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Apple's iPod Classic Could Be Harmful to Your Headphones

There are reports today of problems with new Apple (AAPL) software for the current top-of-the-line, 80 GB ($249) and 160 GB ($349) iPod Classic models.

Users are complaining that the recently released operating-system update for their music players is causing a somewhat serious electrical problem for their music systems.

According to iLounge.com, users are complaining that iPod Classics whose firmware has recently been upgraded to Version 1.1 are sending residual electrical pulses through the headphone jack -- as well as the iPod docking connection (on the bottom of every music player) -- when the iPods are turned off. Those pulses, measured at 500mv of DC, could conceivably cause damage to any attached equipment.

Stereophile.com is reporting that most users of iPod Classics on both headfi.com (a Web site for a super-high-end headphone amplifier manufacturer) and Apple users forums reported only that they had experienced "hiss," "static" or "buzzing" after updating the player's firmware.

A few users reported the upgrade either froze their iPods (Apple replaced their iPods) or the upgrade removed their stored music files.

As per company policy, there has been no official response from Apple as to any problem with iPod Classic upgrades or any related fixes.

With 34 years experience as a journalist -- the last 27 with NBC -- Gary Krakow has seen all the best and worst technology that's come along. Gary joined MSNBC.com before it actually went online in July 1996. He produced and anchored the first live Webcast of a presidential election in November 1996. With a background as a gadget freak, audiophile and ham radio operator, Krakow started writing reviews for both Audio and Stereophile Magazines in the 80s. Once at MSNBC.com, Krakow started writing a column to help feed his personal passion for playing with gadgets of all types, shapes and sizes. Within a short time, that column became a major force in many electronics industries -- audio, video, photography, GPS and cell phones. Readership soared, and manufacturers told him they had actual proof that a positive review in his column sold thousands of their products. Many electronics manufacturers have used quotes from his reviews in their sales literature as well as on their Web sites. There have also been a few awards too, including Emmys in the 70s, 80s and 90s.

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