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Sorry, I Can't Hear You: I'm an iPod User

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April 18, 2006 2:07:31 PM

Should Apple, or any of the other media player manufacturer be responsible for hearing loss or damage caused by these devices?

More about : hear ipod user

April 18, 2006 2:27:46 PM

Yes, Apple and the others should take partial responsibility of hearing loss caused by their players. Apple even admits that its iPod can do 115 dB. Why does it have to go to such insanely high levels?! Just becuse you can doesn't mean you should.

However, the blame is also on the user. He/She knows how badly hearing can be damaged by blasting their eardrums with such loud music. They should at least have the sense to turn it down. This is something that the corporations are obviously not responsible for.
April 18, 2006 4:26:12 PM

People are unable to accept the responsibility of their OWN actions. Period.

The letigious state of our society makes my blood boil.
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April 18, 2006 6:06:54 PM

nope they CAN reach that level but you don't have to use it. it is common sense and general knowledge that prolonged loud noise affects hearing. people need to take responsiblity for their actions and their safety. i mean do you need to be told not to jump off a skyscraper not to do it.
April 18, 2006 6:13:44 PM

I really do not see how you could blame any manufacturer for making a product that allows you to control your volume from as low as 0 db to 115 db.

I really like the analogy with the car. Think about it, it's as if someone who crashed his car into a tree would sue a car manufacturer for installing a wheel! Should these manufacturers install complex computers inside your car to make sure you turn your wheel right? (oh wait... actually it's coming I think). Obviously I am not talking about manufacturing faults, which are a completely different story. And yes, improperly turning the wheel can be caused by a million of causes, but please, dont blame it on Ford (or whoever).

I always thought people should have a permit to use computers, having done a lot of tech support like most people here I guess (either as a profession or for family). Are we gonna need permit for everything now to make sure we are the responsible for our mistakes?

If you are not smart enough to use a volume control, well, please dont blame it on the company, try to, I dunno, follow a very elementary electronic course and then MAYBE you'll figure it out. Oh and yeah, sound is usually cought by ears, and yeah, too much sound can hurt..... I would take a guess saying that 99% of 10 years old kids can figure this one out.

Yes, my mistake here, what is rule number 1 again? Never assume....Right!

So we wont assume that a normal well grown person that has enough money to purchase an Ipod probably never went to a party or a club with extremely loud music (much higher than 115 db) and has no clue how badly you hearing can damaged (at least temporarly) because of high volumes....

I really like having an Ipod that can crank up the volume, not to blow my brain's out, but to be able to adjust it for those few songs that, for some recording reasons I guess, are very difficult to hear at low volume.

Going back to that car analogy, why are our cars capable of doing 220-240 when speed limits are half of these? Well I never tried 220 on a runway, but I sure am glad to have some extra horse power when my car is sitting in the way of a monster truck coming right at me.

Saying the manufacturers are wrong for giving us possibility to adjust the volume will not only lead to giving incredibly fat checks at every similar law suit, it's basically saying the human being is plain stupid!

Arent we better than that?
April 18, 2006 11:52:08 PM

Apple's iPod can do 115 db with stock ibuds..but what about other headphones? If Apple were to limit the volume of the ipod so that people who listened through ibuds would be safe, then the iPod wouldn't be able to drive higher-impendance cans.

I really hope that this doesn't lead to government mandated volume limits.
April 19, 2006 9:02:38 AM

I have just read this article just now re the iPod and hearing damage. The author makes the point that Apple is not reponsible for any hearing loss occasioned by use of the iPod on the grounds that it does have a volume control to adjust the volume and so the user is ultimately responsible for the volume they choose to listen at.

He then goes on to make an analogy with the speed at which someone drives a car and the controlling function of the accelrator and brake, as follows:

While my car can do 75 mph (120km/h) through residential areas, I can choose between applying the acceleration or the brake pedal.

The point the author missies is that the car also has a speedometer which alows the driver to know what speed the car is actually doing. However, the iPod does not monitor the sound pressure level being produced in the ear by the earphones, so the user has no reliable way of knowing just what the sound level is, beyond subjective judgements of "loud" and "soft". It is notoriously difficult if not impossible to judge sound levels accurately. There is also the fact that over time the ears/brain adapt to high sound levels and so the user might continue to raise the sound level during a listening session as the music seems to be getting "softer".

Another factor that comes into play is that different recordings have different overall source levels, and also different dynamics, and so there is no direct correlation between the position of the volume control and the actual sound pressure level, so even the volume control position cannot be used as a guide.

I think the author of this article would agree that it would be unreasonable to expect car drivers to know what speed they were doing without a speedometer, and that sound levels are much more difficult to judge and more subjective than speed. I would also imagine that were a car manufacturer to sell a car lacking a speedo (hypothetical of course since the law would not permit it), it is highly likely that drivers who had speed ralted accidents would successfully sue the manufactures of those vehicles and rightly so.
April 19, 2006 9:31:20 AM

some good points there, especialy about recording levels. one thing, i don't own an ipod and never will but don't they have something that tells yopu what volume its at. it must have numbers or bars or something. one other thing, my 3 or more year old minidisc player has a volume limiting feature which when turned on prevents the volume going above halfway, does the ipod not have that as well. i would find it odd that it is lacking in so many features, i know it only sells cause of hype but that would be ridiculous.
April 19, 2006 9:39:15 AM

Quote:
some good points there, especialy about recording levels. one thing, i don't own an ipod and never will but don't they have something that tells yopu what volume its at. it must have numbers or bars or something. one other thing, my 3 or more year old minidisc player has a volume limiting feature which when turned on prevents the volume going above halfway, does the ipod not have that as well. i would find it odd that it is lacking in so many features, i know it only sells cause of hype but that would be ridiculous.


I think people react to the thing emotionally rather than logically. They think its "cool" and they want to keep up with their peers.

Most people I know who consider their purchases rationally have one of the other competitors, which are cheaper, not tied to iTunes or AAC (e.g. mp3), etc.

But thats the way it always is. If you understand the technology behind a product then you judge it on the technology, but if you don't then the next best thing is the colour, shape and image. The iPod certainly is visually appealing and has nice ergonomics. Not too keen on the price, the proprietry nature, the fact you cant even change the batteries, etc. I will never get one.
April 19, 2006 10:11:06 AM

No. It is not Apples fault if a user uses to high volume.
Apple should (maybe they do) have a warning text in the manual.

The earphones are separate to the player and can be changed. As a user I might chose some earhphones that have better sound but needs higher input so a restriction on output level is not a good solution either.

Quote:
Should Apple, or any of the other media player manufacturer be responsible for hearing loss or damage caused by these devices?
April 19, 2006 12:23:11 PM

I´m tired of receiving emails quoting stupid North American laws suites.
I blame the dumb 4th grade average american citizen and courts for being even dumber.
Maybe all products should say: If you are a jealous stupid american, don´t use this product.
Keep in mind, I´m not bashing all US citizens, or even this forum users.
But thank God I'm european! :twisted:
April 19, 2006 12:32:49 PM

potugal's in europe 8O we let anyone in :twisted:
April 19, 2006 2:19:52 PM

i live in america but was born in canada. i almost never think of myself as an american for that exact reason. america has some of the smartest people in the world working for companies, govt, etc. but i still think the average IQ of an american citizen is one of the lowest in any industrialized nation.

americans in general are greedy selfish jackasses who have no honor and will gladly make absolute fools of themselves in order to make a quick buck they dont deserve. almost every single lawsuit in america is a perfect example of that.

our idiot ipod friend who is sueing fall into the same catagory as the moron who spilled coffee on herself and sued mcdonalds, and the worthless fatasses who are sueing fast food because they are fat.

everyone can make arguments that it is hard to tell exactly how loud the music is but the underlying fact is anyone with an IQ over room temperature would know what is too loud.
April 19, 2006 7:37:21 PM

Why does it go to such insanely high levels? So that people like me who have sensory neural hearing loss can use an iPod. Sensory neural is a hearing loss that I inherited. I didnt have a choice. At full volume my iPod sounds perfect. For other people, I believe Apple released an update that allows u to reset the maximum volume. Apple cannot be held accountable. Apple even put in the user manual a warning that tells people not to listen to their iPod too loud.
April 19, 2006 9:08:08 PM

Quote:
No. It is not Apples fault if a user uses to high volume.
Apple should (maybe they do) have a warning text in the manual.

The earphones are separate to the player and can be changed. As a user I might chose some earhphones that have better sound but needs higher input so a restriction on output level is not a good solution either.

Should Apple, or any of the other media player manufacturer be responsible for hearing loss or damage caused by these devices?


From this response it seems you either did not read my original post, or you did not fully understand it.

As I was trying to point out, there is no accurate way for the user to judge the sound level. Therefor warnings in the manual not to use too high a sound level are useless if there is no way for the user to know when a sound level is too high.

It would be like me giving you a bottle of pills for a medical condition without telling you how many you should take, then putting a warning on the label saying "don't take too many". Whats too many?

8)
April 19, 2006 9:49:49 PM

Nope, that's rubbish. The human body has a protection mechanism that is called "Pain". If something hurts it means "Hey buddy this is no good. Stop that"

But most braindead morons choose to ignore this pain signal because they are "cool". Every time hearing is damaged a little more thus shifting the pain barrier into unacceptable DB regions.

These days there are just so many laws and rules that people think that if something is possible then it is not their fault if something bad happens. Result: Human beings have degenerated to the point that they actually believe they have the right to sue Apple for a loud IPod.

(Pitty that I say this actually because I hate Apple and it's marketing hysteria)
April 19, 2006 10:18:23 PM

Quote:
Nope, that's rubbish. The human body has a protection mechanism that is called "Pain". If something hurts it means "Hey buddy this is no good. Stop that"

But most braindead morons choose to ignore this pain signal because they are "cool". Every time hearing is damaged a little more thus shifting the pain barrier into unacceptable DB regions.

These days there are just so many laws and rules that people think that if something is possible then it is not their fault if something bad happens. Result: Human beings have degenerated to the point that they actually believe they have the right to sue Apple for a loud IPod.

(Pitty that I say this actually because I hate Apple and it's marketing hysteria)


You are sadly mistaken if you think that sound levels loud enough to cause damage also cause actual noticeable pain. Not so. You need to read up about the ear and hearing loss caused by high sound levels.

Its completely different from say the siutation where you touch something hot and feel an instant pain response.

True extermely high sound levels that might actually rupture the ear drum or cause the ears to bleed will result in discomfort or pain, but I assure you that sound levels well short of causing actual pain can still cause damage.

A good analogy woule be the damage caused to the lungs through smoking. Every cigarette smoked does some damage, but you do not feel any pain until the damage accumulates to a very high level over time.

8)
April 19, 2006 10:41:44 PM

Mmmm, granted, you are right about that. I was merely considering the upper level of 115DB which is painful.

But as was already pointed out by others, a level meter won't do the trick because it depends on the earbuds, the abount of earwax lodged in them and so on. I doubt if it is at al possible to measure the actual level produced in the ear channel without shoving a microphone in the ear as well.

Bottomline. Individuals are responsible for their own hearing. There are so many other dangers out there that will damage hearing. Let's ban highways, large trucks, aircraft, pnumatic jackhammers and so on.

Is it your opinion this moron has a case in court?
April 19, 2006 11:24:40 PM

Weather said moron has a case in court or not. Im of the opinion Apple should take him to court, and win their case.

Otherwise (as people have already stated) people will be crawling out of the woodwork with ipod hearing damage and demanding apple make them independently wealthy.
April 20, 2006 12:00:47 AM

Quote:
Mmmm, granted, you are right about that. I was merely considering the upper level of 115DB which is painful.

But as was already pointed out by others, a level meter won't do the trick because it depends on the earbuds, the abount of earwax lodged in them and so on. I doubt if it is at al possible to measure the actual level produced in the ear channel without shoving a microphone in the ear as well.

Bottomline. Individuals are responsible for their own hearing. There are so many other dangers out there that will damage hearing. Let's ban highways, large trucks, aircraft, pnumatic jackhammers and so on.

Is it your opinion this moron has a case in court?


I dont think noise from highways are at ear damaging levels - they may well subject people to stress who live near them and have to hear the background noise 24/7 but thats different.

All the noisy equipment you are referring to are not a natural pert of the environment but created by human beings. Why not get rid of them if they damage people ears? Why do people always supoort the status quo - if they do damage get rid of them.

As regards the actual sound levels, it should be easily possible for Apple to build in a limiter that works with the supplied headphones, since the output voltage swing necessary to produce a given level with the supplied phones can be pre-determined (with reasonable accuracy), and a sensing circuit to prevent the output voltage rising above this preset level would be simple and cheap tech to implement - especially considering the iPod is hardly cheap. They could print a disclaimer on the box warning users that output level control would not work with other types of headphone. This is not a complete or ideal solution but it would work to some degree in the short term.

A better solution would be for Apple and other consumer companies to devise an interface to headphones that includes a sensing circuit so that the player can determine the sensitivity of the headphones and properly adjust the limiting to accomodate the particular phones. A digital interface functioning through the same signal leads as the audio could allow the player to interrogate the phones which would respond with a digital but-stream encoded to supply the sensitivity of the phones in terms of the voltage swing needed to generate various levels. One of these prescribed levels would be the "onset of immediate hearing damage", othrs could be "max level for sustained listending over more than two hours", "safe level for unlimited listening" etc. The player could then be set by the user to limit at whatever level they set, but of course never allowing levels that would cause damage under normal use - use the safe over any period of time level.

The player could also read out the sound pressure level on the display. It might not be 100% accurate, but good enough for normal purposes. I think it would be nice to see something like "SPL: 97db" on my iPod display when I adjust the sound level. That would, in modern parlance, be considered "cool" perhaps?

This kind of digital interface is common in the PC industry, allowing PC's to interrogate peripherals that are hot plugged into connections such as USB, to determine what they are and to set parameters. Its not rocket science anymore.

This automatic level adjustment of the player to the phones would also have the side benefit that no matter what phones a user plugs in, the volume would remain at the set level of the player. This in turn means the user would be better able to judge in advance how to set the volume control.

This interface could be extended to include all consumer electronis devices that use headphones.

As a hi-fi enthusiast, amateur musician and lay-scientist, I have always been dissapointed by the fact taht there si no standardised levels for interconnection of many pieces of professional and consumer electronics. I think the time has come for that to change. Lets hope it does soon.
April 20, 2006 1:54:35 AM

Quote:
americans in general are greedy selfish jackasses who have no honor and will gladly make absolute fools of themselves in order to make a quick buck they dont deserve. almost every single lawsuit in america is a perfect example of that.
If that is true then one would have to assume that the corporate managers at Apple, presumably American, are also greedy, selfish jackasses without honor and who won't hesitate to harm others if it means making a buck, correct? Should they be allowed to get away with that?

Infantile name calling aside, I think I'll reserve judgement about this issue until all the facts are in. Often, facts are not fully or accurately reported in the media.

Let's take the example of the McDonald's coffee incident the article's author so casually cites as evidence of our judicial system run amuck.

At a casual glance, it seems frivolous to sue just because one spilt hot coffee on one's self. But a quick check of the facts over at the urban legends reference website reveals, "...the 'woman scalded by hot coffee' suit, which at first blush looked like the height of frivolity proved to be a perfectly legitimate action taken against a corporation that knew, thanks to a string of similar scaldings it had quietly been paying off, that its coffee was not just hot, but dangerously hot.

Let's look even further. At the Consumer Attorneys of California website we learn the victim, a 79 y/o woman, "... suffered full thickness burns (or third-degree burns) over 6 percent of her body, including her inner thighs, perineum, buttocks, and genital and groin areas. She was hospitalized for eight days, during which time she underwent skin grafting. [The victim] also underwent debridement treatments, sought to settle her claim for $20,000, but McDonalds refused.

"During discovery, McDonalds produced documents showing more than 700 claims by people burned by its coffee between 1982 and 1992. Some claims involved third-degree burns substantially similar to [the victim].

"McDonalds also said during discovery that, based on a consultant's advice, it held its coffee at between 180 and 190 degrees Fahrenheit to maintain optimum taste. He admitted that he had not evaluated the safety ramifications at this temperature. Other establishments sell coffee at substantially lower temperatures, and coffee served at home is generally 135 to 140 degrees.

"Plaintiff's expert, a scholar in thermodynamics as applied to human skin burns, testified that liquids, at 180 degrees, will cause a full thickness burn to human skin in two to seven seconds.

"Further, McDonalds' quality assurance manager testified that the company actively enforces a requirement that coffee be held in the pot at 185 degrees, plus or minus five degrees. He also testified that a burn hazard exists with any food substance served at 140 degrees or above, and that McDonalds coffee, at the temperature at which it was poured into Styrofoam cups, was not fit for consumption because it would burn the mouth and throat. The quality assurance manager admitted that burns would occur, but testified that McDonalds had no intention of reducing the "holding temperature" of its coffee.

"McDonalds also argued that consumers know coffee is hot and that its customers want it that way. [Edit: sound familiar iPod users?] The company admitted its customers were unaware that they could suffer third-degree burns from the coffee and that a statement on the side of the cup was not a "warning" but a "reminder" since the location of the writing would not warn customers of the hazard.

Though I don't have the incisive wisdom of our Canadian contributor above, I think I'll wait until I hear all the facts before I dismiss this as yet another frivolous lawsuit.
April 20, 2006 6:20:30 AM

Quote:
Mmmm, granted, you are right about that. I was merely considering the upper level of 115DB which is painful.

But as was already pointed out by others, a level meter won't do the trick because it depends on the earbuds, the abount of earwax lodged in them and so on. I doubt if it is at al possible to measure the actual level produced in the ear channel without shoving a microphone in the ear as well.

Bottomline. Individuals are responsible for their own hearing. There are so many other dangers out there that will damage hearing. Let's ban highways, large trucks, aircraft, pnumatic jackhammers and so on.

Is it your opinion this moron has a case in court?


I gave already responded to this but missed a couple of your comments.

The level meter would work with the existing headphones. It could also work as I suggested if a standard was agreed upon that phones adhered to such that they reported their sensitivty via a digital interface to the player.

As to the person being a moron - we dont really know enough about the case do we to make that judgement.

If it can be proved that Apple knew its iPod was capable of creating damagind sound levels and it did nothing to prevent this, then I think it might lose. Especially when you consider that apparently in Europe it wss forced to limit the sound level, either to comply with European regulations of following a similar court action - im not exactly sure which. Apple can hardly claim it knew nothing about this issue. If it lost their it might well lose elsewhere to.
April 20, 2006 9:52:40 AM

Quote:

As to the person being a moron - we dont really know enough about the case do we to make that judgement.

If it can be proved that Apple knew its iPod was capable of creating damagind sound levels and it did nothing to prevent this, then I think it might lose. Especially when you consider that apparently in Europe it wss forced to limit the sound level, either to comply with European regulations of following a similar court action - im not exactly sure which. Apple can hardly claim it knew nothing about this issue. If it lost their it might well lose elsewhere to.


What a PC load of talk. Do you honestly think that a person is disadvantaged because they have been given access to a music device that can be loud?

This world is turning to custard. I get so sick of "considerate" people that are happy to hand in their freedom in exchange for "safety" or "security"

A drill drills holes, yes you could drill a hole in your head but should the manufacturer warn you for that and the fact that a hole in your head is bad? There are too many laws as it is and with every new one you push people a step closer to zombie status where thinking is no longer required.

Saying that Apple should take part of the responsibility is wrong. With that you insult every intelligent person that can find their own way in life. Just as I am insulted daily by nanny state micro managing "laws" forcing me to do all sorts of stupid things just to comply such as putting a small piece of styrofoam on my head when I wish to ride a pushbike.
April 20, 2006 12:04:01 PM

first of all, people use the high volume so that they can hear the music when the headphones are not where they should be, sitting or dangling on their neck. this can either be very annoying to other people, make no difference in loud places, or when its really quiet good for letting other people hear your tunes.
in the case of this guy sueing apple for the volume control, lets look at cars. cars have speed controls - accelerators and brake pedals lets say - and not to mention they have direction control - steering wheel - yet accidents happen. could a driver of a vehicle sue the vehicle if say: he hit something while going fast and injured himself? others? some property of his? no, of course not. once you buy the product, you are responsible for your actions with it. with the except of things like if you are using it reasonably and it breaks, they will (or should) fix it.
it seems like the world is getting full of greedy people, and that they have found out about our legal system, where you can sue over anything. i wish i were a judge: "what the hell do you expect? lukewarm coffee? i want my coffee hot when i get it, and if you are a clutz and spill it on yourself then live with it! dont buy it in the first place. mcdonalds recieves $20000 from the defendant for wasting their time in court! dismissed" or something like that. to make things easier apple could put warnings on the box, or in the box, or on the player, saying do not play at high volumes for long periods of time, deafness will occur, you have been warned. and i thought apple already put out a firmware upgrade that lets you put a lock on the volume so it wont go that high? oh well. haha, ive always wanted to see "you have been warned" after messages like that. it really deserves a spot at the end of messages like that. like "do not open this device, 10000V could lead to death by electric shock, YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED." :) 
April 20, 2006 4:21:22 PM

People know that loud noises make you deaf, and you better believe that guy did too, and if he didn't, well, then he doesn't deserve the ability to hear properly, because he's a retard.

What makes him think the iPod is any different than any other music device he's ever owned? Walkman and Discman players have notifications in the manuals that loud music is bad, what makes him think the iPods are any different?
April 20, 2006 4:30:30 PM

i'd be interested to know what job he has, cause i used to work in an oil tools manufacturing firm and the workers were always having it forced down their throats about ear protection. you want to know the funny thing alot of them didnt wear them. every morning we had the health and safety guy tell them. i would also say they were the type, to sue and i was amazed and repeatedly asked them why they didn't wear them and all i got was a shrug, or they werent comfortable. these guys worked at lathes and some had to be forced to wear eye protection as well even though hot metal was flying past there ears. some people are just stupid.
April 20, 2006 8:00:12 PM

The plantiff is out to get money, just as that woman tried to get money out of Wendys (finger in the chili). The not so funny part about these legal proceedings, is that they waste everyone's tax money -- they waste resources and time that could be put to much better use.

There are many ways to prevent this human behaviour -- I say HUMAN because the folks doing the sueing are of various racial backgrounds who have come to America and not necessarily born and raised in America. They span the entire spectrum of white, black, latino, etc. etc.

Some easy solutions:
1. Plantiff must provide minimum $100,000 "Cash Deposit" to instigate the law suit (sorta are you serious money)
2. Add the term "Apply common sense" to any manual/device in question

But if we continue on with hearing law suits like this, you can be assured our freedom and ability to make our own decision will slowly and surely be removed to the point where we become "The Borg" -- a collective conscious with NO individuality -- where walking down stairs in your home will require a waiver form and/or a permit. If I like to take 3 steps at a time rather than one and break my leg doing so, then do I have the right to sue the home builder because there was NO sign on the stairs and NO home owners manual that said this could be dangerous.

These law suits cost everyone (in the US or anywhere) -- the folks that should pay are the ones not capable of applying common sense. "I have no common sense, therefore it must be Apple's fault, the worlds fault".

Is that our final destination? Do we want that to be our final destination?

I would judge this case be tossed out of court and the plantif required to pay $50,000 for wasting time & resources. Lawyers don't care, they get their money either way (unless they're stupid lawyers) so the only way to cut this active off is place the burden on the Plantif not on society.

Rob.
April 20, 2006 11:26:20 PM

Quote:
The plantiff is out to get money, just as that woman tried to get money out of Wendys (finger in the chili). The not so funny part about these legal proceedings, is that they waste everyone's tax money -- they waste resources and time that could be put to much better use.

There are many ways to prevent this human behaviour -- I say HUMAN because the folks doing the sueing are of various racial backgrounds who have come to America and not necessarily born and raised in America. They span the entire spectrum of white, black, latino, etc. etc.

Some easy solutions:
1. Plantiff must provide minimum $100,000 "Cash Deposit" to instigate the law suit (sorta are you serious money)
2. Add the term "Apply common sense" to any manual/device in question

But if we continue on with hearing law suits like this, you can be assured our freedom and ability to make our own decision will slowly and surely be removed to the point where we become "The Borg" -- a collective conscious with NO individuality -- where walking down stairs in your home will require a waiver form and/or a permit. If I like to take 3 steps at a time rather than one and break my leg doing so, then do I have the right to sue the home builder because there was NO sign on the stairs and NO home owners manual that said this could be dangerous.

These law suits cost everyone (in the US or anywhere) -- the folks that should pay are the ones not capable of applying common sense. "I have no common sense, therefore it must be Apple's fault, the worlds fault".

Is that our final destination? Do we want that to be our final destination?

I would judge this case be tossed out of court and the plantif required to pay $50,000 for wasting time & resources. Lawyers don't care, they get their money either way (unless they're stupid lawyers) so the only way to cut this active off is place the burden on the Plantif not on society.

Rob.



"There are many ways to prevent this human behaviour -- I say HUMAN because the folks doing the sueing are of various racial backgrounds who have come to America and not necessarily born and raised in America. They span the entire spectrum of white, black, latino, etc. etc."

Who cares about this sh*t?
You are being stupid by saying this.
Do I smell.........Hitler?
April 21, 2006 12:03:38 AM

You should care since this costs you and everyone money because someone was not able to apply common sense. Think beyond your nose -- what country this happens in is completely irrelevant just as the cultures involved. It happens more in America because we tolerate gold diggers more than most countries, but it is still a global phenomina and apparently a common trait in the human race.

"Smell hilter" -- spend a minute and think about it before you spew or smell. Your comments make NO sense in any context.

So you want a manual, waivers, and various other labels just so you can get up out of bed and take a shower all in the name of pretecting the home builder from people that don't know how to apply common sense? Is that what you support? Or are you just born lazy, and want something for nothing -- I believe that was communism -- it didn't work so well. Hilter was into racial cleansing, that didn't work to well either -- get a clue you tool!
April 21, 2006 8:14:25 AM

There are gold diggers all over the world. It´s your coutry's fault to let these go to courts with stupid lawsuits. If U have millions of imigrants in your country, it's probable that a big percentage of society problems got to do with them.
Blame USA, not other race people.
April 21, 2006 11:49:28 AM

he mentioned hitler because of your obvious racism. the fact that people are not born in america and of pure blood( in america there is no such thing) shows how racist and prejudice you are.
April 22, 2006 12:08:38 AM

Quote:
As regards the actual sound levels, it should be easily possible for Apple to build in a limiter that works with the supplied headphones,


Wouldn't a better option for Apple be to supply the iPod without headphones at all? That way the end users choice to plug in headphones and turn an innocuous white box into a dangerous ear-shredder would obviously be their responsibility entirely.
April 22, 2006 1:29:47 AM

What a PC load of talk. Do you honestly think that a person is disadvantaged because they have been given access to a music device that can be loud?

Do you think someone is advantaged by being able to inadvertantly damage their hearing?

This world is turning to custard. I get so sick of "considerate" people that are happy to hand in their freedom in exchange for "safety" or "security"

From my point of view, if I were given an iPod that incorporated automatic sound limiting, to me that is freedom - freedom from worrying about whether the sound level is too high. Freedom to use the device to its fullest, i.e. to play music as loud as possible, assured that I cannot be hurting my precious hearing.
Without such protection, one has to be always cautious about the sound level (have i got it too loud?) - that is limiting and constraining - the opposite of freedom.
And if you do inadvertantly damage your ears on the kind of device you advocate, then that further limits your freedom - the freedom to anjoy music to its fullest.


A drill drills holes, yes you could drill a hole in your head but should the manufacturer warn you for that and the fact that a hole in your head is bad? There are too many laws as it is and with every new one you push people a step closer to zombie status where thinking is no longer required.

This point about the drill is valid in its own right. It is not practicable for companies to protect users from willful abuse of their equipment when using it outside the purpose for which it was intended, and it would be ludricrous for someone to be able to sue a drill company for not incorporating some device to prevent them from using it (deliberately) on their own head.

However the case of the iPod is different. The iPod IS designed to play music, and so people playing music through it are using it for the purpose for which it was intended. They are USING it not ABUSING it. The hearing damage is not occasioned by deliberate MISUSE of the equipment, but inadvertantly during normal use, the result of an ordinary basically sensible person making a simple but costly mistake.


Saying that Apple should take part of the responsibility is wrong. With that you insult every intelligent person that can find their own way in life.

You are assuming that intelligent people would not damage their ears using an iPod - that it requires complete crass stupidity to do so. I think you are wrong. As I mentioned many times, it is simply not possible to accurately judge sound levels subjectively, no matter how smart you are.


Just as I am insulted daily by nanny state micro managing "laws" forcing me to do all sorts of stupid things just to comply such as putting a small piece of styrofoam on my head when I wish to ride a pushbike.

How is providing protection for your head when you ride a bike stupid? Are you saying that if you fell over when riding your bike and hit your head that you would prefer to have concussion and/or brain damage? Or are you saying that smart people like you would never fall off in the first place? Remember that accidents are often caused by other people - they may not be your fault. And you can have a bike accident without deliberately missuing the bike - just by hitting a patch of oil on the road for example - not your fault.

Personally, I would rather not have brain damage, and wellcome the protection afforded by the helmet, as I do with the seat belt in my car, even though you and others might then regard me as stupid. I would rather be intact and stupid than lying as a vegetable in a hospital bed and be regarded as smart.


I admire and share your desire to have freedom, as much as possible. But it should be freedom from worry, freedom to choose what car you buy, freedom to live where you want, freedom from disease, etc. NOT the freedom to hurt yourself, or the freedom to be damaged. Thats the wrong kind of freedoms to have.
April 24, 2006 2:37:05 PM

Yes, thank God you live in the EU were Apple was MANDATED (by the great EU overseer) to put a 100db limit on any ipod's sold in EU countries.
Rather then leave it up to the brainiacs in Europe (as opposed to us lowly 4th graders) to make there own mistakes the Great Overseer controls your lives for you.
April 24, 2006 4:31:20 PM

Quote:
Yes, thank God you live in the EU were Apple was MANDATED (by the great EU overseer) to put a 100db limit on any ipod's sold in EU countries.
Rather then leave it up to the brainiacs in Europe (as opposed to us lowly 4th graders) to make there own mistakes the Great Overseer controls your lives for you.


High Powered BMWs and Mercedes are limited to 250km/h by the UE.
Our highways have a limited speed of 120km/h
Yes, they control our lives....
Crap, my iPod is limited to 100db 8O
Better throw myself off a building, I can´t live by these rules!
HEEEEEEEEELP!!!!!!!!
April 24, 2006 4:33:05 PM

Quote:
Yes, thank God you live in the EU were Apple was MANDATED (by the great EU overseer) to put a 100db limit on any ipod's sold in EU countries.
Rather then leave it up to the brainiacs in Europe (as opposed to us lowly 4th graders) to make there own mistakes the Great Overseer controls your lives for you.


Better act like a 4th graded as*hole....
I´ll sue them all!!
April 25, 2006 12:00:14 AM

Quote:
Yes, thank God you live in the EU were Apple was MANDATED (by the great EU overseer) to put a 100db limit on any ipod's sold in EU countries.
Rather then leave it up to the brainiacs in Europe (as opposed to us lowly 4th graders) to make there own mistakes the Great Overseer controls your lives for you.


The fact that you offer up no explanation or reason for your opinion, nor offer any detailed critique of mine, suggest very much that you are in the 4th grader category.

In this respect you appear to be in the majority, sad to say, of people who simply want to say "this is my opinion and you can like it or lump it - but dont ask me to explain it".

So your opinion is noted, for what it is worth.

:cry: 
April 25, 2006 6:09:15 PM

First I would like to thank BombBuster for the very nice explanation of the MCDonalds hot coffee case, that has somewhat restored my faith in the US legal system as I was very shocked to read the simplified version the media reported.

I might add that thats actually not very differrent from the european laws on the subject of external product damages.
Products like food from MCDonalds, Cigarettes and other products which cause consistant damages. Cause what we in Europe/Denmark call "system skader", or roughly translated "consistant damage occuring due to the very nature of the product".
If there is generel knowledge about these damages cause by the product, then the manufacturer does not hold any responsibility, when the damages occur.
In cases of doubt, for example in the case of loud music and peoples ability too judge wherever the music is too loud or not. Then there are 2 main ways the manufacturer can remove the doubt.
1:
Provide a good reason why you cant remove the damaging effect, or provide a good reason why it should stay, in this case it could be for example the ability to connect the Ipod to a stereo which require larger effect from the output, or the ability for hearing impaired people too hear music clear.
2:
Provide good guidelines and clear warnings, one easy way of doing this could be to add a colour warning on the volume bar og the Ipod, so that it is graphically indicated that the music may be too loud. It would not cost apple a dime, except very limited software developing costs. And clearly remove all doubt that they had done their part in informing and warning users. I believe this criteria is not unreasonable, as not all people understand for example the Decibel scale.

As a last note I will just add the dangerous consequences of V8VENOM suggestion, with people suing companies having to pay a cash deposit, this could hinder that people with low income obtain the rights that laws are made to garantie them, companies will not have reason too follow the rules if they know that consumers have no means of taking legal action against them.
April 25, 2006 10:50:53 PM

<snip>
1:
Provide a good reason why you cant remove the damaging effect, or provide a good reason why it should stay, in this case it could be for example the ability to connect the Ipod to a stereo which require larger effect from the output, or the ability for hearing impaired people too hear music clear.
Why cant Apple simply provide two outputs, a low level one for phones and a higher level output for other devices - the two could have different connectors so they are not confused. How much would a 2 cent connector add to the already high price? I think my hearing is worth 2 cents.
As regards the hearing impaired, I do not think they want their ears to be further damaged by too high sound levels!

2:
Provide good guidelines and clear warnings, one easy way of doing this could be to add a colour warning on the volume bar og the Ipod, so that it is graphically indicated that the music may be too loud. It would not cost apple a dime, except very limited software developing costs. And clearly remove all doubt that they had done their part in informing and warning users. I believe this criteria is not unreasonable, as not all people understand for example the Decibel scale.
A colour warning on the iPos alone is not good enough. The output sound level depends on which phones are attached, and on the signal level of the original recordsing. So this would not work. It would need to be more sophisticated than that. Read my earlier posts.
Warnings alone are useless in this case. Of what value is it to warn people about the danger of excessively loud sound levels if the user has no way to judge when they occur? This simply makes no sense. It would end up a like the warning on a packet of cigarettes - warning, using this iPod can damage your hearing.
April 26, 2006 7:11:01 AM

My post wasnt really an expression of my personal opinion, but merely making accounts for what is the legal status quo on the subject in Europe.
I believe the warning effect og a colour indicator would be considered enough, especially when taking into account already established practice on the subject as in the case of cigarettes.
Your point with the DB SPL being different depending on the headphones, is valid, but could be solved by simply adjusting the colour scale too worst case scenario, and then letting people who know what their doing adjusting the volume specific to what they know fit their headphones, then nobody will be able to clander apple.
April 26, 2006 7:52:56 AM

Quote:
My post wasnt really an expression of my personal opinion, but merely making accounts for what is the legal status quo on the subject in Europe.
.


I did not know if it was your opinion or not. I was doing what I always do, commenting on the information presented taking it at its face value. I don't think it should matter where information comes from - one should jusy consider the information in isolation and comment on it disspationately. I try to do this to the best of my ability. Sometimes i succeed.

8)
April 26, 2006 10:52:36 AM

Well what I was trying to clarify in my post, was if this guy could come with the same claims against apple in Europe, and how apple could make sure that he couldnt.
Mainly trying to fend off the point that its neccesary for Apple too apply artificial hardware limitations to the capabilities of the player.

As an added point, maybe Apple could make the colour warnings on the volume control on the basis of the standard earbuds that comes with the player, then stating clearly in the manual that other headphones can be used at the consumers own risk, then its up to the consumer to measure when the volume exceeds the acceptabel.
April 26, 2006 10:58:59 AM

could we all just remember that apple already include warning's in their manual that hearing can be impaired by high volumes. what is decided to be a high volume is for the consumer to decide. if they do not err on the side of caution then it is THEIR fault. as long as it has a volume control apple cannot be held responsible. that is it, argument over.
April 26, 2006 11:25:27 AM

Quote:
could we all just remember that apple already include warning's in their manual that hearing can be impaired by high volumes. what is decided to be a high volume is for the consumer to decide. if they do not err on the side of caution then it is THEIR fault. as long as it has a volume control apple cannot be held responsible. that is it, argument over.


It will be interesting to see of the judge agrees with you or with the plaintiff.
April 26, 2006 5:30:11 PM

<b>BombBuster wrote:</b>
Quote:
"Further, McDonalds' quality assurance manager testified that the company actively enforces a requirement that coffee be held in the pot at 185 degrees, plus or minus five degrees. He also testified that a burn hazard exists with any food substance served at 140 degrees or above, and that McDonalds coffee, at the temperature at which it was poured into Styrofoam cups, was not fit for consumption because it would burn the mouth and throat. The quality assurance manager admitted that burns would occur, but testified that McDonalds had no intention of reducing the "holding temperature" of its coffee.

One key difference I see here between McDonald's coffee and Apple's iPod is that the end user has control over the damaging effects. In the McDonalds case you are handed a product that has been heated to the point where it will cause harm, and thus are not in control of that harm in the case of an accident. With the iPod, you are handed a device that has the potential to cause harm, has a proper warning printed in the manual that directs you to be ware of improper use, and it is up to you to damage yourself by ignoring the advice.

Stolen Nomenclature:
A sound meter does sound like a good idea to me... maybe you should produce one for the all so profitable aftermarket... you could make a mint, especially when Apple reviews the results from this case and determines that it is too expensive not to add a sound meter to the product, and so must license your patent ;-)

I too am a Canadian, and live in a less letigious society. One of the reasons for this is a "loser pays" system, where the loser of the legal battle is responsible for part or all of the legal costs of the winner. Now, I am no lawyer and I've never been involved in a lawsuit so I can't comment on the specifics of how this system works, all I know is that for the most part it does work.

As far as the American bashing goes, I don't think it is fair to generalize a whole society based on a small sampling of its population (how Canadian of me, eh?) All countries make mistakes... in policy and in practice... and we need not look too far in the history of any country to see evidence of this. A Prophetic Challenge to the Church
May 10, 2006 3:23:39 PM

So here's my big question. (sorry if this has been covered) Why does this come up NOW???

Headphone devices have been in existence for at least 20 years. Why is it that Sony hasn't been sued for long term hearing damage from Walkmans from the 80's?

If we look at sales of devices like personal casset players, radios and CD players I'm sure on the whole the sales of those LONG surpass even the mighty iPod.
October 11, 2009 12:53:59 AM

I know this thread has been dead for quite a while now but I also believe that it deals with a very important topic. I happen to work in an oil refinery and want to share with you a safety topic which is routinely being shared with the personnel to keep them aware of noise levels. I understand that meters may not be readily available to everyone but this post just serves to stress the importance of protecting your hearing for the long term. Here goes:


How Loud is Loud
Most of us take our sense of hearing for granted, we assume that we hear what everyone else hears. This is because hearing loss is usually gradual. Normally it doesn’t hurt, so we don’t know its happening. It doesn’t annoy us like loosing our eyesight.
Yet our ability to hear when we want to is precious and must be protected.

Do you realize that noise exposure ON and OFF of the job can damage your hearing? The critical sound level when hearing protection should be worn is 85 decibels (dBA), established for an 8-hour time weighted average. The louder and longer your exposure, whether at work or at home, during recreation, the more likely your hearing will be damaged.
To find out HOW LOUD IS LOUD look at (listen to) the following examples, which will give you an idea.

dBA Examples
20 A faint whisper
30-40 Quiet pleasant sound, a bird chirping
40-50 Quiet to normal office sounds
50-60 Normal conversation
70-90 Heavy machinery, electric motor, garbage disposal, heavy traffic.
100-120 Jack hammer, power saw, motorcycle, rock music
140+ Nearly jet engine, gun shot (this level causes pain).


Note: Many disposable or reusable hearing protection reduce noise by about 20-30 dBA.
The noise reduction rating (NRR) is usually marked on the package or box if they come in bulk. However experts recommend that the true rating is generally about 7 decibels less than indicated. Hearing protectors of the ear muff type are usually closer to the actual NRR.

Again, this is just to attach some real numbers to noise levels we are exposed to everyday. Hope it's useful info for at least some of you out there.
August 9, 2010 1:57:16 PM

The idea that Apple should be sued for people stupidly playing their i-pods too loud is just silly.
It's just as absurd as suing Smith and Wesson because one of their guns was used to shoot someone or suing Boeing because one of their airliners was shot down and killed people.

My wife and I have 3 HD-based ipods (one for the suv, one for me and one for her) and all of them give one the option of limiting maximum volume. If Apple wants to promote the importance of not playing music too loud then that would be a good idea. Even Grado headphones (which are totally open air and allow all sounds around you into your listening space) stress the importance of keeping listening levels low in an insert they put into their headphone boxes.

We can't keep going on like this with manufactures being sued because one of their idiot customers requires being saved from one's self. If Apple (and other companies) are successfully sued for this kind of stuff we be sure innovation will suffer.
August 29, 2010 1:20:38 AM

This topic has been closed by Reynod
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