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MacBytes
Jan 24, 2006, 12:08 PM
http://www.macbytes.com/images/bytessig.gif (http://www.macbytes.com)

Category: Apple Hardware
Link: Latest PowerBook G4 Sound Defect (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20060124130812)
Description:: PowerBook-owners are experiencing a sound defect in the latest PowerBook G4. The problem occurs only on the high-resolution models, 15 and 17 inches, and probably on ALL the new Powerbooks being sold in the shops today.

Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
Approved by Mudbug

plastique45
Jan 24, 2006, 12:16 PM
Every one of Apple's computer hardware line has had a major defect/recall in the past 3 years. Time for Apple Q/A to face the heat.

mattraehl
Jan 24, 2006, 12:43 PM
The author speaks of thousands experiencing the problem, but the list on the website has 4 names.

Personally, I would call Apple and settle for nothing less than a return if my laptop was experiencing these symptoms.

Edit: Now there are quite a bit more. But it is hard to know the authenticity of such a list. Looking at the discussions on the apple board, it looks like there are a few dozen people there talking about it, with a handful of others claiming they have not experienced the problem. However, the author of the website indicates that ALL PowerBooks are affected, even though there is evidence to the contrary. His fanatical, angry tone does not help his cause.

24C
Jan 24, 2006, 12:49 PM
Oh dear, more litigation likely, bad publicity certainly. I wish there was a little more honesty coming from Apple regarding defects, but they are not alone on keeping quiet.

Alex Cutter
Jan 24, 2006, 12:53 PM
but they are not alone on keeping quiet.
So that makes it acceptable? Aren't we supposed to be paying a premium for "quality"?

impierced
Jan 24, 2006, 01:01 PM
Oh dear, more litigation likely, bad publicity certainly. I wish there was a little more honesty coming from Apple regarding defects, but they are not alone on keeping quiet.

The guy increases and decreases the sound back and forth... I'm not surprised it takes the sound buffer a couple of seconds to catch up. If this happens randomly then I can understand, but in the example - doesn't seem like as big a problem as reported.

Nastard
Jan 24, 2006, 01:18 PM
I've been having the same problem. It's semi-rare, happens when I'm watching video (especially DVDs), and I assumed it was something I had running. Seeing this, I'm happy to know that it isn't my fault, and I hope Apple can get a fix out for it soon.

nagromme
Jan 24, 2006, 01:28 PM
Every one of Apple's computer hardware line has had a major defect/recall in the past 3 years. Time for Apple Q/A to face the heat.
You really, really don't want to see the stats for OTHER manufacturers, as tracked by Consumer Reports and others :p

No computer maker has a record that's "good enough" in my book. But Apple DOES have the best record. Best of a bad industry, sad to say.

24C
Jan 24, 2006, 01:51 PM
So that makes it acceptable? Aren't we supposed to be paying a premium for "quality"?
No, it isn't acceptable, and it's an endemic problem in most customer support call centres. They go through a checklist and transfer the doubt onto yourself, very rarely in my experience do you get honest response, although in some retail stores, one on one with a service person you can.

My PB had it's memory halved and an iMac's memory destroyed by Apple OS updates, on two different occasions, but Apple UK had not seen any problems...so you think it's bad memory etc, but years later I found out it was an Apple issue. I wasn't impressed.

VanNess
Jan 24, 2006, 02:09 PM
Adam Curry, the "Podfather" of Podcasting fame, had been ranting about this problem on his hugely popular Daily Source Code podcast. Curry, a regular Mac user, recently bought a Powerbook after his previous, aging Powerbook died. He uses a Mac to create his podcast, well, that is he used to use a Mac for his podcast...

After he bought his Powerbook, all of sudden, he started having the audio problem as described. Worse, it would occur during his podcast, popping up unpredictably. He kind of went from mildly irritated, hoping a software fix was on the horizon, to absolutely livid as time marched with no word from Apple at all and the passing of software updates such as 10.4.4 and no solution at all in sight. In the meantime, listeners of his show were treated to constant, almost daily examples of the Powerbook audio problem and it wasn't that Curry had a choice.

Last week, Curry found a solution to the problem. He announced, on his show, that he took a trip to the store and bought a Windows laptop to replace the Powerbook. And the audio problem has been eliminated.

Curry's show is one of the most popular podcasts out there. This is a tremendous black eye for Apple, particularly since this effects not only Curry, but anyone who works professionally in the audio field. Apple finally posted a knowledgebase article recently simply suggesting that users experiencing the problem run only one audio application at a time, which is non-starter for folks who make a living in audio work.

Although I can emphasize with Apple in that it most go through the process of determining whether it's a hardware or software related issue, and if it's a hardware problem (most likely in this circumstance), which serial numbers are effected and whether a software patch can be written to address the problem. But audio enginnering/processing/production, etc., makes up a large part of Apple's strategic core business users, where the Mac has been the medium of choice for audio pros for years. And when those customers depend on that functionality to conduct daily business, time is of the essence when a problem occurs in Apple's products. This is where Apple fails miserably sometimes. They take far too long to acknowledge that there even is a problem, and when they eventually do, the list of disgruntled, pissed-off users has already amassed to the point where perception of the company is going to take a hit or worse, as in the case of Curry who defects to the "other" platform so he can do his job. And it's just so unnecessary. Of all the alternatives available to Apple, waiting around silently (for any reason) isn't one of them when serious problems occur in their product line. They absolutley have to mobilze solutions for hardware/software related isses that involve serious problems for professional users, if they intend to keep them.

juniormaj
Jan 24, 2006, 02:11 PM
This problem looks like a real bummer for those among us who use the audio output for "pro" situations. A lot of musicians use PowerBooks, in fact nearly ALL of the ones I know.
I can imagine the embarrassment of this happening to someone during a Powerpoint/Keynote presentation.
I could also see it being no fun for general users, as well.
The guy who started the web-site seems to be quite upset about it, and the list is starting to grow beyond "4 names", though still not into the "thousands". I saw Adam Curry's name on there.

I must be lucky (so far) , as I have yet to experience this issue.
I have a PowerBook 15" (hi res/dual layer model) and use it daily for audio related projects with apps such as iTunes, iMovie, Final Cut Pro, Garageband, Peak, Quicktime, RealPlayer, DVD Player, and more.

I'll be keeping my eye (er.., ear) on this one, but so far so good.

chmorley
Jan 24, 2006, 03:24 PM
I have this problem. It is very annoying. It makes my machine unusable for some of the professional and music-related work I do.

I don't care if Dell is worse. I expect better of Apple. I have bought Macs with problems in the past, but they were always willing to fix them. This is Bush-league.

Chris

cmcconkey
Jan 24, 2006, 05:50 PM
Last night this happened on mine. I wasn't doing anything on mine at the time. My screen had just powered down and I was working on my pee-cee (always has problems) and one of my contacts on yahoo logged in and that is the sound that stuttered, the common knock knock sound. This annoyed me but it concerned me more. I hope that something does come of this because I do not want this problem to occur more often when I actually start pushing my laptop to its limits.

Christopher

alexprice
Jan 24, 2006, 05:55 PM
There are people with their name's added twice on that list.

wtmcgee
Jan 24, 2006, 06:22 PM
mine works perfectly. not saying it's not an issue but it's also not affecting every 15/17" latest powerbook user.

buttercup
Jan 24, 2006, 06:35 PM
This has been happening on mine since around Xmas. Seems to happen with DVD's vlc and itunes video. I have only noticed it when playing video myself.

Is there a macrumors thread on this yet? I would love to know if anyone has a fix...

pdpfilms
Jan 24, 2006, 10:08 PM
I've got this exact issue. Pretty darn annoying.

plasticparadox
Jan 24, 2006, 10:17 PM
I have the same problem. I thought it was only mine, but glad to hear it's something that Apple is aware of. It should be addressed - looking forward to my MacBook Pro replacement! :D

suntzu
Jan 25, 2006, 07:36 AM
I sometimes get this problem on my PC too (although haven't seen it on my Pwerbook yet). In this case it looked like I had only one program running but looking at the processes something was eating up CPU "power". Maybe there's something that's running in the background that causing the stutters. Running 'top' and killing the thread might correct the problem.

yinyang
Jan 25, 2006, 10:15 AM
glad to know that there's an 'official' complaint - it happened once or twice before, but thought it was my fault. then after reading this article earlier today, it's happened three times since - twice whilst watching Surface on QT and once whilst iTunes was playing a song.

it's annoying now only because it seems like it's some sort of apple issue :(

a fix soon please!!

btw mine's a 1.67 GHz AlBook DL SD, 2GB RAM, 100GB (7200) HDD

juniormaj
Jan 25, 2006, 09:10 PM
I must be lucky (so far) , as I have yet to experience this issue.


Well, so much for that. It happened today while listening to streaming radio on RealPlayer. :(

Maybe it happened before and I just didn't notice, or thought it was RealPlayer acting up. Now I know different.

PFPhotography
Feb 2, 2006, 09:22 PM
Sent to Apple to be fixed. Came back and sure enough it still doing the echo thing. Bad news all together. I don't know what to do anymore. It happens when it plays music, dvds, music cds and even Skype. Horrible and impossible to just cope with such annoying defect. It is a two thousand dollars machine, it is a professional machine, it is not suppose to be this way.
Sad brand new Powerbook owner.:confused: :( :mad: