Is there any way I can play white noise through my computer speakers, to soothe my vigilant doggies from barking at every sound they hear outside?
February 1, 2009 5:45 PM   Subscribe

Is there a free program that lets me broadcast "white noise" through my computer speakers? My dogs are vigilant. They bark at noises outside the house, at all hours of the night. We have a "White Noise" machine in our bedroom, and it seems to block the sounds of the outside world quite well, but... our dogs sleep downstairs, and we sleep upstairs, and...we like the white noise machine for ourselves. I was wondering if there were any sort of software that I could run on my downstairs PC, that would play similar white noise, to distract the pups, since my computer is in the room where they tend to sleep. We'll probably buy another white noise machine, but in the meantime, can anyone help? Free software would be preferred! (Or perhaps a website that plays white noise?)
posted by newfers to Computers & Internet (27 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Simply Noise

posted by charmcityblues at 5:58 PM on February 1, 2009 [5 favorites]

We bought a white noise CD that we downloaded to an old ipod. We plugged it into some speakers and play the CD on a continuous loop. If you can't find anything good for free, you can buy a CD for a lot cheaper than another machine.
posted by lilac girl at 5:59 PM on February 1, 2009

You can easily generate white noise with an audio program, such as the free Audacity. Then loop that sample of white noise in iTunes or whatever, or burn it to CD and then leave the CD on repeat.

There also appear to be decent white noise samples on Freesound, such as this one. You might have to load the sample up in an audio editor to chop out any breaks so that you get a nice even sound.
posted by Magnakai at 6:00 PM on February 1, 2009

I've used Soundmasker. I liked it.
posted by Joe Beese at 6:20 PM on February 1, 2009 [1 favorite]

Bah... link is borked. Here you go.
posted by Joe Beese at 6:24 PM on February 1, 2009

Best answer: I use SereneSound. I sleep with a 50/50 mix of Light Rain and Waterfall and it just sounds like pure noise to me.
posted by des at 6:44 PM on February 1, 2009

If your dogs are this barky, they are probably driving your neighbors nuts when you are not around. Consider anti-bark collars.
posted by rr at 6:52 PM on February 1, 2009 [1 favorite]

posted by MrMoonPie at 7:37 PM on February 1, 2009

I downloaded a white noise track from iTunes for 99 cents. You could play this on repeat in an iTunes playlist.
posted by lemonwheel at 7:48 PM on February 1, 2009

I use this kind of stuff to help me sleep. I was surprised to find a lot of 'relaxation' type cds at my local library. Maybe try that too. (I figure you want something on the internet cause its free, but if you also want to find it without leaving your house then nevermind. :)
posted by lblair at 8:00 PM on February 1, 2009

Dog hearing is not like human hearing, and dog psychology is not like human psychology. Don't be too surprised if this doesn't work.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 9:24 PM on February 1, 2009

Seconding lemonwheel; I have a "brown noise" track I bought off iTunes that I play on auto-repeat.
posted by Gianna at 9:26 PM on February 1, 2009

Aire Freshener
posted by washburn at 9:26 PM on February 1, 2009

An hour of beach noise. (self-link.)
posted by Pronoiac at 10:04 PM on February 1, 2009 [1 favorite]

Pickle- I guess it depends why the dog barks. Not sure if the 'soothing' effect of white noise is what does it, but I have read that leaving something noisy on will at least distract dogs from outside noises. separation anxiety would be a different story.

My dog loves hearing people talk (my old roommate used to be on the phone 24/7 and my dog would just follow her around! I think she thought she was talking to her.) So sometimes when I leave for a while, I leave on the radio or TV 'for her.' Not sure if it does anything but it makes me feel better :)
posted by lblair at 10:04 PM on February 1, 2009

One free option (assuming you have a cheap microphone handy) is to just take your white noise machine downstairs, records it on the computer, and then play a loop of the recording.
posted by kingjoeshmoe at 10:06 PM on February 1, 2009

Why does everybody ask for free software, but never indicates what fucking OS they're on?

How about: ZynAddSubFx and then use the trivial white noise instrument. It's available on linux and XP.

Or, if you have Linux or a Mac, you can get really easy white noise by doing "cat /dev/urandom > /dev/dsp" and leaving that running. You'll have to adjust the volume, because that can be deafening. But, it's white noise.
posted by Netzapper at 10:46 PM on February 1, 2009

Netzapper: unfiltered, I think /dev/urandom would be bad for speakers & amps, like clipping.
posted by Pronoiac at 11:07 PM on February 1, 2009

I found a 40 min .mp3 some time ago by searching Google for white noise mp3. I usually don't loop it, because that's enough time for me to go to sleep.

It may not work for dogs, though. The thing about generated white noise is, it isn't real white noise. Theoretically white noise would consume an infinite amount of power to generate, so recordings of 'white' noise only cover part of the frequency spectrum. The part chosen is most likely that of the human hearing range. Not that of dogs.

It might work, though. I could email it to you if you like. I'm not too worried about violating copyright on randomness.
posted by ctmf at 1:31 AM on February 2, 2009

I use two fans (my HEPA filter and a vertical impeller type fan) to generate white noise during the day while I'm at work for my dogs. It works great. I also leave the radio on. The few times I've forgotten to turn the fans up/on and turn the radio on, they've whipped themselves up into a frenzy in their crates* by the time I've gotten home. With it on, they sleep all day. Again, it's worth noting that I use "natural" white noise ... and a country/western radio station ... to generate the noise instead of a mp3 track. The mp3 track might not work for the reasons stated above; the frequencies could be limited in some way. The fans work great for me.

*- One has separation anxiety and will eat his way out of a crate, the other is disabled with bad hip problems and can hurt herself if she tries to move around too much.
posted by SpecialK at 2:45 AM on February 2, 2009

Seconding Aire freshener.
posted by freya_lamb at 3:51 AM on February 2, 2009
posted by jenfu at 8:12 AM on February 2, 2009

A relevant previous question.
posted by Pronoiac at 10:56 AM on February 2, 2009

You might look into this: a researcher found that recordings of dogs playing, when played back to other dogs, had a calming effect.
posted by TochterAusElysium at 12:27 PM on February 2, 2009

Oh, and here's a place you can download a clip of that sound!
posted by TochterAusElysium at 12:28 PM on February 2, 2009

Noisy for OS X
posted by cinemafiend at 4:33 PM on February 2, 2009

TochterAusElysium: Wow. I know that sound, but I never put a name to it.
posted by Pronoiac at 5:00 PM on February 2, 2009

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