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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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