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  • Trouble

    • 8 out of 10
    • Ray LaMontagne
    • At first, Ray LaMontagne might strike you as just another breathy-voiced knockoff of folk/rock guitarists like John Mayer and Jack Johnson. But he's actually got a better voice than either, he tell

  • Haunted

    • 10 out of 10
    • Poe
    • Dropping like a bomb on some of the blah musical offerings of her contemporaries, Haunted was one of the best albums of 2000, obliterating the competition.

      Ostensibly a tie-in to her brot

  • Odyssey Number Five

    • 10 out of 10
    • Powderfinger
    • Guitar-driven rock out of Australia, Powderfinger has not seen much exposure in the States, but should get a nod for their toe-tapping songs. Building off their previous release, "Internationalist" (
  • Go Away White

    • 10 out of 10
    • Bauhaus
    • Go Away White is an album I've been waiting more than 20 years to hear, and the good news is that it was worth the wait.  The latest -- and last, no...for real this time -- album from

  • Physical Graffiti

    • 10 out of 10
    • Led Zeppelin
    • This album bears every flavor of genius from the five records that came before. It is, I believe, the band's finest. With Physical Graffiti, Zep came raging back to their musical home territory -- har

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Judge Approves iPod Battery Settlement; $15 Million Cost to Apple

A San Mateo Calif. County judge gave final approval Thursday to the settlement of a class-action lawsuit that will allow around iPod 1.3 million owners to get new batteries free of charge from Apple to replace defective ones. The settlement could cost Apple up to US$15 million, according to lawyers.

The Freemont, Calif. newspaper the Argus reported Friday the settlement with Apple Computer calls for owners of first and second generation iPod's bought on or before May 31, 2004 to receive either $25 cash or a $50 credit at the Apple store to use however. Third generation owners can either return their iPod to Apple, which will, in its sole discretion, send either a battery replacement or a replacement iPod at no charge, except for shipping and handling fees, or receive an Apple retail store credit of $50 by mail.

iPod owners who have already had their batteries replaced will be mailed a check for 50% of the amount paid for the battery or iPod replacement, exclusive of any shipping and sales tax charged.

"All these people are going to get relief, and we think that's a big victory for them," said Steve Williams, lead counsel for the suit and an attorney at Cotchett, Pitre, Simon & McCarthy. The original lawsuit alleged Apple failed to disclose battery limitations on its first three iPod models.

The original lawsuit alleged the Apple iPod did not have the battery life of up to eight hours, as Apple advertised, and that the battery's capacity to take and hold a charge substantially diminished over time.

Affected iPod owners have until either two years after the original purchase date of the iPod for which you are making the claim, or September 30, 2005, whichever is later, to file a claim form. Apple will keep its Battery Replacement Program in force for Class Members through at least September 30, 2006, and has agreed that it will not raise the price charged under the program.

Based on the number of people continuing to make claims, the settlement has a minimum value of approximately $15 million. Consumers have up to May 2006 to file a claim to be entitled to the settlement.

Apple has made no official comment on the settlement. Information about the settlement and what steps iPod owners can take is not part of Apple's official Web site.

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