The best way to prevent hearing damage from listening to your iPod too loud is to just turn it down - but that's common sense. Here are a couple of easy ways Apple could avoid lawsuits claiming that iPods can cause permanent hearing damage.
One way Apple could deal with the hearing damage issue would be to limit the volume from iPods coming from the factory to 90db. Users that want more would have to download a firmware update from Apple.com that would allow the volume to go up to a maximum of 110db (current iPods have maximum volume levels around 115db), but only after signing a release holding Apple harmless if you blow out your ear drums.
Apple could also update the firmware so that the volume automatically lowers itself if you listen to the iPod on 100 percent volume for more than x number of minutes. The iPod itself could display a message periodically to the effect of "dangerous volume level detected, lowering by 10db."
Although I am loathe to recommend that Apple put limits on the electronics that I pay my hard earned money for, tinnitus is a serious issue that needs to be addressed by a socially responsible company like Apple. But then again, what if my PowerBook shut down at 12 midnight saying "isn't it past your bedtime?" Maybe that isn't such a bad idea after all...
How loud do you rock out to your iPod? Should Apple address the iPod volume level issue or is it up to the individual to use common sense with their own ears? Leave your feedback in the TalkBack below.