Because of the bloody French, European iPods have a very low and very annoying volume limit.
Back off Brussels! I’m a grown up and can operate a volume control.
Sorry… thankfully it’s possible to hack the firmware on the iPod and remove this Nanny State nastiness. To do so is pretty tricky but some very clever people have made a lovely little application that does it all for you called goPod.
Sadly with the last iPod firmware upgrade it no longer worked.