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View Full Version : PC Mag's Ulanoff on iPod nano scratches: 'I could see a je...


MacBytes
Oct 7, 2005, 01:05 AM
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Category: Opinion/Interviews
Link: PC Mag's Ulanoff on iPod nano scratches: 'I could see a jealous competitor planting the story' (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20051007020552)

Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
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nagromme
Oct 7, 2005, 01:33 AM
A well-written defense of Apple--in no uncertain terms!--from a slightly unexpected source.

Two pages, ending in:
"...the whole nano-scratch controversy is a crock."

Tell us how you really feel :D

But I think he's right about WHY there's been so much press about scratching, on plastic that's identical to every other iPod sold for years. It's the downside of having massive mindshare.

And fair or not, I'd be VERY upset when my nano got its first scratch. They look so cool to begin with, it would bother me. I wouldn't cry foul and say Apple cheated me, but it would bug me!

Happily, my iPod 60 (made of the same plastic as the nano) is nearly scratch-free (you have to look close to see any) after a year of use. A case (and cheap screen-protector film) do work wonders.

eva01
Oct 7, 2005, 01:45 AM
Yeah the iPod nano on display at Bestbuy doesn't look more scratched than my old 3G iPod. bunch of crock indeed it is

dontmatter
Oct 7, 2005, 01:54 AM
YES! finally, somebody says what I've been thinking-Glasses!

nobody who wears glasses could possibly think this nano scratch thing is anything. All kinds of expensive lenses, soft cloths, etc. and it's just a matter of time until my glasses are scratched to hell. What makes you think an ipod is going to be better? one bit of grit, just the harsher of the dusts in the air, and if it gets rubbed between velvet and a screen, the screen gets scratched.

He actually goes a step too far, blaming people for being careless, b/c even careful people (particularly careful people, actually, b/c they're more likely to notice) will scratch glass and plastic.

MacSA
Oct 7, 2005, 04:31 AM
You wouldnt beleive how the story spread through the British press - it was on every main news channel - contagious. Although I think some networks get their news by watching others lol

Mord
Oct 7, 2005, 07:27 AM
shock horror batman! plastic scatches get over it.

macFanDave
Oct 7, 2005, 08:02 AM
Luke, . . ., er, I mean, Lance, it is good that you have come over from the Dark Side.

A few months ago, I read a piece by Lance Ulanoff that was just plain anti-Mac bigotry. I was just one voice in a huge Greek chorus that bombarded him with stern rebuttals that were mostly factual (imagine that!) He seemed like he was on the one-way train to Dvoraktown, Enderle City, or the ultimate loser destination, Thurrottville.

Let's just hope he stays on the side of the righteous, honest and good.

This sounds like the Seattle Windshield Pitting Hysteria of 1954, see this link:

www.washington.historylink.org/output.cfm?file_id=5136

The summary is that in 1954, some people started reporting tiny pits, chips and dings in their windshields. This prompted other people to carefully examine their windshields and, lo and behold, they found tiny pits, too! All kinds of culprits from cosmic rays to atomic bomb test debris to vandalism were considered, but the fact was that those defects in the windshields were always there, it's just that people had to look really closely to see them.

After this wave of nano scratch complaints, I carefully examined my white 4G iPod that I keep in an Xtrememac armband and guess what? It's scratched! Would I have thought to examine myiPod if not for this hysteria? No. Do the scratches interefere with my use or enjoyment of my iPod? No.

I'm very suspicious of what the main complainers consider "normal" use to be.

galleyhannon
Oct 7, 2005, 09:47 AM
One thing that is very clear when reading the article and posts on this thread is the fact that none of the authors are owners of an iPod nano.

Well, I am an owner of a nano, and I would like to set the record straight. This article is the real crock, to use the author's own words.

First, let me say a little about myself so any one who reads this can place my opinions.
I think Apple is the greatest company in the world. I have a PowerMac G5 and love it more than anything else I own. I also have been a glasses wearer since the 5th grade and own a lot of handheld electronics. I am familiar with scratches on plastic lenses and screens and take every precaution to avoid damage on them.

However, regardless what Apple may claim, the iPod nano does not have the same plastic surface as the 4G iPod. There has to be at least some slight difference between the two. I own a big white iPod photo and a white iPod nano and their scratch resisting abilities are far from even. The nano gets scratched by soft cloth (I am not even joking). My iPod photo has gone in and out of my pocket for the past six months with no real wear while a strong breeze seems to tear through the plastic on the nano's face.

I have never complained about the scratches on any of the pairs of glasses I've owned. The fact is, glasses are really good at resisting scratches and the current pair I am wearing sports very few and very minor scratches after four years of service. That is normal wear.

Any one that owns an iPod nano has to wonder why Apple didn't realize that after less than a day of handling the wonderful little device its surface is already marred. Its so heartbreaking when you first discover it. I imagine the reason this defect (and it is a defect) was not caught by Apple before going to the factory is that people just expect scratches to be caused by abuse. None of the developers must have spent enough personal time with the unit to discover that abuse wasn't a prerequisite for the scratches on the nano's surface.

My suggestion is not to buy an iPod nano without buying something like the invisible shield first. The device is desperately in need of some scratch protection and you will be kicking yourself for not immediately (and I mean immediately!) protecting its plastic.

Oh, and here's some evidence for those that doubt.
Check out this address: http://www.tunewear.com/english/product/tunetag-edge/index.html Notice very closely that in this product photo for a Tunewear case they weren't even able to obtain an unscratched nano. How many times have you seen a product image with a scratched up product in it? It's not someone's personal iPod, it's a model for crying out loud!

nagromme
Oct 7, 2005, 10:20 AM
I sympathize with your scratches, and agree on the shield recommendation. I also don't know that plastic eyeglasses are made of the same material as iPods. Eyeglasses are ground, while iPods are molded. Anyone know what kind of plastic is in eyeglasses?

BUT I truly do NOT think that nanos are made of a different plastic from regular iPods. I don't believe Apple is lying about that--it would be absurd of them to do so and open them up to legal action.

A soft cloth (or as someone posted, a fingernail) scratching the nano seems very unlikely, although pliable materials can still be abrasive. (Also, one reason for the nano showing more scratches that I've never seen mentioned: the screen is smaller! So every scratch is that much bigger in comparison--AND you are more likely to be looking closer at the nano to read it.)

That doesn't mean I'm calling you a liar.

This leaves open the possibility that Apple's manufacturing contractors may have used a bad batch of plastic--which, if Apple discovers that, would be covered by warranty. (And wouldn't even cost Apple: the company that made the mistake would have to pay, presumably.)

If that's the case, the only test that could answer the question would be for someone to obtain two nanos, one with the bad plastic and one without.

fixyourthinking
Oct 7, 2005, 10:30 AM
I got several emails asking me to quote sources for a story (http://jackwhispers.blogspot.com/2005/09/apple-makes-creative-recall.html) I did on my website over a week ago.

Wonder if this was one of my emails?

I reported this on my website a while back, when the "hypochodriac nano scratched crowd" started whooping and hollering.

MacFanDave: Great anecdote about the windshield scratching!

fixyourthinking
Oct 7, 2005, 10:41 AM
Oh, and here's some evidence for those that doubt.
Check out this address: http://www.tunewear.com/english/product/tunetag-edge/index.html Notice very closely that in this product photo for a Tunewear case they weren't even able to obtain an unscratched nano. How many times have you seen a product image with a scratched up product in it? It's not someone's personal iPod, it's a model for crying out loud!

What are you talking about? (I mean I see it) but that is a reflection! Have you ever looked at a brand new iBook by twisting it in bright light - same swirls - Tunewear gave a poor picture that's all. The glossy coating comes off plastic in a matter of DAYS after being exposed to air!

Just put some Armor all on anything plastic and it will be back to normal (until it wears off)

That said, Apple may want to start including a little tube dropper and a cloth to restore the coating.

Qunchuy
Oct 7, 2005, 11:25 AM
Oh, and here's some evidence for those that doubt.
Check out this address: http://www.tunewear.com/english/product/tunetag-edge/index.html Notice very closely that in this product photo for a Tunewear case they weren't even able to obtain an unscratched nano. How many times have you seen a product image with a scratched up product in it? It's not someone's personal iPod, it's a model for crying out loud!
I don't know what you're looking at, but the picture I see on that page doesn't look like a scratched up product to me. I even played around with the brightness and contrast (and gamma) to try to enhance any subtle details, and all I found was a hint of a reflection in the metal back. The plastic is, to all appearances, flawless.

I'm pretty sure that the resolution of the images is too coarse to show scratches in the first place. What do you think you see?

shamino
Oct 7, 2005, 12:26 PM
Yeah the iPod nano on display at Bestbuy doesn't look more scratched than my old 3G iPod. bunch of crock indeed it is
You don't think there's something funny when a unit that's been chained to a display shelf for a month looks the same as a unit you've been using for several years?

Belly-laughs
Oct 7, 2005, 01:41 PM
I don't know what you're looking at, but the picture I see on that page doesn't look like a scratched up product to me. I even played around with the brightness and contrast (and gamma) to try to enhance any subtle details, and all I found was a hint of a reflection in the metal back. The plastic is, to all appearances, flawless.

I'm pretty sure that the resolution of the images is too coarse to show scratches in the first place. What do you think you see?

It may seem like other people than galleyhannon need glasses; the back is not scratched, itīs the surfaces on and surrounding the click wheel. How can you not see that :confused: And, no, the scratches are too focused to be a reflection of something in the room.

However, the scratches could be on the transparent cover of the casing itself.

Someone, please start a blog complaining about cases that get scratched too easily!

paulypants
Oct 7, 2005, 02:19 PM
I have a black nano, I use it often, I have no scratches...none. Probably because it's always inside of an iPod sock when I'm not using it...

nagromme
Oct 7, 2005, 04:25 PM
You don't think there's something funny when a unit that's been chained to a display shelf for a month looks the same as a unit you've been using for several years?
Not at all. A model chained on display is subject to MANY times more abuse than the way someone treats their OWN player.

fixyourthinking
Oct 7, 2005, 05:44 PM
Not at all. A model chained on display is subject to MANY times more abuse than the way someone treats their OWN player.

I agree, in fact, Apple Store managers are pissed (from what I hear) because they see people dragging their keys across the face just to see if it scratches because of this hysteria.
:rolleyes:

nagromme
Oct 7, 2005, 11:46 PM
I've heard that those wire brushes they use to groom dogs are the perfect thing for restoring your iPod to shiny newness. A couple brisk strokes is all it takes.

matticus008
Oct 10, 2005, 06:06 AM
A soft cloth (or as someone posted, a fingernail) scratching the nano seems very unlikely, although pliable materials can still be abrasive. (Also, one reason for the nano showing more scratches that I've never seen mentioned: the screen is smaller! So every scratch is that much bigger in comparison--AND you are more likely to be looking closer at the nano to read it.)



I've said the exact same thing in other threads! Bravo to you for being the only other person to point this out. The other issue is the thickness of the clear layer. The shallower the plastic, the more extreme the scratches look because the proportional depth is that much greater. It's not a linear thing...it's something along the lines of if the polycarbonate layer is half as thick as other ipods, the same scratch will appear several times deeper because of light refraction.

And I also agree with the anecdote about looking for pits (or scratches). If you go out looking for something, you're going to find it. Ever look carefully at a brand new car, still on the lot? It's covered in fine scratches and those swirly "scratches" that appear in flash photography.

But anything to cause a stir, I suppose, is newsworthy on the internet.