I have RADIO on my iPod. How'd that happen?

Discussion in 'iPod' started by Vtorch, Apr 3, 2007.

  1. Vtorch macrumors member

    Oct 31, 2006
    I work in the 12th floor of a very large office complex in NYC.

    I was listening to the music on my iPod, when I turned the volume completely down. I noticed that I am still hearing "something" in my iPod. I press the iPod headset harder into my ear and I can literally hear voices or a DJ talking. Then I hear what it appears to be classical music.

    Anyone have any theories why I am getting this? I am actually not complaining about it, but just interest to find out what is going on.
  2. patrick0brien macrumors 68040


    Oct 24, 2002
    The West Loop

    You must be close to a transmitter. Try picking up a land-line phone, you should hear it too.

    Close to a transmitter, the carrier wave will resonate in pretty much any circuit.
  3. Vtorch thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 31, 2006
    Oh, ok. Makes sense.
  4. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    Yeah, sort of like how if you take a cable television wall port that is not in service, and you plug a television into it partway (ideally so that ground does not touch), you get reception for over-the-air television. The wiring ends up acting like a big antenna. But wow, first time I heard of it happening with an iPod!

    Either that, or you're schizophrenic. :D
  5. zblaxberg Guest


    Jan 22, 2007
    didn't you hear?! steve j. is putting radio into all the ipods for his next line...they must have mixed yours up with the prototypes...jk...it's the first time i've heard it on an ipod but my friend gets the baseball game on his phone sometimes...pretty funny stuff:D
  6. jayb2000 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 18, 2003
    RI -> CA -> ME
    Yeah, I get the same thing in my crappy external speakers. But I can see a radio tower from my house. I am sure being that high up you get all kinds of radio waves bouncing around.
  7. patrick0brien macrumors 68040


    Oct 24, 2002
    The West Loop

    If you are line-of sight - you'll be getting the strongest carrier signal, so in that scenario, even distance doesn't help much.
  8. nateDEEZY macrumors 6502a

    Jan 24, 2007
    San Francisco, CA
    Yep! Wow it's also my first time hearing it happening to an iPod..

    So you think it's the earbuds/wire picking up the RFI? (if that's what he's picking up is called)
  9. patrick0brien macrumors 68040


    Oct 24, 2002
    The West Loop


    Any circuit that has speakers or earphones at the end of it should resonate. But it has to be a circuit - best with a powered device at the other end.

    When I was in college we had a radio station, that would do this to my recording equipment. I had to wait for off-air at 2am to do any recording.
  10. Earendil macrumors 68000


    Oct 27, 2003
    My favorite similar phenomenon is the cell phone speakers catch.
    I can predict my phone ringing by 2 seconds because my speakers give a little buzz on most incoming calls. Not outgoing though, and only just prior to the ring.
  11. Kingsly macrumors 68040


    I have RADIO on my iPod. How'd that happen?

    You mean... like this?!

    ;) :D
  12. petej macrumors regular

    Jun 9, 2004
    This raises the question as to where the actual radio tuner resides. Is it in the Radio remote or do all iPods actually have them built in.

    Anyone cracked one these remotes to see if there is actually a tuner and not just an aerial lead and a couple of button?

    The alternative suggestion of a very strong transmitter being nearby is also possible. I recall when I was a kid, listening to some vinyl on a record player/receiver unit that I would often hear the local taxi companies communication back to base. Those things had very powerful transmitters and would cut through on most things. Those were the days. State of the art was having a clever spindle on the record player that you could stack up 5 singles on and the thing would play one after the other. Never worked too well though. Often 2 singles would drop down onto the turntable at once and when they were playing the top most single would invariably start to slip on the mound of singles beneath it.
  13. Kingsly macrumors 68040


    A friend of mine used to live near a Ham radio operator who was running an illegally high transmission power. He found out because his TV began talking to him while in the off position and it possessed the voice of his neighbor. :eek:

    Needless to say, the FCC came down on the guy hard.:cool:
  14. runplaysleeprun macrumors 6502a


    Jul 27, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    I leave my cell near my iSub just so it makes that noise, does a better job of waking me than the ringer itself when i'm asleep!
  15. G5Unit macrumors 68020


    Apr 3, 2005
    I'm calling the cops
    It's obviously Steve in there, brainwashing you...
  16. robPOD macrumors 6502

    Jun 19, 2006
    Sweet free (dont have to buy an fm remote) radio on your ipod
  17. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    I'll bet this is an AM station. It is very easy to build an AM receiver. Look at old crystal sets from the early 1900's they where just a coil of wire a hunk of rock crystal (a crude semiconductor diode) and a pair of earphones All connected in series. They got enough power from the radio waves to make the headset work with no power supply or battery. It;s so easy to make an AM radio that Apple was done it by accident. They are so easy to make it actually hard not to make them

    With AM the field strength or "power" of the transmitter is varied proportionately to the sound pressure of the DJ's microphone. Some wire or printed circuit path inside the ipod has a voltage caused by the radio waves. this voltage varies depending on the power but the power is controlled by the DJ's mic. The voltage finds it way to your earphones. 1920's tech is not hard to understand.

    Funny thing is in the early 20's "AM Radio" was the new "hot" tech. People got rich by investing in AM broadcast stations there is stock IPOs and fast moving stock prices and people bought an sold radio stations. It was just like the Internet "bubble" of a few years back. Then it all came crashing down and the 20 something year old millionaire "techies" went broke, Hitler came to power in Germany and the rest is history.

    Cool that an Internet enabled device can hear AM Radio. The technology circle is connected.
  18. iMeowbot macrumors G3


    Aug 30, 2003
    Does your iPod have any loose fillings?
  19. Felldownthewell macrumors 65816


    Feb 10, 2006
    I used to get the same thing ont he crappy old dell speakers we had on the family PC. We lived within sight of 3 radio towers less than 5 miles away. I never quite got over walking into the room with a powerless computer and hearing Aretha Franklin quitetly singing in the corner...

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