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The Hidden Dangers of MP3 Players

There have been countless news stories over the past few weeks regarding the dangers posed by portable music players. For those of you old enough to recall the 80's, this is the same campaign that was launched against Sony when they released the first Walkman. Now, the infamous Apple iPod is at the center of the controversy. A fellow in the United States has launched a suit against Apple Computers claiming that the iPod produces sound at a volume that far exceeds conventional safety standards.

The claim is founded on the notion that excessive noise leads to hearing loss. While this may not seem like rocket science to most of us, it is apparently significant news for others. While the claim may appear to possess an element of opportunism on the part of the claimant, when examined the case does have some merit. It would appear that Apple has not made an effort to limit the potential fallout of such a claim…until now.

Just last week, Apple released an update to their new line of iPod's. There is a download available on the Apple website, which aims to deal with the problem of excessive noise. Simply put, this download will allow individual users to establish their own maximum volume level. This is a wise move by Apple, but due to the timeliness of this release, one has to wonder if the pending legal case might have had something to do with it. Either way, this is a welcome response.

Most relatively educated consumers realize the dangers posed by loud noise. It is one of the leading causes of unnatural hearing loss. This is a bold and important step for Apple, and I believe it says a lot about the integrity of their corporation. Not only did they acknowledge that there was a problem, but they developed a tool to help fix it. You might recall that Sony's to a similar claim was quite different.

Not long ago, a friend of mine purchased an iPod for her young son. Her research showed that there was the potential for hearing damage, but she didn't want to deny her son the pleasure of having his very own iPod. She did some more research, and discovered that there were alternatives to headphones. She went out and purchased a small speaker system called iDog, and hid the earphones away. Her son was thrilled at the gift he had just received, and my friend was relieved knowing that his hearing would not be damaged by it. Isn't it amazing what a little bit of common sense can accomplish?

About the Author: Jason Mills is a testament to the power of positive thinking. When he is not out enjoying the great outdoors, he writes for – a wonderful online resource for information about hearing loss prevention, digital hearing aids, cochlear implants and more.

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