We thought we should help promote a fantastic project from BBC World Service that aims to preserve sounds...
Hello, I'm Kate Arkless Gray and I'm working on an exciting project for the BBC World Service called Save Our Sounds. 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.
We have to remember that this is a worldwide project and we have to be wary of assuming that everyone has access to the latest gadgets and high speed internet connections. To help people over the technical hurdles we're also offering a postal option and giving out the World Service phone number so that people can "ring in" their sounds. Their calls are converted and delivered to us as mp3s so that we can check them and add them to the map. Admittedly the quality of phoned-in sounds won't reach broadcast standard, but we don't just want our audiomap to reflect technologically advanced areas of the world.
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?