of these things.

-bicycle tube. i’m sure most of you would have an old bike tube laying around somewhere. so cut a little circle out of the tube (just big enough to cover the metal base of the plug) then poke a hole through the middle with a needle or skewer or anything pointy, then push the piece of tube over the plug bit of the headphones.

-electrical tape. cut a small circle of electrical tape (PVC tape, the stuff that stretches a bit, what electricians use), poke a hole in the middle of it. then push it over the plug bit (sticky side facing away from the iPod, so the take will stick to the headphones)

if you have the ‘defect’, try doing one of those things and then post back here and tell us what happened.
did the noise go away?
is it less noticable?
any change at all?

Posted by wtp omen on October 30, 2004 at 7:23 PM (CDT)


Larry…. if you have 400 sets of headphones, you need to get out more LOL geezus.  Get some professional help maybe.  That’s a good attitude “I’ll never buy another apple product” waa waaa.  I am an Apple user and I don’t want to be associated with you… I have had three iPods, not a single problem with any of them, and I only have 2 sets of headphones.. hmm odd.

Posted by Mike on October 30, 2004 at 8:28 PM (CDT)


No, the noise does not go away on all iPods if you use tape to prevent metal on metal contact.  And that idea doesn’t explain why earphones with plastic surrounding the jack still has the audio defect.

Posted by P on October 30, 2004 at 8:33 PM (CDT)


Ok. this is it. I am not buying any more iPod unless they fix this problem.

Posted by Gary Young on October 30, 2004 at 9:01 PM (CDT)


I have now tested 3 4G 40GB iPods and my new 60GB iPod Photo, following, to the letter, iPodLounge’s instructions for testing for the audio defect.
All 4 iPods are quiet as a mouse with flawless song loading and playing quality.
As far as I am concerned, I hold to my earlier assertion that this is a minor problem at best, well within the normal realm of defect one may see with any piece of consumer electronics.
I would heartily recommend the 4G or iPod Photo to anyone without hesitation. The more I have experience with perfect iPods, and the more whining I hear from people on this board, the more I think this is either a complete misconception about what this minor defect is, in relation to normal electronic static/hiss which is to be expected, or maybe for some it is a reaction, conscious or unconscious, of jealousy or anger regarding how Apple has been releasing new iPods so quickly. I again call for iPodLounge to do the right thing and retract their recommendation against these new units.

Posted by Larry on October 30, 2004 at 9:16 PM (CDT)


I have a 3G iPod, and I never hear the weird hard drive sound when I listen to it with headphones (no one has really seemed to with 3G iPods), but when I play music through my iTrip, I can hear the hard drive spinning when I do something like switch artists or playlists.

Posted by Psychaos on October 30, 2004 at 10:07 PM (CDT)


I went thru 15 4th Gen $O BG before I found a good one at the Apple Store in SOHO NYC but I was able to get 5 good 60GB Photo ones right away -Good Luch finally I guess - they exchange anything within reason up to a year!

Posted by Iown24ipods in SF on October 30, 2004 at 10:32 PM (CDT)

Page 4 of 6 pages ‹ First  < 2 3 4 5 6 > 

If you have a comment, news tip, advertising inquiry, or coverage request, a question about iPods/iPhones/iPad or accessories, or if you sell or market iPod/iPhone/iPad products or services, read iLounge's Comments + Questions policies before posting, and fully identify yourself if you do. We will delete comments containing advertising, astroturfing, trolling, personal attacks, offensive language, or other objectionable content, then ban and/or publicly identify violators.

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.
Sign up for the iLounge Weekly Newsletter


Recent News

Recent Reviews

Recent Articles

Sign up for the iLounge Weekly Newsletter


iLounge is an independent resource for all things iPod, iPhone, iPad, and beyond.
iPod, iPhone, iPad, iTunes, Apple TV, Mac, and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc.
iLounge is © 2001 - 2014 iLounge, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use | Privacy Policy