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Fifth-generation iPod (with video) [#9]: Still more on cell phone interference

Fifth-generation iPod (with video) [#9]: Still more on cell phone interference


We continue coverage of an issue where fifth-generation iPods (with video), apparently suffer from erratic functioning due to interference from cellular phones and potentially other radio-emitting handheld devices.

Worth Godwin reports interference from a Motorola V620:

"After reading about this on your site last week, I did a little test out of curiosity. I unlocked my iPod (video capable, 60gb) and called my cell (Motorola V620) from my land line. When the phone rang, I held it over the face of the iPod, and the volume went crazy, rapidly changing volume, sometimes a little, sometimes a lot, over and over. This only happened if I held the phone over the front panel of the iPod, near the wheel. If I put the phone on either side, the top, the bottom, or the back, nothing happened, even if the phone was touching the iPod. I get the same behavior if I place a phone call and hold the phone over the iPod while I'm connected. So it seems to be linked to any communication between the phone and the tower. If the iPod is locked, it is not affected by the phone.

"I tried the same thing with an older 40gb iPod (version released prior to the photo iPod) with no effect.

Michael Holve reports the same problem with another Motorola phone, the RAZR v3:

"I have a Motorola RAZR v3 and a 60GB iPod with Video... There is definitely interference from the phone heard through the iPod. While I haven't noticed bizarre behavior, I do hear a 'dit-da-dit, dit-da-dit...' while the phone does... Something. Checking for messages/synchronizing time or whatever - it's periodic. Haven't received or initiated a call together yet, however."

MacFixIt reader Brett Wickens reports that his Treo 650 -- the first device implicated in this issue -- causes interference with other devices as well:

"The problem of iPod/Treo interference may have more to do with the Treo 650 than the iPod. In the six months I have had my Treo, it interferes with all sorts of electrical devices. Two very conspicuous examples are an intermittent but loud humming sound that it makes over my car stereo speakers; and exactly the same sound it makes over Polycoms (a type of conference call speakerphone used in some offices). The latter is especially embarrassing if I am in a meeting and my Treo is ten feet away in my briefcase - it will STILL make all sorts of interference sounds on the Polycom. I have attributed this, variously, to incoming SMS or voice mail message alerts, or when switching cells (for instance, when driving the signal gets passed off from one tower to another). I am not surprised that it has the ability to disrupt the iPod. It disrupts just about everything else it comes into contact with."


Previous coverage:

  • Fifth-generation iPod (with video) [#8]: More on cell phone interference
  • Fifth-generation iPod (with video) [#7]: Susceptible to cell phone interference?
  • Fifth-generation iPod (with video) [#6]: More on problems playing back home-encoded video -- third-party options; Using a lower bitrate
  • Fifth-generation iPod (with video) [#5]: Continuing problems playing back home-encoded video -- determining which media will play
  • Fifth-generation iPod (with video) [#4]: More on problems synchronizing home-compressed video
  • Fifth-generation iPod (with video) [#3]: Units start arriving in users' hands, problems synching home compressed video
  • iPod (with video) [#2]: Can no longer function as a bootable startup drive; Converting video files
  • New iPod introduced: Slimm...
  • More from Late-Breakers
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