July 17, 2009

BBC’s praiseworthy Save Our Sounds project

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Save Our Sounds from JD Lasica on Vimeo.

JD LasicaAt the Traveling Geeks‘ Tweetup in the Chelsea district of London on July 5, I ran into Kate Arkless Gray, “microblogger-in-residence” at the BBC World Service, who looks after its Save Our Sounds project.

SOS seeks to preserve disappearing sounds in society. Kate explains how the project has begun preserving users’ contributions of sound snippets, ranging from the sounds of a 64k modem to rare bird calls. It’s a brilliant project.

Here’s Kate explaining the project in a blog post at radiolabs last month. Excerpt:

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 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.

This was the first interview I conducted in Great Britain with the Flip Ultra HD recorder. I love the video fidelity, though it’s shakier than my handheld camcorder and I hear some artifacts in the audio (along with contributions from passersby).

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JD Lasica, founder and former editor of Socialbrite, is co-founder of Cruiseable. Contact JD or follow him on Twitter or Google Plus.

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  • Save our sounds, I like the idea that make this program come up. May be we think it is like going back to the past, when there was only radio in all over the world, but there's nothing wrong to do the things like we did in the past, although I know that the internet-era had come up extensively in a few years ago. But, it hasn't still reached yet all people in the world as radio did. Save our Sounds is a brilliant program.