Category Archives: iPod

iPod and other MP3 players

Where’s it made, and for how much?

Them iPods are funky devices, “designed in California”, so the box says. And, as revealed by the UK’s Mail On Sunday, built in factories in China in somewhat squalid conditions. One factory has 15-hour workdays for US$50 per month. Another is slightly better: 12-hour days for US$100 per month (but about half of that is paid back for housing and food).

Mind you, I suspect this isn’t unusual in the consumer electronics business. Just about nothing’s made in Japan or the USA or other high-cost (read: decent wage) countries.

The only thing I can think of that I’ve got is a Loewe TV, made in Germany.

Update Monday: Apple says: “”Apple is committed to ensuring that working conditions in our supply chain are safe, workers are treated with respect and dignity, and manufacturing processes are environmentally responsible” and is investigating the claims.

iPod Shuffle not recognised

What do you do if the iPod Shuffle that your 8-year-old was given for his birthday doesn’t appear to iTunes, the iPod updater, or Windows?

You roam around the iPod support pages, trying out the suggestions: reset the iPod, reset the computer, download the latest software (almost 47Mb for the iPod updater, and another 35Mb for the iTunes update with the bundled Quicktime that you don’t actually want), try resetting the iPod service, remove the software then repair it again… etc, etc, etc.

Then you notice footnote 5 of the iPod Shuffle specifications, which says: Some computers require either the optional iPod shuffle Dock or a USB cable extender (sold separately).

Sure enough, for me, a USB cable extender did the trick.

You know, including that in the support pages wouldn’t hurt.

Sony joins iTunes AU

If you haven’t totally banned purchases from Sony due to the rootkits, you can at least now buy Sony BMG music tracks via the iTunes store; they’ve backed-down on refusing to have their artists available there.

Meanwhile Apple is under fire for including a “phone home” feature that’s turned on by default in the latest version of iTunes (the Mac version only so far?).

Update Friday 7am: EFF: Apple backs down on the “phone home” feature.

A few brief things

How to snatch an expiring (.com) domain — basically, the action happens 75 days after the expiry date.

Ah, the joys of the pr0n industry, always so quick to grab hold of the latest throbbing new technology. They’re already making use of the video iPods.

Some Swedes name their kid after Google. Thankfully only the middle name.

Dimitri Kokken of Belgium is selling his humungous collection of old computers. Gawd knows how he’s collected them all, but they appear to include just about every 8-bit computer every built, including such obscurities as the Oric Atmos, Spectravideo 318, Commodore CD-TV, and a bunch of MSX machines. No Microbees though.

And so we keep waiting

Rumours spread far and wide last month that iTunes Australia would start on October 3rd. Well, October 3rd has come and gone, and nothing happened. So we keep waiting.


One more reason Lego rocks: they don’t mind if people hack their stuff.

Need to wipe, kersplat, zap, nuke, delete, a hard disk, but don’t want to have to physically pull it out of the machine and jump on it, drown it, then take a hammer to it? Like, if you want someone else to be able to use it? Try Darik’s Boot and Nuke. (via Colin)

With hot rumours of the Australian iTunes shop being about to launch, this guide to DRM covers how various online stores restrict what you can do with the music you buy.

More Apple stuff

Blogger Russell Beattie stirs up a hornet’s nest by declaring he’s thinking of switching back from Mac to Windows.

Reports are coming in that the new very groovy iPod Nano’s screen scratches rather too easily, so bad in some cases that the images get distorted.

Hot on the heels of the flawed (badly, for some people) iTunes 5.0, Apple has released iTunes 5.0.1.