I've been ranting on the effects of loud music on hearing loss for a while now and it's refreshing to see Apple take efforts to help limit the hearing damage potential caused by the iPod - too bad it took a lawsuit to make them do it.
I'm a big fan of live music, concerts and festivals and have been wearing ear plugs to loud music events for almost five years now. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that listening to loud music for extended periods of time can cause damage to your ears. Still, some people insist on listening to their iPods on near full volume for hours at a time. Then they sue Apple claiming that it's their fault that the iPod goes so loud. The analogy is to suing an auto maker because their car goes too fast and it caused you to wreck.
Yesterday Apple released iPod Software 1.1.1 that adds a new "Volume Limit" feature.
The new 1.1.1 software update for iPod nano and fifth generation iPods provides an easy way for you to set a maximum volume limit to prevent the volume from exceeding a certain level. You can also assign a combination to prevent the setting from being changed which is ideal for parental control.
As I have suggested in the past, it would be easy for Apple to avoid the exposure to further litigation by simply shipping the iPods pre-set to a lower maximum volume level and require customers to sign a release before giving them the unlock code.
As I have also said in the past, one of the best ways to protect your ears is to invest in a good set of in-ear earphones with custom sleeves. Sure, they'll cost you some bucks, but in the end they allow you to listen to your iPod at lower volume levels and hear more of your music. I'm currently listening to my iPod with a pair of FS-1 earphones from Future Sonics with custom fit sleeves and I never listen to my iPod above 50 percent volume.
What's your strategy for saving your hearing?