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 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.
's last, shattering insight is not the end of the story -- along with crew
, a blackly funny in-universe lecture on resurrecting sociopathic vampirism
), and a rigorously-cited (and spoiler-laden) reference section
, tomorrow will see the release of
Dumbspeech State of Grace Echopraxia [website]
, the long-delayed
"sidequel" depicting parallel events on Earth. Want more? Look inside for a guide to the rest of Watts' award-winning (and provocative) body of work. [more inside]
The very first major science fiction series for adults on radio was Mutual Broadcasting System's 2000 Plus
(1950-1952). An anthology program, 2000 Plus
used all new material rather than adapting published stories. Just one month after its premiere, NBC Radio began airing Dimension X
(1950-1951), which dramatized the written work of such young writers as Ray Bradbury, Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, and Kurt Vonnegut. In 1955, NBC relaunched Dimension X
as X Minus One
(1955-1958), drawing from stories that had been published in the two most popular science fiction magazines at the time: Astounding
. 17 of 30 episodes
of 2000 Plus
, all 50 episodes
of Dimension X
, and all 125 episodes
of X Minus One
are available for free download as individual mp3s from the Internet Archive. [more inside]
Neil Young isn't happy about the current state of music consumption.
A 30 minute panel discussion from D: Dive into Media. Whether you agree or disagree with him, it's hard to deny the man still cares.
is a small, simple and likable free library of classic literature and philosophy MP3 audio downloads
by Mike Barzman
. Shot on a Phantom High Speed Camera
with Stephen Hawking
commentary. Barz Art
(JPG) and audio
(MP3) that can be downloaded. Phantom camera previously mentioned here: High Speed Slow Motion Video Gallery.
The Folkways Collection
is a downloadable, 24-part podcast series that "explores the remarkable collection of music, spoken word, and sound recordings that make up Folkways Records (now at the Smithsonian as Smithsonian Folkways Recordings)."
Send audio postcards to your friends. Free. Upload any photo of yours or image off the web and any MP3 you choose in a single upload process, then enter your email address and that of the person to whom you wish to send the mix. Done— it’s simple. p.s. postcard does not sell, spam, or share the email addresses of senders or recipients. via
"A show created by Geeks for Geeks, covering topics that Geeks like to talk about." This is one of my favorite podcasts out there, most topics they cover are talked about in a very smart manner with lots of philosophy and moral quandaries thrown in, and they have gone on to get some great interviews with various people in Geek culture including Christina Hendricks, who plays Saffron from Firefly, and its Producer, Lisa Lassek
(Christina is the sister of one of the geeks), Orson Scott Card
, George R.R. Martin
, Forrest J Ackerman
, Garrett Wang
, and the man himself Joss Whedon
! [more inside]
You desire to listen to "The Shadow Out of Time".
You may also desire to listen to adaptations of The Shadow Over Innsmouth
and The Colour Out of Space
. Possibly you desire to listen to Neil Gaiman's Lovecraftian Sherlock Holmes pastiche A Study in Emerald
, the text of which is available in a fetchingly formatted PDF
. Or maybe it's all academic, and you'd rather just listen to some lectures about Howard Phillips Lovecraft.
The best music of 2007 according to Stereogum, Pitchfork, All Music, NME, PopMatters, The A.V. Club, Rolling Stone, TIME, MTV, the Guardian, eMusic, Amazon, Spin Magazine, Q, Largehearted Boy,
Among the most frequently listed are Radiohead, Spoon, Arcade Fire, Of Montreal, Feist,
and The National.
was one of the greatest storytellers ever to be heard on radio. The Jean Shepherd Project
collects recordings of these historic broadcasts, converts them to mp3 files and makes them available to be revisited by his longtime fans and by those who wish to discover what great American storytelling is all about. [more inside]
- tons of stories, tales and poems suitable for younger readers: HTML, PDF, and MP3s. From Baa, Baa, Black Sheep to Jane Eyre, Frankenstein, and Flatland.
10 (11) interesting/historical recordings.
From List Universe. This site uses the term "Top ten" but as with anything when you talk in absolutes people get pretty ornery, so lets just say here are 11 very interesting sound files, from exorcism to castrato.
Is it a wok?! An UFO?! No, it's The Hang Drum!
With its distinct serene sound
, Hang, as it's also called ("Hand" in Swiss German), was created in 2000 in Switzerland by Felix Rohner and Sabina Schärer after years of research
. It's a versatile instrument that can be customized to produce many different musical scales
. Want one yourself? Unfortunately, only a few are custom-made each year by Rohner and Schärer.
More Hang music? Listen to the Hang radio station
| known artists
| a beautiful Hang used by musician Alan Tower
More fodder for your mp3 player
- audio books of Hesse, Kafka, Nietzsche, Plato, Tennyson, and quite a bit more from ThoughtAudio.
Bruce Sterling's talk at SXSW
is described on the landing page as a 'rant'. It isn't. What it is
is a survey from 10,000 feet at what's happening in culture and technology and on the web, and I reckon it's worth spending the hour of your life it'll take to listen to it. I hope you agree. [mp3, 59 minutes]
Huck Finn, Heart of Darkness
, A Tale of Two Cities
, and others
- free audio books. Text and audio on the web, or downloadable mp3s with embedded text.
"MP3 players should carry warnings that users risk damage to their hearing by having the volume too high, a deafness charity says."
Also, for prescription glasses: "If you use these glasses to see things that are disturbing, you could become disturbed." Is this not the height of PC, Western stupidity?
is a non-profit organization dedicated to offering audio access to literary works for the blind. They have placed an extensive archive of downloadable magazine articles in mp3 format
online, including selections from The New Yorker
, Foreign Affairs
, The Atlantic
and American Heritage
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) is pumping out a pile of podcasts
that have covered the importance of offensive comics to Art Spiegelman
, 600 bands over 54 shows
, Captain America versus the American government
, Amy Sedaris and geekdom
, the journey of young immigrants
, French philosopher Alain Finkielkraut and Harper's publisher John MacArthur discussing Europe and America perspectives since 9/11
, the after life
, sex with monkeys
, what radio producers do
, the french word "corps"
, Bonnie Fuller's "The Joys of Much Too Much: Go For the Big Life — The Great Career, The Perfect Guy, and Everything Else You've Ever Wanted (Even If You're Afraid You Don't Have What It Takes)"
, Veteran Washington reporter Helen Thomas
and some other bits & bobs [Breakdown inside]
The audio toolbox for the audiophile:
CD ripper - Exact Audio Copy
Media Player - Foobar2000
MP4 Encoder - Nero MP4 command-line encoder
(Windows, Linux soon)
Audio techology forum - Hydrogenaudio [more inside]
The Hype Machine
tracks MP3 blogs so you don't have to.
- The search engine for audio and video.
Dylan Thomas reading Dylan Thomas and host of others (Shakespeare, Milton, Yeats, Auden, Hardy, and more). 11 volumes of mp3s on Salon, reached after watching a Salon premium ad. [via boingboing]
has 390 full shows available for download featuring the funk, underground hip-hop, and rare grooves that are so hard to find. BitTorrents are available for the two
shows and there's always the audio stream
coming at you fresh from Montréal's CKUT
is an idea bandied about for ages: create ad-hoc low power FM networks that let you share the mp3 music you're hearing in your car with those driving around you. It's basically a blueprint for shared pirate radio as you drive, surfing the dial for a variety of music from nearby motorists. They've got screenshots
and source code
and it looks just like the system imagined
in Cory Doctorow's books. I can't wait to see where this project is headed. [via unmediated
World War Two Songs. CBS World News audio
from World War II. Also, vintage audio
from the World War I era.
This is a great tool
to mix mp3s with, especially if you don't have $400-600 for final scratch pro
. It was designed specifically for DJing live and works like a virtual turntable. Besides being free, it's far better than most of the other toy-ish mixing programs available. Having two soundcards makes things easier, but it can even run on a system with one soundcard (although you still need a real mixer). We've come a long way since this.
Something ear-y for Halloween: Oddio Overplay
gives you Ghouls With Attitude
2-CD compilation by Otisfodder
, plus (from Martinibomb
and Coconut Monkeyrocket
), the Munster Beat
mp3 (click below the image to listen).
Edison's New Media.
American Memory (natch) offers this sprawling archive of audio files
and filmic material
Uncovered while seeking an archive of piano roll recordings, unsuccessfully. Also noted: Fiddle Tunes of the Old Frontier
from the American Variety Stage: Vaudeville and Popular Entertainment, 1870-1920
has posted numerous unedited interviews recorded in the 1980's with famous authors, including Anthony Burgess
(who has some troubles recalling "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"
), Douglas Adams
, William S. Burroughs
, and many more... even Richard Nixon
Christian sex ed recordings from the 1940's
are delightful - a few choice tracks pulled in mp3 format. I expect to hear some of these lines sampled into techno tracks and pronto.
Coyle and Sharpe
were two geniuses of street improv. Their man on the street interviews and bizarre senses of humour were unique and daring. Check out these great mp3s
. (Great to see MeFi back!)
is your source for on-line sound effects. Their search engine has found and catalogued sounds in several formats. You can search by name, and their spectral analyzer can help you find sounds similar to your search results.
brings you well enunciated music. The fun of karaoke meets the word power of the dictionary. [Via kottke.org
be the straw that breaks the Camels back.
I didn't even know that RCA had a mp3 player
until I saw the site for it. It's interesting that it plays Real G2 files as well. Until the empeg
car player gets cheaper, I might get one of these portables and run it through an auxillary port of my car stereo. It's a tad more expensive
than the Rios though.
Wow, a killer new site: mp3lit.com
. Listen to books in mp3 format. Wouldn't it be great if this was Shoutcasted
and a global wireless broadband network was in place so you could hear it in your car or walking around? Another cool thing would be if they hooked up with The Gutenburg Project
and had audio versions of all those free texts.