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Update: iPod’s Dirty Secret Secret Revealed

Author's pic

By Dennis Lloyd

Publisher, iLounge
Published: Friday, November 28, 2003
News Categories: iPod

Dave Shroeder has emailed us in his own words about the events that took place between the Neistat brothers and himself. Click ‘Read more’ to read the letter.

According to Dave Shroeder, the Neistat brothers (producers of the iPod’s Dirty Secret movie) had no intent on letting people know that there were solutions available for replacing the battery in iPods. Dave had provided the Neistat brothers with a mirror (server space) for their website, ipodsdirtysecret.com, to host their now infamous movie. Dave did this with one condition, that they place a link to Apple’s iPod Battery Service along with the movie. At first the Neistat brothers agreed, but then never posted a link to Apple’s website. Dave has since removed the mirror to the website and has posted a text file containing the email conversations that took place between Dave and Casey Neistat. Dave told us, “Please spread the word on these brothers who’d rather spread lies than the truth.”


Letter to iLounge from Dave Shroeder.

I offered to mirror their video after their original webhost apparently pulled out, with one condition: that they link to, or otherwise inform users about, Apple’s official $99 iPod battery replacement, since the video, as it stands, is incorrect: the iPod’s battery is replaceable, and, on top of it, there’s an official Apple program for $99.

They agreed to provide this information, and said they had no problem telling users how to solve the problem. I, in turn, provided webspace and bandwidth for them. The bottom line: after two days of lies and false starts, and milking my institution’s generosity by providing almost 100,000 downloads and 0.7 terabytes of data transfer, they NEVER posted any information about how to solve the problem that they promised to post. Their agenda seems clear, and that’s sensationalism, melodrama, and attention.

Before the mirror offer, I sent them two email messages indicating that there is now an official Apple battery replacement program, not to mention third party options, and that it would seem that if their purpose is to bring this to light, they should at least inform people of the solution as well…neither received a response. The first response was to my offer to mirror, and they just lied and stole the whole time, even netting another web provider over 50,000 ad views using OUR bandwidth. Nice.

- Dave

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Comments

1

Well if this doesn’t’ seal the deal on what a couple of opportunist fuctards they are, I don’t know what will.

Posted by Floggy Bottom on November 28, 2003 at 6:46 AM (PDT)

2

Flat busted. While I think the iPod community got a good laugh out of it, I know quite a few non-iPod owners who have asked me about the video ... I wonder how many others (who might not have known a decently well-informed iPodder) have been dissuaded from purchasing it after seeing the video.

What a couple of sensationalist jerks :(

Posted by Bobo on November 28, 2003 at 6:49 AM (PDT)

3

yet he still left it up…

Posted by dave on November 28, 2003 at 7:07 AM (PDT)

4

I’m not sure what you’re implying here, Dave. That he was a sucker? That he was strung along by the brothers’ promise, just so they could keep the free mirror going? Well he did finally see through the charade, and pulled it for good.

Posted by Floggy Bottom on November 28, 2003 at 7:12 AM (PDT)

5

I think the brothers’ dirty little secret is their use of diapers. WAHWAH! Someone buy them a pacifier!

Posted by Sam on November 28, 2003 at 7:12 AM (PDT)

6

All they wanted is their own personal publicity. It would have been absolutely okay to point out a problem, but the many solutions available today are even more important, because solutions actually help people. Not that these guys would care. It’s too bad that you do not have to proove to be worthy before buying an iPod. wink

Posted by Oliver :) on November 28, 2003 at 7:33 AM (PDT)

7

Wow, I just watched that video. Dude, that kid is UGLY. Like, took-a-nosedive-from-the-ugly-tree-and-hit-every-branch-on-the-way-down ugly. I now have to go wash my eyes.

Posted by Dasein on November 28, 2003 at 7:52 AM (PDT)

8

well that sheds some new light on this.

Posted by bb_dg on November 28, 2003 at 8:16 AM (PDT)

9

These tossers have done huge damage which will be hard for Apple to undo. They are scum.

Posted by Jacko on November 28, 2003 at 9:09 AM (PDT)

10

I found this on macsurfer.com
Macdirectory interviews the brothers. Seems like a bunch of lies to me.

I can understand being upset with Apple after being told that an eighteen month iPod and its defective battery will cost me about the same to replace as a new iPod and their solution to my problem is to just simply “buy a new iPod instead” is a load of bullsh*t!!!. They offered no discount or truly helpful assistance when the original one was obviously defective and caused (a lot?) aggravation and distress. They should have tried harder to help this person (one never knows when one might find themselves in a similar situation).

But if the condition that you found yourself in has change, you have the responsibility to report all the facts and information for the sake of truth and also for helping others who could be in the same predicament.  This received a lot of attention and publicity and they could have succeeded in getting their point across and at the same time shown the improvements Apple made to their policy. But they didn’t and missed out on a great opportunity and in turn are now being

Posted by Mr.Hey on November 28, 2003 at 9:09 AM (PDT)

11

Although there are battery replacements, they’re all 3rd party.  I think the gripe is a well founded one.  The gripe seems to be with Apple as a company and it’s completely legit.  Apple should be taking better care of their products and customers. I’m now on my 2nd Ipod, the first one lasted about 14 months.  My experience with Apple was a little better but this is when the battery issues first came out.

Yes there are other solutions availible, but you have to be somewhat hardcore to know about them. Joe average who doesn’t go to any fan based ipod sites is going to have a difficult time coming across them.  Even if he does, how comfortable is he going to be cracking open his ipod. 

You should be able to go to an Apple store or mail it in and have it replaced at a reasonable price. Not some some rediculous, over inflated price that says to the customer, “We’re too busy to worry about you so we’re going to price it so you feel more compelled to buy a new one.”  A little consumer pressure on Apple is a good thing at this point.

Posted by Gabe on November 28, 2003 at 9:22 AM (PDT)

12

Gabe: NO, they are NOT all third party. Apple has an official battery replacement program:

http://depot.info.apple.com/ipod/

The Neistat brothers refuse to tell people that. Did you not read anything related with this article??

Posted by Dave on November 28, 2003 at 9:30 AM (PDT)

13

Gabe: First, Apple does offer a replacement service.

Second, did you actually watch the video?  The gripe isn’t with “Apple as a company” when you plaster “unreplaceable battery” all over iPod ads.  The existance of third party services alone qualifies this gripe as sensationalist rather than well-founded.

Besides, do you think anyone hosting a site with only the video, a front-page hit counter, and a “email complaints or hate to” link is actually looking to start or participate in public discourse?

If a corporation sponsored this they’d be liable for false advertising.  While I usually fault Apple for being too litigious, I’m a bit disappointed that the hounds of law have not yet been unleashed on these “look at me!” dweebs.

Posted by Hans on November 28, 2003 at 9:46 AM (PDT)

14

Macdirectory article:
“The video has now become so popular that it has entered into Mac legend as a benchmark in the evolution of iPod culture”
It has? There is an official tracking of Mac legends?

“And while Casey and his brother are now known for taking one of the most famous swipes at Apple in the company’s history”
In history? In a story that is 3 days old?

Wow. So according to that MacDirectory interview, they new about replacement batteries. They replaced it, and then complain about breaking an OUT OF WARRANTEE iPod.

So this begs the question: did they think it WAS replaceable at purchase? Did they check to see the overall failure rate of iPod batteries by other users?

No.

Posted by Floggy Bottom on November 28, 2003 at 10:15 AM (PDT)

15

And to the person that said you have to be ‘hardcore’ to know about 3rd party battery replacements, I’ve got one word for you: Google.

If the bros. knew how to post a video to the web, they certainly knew how to do a Google search.

I will say, however, that one has to be pretty ‘hardcore’ to have seen (or even heard of) the dirtylittlesecret video. I don’t think it will make any waves in the general public.

Posted by Chimpee on November 28, 2003 at 12:04 PM (PDT)

16

1) Isn’t it illegal to tape a phone conversation without the other person knowing?

2) Isn’t it illegal to distribute/copy people’s music?  I produce videos for a living and I can’t just use any song I want and distribute it.

3) Isn’t it illegal to write graffiti?

4) Who is going to be the first one to do a take off of this ad featuring Windows?

5) If we all quite paying attention to these guys they’ll just go away.  Hans has it right…they are proudly displaying the counter and asking for us to engage them.

See ya later boys! I deal with my problems in a responsible manner.

Posted by Tut on November 28, 2003 at 12:57 PM (PDT)

17

LOL i agree with tut.. let’s do one with windows! yea i thought it was illegal to write graffiti.. and yes, let’s stop paying attention to them.. they’ll quickly go away and be forgotten..

Posted by selcouth on November 28, 2003 at 1:36 PM (PDT)

18

Just curious… when they say that the battery life is approximately 18 months… is that assuming the ipod is fully operational/on 24/7?

Posted by jay on November 29, 2003 at 5:52 AM (PDT)

19

“1) Isn’t it illegal to tape a phone conversation without the other person knowing? “


No its not.

Posted by SpideyPod on November 29, 2003 at 7:17 AM (PDT)

20

>“1) Isn’t it illegal to tape a phone conversation >without the other person knowing? ”
 
 
> No its not.
 
WRONG SpideyPod. While State law may or may not prohibit unauthorized recording of a conversation (in my State, it’s a felony), Federal Law is quite clear regarding the recording of any telephone conversations.

http://ftp.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/recordcalls.html

In short, The FCC protects the privacy of telephone     conversations by requiring notification before a recording device is used to record interstate (between different states) or international wireline     calls. Interstate or international wireline conversations may not be recorded unless the use of the recording device is:

* preceded by verbal or written consent of all       parties to the telephone conversation; or

*preceded by verbal notification which is recorded at the beginning, and as part of the call, by the recording party; or

*accompanied by an automatic tone warning device,  sometimes called a “beep tone,” which automatically produces a distinct signal that is repeated at regular intervals during the course of the telephone conversation when the recording device is in use.

Also, a recording device can only be used if it can     be physically connected to and disconnected from the telephone line or if it can be switched on and off.

So, if these malcontents failed to follow the required procedures, they are not only liars, vandals and thieves locally, if the phone call crossed State lines, they broke Federal law as well.

Posted by tootie on November 29, 2003 at 4:42 PM (PDT)

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