EC could cap MP3 player volume in 2010

The European Commission is ready to move ahead with measures to cap the volume on MP3 players.

EC could cap MP3 player volume in 2010

The cap will apply to all MP3 players sold within Europe, including iPods. However, people will be able to override the default limit and listen to music at 100 decibels.

Talk of introducing a limit has been rumbling since last year, but has been given added impetus by a report warning that 10 million people in the EU could suffer permanent hearing loss after five years if they listen to music above 89 decibels for more than five hours a week.

An EC spokesperson told the BBC’s Politics Show that the watchdog will begin a consultation on the measures in January, with a final decision expected to arrive in Spring.

However, the measures are not without their critics. “This is a legislative sledgehammer aimed at cracking a very small nut,” Conservative MEP Martin Callanan told the show. “There are a number of practical problems. Kids have always listened to their music loud and this is not going to stop them.”

“You have to educate them to the risks but ultimately you have to allow personal responsibility and personal choice,” he concludes.

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