Apple to Auto Adjust Maximum iPod Volume? reports on a recent Apple patent application that describes how Apple could automatically adjust maximum volumes on their iPod devices to help protect the listeners from developing any long-term hearing damage.

A new patent reveals that the next iPods and iPhones could automatically calculate how long a person has been listening and at what volume, before gradually reducing the sound level.

The maximum safe level would be determined by how loud the iPod had been playing and the amount of quiet time since last play. This is not the first time that this potential problem has been in the news.

In February 2006, a man sued Apple over the risk for iPod-related hearing loss. Apple addressed this potential issue in a software update in March 2006 which allowed users to set their own personal maximum volume limit.