This is pretty cool. The BBC is running a project aimed at creating an archive of endangered sounds.
It is called Save Our Sounds and they are looking for people to help them record and preserve sounds from around the world. Apart from being a neat project in its own right, the way they are using new technology is really impressive. Kate Arkless Gray explains:
There are so many photographs and words to capture the world, but barely anything in sound. We want to put that right and so we’re asking people to help us preserve “endangered sounds” by recording them and sending them in to us. We’ve created an interactive map that allows you to upload your audio and place it exactly where it was recorded. Other users can then click around and travel the world in sound.
Getting people to actually record sounds for us is a bit of a challenge, so we’re trying to make it as simple as possible. The map uploader is very easy to use and allows you to submit .wavs and .mp3s. The .wavs get automatically converted to mp3 before appearing on the map, so that it doesn’t collapse under the weight of the files.
The really exciting bit is that we’ve been working with AudioBoo which is a free iPhone app that allows you to record an upload sound to the web. If you do this, and tag your sound with “BBC_SOS” it gets fed straight into our map (well, the moderation queue at least) via an RSS feed. Geotags then enable the sound to be placed exactly where it was recorded. Clever stuff.
…Digital Planet is featuring Save Our Sounds in next week’s programme and they’re asking for your help to presvere the sound of 56k modems, dot-matrix printers and floppy disk drives. Can you help?
I know this isn’t strictly speaking a music topic, but close enough. Certainly the technology they are using is used by musicians. Besides that connection, I can’t imagine that musicians aren’t going to want to access the archive at some stage. Tell me that Brian Eno or David Byrne aren’t just about salivating about what they might be able to do with some of these audio files.
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Anyway, have a think about it and if you happen to participate, let me know what sound you contributed.
(Thanks to @awrd for the Tweet)