Pump Down the Volume
by the Gadget Gals
Apple Computer recently announced (March 2006) a software update for the iPod nano and Video iPod allowing customers to easily set their own personal maximum volume limit. That's good news for consumers but the news is even better for parents. This software update also gives parents the ability to set a maximum volume limit on their child's iPod (at least the most recent models) and lock it with a combination code.
"As the leading provider of digital music players, Apple continuously brings iPod customers innovative and easy to use solutions," said Greg Joswiak, Apple's vice president of Worldwide iPod Product Marketing. "With the increased attention in this area, we want to offer customers an easy to use option to set their own personal volume limit."
Apple's move is probably not as altruistic as it sounds. A class action lawsuit filed against Apple in federal court in California in January, claims that iPods could cause hearing loss because they have the capacity to produce sounds in excess of 104 decibels and up to 115 decibels.
The National Institute of Health said earlier in March that more research is needed to determine whether portable music players like the iPod increase the risk of hearing loss. This statement was in response to a lawmaker's request for a review of the issue. Just common sense, though, indicates that parents should take advantage of this tool to protect kids who often use little judgment when comes to "pumping up" the volume.
The new software update 1.1.1 is available immediately as a free download for the iPod nano and the fifth generation iPod. The new Volume Limit feature works with any headphone or accessory plugged into the iPod headphone jack as well as the iPod Radio Remote. If you want more information on safe listening with the iPod and other mp3 players and other digital devices, try http://www.apple.com/sound and http://youth.hear-it.org
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