Backstage: Things you might care about

This’ll be a brief Backstage entry, but one with a few topics that might be of interest to different people.

First, we’re returning to more regular updates of Backstage after a recent Buyers’ Guide-imposed lull. So stay tuned for more. And there are going to be a lot of site updates this week as well.

Second, we’ve been in touch with Apple regarding the audio defect issue in the iPod Photo.

For what it’s worth, though it’s still an annoying little sound when you hear it, we’ve mentioned to Apple (and also the Audio Defect thread) that it’s quieter in the Photo than in the 4G – in our experience, at least. Different 4G iPods exhibited the Defect at different volume levels from what we gathered, but that doesn’t seem to be the case with the Photo. All three of the iPod Photos we’ve tested at this point have the same issue, at around the same volume. Consider it a 10% annoyance versus the 4G iPod’s 35% annoyance.

My guess is that you’ll certainly not hear it through Apple’s headphones, and might never hear it if you’re using typical $50 headphones, though better quality ones have a better chance of picking it up.

We hear the sound clearly through our UE-10 Pros and fairly well in our Etymotic ER-4Ps, but it’s less noticeable with earbuds that let ambient outside sound in. Average users won’t care, but then, the sort of people buying iPod Photos have more cash, possibly better gear, and more reason to complain.

We’d resigned ourselves to keeping our iPod Photos that exhibited the issue, because it’s relatively tame by comparison with the highly noticeable sound in the 4G iPods we’ve tested, but then sent one of our units back to Apple at its request for testing. We’ll update if there’s something new to say, and of course always appreciate your comments on the topic.

Third, if anyone’s interested in parting with a first-generation 1G iPod, working or non-working e-mail me at jeremy@(nospam) with condition, price, etc.