Friday, April 03, 2009

Listen Up

The personalized molded in-ear headphones I had ordered and paid top dollar for at the start of December still have not arrived in Singapore.

I sat through the incredibly painful procedure of having my outer-ear canal molded in silicone, and still no tangible results, as far an actual set of headphones in my hand, let alone in my ears.

It was "incredibly painful" actually only when Uncle Wilson tried to extract the silicone mold. After the pink semi-liquid gel was pumped in, then allowed to set for 15 minutes, it had of course formed a seal with my canal and when Uncle tried to pull it out, it was stretching my ear drum against the resultant vacuum.

OOOWWW!!! OOOWWW!!! POP! Ow? Hello? Hello?

My hearing is down anyway, so this did not help I am sure.


My 80+ year old mum had her ears cleaned recently, and this can produce pretty much the same sensation and pain. She has not been the same since, with vertigo and headaches. (Not to mention the slow onset of Altzheimers, which must have started when I was young - why else would she persist in calling me Lucy and dressing me in frocks and little girlie clothes when I was in senior high school!)


The reason for the 4 month delay in delivery from Tennessee seems to be due to the company being taken over! Damn. See this page for the background story.

Formerly called Livewires, these musician monitoring quality ear-buds are now allegedly available from Fidelity. The name says it all, is their tagline. I certainly hope it does and that they are faithful enough to honor the contract I made with the company that was their previous incarnation.



Momentary Madness said...

Dear Lucy,
Ah, the things we do for art, and the pleasure there of.

I hope your headphones arrive soon, and vertigo only comes with the dizzying music experience: Lights go down
It's dark, the jungle is
Your head can't rule your heart
A feeling is so much stronger
than a thought
Your eyes are wide
And though your soul
It can't be bought
Your mind can wander

Hello, hello
I'm at a place called Vertigo
It's everything I wish I didn't know
Except you give me something
I can feel, feel

expat@large said...

MM: LOL, exactly! Good pick up!

savannah said...

y'all are just too witty for me these days! xoxox ;)

expat@large said...

Sav: only these days?

Dick Headley said...

Earphones? Looks to me like you ordered electric kidneys.

dibabear said...

Hmmm...I wonder if it's Alzheimer's or just general old age settling in. Then again, all of those years living downwind from Ginger Nuts couldn't have done her good.

I have a very hard time getting earphones that actually fit. My fancy schmancy Bose ones fall out, the iPod buds are better but not quite. The only ones that fit well are the V-moda ones and they don't have great high end response. Which, come to think of it, being deaf from about 10Khz on up neither do I.

expat@large said...

DH: tiny electric kidneys to piss in my ear. That photo fails to give the three dimensionality of the product its proper, um... perspective.

Dibear : I hear you, I hear you. I mean as in I agree not that I actually... What? Speak up a bit would you?

I didn't mind the Bose ones - once you superglued the transparent bit to the base they were OK. They didn't fall out on me as much as normal ones but their high end is cra;, it's all boomy bass with Bose. Once I tried the Livewires, which have two (or three) speakers inside them, it was a revelation how much sound I was missing; had to have them...

Ginger Nuts... yes, another urinary joke is required here. My beloved mum is going to be thrilled by all this discussion about her. She actually calls me either 'Greg' or 'Tim', my cousins' names, or 'Nat', my son's name. She has done this forever, the silly cow. No more crispy roast spuds for HER Christmas dinner, I swear!

savannah said...

i was being sarcastic, sweetcheeks! *sigh*

expat@large said...

Sav: and so was I, marshy! %-)

Lost in Melbourne said...

The biggest problem with modern music listening (i.e. Via the ipod etc) is the bad quality music files.

I don't understand why anyone would rip a song at less than the highest quality.

expat@large said...

Scott: I put up a post last(?) year about how even conventional CDs no being compressed in a certain way, so that when you rip them they sound better on iPods etc. In other words, they don;t sound as good on conventional HiFi systems.

Lost in Melbourne said...

So the new equipment arrived?

Too lazy to hunt for your previous post, so what is the trip to the high quality rip?

expat@large said...

Yes finally - Uncle Wally had the phones but couldn't find them, but no cables anyway... So I headed off. Then he sent his brother chasing me around Adelphi (the Highest Fi place in town) to bring me back... He'd found them, plus a pair of cables!

Lost in Melbourne said...

Are you going to fess up on the technique for ripping up the best quality tunes fella? I have a USB input (I think it only plays from a flash memory drive) on the my new Yamaha Amp so I want to give it a try.

expat@large said...

That input would just read any old mp3 format, so just rip the CD (or buy VINYL!) at the highest sampling-rate you can - I've set iTunes to its max - 320kbps. The files are bigger but less compressed, I can certainly hear the difference from 128kbps. But there's nothing you can do about the compression already built into the CD. If you're a real audiophile, you'll pay triple for HDCD's or music DVD.

The player has a server sort of program inside it that can read the mp3s. RTFM; I guess the songs would have to be in the root directory.

No1 Son (who is looking over my shoulder as I type this, shaking his head because I am giving techno advice) also put me onto a thing called FLAC - a lossless codec/player. However it certainly doesn't play through iTunes and I don't use it that much. (My niece's band's sample CD came in FLAC format.)

Unknown said...

You could go with Apple Lossless as well. Despite the name it's a standard format but it does eat up real estate.


expat@large said...

Jay (exD-Bear): didn't see that option on iTunes... Doesn't mean it isn't there of course...

Unknown said...

On the Mac in iTunes...Preferences -> General -> Import Settings (lower right). Once clicked there should be a pull down where "Apple Lossless" is listed (among others).

There's a write up on Wikipedia that explains it.

expat@large said...

Jay: OK, I'm on the PC laptop now and see it. It seems that this is not MP3 format though, which therefore ties me to iTunes, the iPhone and the iPod. As I also have Creative Zen and iRiver players and who knows what phone next - am on the verge of dumping the iPhone (will wait for V3 software, but the extremely pisspoor battery life compared to my old 2G iPhone is the main issue) so don't want to be tethered to Apple.

The CD compression obviously can't be undine by this, as it happens during the A-D conversion at the source of the recording.

I note there is a near-lossless format available for Audible downloads... not sure what devices it is compatible with. Files are much bigger though, downloading takes too long.

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