Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Pete Townshend on the dangers of the iPod

Who guitarist Pete Townshend is quite responsibly warning new iPod users that they face hearing loss because of high volume levels of long-term headphone use. Townshend claims his own headphone use in the recording studio caused much of his own deafness.

Guitarist Pete Townshend has warned iPod users that they could end up with hearing problems as bad as his own if they don't turn down the volume of the music they are listening to on earphones.

Townshend, 60, guitarist in the 60s band The Who, said his hearing was irreversibly damaged by years of using studio headphones and that he now is forced to take 36-hour breaks between recording sessions to allow his ears to recover.

"I have unwittingly helped to invent and refine a type of music that makes its principal components deaf," he said on his Web site. "Hearing loss is a terrible thing because it cannot be repaired. If you use an iPod or anything like it, or your child uses one, you MAY be OK ... But my intuition tells me there is terrible trouble ahead."

Referring to the increasingly popular practice of downloading music from the Internet, Townshend said: "The downside may be that on our computers _ for privacy, for respect to family and co-workers, and for convenience _ we use earphones at almost every stage of interaction with sound."

We might also suggest that Townshend warn the new iPod users that they should be on alert against the risk of unsought and unwanted porn pictures which certain outfits are promising to issue as spam. Townshend spent a considerably amount of time in court trying to explain child porn pix on his computer, which he said were the result of an investigation he was making.

Not everyone bought his explanation, but there is no denying that the mere existence of child porn on a computer, even an iPod, can lead to some messy dealings with law enforcement. In the United States, as well as in Britain, so heinous is child abuse considered that it is illegal to merely look at such a photo.

Knowing this, you will want to keep your computer and your iPod clear of such things. So take a page from Pete: protect your hearing and your innocence.


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