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Apple proposes acoustic separation for iPhone conference calls - Page 2

post #41 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by mydo View Post

Yes but when you have an ear bud stuck in your ear there is no "above" or "below". Your lobes are out of the equation because the buds are stuck in the ear past the lobe.

You clearly aren't getting the point. The incoming audio signal coming to the earbuds is readjusted to simulate that effect.
post #42 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

You clearly aren't getting the point. The incoming audio signal coming to the earbuds is readjusted to simulate that effect.

I would say the same about you.


Given that the speak is placed in the ear canal a few centimeters from the ear drum and never moves (relative to the ear drum) how does it create a spacial effect to simulate a sound coming from a distant place?

What "adjustment" is being done other than volume? The best you'll get is right left stereo which is not "3D". It's actually only 2Dis.
post #43 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by mydo View Post

Given that the speak is placed in the ear canal a few centimeters from the ear drum and never moves (relative to the ear drum) how does it create a spacial effect to simulate a sound coming from a distant place?

What "adjustment" is being done other than volume? The best you'll get is right left stereo which is not "3D". It's actually only 1D.

It's not just a simple volume adjustment. They change various parts of the audio spectrum, like a very high-tech equalizer, though there's other trickery in there too to, digitally simulate the same effect. In higher math terms, I think they apply some sort of convolution to the signal.

You can probably go to the Dolby labs site and listen to examples of Dolby Headphone to try for yourself.
post #44 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by mydo View Post

I would say the same about you.


Given that the speak is placed in the ear canal a few centimeters from the ear drum and never moves (relative to the ear drum) how does it create a spacial effect to simulate a sound coming from a distant place?

What "adjustment" is being done other than volume? The best you'll get is right left stereo which is not "3D". It's actually only 2Dis.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3D_audio_effect
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post #45 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3D_audio_effect

Yea that's exactly how I thought it would work. When do you linear combinations of only two point source adjacent to the receiver (ear drum) you get something 2Dish. Fun tricks can be played by adding opposite ear echo to voice but in the end it will be 2Dis and not 3D.


Listen to this example.

http://gprime.net/flash.php/soundimmersion

To me all the sounds are "behind" me. Even when I swap my ear buds L/R. The shaking match box is either in my ear or just behind it. The foot falls are dislocated with the shaking match box and don't seem to have any real location other then off to the left or right. So I wouldn't call that 3D.

It would be great for a conference call but beyond 3 speakers I think it would get muddled. If my brain hears it like everyone is behind me then I'd get annoyed. I see no way to get in front of or behind location out of this technology.
post #46 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by mydo View Post

Yea that's exactly how I thought it would work. When do you linear combinations of only two point source adjacent to the receiver (ear drum) you get something 2Dish. Fun tricks can be played by adding opposite ear echo to voice but in the end it will be 2Dis and not 3D.


Listen to this example.

http://gprime.net/flash.php/soundimmersion

To me all the sounds are "behind" me. Even when I swap my ear buds L/R. The shaking match box is either in my ear or just behind it. The foot falls are dislocated with the shaking match box and don't seem to have any real location other then off to the left or right. So I wouldn't call that 3D.

It would be great for a conference call but beyond 3 speakers I think it would get muddled. If my brain hears it like everyone is behind me then I'd get annoyed. I see no way to get in front of or behind location out of this technology.

I don't know why you don't consider that 3D. The link you posted is completely 3 dimension with my in-ear headphones on. I can easily point out when the matches are being shook in any area around me. My eyes even half expect to see something in front of me I know isn't there. It's quite freaky.
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post #47 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I don't know why you don't consider that 3D. The link you posted is completely 3 dimension with my in-ear headphones on. I can easily point out when the matches are being shook in any area around me. My eyes even half expect to see something in front of me I know isn't there. It's quite freaky.

I agree that it's very good but it's not 3D. To me the sound comes from a 2D plane that's around me. I didn't hear any above or below. The brain can fill in a lot of gaps but the fact that I heard it from behind and you heard it from the front highlight the problem.
post #48 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by mydo View Post

but the fact that I heard it from behind and you heard it from the front highlight the problem.

I heard it from behind too. It went in several circles around my head from left to right (or clockwise if you were looking down on me) and then did the left side up and down and then the right side up and down. I have good in-ear speakers so perhaps that is the difference.

I only referenced "in front of me" when referring to my vision as my eyes currently only face forward... but I'm working on that.
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post #49 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by CREB View Post

Simply a matter of basic etiquette versus trying to assimilate garbled information. A good read and use of Robert's Rules provides for better meetings, and conference calls than this iPhone feature will ever provide.

In other words, you are saying "the feature is useless because nobody I talk to ever talks out of turn and nobody I talk to ever gets into an argument".

Congratulations. You are the only one who lives in this dream world. The rest of us have to deal with normal human beings and a piece of technology that makes it easier to understand them when they're not trying to bend their natures to arbitrary rules is useful.

It's amazing. Any time someone announces a new product or concept, there's always someone like you who comes along and says "it's garbage because I, personally don't need it", and will get violently angry with anyone who disagrees. Perhaps you should consider the possibility that the world has people that are not clones of yourself.
post #50 of 69
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post #51 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by aplnub View Post

OmniGraffle?

But why, when scribbling on the back of an envelope is so much quicker?

Or perhaps they have the little known "Back of Fag Packet" stencil set we use to design our networks with...
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post #52 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by mydo View Post

Can't be all that 3D with only two speakers. At best it's 2D.

Humans also only have two ears... but hear in 3D. There are tonal shifts corresponding to angle at which sounds are heard. These tonal shifts are now possible via software. Granted, you're right that Apple will probably only attempt to apply the effect in 2 dimensions, or is that one dimension?
post #53 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by mydo View Post

Yes but when you have an ear bud stuck in your ear there is no "above" or "below". Your lobes are out of the equation because the buds are stuck in the ear past the lobe.

I can only assume you've never listened to binaural audio, or you would know better than this.

And by the way, that link you posted is a good example. If you can't figure out exactly where the noise is in 3D space at all times, then you need to have your ears checked. I'm not even kidding. The dimensionality was spectacular, and if you can't perceive it then there's something wrong with your spacial sense.
post #54 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by dfiler View Post

Humans also only have two ears... but hear in 3D. There are tonal shifts corresponding to angle at which sounds are heard. These tonal shifts are now possible via software. Granted, you're right that Apple will probably only attempt to apply the effect in 2 dimensions, or is that one dimension?

Humans can tilt their head and use parts of the skull to hear too. How often do you hear something and can't tell where it's coming from. ONLY 2 EARS!
post #55 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by gloss View Post

I can only assume you've never listened to binaural audio, or you would know better than this.

And by the way, that link you posted is a good example. If you can't figure out exactly where the noise is in 3D space at all times, then you need to have your ears checked. I'm not even kidding. The dimensionality was spectacular, and if you can't perceive it then there's something wrong with your spacial sense.

I assume you haven't had classes in advanced math and linear systems. Otherwise you'd know that two point sources next to two receivers can't produce real 3D sound.
post #56 of 69
Mydo, just what is it that you're trying to disprove?

You seem to be arguing against something but I can't quite figure out what. Is it that you believe binaural sound is a complete sham?
post #57 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by datamodel View Post

But why, when scribbling on the back of an envelope is so much quicker?

Or perhaps they have the little known "Back of Fag Packet" stencil set we use to design our networks with...

It's like saying a napkin drawing of a part design is faster than drawing it in CAD. It's true, but that's not the point.

Scribbling on a piece of scratch paper is great for brainstorming, but I wouldn't a accept it as a substitute for proper documentation.
post #58 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by mydo View Post

I assume you haven't had classes in advanced math and linear systems. Otherwise you'd know that two point sources next to two receivers can't produce real 3D sound.

You are so misguided I don't even really want to waste my time. By mimicking the aural shadow of a human head and ear, a binaural recording deposited directly into your ear canal (having been RECORDED directly within a simulated ear canal) produces something that is about as close to 'real 3D sound' as you're ever going to get. The recording itself contains all of the modified and distorted frequencies that your head/ears would normally generate, and in using earbuds you are bypassing the physical and replacing it with the virtual.

And as previously stated, if you can't hear it in that recording you linked to, you have a hearing problem. The accuracy of the dimensionality is so eerie that I can pick out exactly where behind, in front of, above, or off to the side the noise is coming from, and several others here have attested to the same thing. Your inability to hear it is not a disproof of the concept.
post #59 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by gloss View Post

You are so misguided I don't even really want to waste my time. By mimicking the aural shadow of a human head and ear, a binaural recording deposited directly into your ear canal (having been RECORDED directly within a simulated ear canal) produces something that is about as close to 'real 3D sound' as you're ever going to get. The recording itself contains all of the modified and distorted frequencies that your head/ears would normally generate, and in using earbuds you are bypassing the physical and replacing it with the virtual.

And as previously stated, if you can't hear it in that recording you linked to, you have a hearing problem. The accuracy of the dimensionality is so eerie that I can pick out exactly where behind, in front of, above, or off to the side the noise is coming from, and several others here have attested to the same thing. Your inability to hear it is not a disproof of the concept.

OMG. How exactly does one do that with a teleconference? Three people are talking into a cheap phone mic' and ... some magic occurs ... to create something "having been RECORDED directly within a simulated ear canal" and ....

We're talking about phones here people. Not a recording studio.
post #60 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by mydo View Post

OMG. How exactly does one do that with a teleconference? Three people are talking into a cheap phone mic' and ... some magic occurs ... to create something "having been RECORDED directly within a simulated ear canal" and ....

We're talking about phones here people. Not a recording studio.

The effect is simulated with special transforms applied to the incoming signals to simulate how sound bounces off the ear from various places, it's like an audio version of a 3D rendering. It's not really 3D, but we see it that way, even if it's synthetic. This audio treatment has been available for use in products for at least a decade now. And yes, the quality does vary from person to person, and from headphone to headphone. But generally, it does work.
post #61 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by mydo View Post

OMG. How exactly does one do that with a teleconference? Three people are talking into a cheap phone mic' and ... some magic occurs ... to create something "having been RECORDED directly within a simulated ear canal" and ....

We're talking about phones here people. Not a recording studio.

I was mostly disputing the fact that you seem to imply that binaural audio is somehow an impossibility, when clearly it's not.

On this conference-calling thing, though I concur with you. It may be a nifty feature, but I don't see it being anything particularly game-changing, and I certainly don't buy that it will produce anything more than a slight delineation between parties.
post #62 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Booga View Post

Yes! Yes! OMG YES FTW!

As someone who spends a couple hours a day in audio conferences, lack of positional audio is a huge, huge frustration. It makes a lot of conversations turn into an unintelligible jumble. Giving each member a position is a great first step, but I'd love to see stereo/surround microphones specially built for audioconferencing and a protocol to match.

Have you tried having people say their name first before speaking? Etiquette is essential on a conference call of any size. Can't wait for stereo microphones!
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post #63 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by McHuman View Post

Theres nothing sexy about conference calls.

After six hours on the tarmac at DFW waiting to de-ice, conference calls were looking VERY sexy to me!
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post #64 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by physguy View Post

If this could actually be offered by real conferencing system I would disagree strongly. On conference calls you not only need to hear 'what' but also 'by whom'. Without that information a tremendous about of context of the meaning is often lost leading to miscommunication. If everyone has significantly difference vocal characteristics that all is well but if two, more or several pairs of people of similar vocal characteristics you find yourself asking 'who was that' or, if you don't want to interrupt the flow simply letting it go. This, in principle, would be extremely valuable but, with standard telephony you don't have even the possibility of two-channel transmission to make this possible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CREB View Post

I have been on far too many conference calls to count. I see no redeeming value with acoustic separation. I am listening for what is important in a conference callnot whether Betty or Bob are pleasantly acoustically separated. Business has fundamentals; this is just bordering on the ridiculous. Now, in an entertainment situation...that's an entirely different matter.

Agree strongly with physguy. CREB - you may be right about no net gain from acoustic separation. I've spent thousands of hours on conference calls use my binaural headset to cut out noise and distraction. The idea of being able to position say Betty on my left, Bob on my right is useful IF we are talking small number of call participants. I said it previously, call etiquette works well ONCE you get everyone trained to follow it. Psyguy is right - information without context = miscommunication.

Personally, I always wanted one of those gizmos that would make me sound like Darth Vader when leading my calls - something to mix it up a bit!
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post #65 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by CREB View Post

With all due respect...I simply do not buy it. Given the myriad of corporate environments, all the way from the plush office to the being in the most adverse of field conditions, I prefer something more purpose-built. In the field I carry a military spec mobile phone (because is has to work for all the right reasons); at the office I carry a different phone. It is what being said versus whom the hell said it that is important to most serious business people. I wonder what Warren Buffet would have to say about all this nonsense? For that matter I dare you to ask Steve Jobs if he gives a true rat-arse about this as he runs Apple (I seriously doubt it as have read about Jobs, and in speaking with the friends I have that have worked with him).

Quote:
Originally Posted by physguy View Post

Do you read before you write?

I'm talking about in a 'corporate environment', and yes I'm familiar. That said, having this in 'stereo' on a mobile phone with headsets would still be VERY valuable. I am often on a conf. call in a lounge or similar where it is quiet enough to utilize what this type of approach would offer. But, again, current standard telephony would not allow this as it is a single channel of audio. (Along with other limitations such a frequency range, phase alignment, etc. I am aware of our '3D audio' works).

CREB - depends on the type of and frequency of the conference call. Say you are meeting the same project team for the past year - the group knows each other and has a flow to it. Add a new member to the team and they'd be lost trying to track who is saying what. A huge time waster on calls starts with something like this: "I can't remember who said this but...." which is quickly followed up by "oh, that was Betty" and as phsyguy said, the flow of the call is broken.

How many times has a project team had to "redo" something based on a simple miscommunication during a conference call. Very expensive to everyone. Now, if I ever AM in a position to query Steve Jobs or Warren Buffet, I fully promise I'll query them and let you know what I learned.
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post #66 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by CREB View Post

Simply a matter of basic etiquette versus trying to assimilate garbled information. A good read and use of Robert's Rules provides for better meetings, and conference calls than this iPhone feature will ever provide.

Thanks CREB - great resource that I didn't know about.
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post #67 of 69
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Originally Posted by shamino View Post

Think of what happens when you're on a many-way conference call and a few people all try to speak at once. The voices all get muddled and you can't make out anything that was said.

With decent stereo separation, it will be much easier to separate the voices - just like you can do in a face-to-face meeting.

The real interesting thing here is going to be getting carriers involved. When you make a conference call over land lines, the sound from the various parties is multiplexed in the central office (or at a PBX or a conference bridging-center). Under that circumstance, then the phone won't be able to separate the streams and reposition them.

If, however, you receive each party's sound as a separate data stream, then this system shouldn't be that hard to implement. I've already seen this feature in standalone video conferencing systems. (Doesn't iChat also do this to some extent when you have a multi-way video chat?)

Does anyone know where the audio is mixed for GSM-based conference calls? If they're mixed at a centralized location, then I think this feature will require changes to the carrier's infrastructure in order to make it all work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by addicted44 View Post

Directional sound is not new technology, and has been implemented by many companies. How would having directional sound "hurt" in any ways? First of all, it can easily be made completely optional. Secondly, you dont necessarily need to place someone behind you, and someone else in front of you, but instead if you are in a conference call with two people, and instead of both persons sounding like they are speaking from the same place (e.g. front), if one sounds like he/she is speaking from slightly left of front, and the other slightly right of front, how would this be any worse than what you have now? On the other hand, it will make it very easy to identify who is speaking what even if the voices sound similar.

Btw, if this issue prevents a person from reading a 400+ book just to have a conference call, then more power to them! Additionally, a lot of conference calls are not even done with people from your own company. Are you gonna hang up on your client who is giving you half your business because he is not courteous? Also, basic etiquette does not help identify who is speaking when you are speaking to 3 or 4 complete strangers, whose voices possibly sound similar (very common especially in international calls).

Simply put, etiquette is everything when leading a cc.

Establishing etiquette and maintaining it throughout the call is essential for leading an effective call, especially when you have cc's with internal and external participants. It is simple - have everyone say their name first. If you are interested, here's a post I've written about handling Skype based cc's where there is time delay in the responses.

http://www.conferencecalltraining.com/power/?p=89

Hanging up on clients does not sound like a sound business strategy! The basic problem with cc's is that no one has ever set a consistent standard for how they are conducted. We are in the middle of the evolution of how to run effective cc's (webinars, web-based meetings, etc). Meeting management went through a similar evolution in the 80's and 90's.

With travel costs and delays (sorry to anyone caught in the recent AA mess), there will be more and more people utilizing cc's. Thanks Apple for pushing the envelope. Now if Jobs can just get AT&T to keep up....
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post #68 of 69
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Originally Posted by shamino View Post

In other words, you are saying "the feature is useless because nobody I talk to ever talks out of turn and nobody I talk to ever gets into an argument".

Congratulations. You are the only one who lives in this dream world. The rest of us have to deal with normal human beings and a piece of technology that makes it easier to understand them when they're not trying to bend their natures to arbitrary rules is useful.

Shamino - I don't think CREB said no one talks out of turn or gets into an argument.... it was about listening only for the important bullets. Sounds smart to me if you are the participant and not the leader. The leader has a bigger challenge.

It is not the role of technology (aside from say a taser ) to derail politically motivated people who use cc's to further their personal agenda. It IS the role of the leader to develop the skills to make the cc as productive for everyone on the call as possible.

Any tool, tech or otherwise, that make it easier to lead the call is a step in the right direction. The better the technology, the more the leader & participants can focus on being productive.
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post #69 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by mydo View Post

OMG. How exactly does one do that with a teleconference? Three people are talking into a cheap phone mic' and ... some magic occurs ... to create something "having been RECORDED directly within a simulated ear canal" and ....

We're talking about phones here people. Not a recording studio.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gloss View Post

I was mostly disputing the fact that you seem to imply that binaural audio is somehow an impossibility, when clearly it's not.

On this conference-calling thing, though I concur with you. It may be a nifty feature, but I don't see it being anything particularly game-changing, and I certainly don't buy that it will produce anything more than a slight delineation between parties.

Not sure I agree gloss - no one has mentioned the bane of background noise. (can' t wait to get a jawbone so I can call from any environment without distracting the call). If you could control/eliminate things like background noise (or music on hold!) without a full global/individual mute (currently available on most teleconference lines), this WOULD be game-changing.

Perhaps Apple will provide an equalizer with settings like: Cut out background noise; Boost volume of a specific caller; Slow rate of speech; and my two personal favorites: Deliver small electric shock to a specific caller and the much needed TIVO function that automatically puts the call on hold and allows you to back up and re-listen to what someone just said!
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