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Media (Apple) Media

iPod nano Owners In Screen Scratch Trauma 671

wellington map writes "TheRegister reports iPod nano users have discovered that it is unbelievably easy to scratch the screen, which quickly makes the colour screen all but useless for viewing album art and photos stored on the machine. Apple's discussion forums are already host to hundreds of threads on this topic."
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iPod nano Owners In Screen Scratch Trauma

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  • correction (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 25, 2005 @09:30AM (#13643871)
    Correction: Apple's discussion forums were host to hundreds of threads on this topic.
  • Clothes scratch it?! (Score:2, Informative)

    by Andrew Lenahan ( 912846 ) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @09:34AM (#13643889) Homepage
    At first this reminded me of the similar controversy about the PSP's screen when it first came out. Then I read the Apple discussion thread linked in the article, which included a post from someone who says he put it in an empty pocket and it still got all scratchy. So just clothes can scratch the thing, apparently.

    Something shouldn't be considered "mobile" or "portable" if it has to be treated with the care of a Faberge egg.
  • by Ancil ( 622971 ) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @09:41AM (#13643920)
    Despite being incredibly strong, polycarbonate is actually quite soft. You can try this yourself. Take a pair of polycarb safety glasses.. These things can stop a shotgun pellet, but you can easily scratch them by just using the edge of a quarter.

    They should have used a more brittle (but harder) acrylic for covering an LCD screen. It's not like it has to be particularly strong.

  • by Snosty ( 210966 ) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @09:45AM (#13643940) Homepage
    A response to this [] comment of mine about how to get rid of the scratches suggested toothpaste. I tried it and it actually works reasonably well with a bit of effort. After having scratched the front on the first day and subsequently used toothpaste to fix that I've been more careful since and have not noticed anything really since then.
  • by Brento ( 26177 ) < minus poet> on Sunday September 25, 2005 @09:46AM (#13643948) Homepage
    I've had mine in my pockets alongside keys, my cell phone, and my wallet at different times, and it's still as slick and shiny as the day I've bought it.

    What's the secret? Until you get a case (you did order a case, right?) put the display side facing your leg. Hello, that's why one side is metal, for some protection.

    If your hairy legs scratch the screen through your pants pocket, then you've got other problems.

    This whole thing sounds like people who would carry a TabletPC inside a hard briefcase with their pens, calculators, and change jangling around inside, and then complain that the screen got scratched. Hello, it's an MP3 player, not a Rolex Submariner.
  • no problems here (Score:3, Informative)

    by rnd() ( 118781 ) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @09:48AM (#13643960) Homepage
    I have had mine for over a week and carry it in my pocket along with a cell phone in the same pocket. No significant wear and tear so far, but the battery life is disappointingly inferior to what was advertised. I'd estimate it gets about 60% of the advertised battery life at best.
  • Brasso (Score:5, Informative)

    by BlightThePower ( 663950 ) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @10:00AM (#13644012)
    Use Brasso, the light abrasive normally used for cleaning brass. A little Brasso will bring a scratched screen up nicely and will also do for the back of the iPod as well. Don't be conned into buying more expensive preparations and products that people are trying to sell.
  • by Saven Marek ( 739395 ) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @10:02AM (#13644021)
    Yes this is true.

    The nano is a trash object. It scratches easily when in a pocket with nothing else

    this is my nano after one week of use [] and it was in a pocket only with nothing else but some pocket fluff and maybe a candy wrapper.

    What to do about it? Apple will not replace it. I don't see why I should have to have a second rate product without getting support. It should be replaced with a scren that doesn't scratch.

    You can't even read the screen on it. Or the writing.
  • by black mariah ( 654971 ) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @10:03AM (#13644027)
    It's because toothpaste is a mild abrasive. It's no different than using a polishing compound.
  • by SuperficialRhyme ( 731757 ) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @10:15AM (#13644076) Homepage
    "Apparently this is made of polycarbonate"

    Should read:

    Apparently this is made of uncoated polycarbonate.

    There are coatings which can make polycarbonate scratch resistant.
  • by Apathetic1 ( 631198 ) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @10:27AM (#13644139) Journal
    You may also want to try Novus plastic polish. My dad bought some to use on the tables of our pinball machines and it works beautifully. My sister had a car accident that left a scratch all the way down the side of our Saturn - my dad used Novus on it and it's barely noticeable now.
  • Screen Protector (Score:2, Informative)

    by spreer ( 15939 ) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @10:27AM (#13644145)
    Step 1: Buy plastic screen guard [] (12 for $4)

    Step 2: Cut to size

    Step 3: Quit bitching about this solved problem
  • Alright, so the screen is easily scratchable. Enough with the bitching and finger pointing... what can you do about it?

    Try Brasso. It's available in your supermarket and costs $3-$4 for what will amount to a lifetime supply if you're just cleaning your iPod.

    I managed to drop my iPod Nano on asphault the day after I got it. The player skidded and bounced on the asphault and had some rather nasty scratches on both sides. Naturally, the player still worked perfectly since it doesn't have any moving parts but it looked like hell. Brasso worked like a charm. Here's what you do...

    1. Put a drop or two of Brasso on a soft cloth
    2. Use a lot of elbow grease to buff out the scratches. Brasso isn't a magic potion; it's actually a very gentle abrasive. You are effectively resurfacing the iPod so it's going to take a few minutes of work.
    3. Ta-da!

    Now, since you're effectively resurfacing the iPod, I imagine that there is a finite amount of times you'd want to subject your iPod to this. It will leave your iPod looking great though.

    I've tried this on my iPod Nano (front and back) as well as my 3g 20GB iPod. Worked great. I imagine it would work on other models as well with the possible exception of the aluminum iPod Minis since their surface differs from the polycarbonate used on other models. Should work, but I don't know.
  • Re:I laugh at you! (Score:3, Informative)

    by BackInIraq ( 862952 ) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @10:54AM (#13644291)
    Actually, the worst part of my (short) MiniDisc experience was the software that came with it. Brought my computer to it's knees. You could use Realplayer as well, but it lacked some of the features, and still sucked. ATRAC didn't bother me horribly (though yeah, when converting MP3-ATRAC the quality got sketchy), and I'm a huge fan of the Minidisc media format in general because, ironically, it resists scratching.

    In fact, if Sony had made a MD player at the time that played MP3 natively as data files, I'd probably still own a MD player. The size wasn't too bad, didn't skip, and I liked the discs as storage. As it is, I took it back after about two weeks.

    Oh, and as far as pack-in earbuds go, the white iPod headphones are actually some of the better ones out there.
  • Re:Brasso (Score:3, Informative)

    by swb ( 14022 ) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @10:59AM (#13644321)
    Brasso contains ammonia, too, which is why it works so well on brass.

    It's one of those items that rookie ammo reloaders want to use in their tumbler media because it does such a nice job on candelabras, but the ammonia weakens the brass so it's a no-no for cleaning brass ammunition casings.

    I'm not sure what ammonia would do to/for the polycarobonite.

  • Get an iPod Shuffle (Score:4, Informative)

    by Feanturi ( 99866 ) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @11:03AM (#13644342)
    I got a Shuffle for my birthday several months ago, and just love it. It's so small, and so simple. There's almost nothing to break on it, there's just the one 4-position button, and I guess you might be able to break the jack mooring or something if you really tried. It's so light and solid that I'm not worried about dropping it. And if it slips out of my shirt pocket while listening, I have headphones for it that hook over my ears, it's so light that the jack doesn't pull out, it just hangs from my head if that happens. When I eventually have to replace it, I'm positive that the reason will be the battery no longer holding charge. I'm cool with that. I don't need to look at pictures while I'm listening to music, I like my player to be tucked away somewhere. It's so light, and my headphones are so comfortable (the hooks over the ears mean the buds don't have to be jammed deep into the canal to keep them in) that it's like I don't even have a music player at all, there's just this music magically appearing in my head.

    Simplify, it frees your mind.
  • by anethema ( 99553 ) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @12:09PM (#13644702) Homepage
    While black shows scratches and dirt way more than white, the issue here is about the screen material beeing way more prone to scratching. This has nothing to do with the black or white body.
  • by Morky ( 577776 ) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @12:13PM (#13644730)
    The article about the COGS of an iPod did not include the overhead and packaging costs, nor that apple's wholesale price is substantially less than $200, so the poster before you is correct.
  • by saskboy ( 600063 ) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @12:22PM (#13644784) Homepage Journal
    I found this on the forum linked, it looks like it might work for digital camera displays too, although I'd like to test it before recommending it to my family and friends. If it doesn't remove cleanly after many weeks or months, then it's not a great idea.

    "Jase Roberts
    Joined: Sep, 2005
    Posts: 1 I keep my cell phone in my jeans pocket, and used to have major problems with scratching (to the point where it was very hard to read). I found that a piece of clear packing tape cut carefully to the size of the screen worked great and didn't leave any residue when I removed it. If you trim it to the size carefully, it'll stay on well. Maybe try sticking an oversize piece on, trace the screen with a Sharpie marker, then remove it and trim it exactly. Costs nothing and provides good protection that you can replace easily when you need to. "
  • A fix (Score:5, Informative)

    by austad ( 22163 ) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @12:49PM (#13644933) Homepage
    Novus plastic polish []

    I use this stuff to shop pinball machines. You can take plastic that's been rubbed on cement and get all of the scratches out with it. Just start with #1 and work your way up to #3. Works great on plastic headlight lens too. Amazing stuff.
  • by baryon351 ( 626717 ) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @12:55PM (#13644967)
    I'm calling bullshit on that one too. arstechnica threw theirs out a car window at 50mph [] and it's less scratched than the grandparent poster's image.

    Something companies have to put up with. A meme gets out that iPod nanos are getting scratched more than white iPods and everyone wants in on a class action suit by rubbing theirs down with sandpaper.

    More scratches on an iPod nano sitting in a pocket than on a nano being thrown from a car window at 50mph? I don't think so.
  • Try Turtle Wax. (Score:3, Informative)

    by TheSHAD0W ( 258774 ) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @12:56PM (#13644974) Homepage
    One solution to scratched displays (I had this problem with my Palm PDA) is to get some Turtle Wax or other solid car wax and buff the display with it. It also helps protect against further damage.
  • by xDCDx ( 635101 ) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @12:57PM (#13644980) .html []

    I wonder how common that is.
  • by kencurry ( 471519 ) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @12:57PM (#13644982)
    Be careful of staining the click wheel though.

      I found that one out by experience also. otherwise, works well.
  • by utexaspunk ( 527541 ) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @01:06PM (#13645036)
    i don't think sandpaper is what you want. probably diamond dust. my grandmother, who deals in antique glass, uses this thing that looks like an eraser that has diamond dust embedded in it. You just rub it on a scratched area and it smooths it right out.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 25, 2005 @03:08PM (#13645717)

    The clear furniture polishes are great scratch removers. My eyeglasses are in their second lifetime as a result. I don't see why little plastic screen covers can't benefit.
  • by shark72 ( 702619 ) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @03:19PM (#13645774)

    "I could be wrong, but isn't profit the money a business gets AFTER costs such as these are considered?"

    You're correct. When the GP wrote "$100 profit" what he really meant was "$100 bill of materials cost." Here's the article where he got his info [].

    As counter-intuitive as this will surely sound, a 2:1 ratio of retail price to BOM cost is not great in this industry. I can think of at least five well-known, A-list PC peripheral and CE device companies who have a 3:1 ratio or greater.

  • by TheGSRGuy ( 901647 ) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @03:33PM (#13645868)
    Another thing to try is actually an automotive scratch remover. It's made by Meguiar's and is called Plastic Polish. It is designed to removing hazing and microscratches from clear plastics like headlamp lenses. It seems to work okay...just okay. And to clean up the metal on the back, try Mother's Mag Aluminum Polish. It's intended for things like polishing engine bay metal, unfinished wheels, exhaust tips, etc. It should smooth out some scratches and leave it nice and shiny.
  • by somethinghollow ( 530478 ) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @04:12PM (#13646061) Homepage Journal
    Your real name must be Freddy Krueger. I just tried my fingernail on my 2nd or 3rd gen regular iPod and my iPod Nano. They both survived.
  • by J_Omega ( 709711 ) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @07:32PM (#13647078)
    Sorry if this was mentioned earlier, but I've no iPod or care to discuss!

    My Rio Karma's screen is also very susceptible to scratching. The solution we (the Karma fans) found was to use a PDA static-film cut in the shape of the screen. I went even cheaper, and just covered the easily-scratched part with clear packing tape. You only need to smooth the air bubbles out when applying, and removal is easy. Just make sure you cut it to shape BEFORE applying. Either way is inexpensive, easy, and non-obtrusive. Protect your ASAP.

    Aside: From pics of the iPod Nano, does anyone even care about album-art? It looked like they were smaller than an index-fingernail, 32x32 or so? looked nearly useless.

    Mod me down if redundant, but the above two solutions are cheap and easy for people not wanting to deal with a case for their DAP!

  • Re:Show us! (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 25, 2005 @08:31PM (#13647331)
    My Ipod []

    Had mine for a couple of weeks. I've found out the hard way that phones don't mix with keys, and the worst this ipod has endured is a pocket with a mobile phone, for perhaps an hour a day. Rest of the time it's on a desk.

    Admittedly, this photo is a worst case with the scratches highlighted, but it is starting to interfere even with best viewing conditions.

"In matrimony, to hesitate is sometimes to be saved." -- Butler