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Warning: Don't buy an European iPod, its volume is too low

Sorry if i was a bit rude. Just people get so upset about the tiniest little problem with the iPod these days its rediculous. If the volumes too low to listen to certain types of music, in certain places, there are ways around it. It’s not something thats a really huge problem that you can’t learn to live with and still be perfectly happy with your iPod.

Firmware update!? “Apple technicians told us on the phone that this cap is irreversible.” You say. If its irreversible….what the hell is a firmware update going to do?

Your argument to return the iPod appears to be based on the iPod being advertised as a day to day MP3 player, and it not being that because of its supposedly pathetic output volume. This is something that is based on no legal grounding. They never advertise the iPod as being anything but what it is. However you do have the right to return it if it does not suit, as you stated. I don’t doubt Apple will take it back, just that they have no obligation to.

Classical music in loud places, you heathen. Get some isolating cans at least :)

Posted by Alex Stapleton on June 17, 2003 at 8:45 AM (CDT)

Apple: iPod (with Dock Connector) Manuals Posted

Weiro’s. The manual hasn’t been translated yet in e.g Dutch, Italian, Traditional Chinese, although they are listed.

Posted by Socrates on June 17, 2003 at 7:44 AM (CDT)

Warning: Don't buy an European iPod, its volume is too low

Although I do not own an iPod yet and thus have not been able to experience its volume, I’m quite worried about this volume capping in Europe. Isn’t it just madness that there is such a thing? Why wouldn’t Europeans have the right to enjoy the same loudness as Americans do? I agree with King Aragorn that this could be a heck of a problem when listening to classical music in somewhat noisy environments. Bye bye Ravel, Apple won’t let me listen to the first ten minutes of your Bol

Posted by Socrates on June 17, 2003 at 7:39 AM (CDT)

"Old and New iPods, Side-by-Side" Review

After using a new iPod as much as possible over the last few days, I have found that the battery life is not that of the old iPods (as I expected, as Alex points out, due to the size).  But as long as it can get me through a coast to coast flight including airport time (about 6 hours), that’s good enough for me.

Posted by Christian Cantrell on June 17, 2003 at 7:29 AM (CDT)

Warning: Don't buy an European iPod, its volume is too low

Thanks Drewpy, that confirms what I had found when testing the dock-out in comparison with the ipod-out.

King Aragorn - if you heard no difference when using the dock-out in the car, then perhaps your car audio setup isn’t right? I’m not trying to be insulting, just stating a fact. When I compare the volume of output from the dock and the ipod its astonishing the difference it makes.

One thing though, when I first plugged the speakers into the dock, I didn’t push the jack in all the way. This caused the sound to be very low, and distorted the sound in such a was as to make it sound like the music was coming from the end of a long corridor (ie faint and echo-y).

I will test the dock output in my car this evening, but I see now reason why it should perform any differently there in comparison to my speakers at home…

Posted by DaN13L on June 17, 2003 at 6:42 AM (CDT)

Warning: Don't buy an European iPod, its volume is too low

How can it cost more for Apple to let us non-french-euro’s? They already distribute it to america, and when an update is released they will have one that detects where you are. Since it has to do this anyway, surly it would be a short job to change which category some countries are in (low volume or not).

Line-out is definatly line-out.. I generated a wave, encoded it into mp3 at 192 (100% normalized) put it on the ipod, measured the output of the line-out socket (the only one, which is on the dock) and it was genuine line-out (one volt peak to peak). It is defiatly not capped in any way shape or form.

Posted by Drewpy on June 17, 2003 at 4:37 AM (CDT)

Warning: Don't buy an European iPod, its volume is too low

Yes DannieB, and that is why apple will never meet its full potential.

Brett—I see your point also, but I don

Posted by b0f on June 17, 2003 at 2:49 AM (CDT)

"Old and New iPods, Side-by-Side" Review

The battery isn’t inferior, it’s just smaller. Which means it has a shorter battery life, but density to energy wise its probably better, if not equal. Besides 6-8 hours aint all that bad really. Can always get the addon battery pack :)

Posted by Alex Stapleton on June 17, 2003 at 2:41 AM (CDT)

Warning: Don't buy an European iPod, its volume is too low

If you 3rd gen iPodders are not happy with your toys, then complain to Apple. As many of us 1st & 2nd gen iPodders have found, your complaints will go unheard and your posts will be deleted. 

All I can say is Wah Waah! :p

Posted by DannieB on June 17, 2003 at 1:48 AM (CDT)

Warning: Don't buy an European iPod, its volume is too low

Hi Brett!

Thanks fou your comment. I do see your point.

What I suggest was meant to be more like that: Apple is going to release a Firmware Updater sooner then later because of the USB 2.0 support. All they would have to do is make the EU version of that updater and the US version just as they planned.
now they simply do NOT prevent the US updater (which can only be downloaded from the US website of course) to be applied to the EU iPod and letting it over-write the old EU firmware.
—> voila!
It’s the users fault if he does so cause Apple does tell EU users only to use the EU updater.

Infact, it will even be easier for Apple, cause the US updater will not have to have a checking-routine on whether the EU or the US firmware is on the iPod.

Not that difficult, you see?

kind regards


Posted by King Aragorn on June 17, 2003 at 1:39 AM (CDT)

Warning: Don't buy an European iPod, its volume is too low

All those activities and the costs associated with them are not going to cause iPod sales to increase, so why should they do it?  They gain nothing.

That’s the bottom line for Apple.

Posted by Brett on June 17, 2003 at 1:29 AM (CDT)

Warning: Don't buy an European iPod, its volume is too low

Who’s going to develop and test that app to remove the cap?  Do you realize how expensive testing is, especially when you take into account the multitude of configurations for Windows based PCs?  Tech and customer service reps are going to have to be trained, that costs money as well.  Also, what about the costs associated wtih investigating this problem in order to see if it can be fixed?  Marketing collateral is going to have to be tweaked, that isn’t inconsequential.  I’m sure the EU will want it to be re-certified again which again costs money.

Add up the costs of all those activities and it turns out that costs are not inconsequential, nor is it a “simple fix”. 

All those activities cut into Apple’s margin.  If they want to raise the price of iPods in the Eurpean market and not pass it off to any others, I have no problem with it.

Imagination isn’t required.  I work in the tech industry and make these kinds of decisions on a daily basis.  Business in this industry is about doing the most you can within the timeframe allotted and with limited resources while doing your damndest to increase your margins.

Posted by Brett on June 17, 2003 at 1:25 AM (CDT)

Warning: Don't buy an European iPod, its volume is too low

Ok Guys!

Some of you are getting the point, others don’t. And there is no need for being unfriendly or rude infact, maybe you shoud think about your manners a bit. If this problem doesn’t bother you, why are you posting anyway.

—-> Brett
About “understanding” vs “studying”:
What about providing a downloadable updater that simply removes the volume-cap? That would NOT interfer with French law and it would NOT cost that much. So please, try to use your imagination and don’t tell me I don’t understand. Business is all about what can be done, and not about what can’t.

—-> Alex
Come on, can’t you be more friendly?
Normally I don’t reply to posts like that, but why not: infact, I pasted both studies, and that I did quite good. But that doesn’t contribute to a solution.

My arguement for returning is not that “utter crap” as you might think. I do understand that you have a problem getting the background-meaning of it, but belive me, it works.

—-> Daniel
Thanks for your advise, but yes, I know the difference about “headphone jack” and “line out”. I took the dock to my car stereo and tried it with the dock (hence “line out”) as well.

***** One Mistake I made:

I have to admit, I made ONE mistake in writing this article: turning up the volume on your stereo DOES not lead to sound distortions! Only turning up the volume via iTunes getinfo command causes these distortions (in some tracks).
Sorry, my fault. Appologies for that.

**** low volume CAN really be a pain:
For those who worried about my hearing. Thanks for your sympathy, but my hearing is good.
Think about that: About 20% of the music on my iPod is not Rock/Pop, but Classic. There are many classic tracks that have very low-volume parts in it. It is always (!) difficult to listen to classic music when your are in noise places. The only way you can get around that is by turning up the volume. But on my iPod, that doesn’t work, cause it is capped.
You might say that doesn’t matter.
I say, I spent Eur 460 for it and to me it matters.

I thank you all for your comments and thoughts. Even if some didn’t show the politeness they should have, I do appreciate all of them.


King Aragorn

Posted by King Aragorn on June 17, 2003 at 12:45 AM (CDT)

"Old and New iPods, Side-by-Side" Review

The battery for New model is inferior to old one. That’s a serious fact to considering I think

Posted by Harrison on June 17, 2003 at 12:38 AM (CDT)

Open Letter to Apple Concerning the Mistreatment of Apple Customers

i’ve had a 3rd Gen 15 gig for the past month, and let me tell you oldies, the OTG aint all that. It isnt as useful as promised(it has SOME use, ill give it that). That said, I really dont know what the oldies are complaining about, since i’d gladly trade my clicks between tracks, my way less-than 8 hour batt life (actual use), my sometimes-wont wake up from sleep, and my average of 1 reset a day version for the relatively bug-free 2nd gen pods.

I guess its true that the grass is always greener on the other side. We have 2nd Gen podders clamoring for 3rd Gen features, and we got 3rd Gen users whining why it aint as bug-free as the 2nd Gen.
Lets just all be content with what we have, k? Its all about the music people. It always has been.

Im a Mitsurugi user myself, but my fave showdown character was Jubei. He rocked!

Posted by Reorx on June 16, 2003 at 11:38 PM (CDT)

DJ Rents Customized iPods to Businesses

Good point NiTRO.

Posted by jsmoove7 on June 16, 2003 at 7:12 PM (CDT)

Open Letter to Apple Concerning the Mistreatment of Apple Customers

ID, I have a question. I’ve noticed all the talk about these song ratings. Why are they so desirable? They don’t seem as useful to me as on the go playlists, especially if it functions correctly.

Posted by zync on June 16, 2003 at 7:10 PM (CDT)

Warning: Don't buy an European iPod, its volume is too low

I have to agree with the post above concerning headphones. I prefer to use Grado SR60’s which although designed to be driven by portable appliances, still require slightly more driving than earphones. I find the output on the iPod to be the only dissapointing thing about it, it is definately lower in volume than both my minidiscman and my wife’s discman.

I bought some MDR-EX71SL earphones which are a marked improvement on the ones that ship with the pod, ie I can actually use them on the train. The phones are still to quiet though unless I have the volume set to well over 75-80% - which then bothers me since I hate having to set it so high.

It’s not that hard to release a software patch for this issue. The patch doesn’t need to be region specific all it needs is a legal disclaimer to cover the French region disclaiming all liability if you choose to install it and are French. Presumably if this was available from the AMERICAN site it wouldn’t be covered under European law.

Sort it out Apple, you are hobbling a perfectly decent product.

Posted by GuyVer on June 16, 2003 at 7:09 PM (CDT)

Open Letter to Apple Concerning the Mistreatment of Apple Customers

Billy, having not even bought an iPod you’re one to talk about someone not spending their own money. Why would I lie in an open letter to a company about using my scholarship money in which I complain about them not being open to us. My parents work long hours many days a week just to pay for their cars and our house. I wish they had the money to pay for my iPod. Don’t you think if my parents were those kind of people I could just ask them to buy me another one? If they’re so loaded as you think why don’t I just go try that instead of taking my time to write what I did, make what I make, and post here. Please, if you can’t stop trying to think you know me, at least make your arguent make sense.

Oh yeah, BTW I used HWANG.

Posted by zync on June 16, 2003 at 6:58 PM (CDT)

Warning: Don't buy an European iPod, its volume is too low

yep i hope everyone can realise that we all have different needs, and it would be ideal if Apple could cater to all of them. However it does seem quite worrying if you have to listen to music at full blast to enjoy it, perhaps it’s better to lay off earphones for a bit?

Posted by ibons on June 16, 2003 at 6:47 PM (CDT)

Zip your iPod, new case announced

Ok, let me know when you are in Hong Kong, I need test drivers for future cases I am making for iPod, iBook, PowerBook and other keyboard protects and screen protectors, you may want to be one of them. Test drivers when needed will be posted on the site.

Posted by Lajo Cymbalski on June 16, 2003 at 6:26 PM (CDT)

Open Letter to Apple Concerning the Mistreatment of Apple Customers

Also, Billy, looking back at my posts I’m proud. Do you know why? I didn’t sound whiny and I certainly did not embarass myself. Neither did anyone who posted in my favor. Why? We all had the best points. No matter what anyone has said I’ve come back with a better response. Not only that, but you people have also replied with the same thing over and over ad infinitum. You do realize that in any form of debate (not that I was on a debate team BTW, though speech was a required class at my highschool) repeating your points is a sign of a weak argument. I’ve been not only non-repetitive in my replies to the same topics but also innovative with my own arguments. You’ve said the same thing as many other people on this post and you know what? You’re no more correct than they are and believe me, they weren’t.

Posted by zync on June 16, 2003 at 6:14 PM (CDT)

iSkin for iPod 5GB and 10GB for $10

sorry the asp code is not finished yet for the order page, you can view the colors and then send an email to order. All orders will be shipped by

Posted by Lajo Cymbalski on June 16, 2003 at 5:59 PM (CDT)

"Old and New iPods, Side-by-Side" Review

That’s one quality (funny) review.  :)

Posted by VK on June 16, 2003 at 5:55 PM (CDT)

Warning: Don't buy an European iPod, its volume is too low

If my fellow ipod

Posted by b0f on June 16, 2003 at 4:27 PM (CDT)

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