I don't know why, but I am visualizing a Discworld-esque scene that takes place in the wee hours of the morning (see also my Got Discworld?
blog). A figure makes his furtive way down an alleyway and taps on a door. A flap opens and the following exchange takes place between the doorkeeper and the furtive figure:
- Furtive Figure: "A gibbous moon hangs pendulously in the night sky."
- Doorkeeper: "Monk fish croon their soothing songs of snooze."
- Furtive Figure: "Yet still the dog doth grunt and snore."
And back and forth they go with evermore obscure passwords. Sometimes my imagination runs away with me. I really should go back to taking my dried frog pills. But we digress…
The point is that my wife (Gina the Gorgeous) and I have two stupid dogs that spend the night in our room under the bed. Henri (the French Pronunciation) is something of a glutton – he eats anything he can find – including cat food, bird food, and things I don’t care to mention here. As a result, Henri is overweight, and he now grunts and snores his way through the night.
It's gotten to the stage where it's hard for us to get a good night's sleep, so we decided to purchase one of those relaxing noise machine thingies. You know the sort of thing – they generate the sound of rain, or wind, or surf on the beach. You used to be able to get them from almost any store as standalone units or integrated into an alarm clock.
We went to numerous stores including Best Buy, Walmart, and Target … nothing. Even worse, when we tried to explain what we were looking for to the shop assistants (who are growing younger by the day), they looked at us like we were from another planet (my impression is that technology is now changing so fast that they had simply never heard of these devices, which is pretty amazing when you come to think about it).
And then, while we were on our way out of the last store, Gina said "You don’t suppose that there's an iPhone app for this, do you?"
Well, put me in a dress and call me Laura! I felt like a fool (but where were we going to find a fool at that time of the day? Ah, the old jokes are the best ones).
I really should have thought about this myself. As you may recall, when I built my Ukulele I found a bunch of Ukulele tuning apps in the iTunes Store (see Stand back – I have a ukulele and I'm not afraid to use it!
), so I have absolutely no idea why I didn’t think of looking there first.
When we returned home, Gina looked online and found an amazing free app. The sound, when Gina's iPhone is played through our docking station, is amazing. As opposed to electronically generated versions, this uses real-world recorded sounds. The people who created this app have obviously done their research, because they have sounds in there that I would never have thought of, including a fan, an air conditioner, the sound of a city, the sound you hear while sitting in the back seat of a car, the sound of being on an airplane, the sound of the tracks when riding a train, and all sorts of other things.
Of course they also have "White Noise" and "Pink Noise," plus they have "Blue Noise," which I – for one – had never heard about. But I just had a quick Google (it's OK, no one was looking) and found a Colors of Noise
entry on the Wikipedia. Wow – in addition to White and Pink Noise, it turns out that there's also Brown, Blue, Violet, and Grey Noise. And these are just the ones with technical definitions – it seems that there are also "unofficial colors" such as Red, Orange, Green, and Black Noise.
I learn something new every day…
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