On the quality of voice in the phone conversation

Tom Evslin has this interesting observation about the quality of voice in the traditional phone:

The bandwidth of the telephone connection between our homes and the telephone network hasn’t changed in my long lifetime. Although some noise has been eliminated in long distance calls (sometime and if we’re not on a cellphone), voices on the phone still sound like they did sixty-five years ago. We’ve trained ourselves to accept the clipped quality of a telephone voice with its lack of emotional overtones.
You wouldn’t dream of listening to music over the phone. You expect and get much better sound quality from almost any radio and on TV. Movies have Dolby sound. But the telephone is still the telephone.

He suggests that VoIP (think: Skype) is changing that.

Doing something wrong

I am really doing something wrong. Seriously. I can’t get neigther one of headsets to work. Headphones work just fine, both at home and at work. Microphones don’t. At work I can hear myself talking in the headphones, but I can’t record any sound and, obviously, I can’t use the headset in Skype. At home, I don’t even get the sound in the headphones.

I think I’m getting old… Oh, do I sound like my father now?

Again with an ‘S’ word

This is yet another post that mentions Skype. As you probably know by now after reading this and that posts, I am really enjoying Skype.

In order to expand the joy, I decided to follow my brother, and buy headphones with microphone to use voice features of this application.

You might think that I am one of those “whatever my brother gets, I’ll get two” types, but I am not. I really have two very separate computers – my home workstation and my office workstation – that I need to equip with whatever software and hardware I use. So, I bought two headsets. Those are A4Tech HS-7 if you are interested.

8 CYP a piece. Fit my head nicely. Micrphone is attached via a wire that you can bend any way you like. There is also volume control and microphone on/off switch right on the wire. Comfy.

I haven’t tested the sound yet.

Deep Purple in Cyprus : Pictures

Ian Gillan

Finally I got my act together and processed all the pictures. Out of 250 frames I selected 125. Mostly those are of Ian Gillan with a microphone. Steve Morse with his guitar and Don Airey up at his keyboards are the next most covered. Basist Roger Glover and drummer Ian Paice were on the other side of the stage, so their pictures aren’t as spectacular as of others, but I’ve go them covered anyway.

I’d like to thank Slava who started the whole argument with the security stuff and found out that it was OK to bring in the photo camera and that only video cameras were banned. If it wasn’t for him, I would leave my camera in the car and none of this pictures would have seen the light of the Web.

Without further a do…

Album location: /photos/2005/2005-07-15_Deep_Purple_in_Cyprus

Update on Deep Purple’s visit to Cyprus

Firstly, I wanted to let everyone know that I am planning to go to the concert. I’ll be ticket hunting during the coming week. Anyone else wants to go?

Secondly, I noticed a strange thing with Google. My blog comes out as the top first result for the query “deep purple cyprus“. I’ve seconded even the official Deep Purple website. Does anyone know how can I make any money out of it? Just kidding. No, actually, I am serious.

Thirdly, some humor regarding the upcoming concert. I’ve heard a few guys talking the other day:

Someone: Are you planning to go to the concert?

Someone else: I’d go only on one condition – that they won’t play “Smoke on the water”. I’ve heard it way too many times and I don’t want to hear it again.

Someone else else: I must be kidding me. They would be killed and tortured by the crowd in so many different creative ways if they won’t play “Smoke on the water”… I’m sure even they know it and they won’t risk it.

Yet another someone else: I’m sure half of that crowd would pay twice the price of the ticket to just hear “Smoke on the water” a couple of times and nothing else. All they want is to hear it from the original source for once.

That second guy: Oh, well. Tough luck than.

Quote of the day

Microsoft .WAV RIFF files.
These appear to be very similar to IFF files, but not the same. They are the native sound file format of Windows. (Obviously, Windows was of such incredible importance to the computer industry that it just had to have its own sound file format.) Normally .wav files have all formatting information in their headers, and so do not need any format options specified for an input file. If any are, they will override the file header, and you will be warned to this effect. You had better know what you are doing! Output format options will cause a format conversion, and the .wav will written appropriately. SoX currently can read PCM, ULAW, ALAW, MS ADPCM, and IMA (or DVI) ADPCM. It can write all of these formats including (NEW!) the ADPCM encoding.

© man 1 sox

Philips SBC-HP800 Hi-Fi Headphones

Philips SBC-HP800Olga gave me a somewhat early St.Valentine’s Day present – Philips SBC-HP800 Hi-Fi Headphones. These will help me to be more productive in the office, isolating my ears from all the noise there.

If you are interested, here are the specs from the box:

  • Frequency range: 10-28,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity: 10dB
  • Impedance: 32 Ohm
  • Cable: 3.0 m
  • Maximum power input: 1500 mW
  • Weight: 206 g

There is nothing much in the box – just the speakers and the standard 3.5mm to 6.3 mm adapter.

I like the sound a lot and the headphones are very comfortable to wear. Let the mp3 times begin. Again.

P.S. The picture was stolen from here.