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ARSCLIST  September 2011

ARSCLIST September 2011

Subject:

Re: Interesting article on "white Noise" downloads in today's WSJ

From:

Steve Ramm <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 2 Sep 2011 00:07:08 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (199 lines)

In a message dated 8/31/2011 10:34:46 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
[log in to unmask] writes:

Steve, this link leads to an article about Eddie Floyd. Do you have the
other link?

UD
 
Sorry. Wrong one. Here is text - copyright Dow Jones:
 
S
 
 _LIFE & CULTURE_
(http://online.wsj.com/public/search?article-doc-type={Life+&+Style}&HEADER_TEXT=life+&+style) AUGUST 31, 2011
Listening to Shhhh in the City
To Tune Out Distractions, White Noise Climbs to the Top of Playlists
 
    * _Article_
(http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904199404576538274265089288.html#articleTabs=article)
    * _Video_
(http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904199404576538274265089288.html#articleTabs_video)
    * _Interactive Graphics_
(http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904199404576538274265089288.html#articleTabs_interactive)
    * _Comments (4)_
(http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904199404576538274265089288.html#articleTabs_comments)
more in _Life & Culture_
(http://online.wsj.com/public/page/news-lifestyle-arts-entertainment.html) »

 
 
 
 
    * _Email_
(http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904199404576538274265089288.html#)
    * _Print_
(http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904199404576538274265089288.html#)
    *
 
 
_Save_
(http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904199404576538274265089288.html#mjQuickSave) _↓ More_
(http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904199404576538274265089288.html#mjDropdown)




    * * *
    * _smaller_
(http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904199404576538274265089288.html#)
    * _Larger_
(http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904199404576538274265089288.html#)


 
 
By _AATEKAH MIR_
(http://online.wsj.com/search/term.html?KEYWORDS=AATEKAH+MIR&bylinesearch=true)
Some of the hottest tracks on digital playlists: sounds of an oscillating
fan, a waterfall and crickets.
White noise and other soothing sounds, once mainly played on machines to
aid nighttime sleep, are increasingly helping make daytime hours more serene.
When played through headphones, the sounds help people tune out chatty
co-workers, pounding jackhammers and the dentist's drill.
 
 
A Rainbow of Sound
 
 
 
 
 
 
View Full Image


Getty Images
White noise and other soothing sounds, once mainly played on machines to
aid nighttime sleep, are increasingly helping make daytime hours more serene.
 
 





Sound is classified by its audible frequencies and associated with a color
based on where it falls on the spectrum of high to low frequencies. White
noise is unique in that it's random and includes all frequencies—akin to how
white light has all the colors in the spectrum—and sounds like a hissing
noise.
 
 
<div class="noFlash"> {if djIsFlashPossible} <p>The version of Adobe Flash
Player required to view this interactive has not been found. To enjoy our
complete interactive experience, please download a free copy of the latest
version of Adobe Flash Player <a
href="http://www.adobe.com/shockwave/download/download.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash">here</a></p> {else} <p>This
content can not be displayed because your browser does not support the Adobe
Flash player required to view it.</p> {/if} </div>




Janet Berkman, a 51-year-old retired project manager, in Toronto prefers
the sounds of storms, wind, rain and running water when she is on the subway
or trying to read in busy surroundings. Ms. Berkman started listening to
the sounds late last year after she realized it helped her focus and
concentrate. "Life is getting noisier," she says, and listening to these sounds
"kind of empties out my brain."
To make the soothing sounds, developers take computer-generated sounds or
sounds recorded in nature and make an audio file that usually is "looped,"
or repeated. These digital files are then available at the iTunes store and
on other websites.
After HeavyDutyApps in December released an app called Sleep Pillow
Ambiance to help people sleep, it quickly realized that many customers used it
during the day as well. "The usage varies from people who need help
concentrating while working in noisy environments, commuters who need a break from
train noise and travelers that need a peaceful environment," says Benny
Shaviv, chief executive of the Westchester, N.Y.-based company. The $1.99 app
has had more than 1.6 million downloads, says Mr. Shaviv. "By January we were
among the Top 50 apps in the Healthcare and Fitness category in iTunes."
 
 
 
(http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904199404576538274265089288.html#)
White noise and other soothing sounds are increasingly helping make
daytime hours more serene. WSJ's Emily Nelson explains more on Lunch Break.

Most popular are sounds from nature: rain, wind, waves crashing on the
beach and crickets, Mr. Shaviv says. But the app also includes some unexpected
sounds, such as cold drink with ice, brushing hair and horse running in
field.
Frequent travelers also favor the sound of an airplane cabin—but not the
noise of coach. "A lot of people who have to sit in the economy class want to
 listen to the business-class cabin sounds," Mr. Shaviv adds. (The
business-class soundtrack doesn't have the sounds of babies crying or chattering
people.)
SimplyNoise.com offers 99-cent apps called soundscapes that are downloaded
about 400 times a day. Thunderstorm is the most popular downloaded noise.
Jared Kowalski, a 34-year-old stand-up comedian in Aliso Viejo, Calif., has
 created a customized mix using a TMSoft app called White Noise. "My
favorite one reminds me of sitting in my aunt's house," he says. The track
includes the sound of a grandfather clock ticking, a cat purring and a sprinkler
spraying. Mr. Kowalski says he suffers from anxiety attacks and uses the
sounds largely as a relaxation tool, such as when stuck in traffic or while
he's waiting to perform.
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
_View Interactive_
(http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904199404576538274265089288.html#)

 
(http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904199404576538274265089288.html#)
Scotty Reifsnyder




He has also downloaded sounds of the Amazon rain forest from a Discovery
Channel podcast, which he listens to on his iPod. "I plug my earphones in and
 get away from the world," he says.
What makes noise white? Sound is classified by its audible frequencies and
associated with a color based on where it falls on the spectrum of high to
low frequencies. White noise is unique in that it includes all frequencies—
akin to how white light has all the colors in the spectrum—and sounds like
a hissing noise.
One small study examined white noise in a classroom environment. The
research, led by Goran Soderlund and Sverker Sikström of Stockholm University,
looked at 51 students at a secondary school in Norway and found that those
who normally had difficulty paying attention performed better when white
noise was added to the classroom. The findings were published last year in the
journal Behavioral and Brain Functions.
The authors theorized that white noise boosted neural activity, helping the
 brain work more efficiently. The study predicted that white noise could
help children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) learn to
focus on schoolwork better.
Daytime white-noise listeners say the sounds serve two main purposes: to
block out distractions and lessen sounds that cause anxiety, such as sirens.
"Certain types of noises can be relaxing," says Robert C. Fifer, director
of audiology and speech language pathology at the University of Miami. White
noise can be used to create a more relaxing working environment, masking
sounds and promoting a sense of privacy, he says.
Developers of these apps say they frequently get requests for new sounds.
Steven Jian, co-owner of Simply Noise, has received requests for the sound
of passing cars and airport noises. Mr. Shaviv of HeavyDutyApps got a
request for a sonar noise from a former sailor who served on a submarine.
Todd Moore, founder and CEO of TMSoft, the maker of an app called White
Noise, says he created a hair-dryer sound at one woman's request. "She told me
 that she could not sleep without listening to it and that she had burned
[out] six hair dryers over the years."
--Saabira Chaudhuri contributed to this article.

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