Thank You Apple on behalf of My Childrens' Ears

by Erica Sadun

In recent times, I've had to ban my kids from using iPods with headphones because they play with the volume controls and blast their ears. Expensive headphones with volume limiters didn't work because they quickly figured out how to adjust the volume control on the headphones. For the last few months, I've had them use an external speaker (Radio-Shack 277-1008C) but it wasn't only awkward, it used batteries and was only a make-shift solution.

Enter today's 1.1.1 software update for the nano and 5G iPods. In the Settings, you'll find a new Volume Limit option. It lets you set the maximum playback volume for your iPod, regardless of how the kids adjust the scroll wheel.

What's more you can "lock" it with a custom combination so your tech-savvy kids can't bypass it easily. (They'd have to restore the iPod to get past the lock).

Step-by-step instructions here.

Thank you, Apple!


2006-03-29 15:57:44
wow, that is super-cool. I'll never use it, but what a great family-friendly feature.
Mike K.
2006-03-29 16:05:06
If your kids are tech-saavy, then "restoring" the iPod isn't something that's going to dissuade them.

Sure, all their music on the iPod will disappear. Then they need only connect it to their Mac/PC, and iTunes will cheerfully load it all back on for them with nary a button to press.

While it's nice to see that Apple has added this feature for younger kids, the lock feature is easily bypassed by anyone who can launch "iPod Software Updater" and press the restore button.

Erica Sadun
2006-03-29 16:13:57
My concern lies mostly my 3-yo who tends to hack & rewire things and I'm pretty sure he doesn't yet know how to launch the iPod Software Updater--at least for a few more months. (Within the last month he climbed up to where we keep all the TV stuff and rewired the TiVo and the Neuros MPEG recorder. It took me ages to figure out why the Neuros wasn't working right. He'd gone into my office, taken out the old Recorder Mark 1 and replaced the Neuros Mark 2 on the TV with the Mark 1 version and hidden the Mark 2 in the Lego bin.)

2006-03-29 18:30:43
This will work great with younger kids that are banned from doing anything beyond listening to the music. This is a good start. There is going to be a generation of people with bad hearing because people listen with the music too loud.
Alexander Venzke
2006-03-30 00:47:04
Isn’t that just too easy? Why to blame Apple for having to loud ipod for protecting the kids instead of disallowing the kids to use an ipod if they are not following the rules. And one of those rules shall be not to listen to loud to the music.

I am father of a 6y old daughter, so I might know what I’m talking about. For me this is a question if I am responsibility for my kids or is it Apple. Sometimes, my guess is that ‘folks’ makes it easy for them self in having Company regulate certain functions vs. the personal responsibility of themselves and their children.

Further more, as seen, it will be easy for young kids soon to figure out how to work-a-round a certain rule/regulation. Btw: that’s what children purpose is (in a philosophical way) since the have to change traditions, evolve and build a different society… :)

2006-03-30 07:06:26
C'mon. It's not like personal music devices didn't suddenly pop into being with the iPod. I remember the same complaints when Sony Walkmans were cool. I don't remember litigation solving anything then either.