Software update squashes iPod shuffle bugs | iLounge News


Software update squashes iPod shuffle bugs

Apple today released iPod Updater 2005-09-23, which includes new software to correct issues with the iPod shuffle. According to Apple’s release notes, the update contains iPod Software 1.1.2 for the shuffle, but the same software versions as iPod Updater 2005-09-06 for all other iPods. No other specific changes were available beyond the statement that the update provides “bug fixes for iPod shuffle.”

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Unfortunately, Apple didn’t fix one of the iPod shuffle bug that I documented here.

I sent a bug report more than a month ago to Apple with even a solution for their programmers, since I discovered in detail how the bug happened in software. It seems that my bug report was either put under the rug, or didn’t reach the right person. Anyone at Apple reads this? If yes, please read my forum thread and forward it to your engineers.

Posted by VL-Tone on September 22, 2005 at 11:57 PM (CDT)


I have my fingers crossed that this’ll fix my pet bug. (Can’t find the thread where I reported it, at the moment.) Please, please, pretty please…?

Posted by Alex H. on September 23, 2005 at 1:21 AM (CDT)


Argh, no luck. What exactly did they fix anyway? Why can’t Apple be a little less vague about their software updates? Sigh…

Posted by Alex H. on September 23, 2005 at 1:39 AM (CDT)


From what I just read in the iPod support forums on Apple’s site, they fixed a bug where some of the iTunes music store songs would freeze the iPod shuffle.

It was probably a bug that was hard to find, and I can understand why it was their priority to fix it. So now if they could just fix the bug I reported using the solution I provided…

Or maybe I’ll try to get some documentation about the Sigmatel STMP 3550 chip at the heart of the iPod shuffle and build the patch myself! Maybe Apple could then feature it in their freeware/software download section :)

Posted by VL-Tone on September 23, 2005 at 3:06 AM (CDT)


Still no fix for the Smart Playlist bug on 4G colour screen iPods?

Posted by phennphawcks on September 23, 2005 at 5:24 AM (CDT)


I was hoping for an update that would give all us iPod owners the same menu offerings as the Nano ie: worlclock, lap counter, stop watch, combination lock, etc - these are just software features right?

Posted by Scott Smallwood on September 23, 2005 at 9:56 AM (CDT)


Sorry Scott, but if you knew your Apple iPod history, you would know that wasn’t going to happen.

Like most companies, once Apple gets your money, they really aren’t interested in providing you with any additional functionality.

If you really want those features in an iPod, either buy a Nano or wait for the next generation.

Posted by IDSmoker on September 23, 2005 at 10:14 AM (CDT)


I don’t really care about the new features (but it’d be nice if they added it to the other iPods), but they should fix the smart playlists.

Posted by kilgore on September 23, 2005 at 10:36 AM (CDT)


They need to update all iPods to work with the new iTunes and playlist folders; the current implementation breaks the playlists.  I can understand not adding new features to old iPods, but when you break the functionality, you need to make an update.

Posted by thenightfly42 on September 23, 2005 at 10:40 AM (CDT)


Unfortunately the issue isn’t that Apple is not willing to support past products. The issue is that for accounting purposes, adding additional functionality through software updates to products that have already sold through to the end user results in revenue recognition issues.

The simple version of this concept is that if Apple adds features and options to a product after its been sold, they will have to defer a portion of the revenue for the sale of the product that they should have been able to recognize up front and recognize it either once the element has been delivered or ratably over the life of the product. This is because although the product has been delivered and the revenue for the sale has been recieved, there is an undelivered element to the end user that has not been received yet (the upgraded functionality). Thats why new iPods will get all the cool gadgets and the older ones will not. Because its a PITA to sort out all of the revenue issues on the accounting side of things. 

So, don’t blame Apple. Blame the crusty old nerdy accountants in Washington that come up with complicated rules over revenue recognition. If Apple could recognize all the revenue from an ipod sale up front and be able to provide you with your additional functions on the software side, i’m sure they would.

Posted by AccountingNerd98 on September 24, 2005 at 7:24 PM (CDT)


Thats why new iPods will get all the cool gadgets and the older ones will not.

But Apple does not charge for firmware updates and receives no monetary consideration from them. Therefore Apple can recognize revenue from the sale of an iPod upon delivery and the only case where revenue may be deferred might be in the case of a term-limited service warranty included as part of the purchase.

Providing free updates and enhancements to firmware products is the norm within the semiconductor and computer industry, not the exception. Think about it, how many times have you upgraded a router to get a new version of encryption, or downloaded a service pack to add features to a PC, Mac, or component?

Apple’s reluctance to provide uncrippled updates that will not enhance older iPods is based purely on a desire to force people to abandon their older models as quickly as possible and to buy newer models.

Posted by Demosthenes on September 24, 2005 at 8:43 PM (CDT)


why does my shuffle last sometimes for two hors and than for 9 and it has the same charge time?

Posted by rhymes with orange on September 26, 2005 at 2:41 AM (CDT)


Demosthenes, the fact that Apple does not charge for the updates does not exempt them from these revenue recognition issues. What would be the appropriate accounting treatment is that they would have to carve out a piece of the original revenue recognized through the sale of the iPod and recognize it upon delivery of the undelivered elements. The examples you cited above do not apply because the intent of those patches or service packs was not to increase the functionality of the device but to ensure that it is operating as designed and described in it’s marketing materials. As such, updates that contain bug fixes, beef up the security of the software/device, or otherwise allow it to perform its job “better” is not considered adding functionality. However, (and this is a stupid example, but bear with me) if there was a firmware upgrade that converted your wired router into a wireless router, that would fall under my example.

Posted by AccountingNerd98 on September 26, 2005 at 9:13 PM (CDT)


the intent of those patches or service packs was not to increase the functionality of the device but to ensure that it is operating as designed and described

I doubt your contention of what constitutes new functionality is as cut and dried as you’d like to make it out.

For example, Windows originally did not come with a software firewall. Then a service pack added this, basically installing a software-based IP router into the Windows kwernal. This did not extend the functionality of Windows, it added an entirely new software function to the platform.

If you contend that a new software platform delivering increased security is not new functionality, then how about such releases from Microsoft as Movie Producer, or MS Photo, or the new .NET framework. These deifnitely add a whole new raft of features onto Windows.

Early routers did not ship with WPA encryption, and then a later update added this to many of them. Currently many of them are being upgraded to WPA2, or LEAP. The same case can be made for Static DHCP. You’re going to point me towards the section where FASB distinguishes between security-based functionality enhancement upgrades and non-security-based functionality upgrades.

Or consider the case of the iRiver H320 and H340. Originally shipped with color LCDs, they could display album art and stills. A later firmware update added the ability to play back video. Or the Rio Karma, where a later firmware update added support for Ogg and FLAC.

So you see, many (if not most) companies occasionally take advantage of firmware updates to add features. Apple tends to avoid this. Perhaps the only time it actually added fucntionality to older iPods to match current iPods was giving older iPods the ability to play back DRM-protected AACs purchased from the iTMS. And that was a move that directly enhanced Apple’s bottom line. And that seems to be a non-security related firmware upgrade to me.

The only thing stopping Apple from adding video support to current color iPods is that it has yet to figure out a way to profitably sell them. Either way, Apple will continue to avoid, as much as possible, upgrading older iPod functionlaity to match current iPods, not out of some desire to avoid contingent revenue deferrment, but simply to encourage people to ditch their older iPods and buy new ones.

Posted by Demosthenes on September 26, 2005 at 9:51 PM (CDT)


recognize it upon delivery of the undelivered elements.

Let me be more succinct. Apple makes no representations concerning future abilities of currently selling iPods. They are sold “as-is”. There are no ‘undelivered elements’. Therefore, adding new features through firmware is entirely at the user’s discretion.

Posted by Demosthenes on September 26, 2005 at 9:55 PM (CDT)


As I recall, shortly after the G4 ‘pods were released, Apple release an updater that gave all full sized iPods the same menu structure and options as the then “new” G4 software? (ie: the “Music” menu option replaced Playlist,Shuffle Songs, Games moved to Extras, etc…)

Posted by stikkman on September 30, 2005 at 11:02 PM (CDT)


When I plug in my 15g Ipod, I get a message that I can’t transfer music from my library because the software on the Ipod is too old. Then, when I try to install the latest update, I get this message: You cannot install this software on this volume. This update requires Mac OS 10.2.8 or higher.

How do I update the OS on my Ipod????

Posted by nkoconnell on October 4, 2005 at 9:31 PM (CDT)

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