After changing my lifestyle, I thought about re-introducing music. I’ve been in musical limbo for eight years. Music has made my daily commute much more colourful and fun! I got an iPod and direct audio input shoes with leads. It wasn’t quite so straightforward though to get the system set up correctly, so here’s how I did it.
You have two options when you purchase audio input shoes. You can get shoes which (1) work with the hearing aid microphone or (2) work without the microphone and exclude all other external sounds. If you have two hearing aids, remember to buy two shoes! The lead is available in different lengths and colours.
Ask your audiologist for a ‘T’ or loop program, the listening level can be boosted to capture more sound. The hearing aid may also need to be switched on ‘internally’ by the audiologist. You will be asked if you want the loop to work with or without the microphone.
Because you are listening to music being directly piped into your ears, you will hear it more clearly and loudly than with hearing aids alone. Electronic feedback is sometimes picked up – when the tube stops, at the back of a bus, on a train when passing electrical overhead wires.
Now, onto the software. iTunes software is free to download to your computer. It’s basically an online shop, with songs usually costing 79 pence, or you can purchase albums, podcasts, movies, TV shows, audiobooks and games. Purchased items are downloaded into your library which is a file on your computer. You plug your iPod into your computer’s USB port and transfer files to your iPod, as many or as few as you like – including photos.
Just jumping for joy now! Oh yeah, and running too…. I also got a Nike and iPod Sport kit. This kit turns your iPod into a personal trainer by putting a sensor in your shoe and a receiver on your iPod nano. It’s not necessary to buy the special Nike trainers, you can attach the sensor to the shoe – just check that it records the impact of your foot correctly. You will be able to see and hear feedback on your run time, distance and pace, along with your favourite music. When you get home, plug your iPod into your computer and sync your iPod with nikeplus.com where you can view your runs and challenge other runners around the world.
I introduced a friend to the iPod – it was his first time, just check out that happy face!