Famed Shakespearean actor Sir Patrick Stewart recently appeared on NPR to perform a dramatic rendition of T. A. Swift's classic work, Blank Space.
Do you want to go on a karaoke adventure? One that you know you have never been on? Then, go to KARAOKE_EBOOKS! [more inside]
"Roger roll, Discovery." The sweet, sweet sounds of NASA mission control audio snippets, edited for your sampling and ringtone pleasure as MP3 and M4R downloads.
The International Dialects of English Archive (IDEA) is a free, online archive of primary-source dialect and accent recordings of the English language. Founded in 1997 at the University of Kansas, it includes hundreds of recordings of English speakers by natives of nearly 100 different countries. To find an example of an accent or dialect, use the Global Map, or select a continent or region at the Dialects and Accents page. [more inside]
What did he do in Mark Lawrenson's kitbag ? Ian McIntosh of the Guardian's on-hiatus "Football Weekly" tells the evocative tale of proto-70's legend Robin Friday, soccer's first rock star. (SLGrauniad audio - NFSW)
The Vocoder was invented at Bell Labs in 1939 to transmit voice data, rather than to make rock musicians sound like robots. It could also do much more interesting things to your voice.
Sometimes you wake up in the morning and you think, "Hey, I wish it sounded like a train station in here". Turns out this mysterious person* recorded a bunch of Japanese stations for your benefit! [more inside]
Scientists say they have reversed a bit of bird evolution in the lab and re-created a dinosaurlike snout in developing chickens.
The Edison Talking Doll is just what it sounds like: a doll, with a small phonograph in its body, mass-produced by Thomas Edison’s lab in the 1890s -- and it … shrieks. It’s like an unearthly Carol Kane screaming in a wind tunnel, trapped in the body of a lifeless totem. Listen at your own risk. Even more Edison Talking Doll recordings.
Yesterday, Jay-Z's streaming music service Tidal was launched. The press event featured over a dozen celebrity musicians as signing "owners" of the service (each reportedly received 3% equity in exchange for exclusive content), and, by some accounts, was a bit awkward and content-free. At $19.99, the subscription plan is double the cost of competing services like Spotify, and no "freemium" plan is offered. The justification is two-fold: 1. Artists should be compensated fairly for streaming; and 2. The service's high-fidelity, lossless streaming is far superior to the current standard (320 kbps AAC, as Spotify and Rdio currently provide.) You can take an online blind test between 320 kbps AAC and Tidal's lossless streaming, to see if you have the "equipment and ears" for lossless music. Is there really a noticeable difference, or is this snake oil? Will the artist-forward approach change the conversation and ingrained habits of streaming music listeners? Is Tidal a sort of streaming for the 1% rather than for struggling independent musicians? Is it a walled garden for artists at the expense of fans? Or is this all simply a great vertical move for Jay-Z's Roc Nation label? So many questions.
Gibber is a creative coding environment for audiovisual performance and composition. It contains features for audio synthesis and musical sequencing, 2d drawing, 3d scene construction and manipulation, and live-coding shaders.
It comes with a few demos (autoplaying audio)
To stop the current audio or animation, press Control-.
It comes with a few demos (autoplaying audio)
To stop the current audio or animation, press Control-.
De-cluttering your house with love: "Marie Kondo has built a huge following in her native Japan with her “KonMari” method of organizing and de-cluttering. Clients perform a sort of tidying-up festival: time set aside specifically to go through belongings. Each object is picked up and held, and the client needs to decide if it inspires joy. If it doesn’t, it needs to go." [more inside]
Former football player & star of the popular series of Old Spice commercials Terry Crews speaks on CBC's "Q" about rejecting caricatures of manhood (both video & audio-only available at the link) [more inside]
In the darkest hour of the AIDS epidemic, Ruth Coker Burks cared for hundreds of people whose families had abandoned them. Courage, love and the 30-year secret of one little graveyard in Hot Springs, Arkansas. [more inside]
Bad Memories is a supernatural horror radio play by Julian Simpson. It was first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on 07 January 2011, as an installment of the Friday Play. The play won a 2011 BBC Audio Drama Award in the category of Best Use of Sound in an Audio Drama. [more inside]
Sound of Cinema - British Sci-Fi from the BFI Days of Fear and Wonder - BBC Radio 3 talks to film composer Stephen Price about The Shape of Things to Come, Alien, Gravity, and other science fiction soundtracks.
Die Hard has been previously established as the most Christmasy film ever (shut up, Buzzfeed), now you can join in the festive fun with this specially recorded War Rocket Ajax Die Hard commentary track featuring Matt Fraction, Matt D Wilson and Chris Sims. Cue up the Vintage VHS tape (or modern alternative, scheisse dem fenster, and enjoy!
For over sixteen years, the webcomic Jerkcity (previously over twelve years ago, wow) has provided beloved characters and (largely worksafe, except for maybe #191 and #5014 although they lack nudity) vulgarity. But more recently, the Jerkcity experience has been expanded by collaborative fan efforts that have been integrated into the main site (along with other site updates like tags and dialogue transcripts): redrawing project Jerkcity HD (some comics NSFW) and audio dramatization project Jerkcity Hi-Fi (if you're using headphones, you might want to turn them down a little when you listen). Too many details on these and other fan-efforts (and how people can contribute) inside. [more inside]
Tabletop Audio - a new site with sixty ambient sound and music files for science fiction, horror, fantasy, modern and historical tabletop games. Plus a nifty queue manager and the option to download the tracks for play offline.
Pseudopod 401: The Lighthouse Keeper’s Wife Be careful what you wish for, and be careful of things with labels you can't read. [more inside]
The Distortion of Sound is a documentary about the decline of sound quality and how technology has changed the way we listen to music. It will open your ears and inspire you to reach for richer, more soul-stirring musical experiences.
Where is the Drama takes any song input recognized by Spotify and analyses it to find the 30 seconds or so of highest drama, defined as the portion of the song with the largest increase in loudness. [more inside]
"Imagine a job where about half of all the work is being done by people who are in training. That is, in fact, what happens in the world of biological and medical research." --- NPR reports [audio] on postdocs & the scientific workforce as part of a series on the funding crisis in biomedical research. The series also includes When Scientists Give Up [audio], and U.S. Science Suffering From Booms And Busts In Funding [audio].
Lydia Davis on Madame Bovary, Nabokov's Marginalia, and Translation: [YouTube] In this video from the Center for the Art of Translation, author and translator Lydia Davis discusses how she used Nabokov's margin notes from his edition of Madame Bovary to aid her own translation. She also discusses in-depth translation choices that she made. A full audio recording of this event can be hard on the Center's website.
The BBC has announced that it will be producing a radio dramatization of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett's book, Good Omens. The radio drama will be broadcast as six episodes in December on BBC Radio 4, and will feature Mark Heap and Peter Serafinowicz in the lead roles.
You invest so much in it, don't you? It's what elevates you above the beasts of the field, it's what makes you special. Homo sapiens, you call yourself. Wise Man. Do you even know what it is, this consciousness you cite in your own exaltation? Do you even know what it's for?Dr. Peter Watts is no stranger to MetaFilter. But look past his sardonic nuptials, heartbreaking eulogies, and agonizing run-ins with fascists (and fasciitis) and you'll find one of the most brilliant, compelling, and disquieting science fiction authors at work today. A marine biologist skilled at deep background research, his acclaimed 2006 novel Blindsight [full text] -- a cerebral "first contact" tale led by a diverse crew of bleeding-edge post-humans -- is diamond-hard and deeply horrifying, wringing profound existential dread from such abstruse concepts as the Chinese Room, the Philosophical Zombie, Chernoff faces, and the myriad quirks and blind spots that haunt the human mind. But Blindsight's last, shattering insight is not the end of the story -- along with crew/ship/"Firefall" notes, a blackly funny in-universe lecture on resurrecting sociopathic vampirism (PDF - prev.), and a rigorously-cited (and spoiler-laden) reference section, tomorrow will see the release of
Researchers at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Microsoft Research, and Adobe Research have presented a technique for reconstructing an audio signal by analyzing minute vibrations of objects depicted in video. For example, the method can be used to extract intelligible speech from video of a bag of potato chips filmed from 15 feet away through soundproof glass. [more inside]
"Masuma Ahuja and Denise Lu for the Washington Post applied a technique called databending to a bunch of photos. The idea is that computer files — even though they represent different things like documents, images, and audio — encode data in one form or another. It's just that sound files encode beats, notes, and rhythms, whereas image files encode hue, saturation, and brightness. So when you treat image files as if they were audio, you get some interesting results. Jamie Boulton has a detailed description on how to do this yourself with Audacity Effects." [via]
Why the modern bathroom is a wasteful, unhealthy design (The Guardian): "Piped water may be the greatest convenience ever known but our sewage systems and bathrooms are a disaster" [more inside]
Defense of the Ancients is a MOBA (what's a MOBA? | comprehensive history of MOBAs) that has skyrocketed in recent years from a humble Warcraft multiplayer mod to a genre-defining megahit whose worldwide competitive bracket The International (whose finale airs tonight) boasts a prize pool of more than $10 million dollars. While publisher Valve is determined to help mainstream the esports craze with helpful
noob newcomer-friendly broadcasts of the final and a simulcast on ESPN, the community has been dogged by accusations of hostility and a very steep learning curve. Luckily, you don't have to know anything about DOTA to enjoy the best thing to come out of it so far: 45 minutes of witheringly sarcastic in-game meta-commentary [playable transcript] in the dulcet tones of Kevan Brighting, the very charming (and very British) narrator of beloved metagame The Stanley Parable. Once you're finished with that delightful deconstruction of esport tropes, you might also enjoy perusing similar announcer packs for Portal's GLaDOS, Bastion's Rucks, and... a pirate. ＤＩＧＩＴＡＬ ＳＰＯＲＴＳ!
Radio Ambulante [Español] has been called "This Latin American Life". It is long-form non-breaking-news documentary journalism from across Latin America. It was recently featured in an episode of On The Media which looked at Latino and Hispanic media in the US. While the majority of its content is in Spanish, they do have some stories en Inglés.
Here's 42 minutes and 27 glorious seconds of audio sound effects from Warner Bros. cartoons. And, should you want more (and of course you do), here's one hour and 17 seconds worth from Hanna Barbera studios.
Stan Alcorn on Digg attempts to answer why audio almost never goes viral. Alcorn outlines a rare exception in how an audio interview of two girls and the "Worst Haircut Ever" went from a coffee shop show called “The Ear Cave” in Hartford to a one line link on Metafilter made several months later by gauche, to ultimately landing on gawker where it ratcheted up 1.3 million views. [more inside]
Mario Wienrroither cuts up music videos to create surreal, musicless clips: Firestarter - Smells Like Teen Spirit - I Want To Break Free (Music videos without music previously, more previously)
On The Media meets Matt Farley, who earns around $23k per year thanks to the 14,000 songs he has has composed, performed and uploaded to Spotify.
Though best known to fans of Joe Frank, This American Life, and Hearing Voices for the irreverent spirit medium recordings he made as an telephone psychic in the 1990s, the Baltimore poet, composer, and artist David Franks spent decades creating his own work. Several recordings are now available at the internet archive. (previously) [more inside]
As the Christmas season winds down, but before New Year plunges a stake into its Dracula Corpse to end it, enjoy Matt Fraction, Maggie Serota and the War Rocket Ajax crew challening each other to create the worst Christmas mixtape. Not interested in audio format banter and such? There is a Youtube Playlist. WARNING: Mostly offensive for aesthetic reasons but there are some other terribles in there as well.
The Roaring Twenties: An Interactive Exploration of the Historical Soundscape of New York City (sound autoplays). via i09, which says The map uses a combination of noise complaints and old reel footage to plot everything from what must have been an exceptionally noisy subway turnstile (complete with notes from the police report) all the way to a carnival barkers in Coney Island, and is a great way to listen in on the everyday life of a New York City gone-by.
"The Synth Kit that just hit the market originated a year ago, at a TED conference where Bdeir and comedian/musician Reggie Watts met backstage after giving talks, and started discussing the idea of littleBits musical instruments."
Engineer turns hardcore band into EDM nightmare after they fail to pay. [T]he engineer, known only as Dan, funnelled the “best 30 mins I’ve ever spent” into reworking the material and uploading the final product. What was surely meant to be a hard-hitting, passionate composition of brutal metalcore integrity is now a cringeworthy dance track.
Simultaneous video and selectively played audio of every Apollo lunar landing on one screen. (via Collect Space) [more inside]
CBC host Peter Oldring discusses customer services at Canadian border crossings with Officer Murray Swift. Five minutes of unbelievable audio.
Tom Waits (on Robert Wilson): "Wilson, he's always playing with time. I heard a recording recently of crickets slowed way down. It sounds like a choir, it sounds like angel music. Something sparkling, celestial with full harmony and bass parts - you wouldn't believe it. It's like a sweeping chorus of heaven, and it's just slowed down, they didn't manipulate the tape at all. So I think when Wilson slows people down, it gives you a chance to watch them moving through space. And there's something to be said for slowing down the world."
The pre-2005 series had a Doctor who was dressed in vaguely Edwardian clothing, who spoke with an RP accent, who had his stories adapted into books. That’s just the way it was. - Andrew Hickey's Fifty Stories For Fifty Years, one for every year of Doctor Who, reaches 2004 and Scream of the Shalka (previously) - arguably the end of the line for "Classic" doctor who. Previous instalments had covered the TV series from start to end, as well as the odd novelisation or movie. Possibly of greatest interest are the years before the new TV series where, TV movie aside, the franchise survived and evolved in strange directions via novels and audio stories. Then, at the outmost reaches of Whodom, there is the Book of the War and the strange world of Faction Paradox, which THERE IS NO FACTION PARADOX, THERE IS NO EVIL RENEGADE, YOU DID NOT READ THIS POST.
An entire episode of the Simpsons sent through various Alignment And Distrubution vector tools becomes a mesmerizing, glitched out work of art