Thursday, March 30, 2006

iPod limits volume

Following lawsuits claiming the iPod can cause deafness, Apple released a new piece of software for the iPod nano and 5th-gen iPods that allows users to set their own maximum volume. It also allows parents to set their children's iPod volume and lock it with a combo code.

This new piece of software is aimed squarely at people who don't know that loud noises cause deafness. I wonder who really, truly needs a piece of software to help lower the device's maximum volume? Kids, granted, and perhaps the software would be fine just adding a parental lock feature of some sort anyway.

Children have naïveté as an excuse, and parents may have clamored for the quieter iPod, looking to avoid actual parental notions such as telling their kids not to crank up the tunes.

But for the rest of grown-up society, I don't see any purpose or need for this software patch. There is, after all, a volume control, which millions of people have been able to set for themselves. It's not as if every iPod that's ever been created was automatically set to "cause deafness loud" levels straight out of the factory. Moreover, the user manual has a thing or two about volume control.

Apple was pretty much forced into spending probably millions of dollars creating this software, which is unnecessary.

Oh well, such is the state of our modern legal system.

Software update 1.1.1 can be downloaded at the iPod download site.

For more info, please see vnunet.

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