Congressman applauds Apple's "first step" in protecting listeners

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Proving that even the simplest of moves can garner praise, Representative Edward J. Markey, a senior Democrat on the House Energy & Commerce Committee, applauded Apple's announcement today in providing a software update for the iPod that gives consumers the option to set a maximum volume level.



"I commend Apple for taking this important first step in giving consumers the tools they need to protect themselves from possible hearing loss," said Rep. Markey in a statement sent to AppleInsider. "There is no doubt that consumers have benefited from the remarkable innovation we have seen in portable music players over the past few years in terms of both choice and value, but we need to make sure to avoid preventable hearing damage that could turn consumers off to these devices permanently."



"It is my hope that other portable music device manufacturers will follow Apple's lead and give consumers the chance to set the maximum volume at a safe level," Markey continued. "At the same time, further research is needed to determine with certainty the possibilities of noise induced hearing losses from these devices and safe limits for both volume and listening duration."



The bottom line, he said, is that consumers need to know if they are at risk and what can be done to reduce the possibility of injury from these devices. "Once consumers have this information they will be better able to use Apple's new technology to protect themselves," the congressman added.



Rep. Markey has lead the effort in Congress to prevent noise induced hearing loss from portable music players, and this January he sent a letter to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NICDOC) requesting a review of the available scientific information regarding the impact of portable music players.



In their response, the NIDOCD agreed that this was an area of concern, but the limited nature of the available research prevented them from offering the type of firm recommendations that are needed to ensure that consumers are fully protected from the possibility of injury.



Apple has now posted the iPod update containing the Volume Limit feature to its Web site. The update was previously available only through the company's Mac OS X Software Update mechanism.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 48
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by AppleInsider

    "I commend Apple for taking this important first step in giving consumers the tools they need to protect themselves from possible hearing loss,"



    You know, I could swear the first step was providing a volume control in the first place...
  • Reply 2 of 48
    deapeajaydeapeajay Posts: 909member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by AppleInsider



    "I commend Apple for taking this important first step in giving consumers the tools they need to protect themselves from possible hearing loss,"




    That is pretty hillarious. Some dimbo walking down the street who can't hear because he's got the volume all the way up.



    "It's horrible, I can't figure out how to turn the volume down on my iPod and I'm losing my hearing! Apple, please put in an option hidden in the iPod settings that lets me turn the volume down! I can't take this much longer!"



  • Reply 3 of 48
    guarthoguartho Posts: 1,208member
    re: Kickaha You know, that's almost exactly what I was going to post. Don't get me wrong, I love the idea of controlling the range so I won't accidentally crank too high for my taste, but to hail this as the next great inovation in protecting us from our own bad decisions is just plain silly.
  • Reply 4 of 48
    irelandireland Posts: 17,686member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Kickaha

    You know, I could swear the first step was providing a volume control in the first place...



    My first reaction to the update was to say that now no more money grabbing bastards can sue apple because they are to lazy to turn the volume down!



    That's is true, however on another website someone made a comment: "this is great cause now I can set the maximum volume on my two daughters iPods 8/9, with the security combination set, they now can't damage there ears with their iPods even if they want to listen to them at full volume.



    In this case and similar ones with young kids, the update is a warm welcome to all parents who care about their kids.



    Happy 30th apple!
  • Reply 5 of 48
    This is indeed great news for parents with kids. You can now control the maximum volume your 12 year old can turn up her iPod.
  • Reply 6 of 48
    slugheadslughead Posts: 1,169member
    While I agree that this would be good to let parents protect their children's ears, I think the only reason this congressman praised Apple was to get his name in the mac news sites (Vote for me cuz I luv apple <3).



    May not work here, but at MOSR I could see it
  • Reply 7 of 48
    mac voyermac voyer Posts: 1,283member
    Are other players not capable of playing as loud as the iPod? What exactly is the rationale for targeting the iPod?
  • Reply 8 of 48
    charlesscharless Posts: 301member
    Does this work like a compressor? If you were listening to something like a symphony, where the volume can suddenly be very loud after previously being very soft, I can easily see why this would be helpful.



    If, on the other hand, all it does is preventing you from turning up the volume past a specific point, that would not be as useful.
  • Reply 9 of 48
    tobiastobias Posts: 3member
    I like that move:

    1. Apple can't be sued any more for that "reason"...

    2. Some people who listen to their music very load for 3 min don't even notice that the music is so loud after that time. So they don't turn it down...



    I like it.



    Anyway, to sue Apple because of ear damage is ridiculous.
  • Reply 10 of 48
    fulmerfulmer Posts: 171member
    <sarcasm>Since it's ok to sue Apple for hearing damage, when can I sue Pepsi for my cavities? Those darn cavities have been causing me pain & cost a lot to get fixed. I want reimbursement!</sarcasm>
  • Reply 11 of 48
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,949member
    While this is a good idea, frankly, IMO, Nanny Markey can STFU.



    At least it appears that it doesn't water down the output if the user doesn't want it.
  • Reply 12 of 48
    elixirelixir Posts: 782member
    its really obnoxious hearing people say "your're an idiot for setting the volume too high"



    those of you who keep posting that crap need to stop one track minding it.







    idiots, a lot of people with kids , young kids, would love this future.



    also, a majority of individuals in this country do not know that even if the volume isn't directly hurting you it can cause serious damage.





    that is why the congressman demanded the scientific reports.







    again... idiots.
  • Reply 13 of 48
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,949member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Elixir

    also, a majority of individuals in this country do not know that even if the volume isn't directly hurting you it can cause serious damage.



    If they don't know that basic bit, how will they know that this feature exists?



    My gut impression is that the kind of person that this is meant to protect wouldn't heed warnings anyway and will still blame someone else if they've hurt their hearing. I think most concerts are loud enough to damage hearing in the duration that they last, but those don't have warnings that I'm aware of.
  • Reply 14 of 48
    elixirelixir Posts: 782member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by JeffDM

    If they don't know that basic bit, how will they know that this feature exists?



    a lot of people dont think about it thats why.



    i mean come on people lay out in the sun and dont truly understand how bad it is for you.
  • Reply 15 of 48
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,949member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Elixir

    a lot of people dont think about it thats why.



    i mean come on people lay out in the sun and dont truly understand how bad it is for you.




    And how do you put a warning label on that?



    Protecting stupid people from the consequences of their stupidity is, in itself, a pretty stupid thing to do. It's nice that this feature came out, but I don't like the likely reason it was added.
  • Reply 16 of 48
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,986member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Mac Voyer

    Are other players not capable of playing as loud as the iPod? What exactly is the rationale for targeting the iPod?



    It's 75 to 80% of the market?



    In Europe, I believe they have a law limiting how loud portablr devices can get.



    The question is; What happens if you buy a better quality headphone, and it's less efficient, so now it doesn't play loud enough?
  • Reply 17 of 48
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,986member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Elixir

    a lot of people dont think about it thats why.



    i mean come on people lay out in the sun and dont truly understand how bad it is for you.




    The problem here in New York, is that people listen to these things on the subway, which is in itself pretty loud. They turn it up so that you can hear it across the car. That's WAY too loud. But, they don't realise that, because they can't hear it above the sound of the train unless they do.
  • Reply 18 of 48
    Quote:

    Originally posted by melgross

    The problem here in New York, is that people listen to these things on the subway, which is in itself pretty loud. They turn it up so that you can hear it across the car. That's WAY too loud. But, they don't realise that, because they can't hear it above the sound of the train unless they do.



    Although those types of people are most likely not going to mess with this added functionality.
  • Reply 19 of 48
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,986member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by DeaPeaJay

    Although those types of people are most likely not going to mess with this added functionality.



    Nope! That's always the problem, isn't it? Those who need something the most are the least likely to use it.
  • Reply 20 of 48
    mac voyermac voyer Posts: 1,283member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by melgross

    It's 75 to 80% of the market?



    In Europe, I believe they have a law limiting how loud portablr devices can get.



    The question is; What happens if you buy a better quality headphone, and it's less efficient, so now it doesn't play loud enough?




    Thanks for the response, but I don't see what marketshare has to do with anything. The iPod is rather new in the grand scheme of things. There are plenty of other players, not to mention CD players, TV's, and everything else with a headphone jack. While we're at it, anything that plays any type of media can damage your hearing if played too loud. Video game consoles attached to TV and stereo speakers anyone?



    From the very beginning, this has felt like an iPod witch hunt. Someone show me where I'm wrong. I just hate it when people try to win in court what they couldn't win in the free market.
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