Mix: France/Apple, Third-grader, Radio erosion, Abilene Univ. | iLounge News


Mix: France/Apple, Third-grader, Radio erosion, Abilene Univ.

France Trade Minister Christine Lagarde said yesterday that Apple shouldn’t be surprised at the country’s proposed law to sever the link between the iPod and iTunes Music Store. “Any time a company restricts competition in a market, it gets the attention of regulating agencies. We have to play by the rules of the game,” she said.

A California third-grader received a formal letter from Apple’s legal department after she mailed a note to Apple CEO Steve Jobs with suggestions on how to improve the iPod nano. Following a report by a local CBS news team, an Apple legal counsel called the girl and apologized.

Podcasting and MP3 players such as the iPod are contributing to a drop in terrestrial radio listening. According to a survey by Bridge Ratings, 27% of people 12-24 attribute their reduced use of radio to MP3 use, while 22% attributed it to tired radio programming.

Abilene Christian University in Texas has redesigned two of its graduate programs so course materials can be downloaded onto video iPods. “The program will allow busy graduate students to enhance their education while meeting the responsibilities of jobs and family, said Dr. Gary Tucker, director of distance education.”

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It doesn’t matter what the industry standard is regarding unsolicited letters, the point is the letter was from a 3rd Grader with a good idea!  Yes, Mr. Jobs could have and should have responed to this little girls letter. Sometimes the best ideas are from little kids!

Posted by mikki man on April 14, 2006 at 6:50 PM (CDT)


someone should tell that kid you can do that already.

Choose a song in iTunes, and click GET INFO.

In the Lyrics tab enter the lyrics then update the iPod.

Posted by deedubya on April 14, 2006 at 6:52 PM (CDT)


Man, i wish people would GET A CLUE!
Like “Deedubya” pointed out the iPod has been able to show lirics since the 3rd Gen,

In a tech consumer community where everyone sues one another over every development, is it anywonder Apple has to protect itself by such a respoce.

I think iTunes so called monopoly is a similar issue,
I fix peoples mp3 players all the time and its always the same complaint “Why cant they just make it work”. By limiting the amount of variables iTunes like any other Apple product can offer a better service.

Its all a respoce to protect it self from the ever whining tech consumers…

Posted by coolgato on April 14, 2006 at 7:54 PM (CDT)



iTunes will hold lyrics info, but on a 4th gen at least, I don’t think it’s possible to get it to show on the iPod. Or I’m just oblivious after a long time, but I don’t think it can show on the iPod. Unless you put in in .txt and throw it in the Notes folder, but that doesn’t really count.

Posted by Justin Horne on April 14, 2006 at 8:14 PM (CDT)


Justin, coolgato: Only Nanos and 5Gs are capable of displaying lyrics stored in the songs ID3 tag. If you want lyrics on older iPods, you need to make a text file and put it in your iPod’s notes folder.

Posted by Nobody on April 14, 2006 at 8:52 PM (CDT)


The girl has a nano and she was suggesting the addition of a feature that already exists for that model! Maybe she should RTFM or the help file first.

Posted by Railrider on April 14, 2006 at 8:55 PM (CDT)


Hey Nobody:

You said
“Justin, coolgato: Only Nanos and 5Gs are capable of displaying lyrics stored in the songs ID3 tag. If you want lyrics on older iPods, you need to make a text file and put it in your iPod’s notes folder.”

My friend has an iPod Photo (30GB) and he can display song lyrics on his….

Posted by hoho on April 15, 2006 at 2:54 AM (CDT)


When I was a kid (around the second grade), I got a great idea for a new He-Man action figure. I wrote to Mattel and included a bunch of drawings showing just how cool this new guy would be. I got a letter back a few weeks later thanking me and saying that although they liked my character, they weren’t able to use it. Also, they were going to put my letter and drawings in a safe so nobody would be able to use my idea without my permission.

It was a little dissapointing, but I felt better for the kind words, and the end result was not me running into my room, slamming my door. Far from being ‘coddled’, I think the response was very appropriate for a little kid.

I’m glad that this has promted discussion inside Apple for dealing with letters from children in the future, considering how many kids now have Nanos and Shuffles.

The lyrics option isn’t exactly straightforwardly explained, and a lot of casual adult iPod users don’t know it’s there.

Posted by Multimoog on April 15, 2006 at 3:45 AM (CDT)


I dont care how old anyone is, they should NEVER recieve a reply mail like that. APple and Steve Jobs need to remember that they are a company who exists to serve us and not the other way around. Take a hint Apple, and stop being such jerks. I know people who were your executives, left the company, and one of the reasons is the attitude. You make agood product, but poor personality.

Posted by Stacy on April 15, 2006 at 9:25 AM (CDT)


The kid who wrote the letter to Apple and didn’t get the reply she thought she should get is a spoiled brat.  That’s what’s wrong with the world today—there are a bunch of spoiled brats walking around who get upset if the tiniest negative comment is directed towards them.  That kid’s mom should have told her that the world does not revolve around her and that everyone in the real world is not going to think she’s great.  Get over it, kid, and learn something from this.

Posted by Leo on April 15, 2006 at 1:14 PM (CDT)


Technically, your friend has one of the newer iPod photos, which were just regular iPods for a while, IIRC. No photo badge at all, just a color screen.
i have a REAL 40 GB iPod Photo (it says it on the box) and it will not display lyrics. So, I suppose anything with color after the official photo iPods does it.

Posted by Justin Horne on April 15, 2006 at 1:39 PM (CDT)


“That kid’s mom should have told her that the world does not revolve around her and that everyone in the real world is not going to think she’s great.”

The problem is that’s NOT something you need to say to a young kid, unless you’re aiming to be an awful parent. Sorry, there’s no way to calmly sit your child down and explain in a nurturing way that they suck and nobody cares about them.

It just boils down to good/bad customer relations. Sure, if a 30-year-old sent a dozen copies of the same letter saying the next iPod version should include lead sheilding so the CIA can’t monitor your iPod playlists, then they might expect something like that letter. That form letter is best reserved for a crazy person, not a kid doing a school project. But like I said, it’s good that Apple is changing it’s relations policies.

Posted by Multimoog on April 15, 2006 at 3:13 PM (CDT)


elo, I stick by the “bonehead” statement simply because they did not bother to take into account that the letter they received was from a third grader and temper their reply accordingly. 

“Tact is the art of telling someone to go to hell and have them anticipate the trip.” -Unknown

Posted by vnman on April 15, 2006 at 6:31 PM (CDT)


Huh, Multimoog.  My mother told me that many times while I was growing up.  I didn’t like it at the time, but now I’m glad she told me that, because it helped me eventually realize the cruel reality I’d face in the world.  Guess I need to call her and tell her she was an awful parent.

Posted by Leo on April 15, 2006 at 8:06 PM (CDT)


Hoho, you must be confused, your friend probably has a 5G.

“If you like to sing along with your tunes, you can display song lyrics right on the screen of a supported iPod. This includes:

  * iPod nano
  * Fifth Generation iPod “

Posted by Nobody on April 15, 2006 at 8:10 PM (CDT)


It seems like a lot of people hear love Apple and think they are perfect so much so that they find any story against them stupid. Then these people start to find ways to bash little details within the story that have no real importance, like the girl is too rich and shouldnt be listening to music at 8 years old. Cmon guys, stop being so narrow-minded and try to look at the story from both sides.

Posted by Jonathan on April 15, 2006 at 10:52 PM (CDT)


OMG people!!This little girls was talking about SING-A-LONG lyrics…when lyrics are synchnized with song….y all of you trying to show that you’re smart..And i 100% agree Apple is the same corporation as Microsoft, GM, or even Macdonald’s…none of that corporations are wvil…most evil thing is U.S goverment(oops)

Posted by Jim on April 16, 2006 at 12:58 AM (CDT)


“Honestly, I feel worse for that cat stuck in a wall in NY than I do for this rich brat who’s parents think its ok to clog their kids ears with music at age 8.”

Haha, wasn’t that the most ridiculous news story?

You’re right, this isn’t far behind though.  While I think it was dumb of Apple to send such an obnoxious letter to a child, this there is absolutely no reason why anyone should be outraged or why this should have made any news program anywhere.  Forget the fact that it’s devoid of any real content—there is nothing even remotely sensational about this.  How about devoting air time to, oh I don’t know, the genocide in Darfur rather than a spoiled little girl whose feelings were hurt by a corporate auto-response?  God bless America.

Posted by M. le Pod on April 16, 2006 at 2:39 AM (CDT)


Apple has created a monopoly like Microsoft did with Windows. That means you can only listen to ITMS on Apple products. That’s like communism, one brand, one product : NO CHOICE ! Especially if you are on Mac, you’re dead :( You can’t buy music and put it on your iPod except with the ITMS because we can’t buy WM music and we can’t rip music from CDs (all the new CDs are copy protected and the law doesn’t allow us to rip them (because = bypassing a DRM)).

Microsoft has the same problem here in Europe with Windows Media dans Windows XP. I don’t understand why they are bothered in the US as you have many trust laws.

Apple just should licence their Fairplay DRM. If not, then, in 10 years, Apple will be the Microsoft of music and movies.

Posted by Steph on April 16, 2006 at 3:40 AM (CDT)


I sent a letter to LEGO once, suggesting that they sell packs of minifigures. I got a very similar response- something along the lines of “we do not take suggestions from individuals”.

It wasn’t a big deal. Companies only care about what their customers are saying when they complain, basically. My mom gets tons of coupons by e-mailing companies and telling them what happened to her- like when a 6-pack of Dr. Pepper was flat.

Posted by Eric on April 16, 2006 at 12:26 PM (CDT)

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