Tuesday, April 11, 2006

When they pry the clickwheel from my cold dead hands

Cognitive Daily's latest casual research was about the iPod volume limitator recently offered by Apple. They found that most people did not plan to download the safety software, and in fact this trend ran counter to other safe practices, wearing bike helmets as the indicator.

The day after Apple made this announcement about the optional safety feature, there was a discussion of its merits on the Auditory email list. The limitator assumes everyone uses the standard-issue earbuds, as different earbuds or headphones can change the output drastically. Likewise, the methods of recording and encoding the music will affect the actual dB output. Here is a good article on the problem, which started way back with the Walkman.

I know that I don't plan to download the volume limitation software, but I have been more conscious of what volume I set my iPod at. I try not to go past halfway on the bar, with the exception being when I am biking on a windy day past a construction site during a thunder storm as a fire engine drives by.


Skwid said...

I try to follow the same guideline, although I crank it up whenever a particularly rockin' song comes up. Which is relatively frequent. So...that's probably not good, but WTF else is one supposed to do when Helmet's "Unsung" comes up? You can't listen to that at half volume...you just can't.

Scott Spiegelberg said...

Then be prepared to lose your hearing, Skwid. What really gets me is the car stereos producing 90+ dB from 20 feet away. God knows what the intensity is inside the car. And the subwoofers are producing so much energy I've got to think that they are causing damage to other organs besides the ear.