Thursday, September 07, 2006

Ambient Noise, Ring Tones and Things I Really Don't Like

I listen to a fair amount of NPR, or used to listen to a fair amount of NPR. One thing I really do not like is the current trend to increase the amount of ambient noise that runs with the material -- often noise that seems artificially added. When I'm driving, I do not need an extra, moving, crystal clear siren noise. Let the studio broadcast just be silent in the background.

Even worse is the growing trend of using ring tone "music" interlaced with broadcasts, as a sub-theme in theme music and in advertisements. Like a borderline personality disorder, the "music" cries out for attention, setting off people checking to see if a cell phone is ringing. While it calls for attention, it also seems to generate revulsion. Advertisements with those sub-themes are the ones most likely to trigger a changed channel rather than being patiently listened to/ignored until more news or music comes on.

Shows that use them are why I've given up on NPR and on radio in general.

I know, on the scale of things that are annoying or dislikable, what I've mentioned is pretty trivial, but it probably annoys me more than anything else I deal with. What out there annoys you?


BrianJ said...

Funny, I first got hooked on NPR when I worked retail. At work, I had to listen to the store's music, the complaints of sometimes rude customers, and the whining/fighting of children with parents. Once I got to my car, I just wanted to here something soft, smooth, refined, patient, steady.... The voices of Ann Taylor, Terry Gross, Corey Flintoff, Snigdha Prakash, and the like came to my rescue! I didn't care what they were saying, I just thought their voices were beautiful.

Maren said...

I used to listen to NPR all the time. I've gotten out of the habit of it the past few years. That does sound annoying.

Téa said...

My NPR time has dropped since the road trip, but my husband will come home and talk to me about the stories I missed. Wait Wait Don't Tell Me is a must-hear, though, so I subscribed to the free podcast on iTunes.

chronicler said...

I thought maybe I was th eonly person in the world that these types of broadcast noises bothered. It is more than irritating. I am losing my hearing due to a genetic trait, the type of noise you describe has made listening to the radio nearly impossible. I only wish the programmers would do a real world study to see how ineffective it is for their listeners.