iPod users bitter over limited 1.3 software update

Demanding iPod 2.0 features


Owners of original iPods are getting decidedly miffed with Apple, if discussions on the Mac maker's own support bulletin board are anything to go by.

At the heart of the argument is the recent iPod system software update 1.3, offered to owners of existing iPods to provide their portable players with support for the AAC audio format used by Apple's new online Music Store.

The trouble is, they were expecting the update would provide all the features offered by the latest generation of iPods, launched on Monday. They include an alarm clock, two extra games, the ability to customise the iPod's main menu and the ability to generate playlists on the iPod itself. Current users can only create playlists using iTunes running on their Macs.

It transpires that the new iPods feature version 2.0 of the player's system software, not 1.3. This fact emerged when some users spotted an unrelated Apple KnowledgeBase article discussing a problem with the new devices' ability to cope with imported notes written in Korean, Japanese or Chinese characters.

Yesterday, an Apple support staffer named Gayle posted a message saying: "iPod software 2.0 and its features are only compatible with new iPods. iPod software 1.3 allows existing iPod customers to play back AAC music purchased from the iTunes Music Store or ripped from a user's CD collection on their iPod."

That too is causing fury, as iPod users try to figure out why they can't have the same features as the new version, and why version 2.0 might only be compatible with new iPods. We can understand the latter - hardware differences - a new processor, say - would require different code, but we can't come up with a plausible reason why the features listed above can't be coded for older iPods.

Now to be fair to Apple, it never said the 1.3 update would provide all the features found in the new machines - users simply took it as read. And as is the case with many new versions of old products, both software and hardware, the new release eclipses the old - that's how manufacturers continue to sell new products, after all. No one asks for a new processor when a manufacturer launches a faster computer.

But back to the iPod. To make matters worse, a number of Reg readers claim Apple has been deleting posts from grumbling iPod users. If true - and we should say we had no trouble finding disgruntled user comments - it's hardly a method guaranteed to calm the fevered brows, but Apple has taken such an arguably arrogant stance before. So have other manufacturers, for that matter.

So we asked Apple to clarify Gayle's posting. Unfortunately, it has not responded to our request. Apple has since posted this KnowledgeBase posting which lists the many differences between versions 1.3 and 2.0 of the software.

That leaves us with little choice but to assume the motive for not upgrading older iPods to 2.0 is more commercial rather than technical. Sure, Apple has a right to make such a move, and it's by no means unique in doing so, but it could have approached the matter with rather more tact and honesty than it appears to have done. ®


Other stories you might like

  • US won’t prosecute ‘good faith’ security researchers under CFAA
    Well, that clears things up? Maybe not.

    The US Justice Department has directed prosecutors not to charge "good-faith security researchers" with violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) if their reasons for hacking are ethical — things like bug hunting, responsible vulnerability disclosure, or above-board penetration testing.

    Good-faith, according to the policy [PDF], means using a computer "solely for purposes of good-faith testing, investigation, and/or correction of a security flaw or vulnerability."

    Additionally, this activity must be "carried out in a manner designed to avoid any harm to individuals or the public, and where the information derived from the activity is used primarily to promote the security or safety of the class of devices, machines, or online services to which the accessed computer belongs, or those who use such devices, machines, or online services."

    Continue reading
  • Intel plans immersion lab to chill its power-hungry chips
    AI chips are sucking down 600W+ and the solution could be to drown them.

    Intel this week unveiled a $700 million sustainability initiative to try innovative liquid and immersion cooling technologies to the datacenter.

    The project will see Intel construct a 200,000-square-foot "mega lab" approximately 20 miles west of Portland at its Hillsboro campus, where the chipmaker will qualify, test, and demo its expansive — and power hungry — datacenter portfolio using a variety of cooling tech.

    Alongside the lab, the x86 giant unveiled an open reference design for immersion cooling systems for its chips that is being developed by Intel Taiwan. The chip giant is hoping to bring other Taiwanese manufacturers into the fold and it'll then be rolled out globally.

    Continue reading
  • US recovers a record $15m from the 3ve ad-fraud crew
    Swiss banks cough up around half of the proceeds of crime

    The US government has recovered over $15 million in proceeds from the 3ve digital advertising fraud operation that cost businesses more than $29 million for ads that were never viewed.

    "This forfeiture is the largest international cybercrime recovery in the history of the Eastern District of New York," US Attorney Breon Peace said in a statement

    The action, Peace added, "sends a powerful message to those involved in cyber fraud that there are no boundaries to prosecuting these bad actors and locating their ill-gotten assets wherever they are in the world."

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022