"Some birds aren't meant to be caged, their feathers are just too bright"- Morgan Freeman, Shawshank Redemption. This blog is from one such bird who couldn't be caged by organizations who mandate scripted software testing. Pradeep Soundararajan welcomes you to this blog and wishes you a good time here and even otherwise.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Testers who burnt their ears !

Hi Reader,

You must have stopped by a shop just to stare at your dream music system ... be it Bose , Sony , Onkyo or even a local made !

Ah ! these have too high output RMS/PMPO values ... let me go for a good headphone ... be it Senhiezer , Philips ...

That movie was too good because it has DTS , Dolby digital , SRS , THX .....

Whatever your choice, you did listen to a lot of music/sound right ? Well then you must know who made you listen to quality music and gave a lot of food for your ears and brain ... trust me you should know this atleast now ...

__ Testers who burnt their ears ___

Every music system released in market have certain statistics and you people are smart that you wont buy the ones without best statistics.

Signal to Noise Ratio : 90 dB
Frequency Response: 18Hz to 22 KHz
THD : 0.01%

Does the above figures attract you ?

Well if you own the best music system or a quality headphone by now , thank the Tester who was behind the scene in giving you that because he may would have burnt his ear !

I was doing product testing of Bluetooth Headphones , the company I worked for was focused to give CD quality music over Bluetooth and yes I too was a part to make it happen but ...

My job involved measuring the quality parameters of the headphone and as per Audio Engineering Society standards for digital audio testing quite a few sinusoids had to be used.

Sinusoid's or sinusoidal waves are considered to be the best bet test data for bringing out the scientific quality of any audio product because it exercises your codec completely.

In the process of giving out the best system , any audio product company would have made several releases and upgrades , no wonder every such release is tested.

In a similar way I must have faced at least 500 or even more.

It is advised by Hearing/Audio community that listening to sinusoid's are harmful ( of course to the listening ear ) and especially when listening from headphone where the speaker is too close to your ears it even more painful !

I also observe in all the companies I have been , it is becoming a common habit to listen to music over headphones while coding/testing or whatever you do with your PC at workplace and home which is not good for your ears on a long time run.( Not everyone though )

Who cares ? ( Is this your thought , in an act of ignorance )
You better ask those people who have burnt their ears , Stop ! even thinking of searching ... I am here who belong to one of the testing community with burnt ears.

Well let me take those techies looking at this post for some technical gyaan ...

Once there was a bug/defect in the headphone I was working with.

Bug : The buffer used to flush out all data when it had lost connection with the source.
[ :P , there was another bug that connection with the source was lost randomly ]
( mind it , I am talking about Bluetooth wireless headphones )

How did that bug burn my ears ?

Well , as you all may know , the speaker on the headphone was the poor guy who was forced to play such a flushed data from the bad guy ( buffer ). And there was a much poor guy listening to the speaker [ twas me :( ]

Anything not pleasing ears by default is noise and I got to hear a lot of noise in the process of reproducing it and making a note of observations and as an effort to be a good tester , I had to research on it and give optimum data supporting the bug.

Developers tried to fix it but again resulting in me retesting and crisping my burnt ears !

Gosh ! took a lot of time to fix both the bugs and in between one day my manager wanted to see the behaviour and put over the headphone ... listening to his favourite song ...

Kshhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh ! - told the system ( ... noise )
"Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaw" - replied my manager ( out of pain )

"Pradeep isn't this painful ?" told this looking at me with pity !
"If I too am a human like you , yes " was my simple reply.

"Oh , take care , we need you for further testing , don't burn your ears , use a 2.1 speaker and don't listen to that crash( from our headphone ) hereafter ".

I thought " only when it pains others they get to know what is my state" , how sad !

__ End of __ Testers who burnt their ears ! __

So all of you listening to good quality music thank those testers who must have burnt their ears to give you the best !

For Testers , be very careful , I was pretty naive when this happened , although today I have as good ears as you people I may would have lost my hearing capability had I continued with my mistake.

I bow to all those audio engineers across the globe who would have burnt their ears in order to give all of us best audio systems !

"Behind every quality music you listen , there is a pair of burnt ears !"

Thanks and Regards

Pradeep Soundararajan

1 comment:

Pradeep Soundararajan said...

Hi ,

An anoymous comment for this post was ...

"There are synthetic tests like PSNR ratio tests which test the objective quality of codecs. No sane person would use sine waves for testing of subjective quality, which is what human testers are used for."

I say "That's true and the system that crashes for Sine Tones would also crash for music and I think you can take more time in seeing the post to find that I have mentioned that my ears were burnt because of the crash and not because of listening to sine tones"

Also sorry that I could'nt let your comment to be posted directly because you had given the above comment to some other post but I felt it is more suitable for this one.

Also you said "Maybe you should stop cribbing and do your job properly instead ! "

Well can you show me a single person who has not cribbed about their job at any point of time ?

How does cribbing and doing the job properly related ?

Apologies , I may be wrong also ?

Pradeep Soundararajan