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Is that too much to ask?

You know what I hate? You’re driving a carload of teenage girls to some get-together miles away from home, and you’re trying to drown out their giggles, shrieks, screeches and other annoying noises by turning up the volume in your iPod headphones. Then, one of the songs starts really feathery soft, and you have to crank up the volume even higher to achieve the desired drowning out effect. Of course, you forget that the second stanza changes the tonality, and it suddenly kicks in splitting your eardrums causing you to feverishly grasp for the volume control before you end up deaf in both ears.

All of you recording artists out there: Would it be so damn hard to record your songs at the same volume level? Is being un artiste and getting to express all sorts of feelings through those damn abrupt crescendos really worth inflicting so much pain on a poor schlemiel who volunteered to drive a bunch of adolescent girls 70 miles in one direction?

A bit of compassion would not hurt you, would it?


  1. Tania

    Yes! And the one I really hate, related but not exactly the same – audio levels on public radio. When I have the volume cranked so I can hear the news and then they play bumper music that just about deafens a person. Yikes!

    I am right there with you on this one Ilya.

  2. Ilya

    I do not have a clue, Vince. This is probably just the second time in my entire life that I needed earphones – and it may be an important distinction here, I should have used the word earphones and they do not cover ears – but the thought of whether there are laws about it did not enter my thinking. I suppose incessant girly chatter at high pitch is much more distracting than anything that prevents me from hearing it…

  3. Brian Greenberg

    I had the same initial reaction that Vince had. Laws against driving with headphones have to do more with being able to distinguish outside noise (e.g., a car horn) from the music. That’s much easier to do if you’re listening to car speakers rather than headphones. But I’m not one to equate morality with traffic laws – I’m still the guy who is more distracted talking on a “hands-free” cellphone call while driving than just putting the phone to my ear. Whatever you do, just stay safe…

    As for recording levels, if you’re using an iPod, I’m going to go out on a limb and assume you’re using iTunes. If that’s the case, you can right-click on a song in your library and one of the menuitems (I forget which – it’s been a long time) allows you to adjust the playback volume for the song. So, if you have a particular CD that was recorded too loud, you can adjust it down on your PC so it doesn’t disrupt a playlist.

    Doesn’t help with sudden crescendos, though…

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