Welcome to iHCPL: The Next Generation. This site was created as the next step in Harris County Public Library's iHCPL Learning 2.0 Program; a discovery learning program designed to encourage staff to explore new technologies. The original iHCPL program was adapted from The Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County's Learning 2.0 Program.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Searching #76: Sound Effects

Ever thought about spicing up your blog with sound effects? Turn up the volume on your speakers, or plug in your headphones, and consider this scenario that uses Windows Media Player to play the sounds:

The alarm clock rings. You wake up and head to the kitchen for breakfast. You crack some eggs into a pan and make some toast. You have a cup of coffee. You brush your teeth, and head out the door. You jump into the car to head off to work.

There are lots of ways to search for sounds. One useful site is FindSounds, a site that has processed over 35 million sound searches to date. This site also provides tips for searching for sounds on the web.

Sound files come in lots of formats. Examples are Microsoft WAV (.wav; a common audio file for Windows); MIDI (.mid; musical instrument digital interface); MP3 (.mp3; compresses music files without loss of quality to make them more easily used by computers); and RealAudio (.ra; sized to support streaming audio). The Simply the Best Sounds site is another good place to search for sounds. It has a list of formats, together with more detailed descriptions.

Like any web content, sound files may contain copyrighted material. It is the user's obligation to obtain copyright clearance if it is required for the intended use.

  1. Use FindSounds to search for and post links to at least three animal sound effects in your blog. Finding out whether or not these are in the public domain is not easy. Try clicking on "Show Page" to see the site where the sound originated. You may have to go back to the "Home" page of the website for more detail. Or you can try deleting part of the right-hand side of the web address (URL) to work your way back to a page with more information about the rights governing the use of the sounds. A website that is very concerned with copyright will usually have this posted in a pretty obvious manner.
  2. It is much easier on the Simply the Best Sounds site to find what sounds are included in the public domain. Search for three such sounds, and post links to them in your blog. If you can't identify the direct link to the sound, just name the sound and give the link to the page on which it appears.

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Anonymous said...

Good stuff to know.

Anonymous said...

I'm not seeing any specifications on FindSounds about how one figures out whether or not the soundfile is copyrighted. Clicking on the bullhorn doesn't do it and neither does clicking on the link.

iSTAR said...

In regards to FindSounds, clicking on Show Page, if available, is the best way to determine licensing.

Anonymous said...

Part (1) says to post the soundfiles themselves; part (2) says post links to them.

I don't see a way to import files themselves on Blogger: did you mean to post links for both exercises?

iSTAR said...

The post has been revised to clarify.

Anonymous said...

Thank you.

Cornerstone said...

I never could find instructions on how to add the sound or link to the blog. I was able to download it on my computer and email it to me but I couldn't ever find instructions on adding to the blog. Help.