The main tank, brimful with ideas. Enjoy them, discuss them, take them. - Of course, this is also the #1 place for new submissions!
By knight_tour
#9193
I am deaf in one ear, and I also know many other people who are either deaf or nearly deaf in one ear. For decades I have been frustrated at listening to music through headphones (and now earbuds) and only being able to hear part of the music. Reformatting music into mono doesn't help because the sound quality goes way down. I think it is simple and easy for someone to develop a single earbud and connects both stereo streams of music into the single bud. This would allow all those, like me, who are deaf or nearly deaf in one ear to hear all of the music we love.

Reward: Free copy of working product
User avatar
By Steve
#9249
To my knowledge, combining both stereo channels to one is essentially converting stereo to mono by definition. Please let me know if I missed anything.
By Rishi
#9253
Steve wrote:To my knowledge, combining both stereo channels to one is essentially converting stereo to mono by definition. Please let me know if I missed anything.


You are right, Steve. Stereo audio is similar to stereo vision. The 3D effect is realized by the brain synthesizing the left and right signals.

A cochlear implant to which the currently inaudible signal is fed may be an answer. It is not universally applicable though.

Rishi
By knight_tour
#9254
No, there is a huge difference. Converting the actual mp3 to mono makes the music sound flat and awful. A person who is deaf in one ear, like me, could listen to the full, true sound of the song if BOTH channels of stereo sound were piped into the same ear. This would entail bringing the two separate wires of sound (L and R) up into a specially designed earbud that would be able to receive two distinct signals. I am not very happy that you would dump this here when it seems like such a no-brainer idea from my angle. Perhaps you need to be deaf in one ear to appreciate it.

Rishi is not understanding where I am coming from. Perhaps the sound would not be what you hear as people with two ears, but it is still a FAR better quality sound to the music when I can have both channels coming into my ear than when a song is converted to mono. You have to understand one simple thing- when I only get one channel, there are pieces of the song missing! I may not hear the drums, for example, or one of the guitar tracks. This makes listening to music miserable. As I have said before, converting the song to mono takes out the power of the music and leaves it sounding dull and lifeless. I have held two buds up to my ear and listened to the music that way, and it sound far better than a mono track.
By Rishi
#9257
knight_tour wrote:No, there is a huge difference. Converting the actual mp3 to mono makes the music sound flat and awful. A person who is deaf in one ear, like me, could listen to the full, true sound of the song if BOTH channels of stereo sound were piped into the same ear. This would entail bringing the two separate wires of sound (L and R) up into a specially designed earbud that would be able to receive two distinct signals. I am not very happy that you would dump this here when it seems like such a no-brainer idea from my angle. Perhaps you need to be deaf in one ear to appreciate it.

Rishi is not understanding where I am coming from. Perhaps the sound would not be what you hear as people with two ears, but it is still a FAR better quality sound to the music when I can have both channels coming into my ear than when a song is converted to mono. You have to understand one simple thing- when I only get one channel, there are pieces of the song missing! I may not hear the drums, for example, or one of the guitar tracks. This makes listening to music miserable. As I have said before, converting the song to mono takes out the power of the music and leaves it sounding dull and lifeless. I have held two buds up to my ear and listened to the music that way, and it sound far better than a mono track.

Dear knight_tour,
You are correct in that if you listen only to the right channel or the left channel alone there is loss of data. But an original mono recording of the music will have the whole music delivered into one channel. That is exactly what you are looking for.

There is a mechanical solution, which we can look at for music, which is alredy available as stereo. It is easy to make an ear plug into which both the left and right channel outputs can be plugged. Any competent hearing aid technician can rig up one.

If meaningful, mass production is a trivial problem.

I have been designing and building equipment for a deaf aid school in Bangalore, India, as part of a social service group and am aware of the issues involved.

rishi
By knight_tour
#9258
All I can say is that I have been deaf in one ear for 32 years and have lots of experience listening to music in various forms. I know that when I convert mp3s to mono they sound terrible, but if I listen to the same music in stereo, either through a normal set of speakers or through holding two buds up to my ear then the music is far superior to mono. Something gets lost in the translation of music from stereo to mono.

I just don't understand why companies, such as Apple with their Ipods, don't give anything to cater to the many hundreds of thousands of people worldwide who are deaf or almost deaf in one ear. I guess they think mono is sufficient, while we know that it is not satisfactory at all! I made this suggestion to them before coming here, and they never replied to my email.
By Rishi
#9259
If the problem is only with the conversion of mp3 stereo to mono, the solution may be different from if this happens with all types of recording (mp3, digital, or analog).

In this highly commercial environment, special needs are ignored. Like tools for the left handed for example.

rishi
User avatar
By Steve
#9260
knight_tour wrote:I am not very happy that you would dump this here when it seems like such a no-brainer idea from my angle. Perhaps you need to be deaf in one ear to appreciate it.

The docks are here to solve possible problems with an idea - it is not a dump, unless people turn a deaf ear on suggestions (no pun intended) or they abandon their ideas (the latter happens much more frequently). Imho you can be very happy that me and Rishi (one of the most knowlegable people on this board) are working with you on this one - what more can you ask for?

The likely difference you may be experiencing with your ear bud setup is about how your hardware actually converts the original two channels into one. (I found some interesting reading here.) Objectively, mono sound is of no lesser "quality" than stereo sound, but as you pointed out, it appears like the actual result of converting (or "collapsing") stereo to mono may sound different indeed.
By knight_tour
#9263
Steve, thanks for the information and the link. I have skimmed it and when I get time I will read it better, but the jist seems to be as I have said, that mono does not come close to sounding the way the music needs to sound for me to enjoy it. I, and others who are deaf in one ear, should be able to enjoy the full sound of the music, yet those who produce music for us, such as Apple, Sony, etc, seem to ignore our needs.

You mention people abandoning their ideas. Isn't that basically what this site comes down to? I don't have the capital to produce my idea or I would do it, and since writing directly to the music companies doesn't bring any response, I decided that giving up my idea here was basically all I could do. I wish I could produce this product, because it has more advantages than just better music quality, such as not having to drag around an extra, pointless earbud for the deaf ear, instead only having to have the single bud. If marketed correctly to all those who are deaf in one ear, I could see selling a few tens of thousands of these at least.
User avatar
By Steve
#9267
knight_tour wrote:You mention people abandoning their ideas. Isn't that basically what this site comes down to?

Basically yes, but it can go a long way if people do answer to the replies to their ideas. I was specifially referring to the ideas in The Docks - there are a lot of submissions that could easily make it into the actual Creativity Pool, but since the originator never replied, that never happened. Your own idea is a good example - if you hadn't replied, it would still be sitting there in The Docks. In the end it seems like we both learned something (at least I did), which is cool. ;-D
By knight_tour
#9283
Sorry that I haven't been around this site long enough to know, but do any ideas here ever get taken up and run with?
User avatar
By Steve
#9288
knight_tour wrote:Sorry that I haven't been around this site long enough to know, but do any ideas here ever get taken up and run with?

Sometimes. On a smaller level it seems to happen quite frequently - smaller project groups working on stuff they found here, or kids using it for science fair projects. Some inventions also came out big on the market years after they were posted here - guess it's up to interpretation if you make a connection or not. :-b
By knight_tour
#9304
I wonder that groups or PACs for deaf organizations don't put any effort into ideas like this. Perhaps it is because we are not completely deaf, but only in one ear, but I would think that wouldn't matter to them.
By Rishi
#9305
knight_tour wrote:I wonder that groups or PACs for deaf organizations don't put any effort into ideas like this. Perhaps it is because we are not completely deaf, but only in one ear, but I would think that wouldn't matter to them.


We had a social service organization of senior aero-space scientists/engineers, who adopted various schools and such for giving our skills free (almost all of us would have been in the USD100,000+/yr category) for a cause.

This is of use only in a microcosm. For example, for one of our activities with a deaf aid school we designed and built various teaching equipment at less than 10% of the cost of the commercial products, yet with superior performance, simply because of the high level of skills the members had. Our time (naturally outside of our normal work) was free.

This is not the way a commercial entity would work. Such products as the one suggested by you are no doubt very important in improving the quality of life of the concerned person. However, the manufacturer sees it as an orphan project and of no commercial significance. I am told that the US government has some funding for orphan health related projects. Maybe there is some mouse in that hole.

rishi
By knight_tour
#9308
Rishi,
You may be right that manufacturers see little market for this, but I honestly believe they are underestimating the numbers of people with hearing problems, especially with the development of rock and roll music over the past few decades along with walkman cd players and now mp3 players. People are killing their ears! My deafness was caused in a car accident, but I have musician friends and others who just love clubbing and several of them have permanent hearing loss, often in one ear. Sure, you wouldn't sell millions, but there is a significant market if it were advertised right.

Hey, I bet even people who are not deaf might like it. For instance, those who want to listen through earbuds while jogging or driving but don't like not being able to hear what is going on around them. I can even imagine a commercial -
Panning camera shot shows a professor at a college writing on the board, glancing out at the class. The camera comes to a student, seemingly paying careful attention to the teacher, though as it pans around the side of the student you can see a single earbud on the side away from the instructor. The student has a slight smile/smirk and taps his foot slightly.

Not what we want our kids to do, of course, but the idea is that this doesn't necessarily have to be a product JUST for those deaf in one ear.
OFFSHORE

Is there anymore need for physical cards? I suppos[…]

A Place for problems and solutions

This is a really good proposal. One title could be[…]

Team Innovating Forum

Are there forums for team innovating? Normally peo[…]

Whats your favorite Xbox game?

Mine is outrun2