Thursday, April 17, 2008

white noise podcast

Back when my daughter had trouble sleeping (which is LONG in the past, she's the best sleeper in the house now), we used to leave her next to the oven vent fan in her carseat. It was the best source of white noise we had in the house, and it seemed to have a soothing effect on her.

When we traveled, though, we couldn't bring our oven fan with us. Except -- we could! I recorded an hour of it, burned it to a CD, and it was one of our most important baby things to remember when we went anywhere ("Bottles, check. Formula, check. White noise, check.").

I always thought it would be great to publish a white noise CD for frustrated parents and others (my mom sleeps with a white noise machine, after all). But now I have an even better idea: the White Noise Podcast.

A little googling shows that "white noise" also seems to be a genre of heavy metal, which I find it funny to think about babies trying to fall asleep to. So there's competition for the name.

Another funny aspect about this podcast is that it will be an interesting test of audio compression algorithms.

I put the first 55Mb file up: the tantalizing hour-long vent fan recording we used for Noe. Watch this spot for future updates. Enjoy, and happy sleeping.


Anonymous said...

I wonder if the "calming effect" of white noise is in some way the opposite of that caused by say Beethoven's symphony... [Perhaps the net constancy of combination of frequencies in white noise nurture in meditative state by "freeing" the mind from distractions (external and internal).

I remember that when I was young, I would easily immerse myself in the rhythm of a lullaby. Somehow, the melody would make space in my head for sleep to take over!

Unknown said...

I would think that white noise sourced from some kind of oscillation would be the most effective - like that from a fan. Have you read much about sensory deprivation and biofeedback?


Chris Perry said...

I have not read much about either. Can you point me in any particular directions?