Find Sounds Easily Web 2.0 Style

Soundsnap LogoWith my involvement with The Global Geek Podcast, I am always on the look out for great resources. I find that one of the most enjoyable parts of production is in mixing in all the sounds and effects to give the piece a unique feel and personality. I derive a great deal of satisfaction getting the right sound and timing perfect. One of the most frustrating things about production is just that though, getting the right sound for what you can hear in your head. Soundsnap is a sound effects repository with a Web 2.0 slant, it is brilliant and just made the task of finding that perfect sound a breeze.

The front page presents all the categories of sounds that are available to browse. Clicking on any of these categories opens up a view that presents these sounds as pages. Here you can sample any sound with a simple flash player and get other information on each sound such as length and a wave form. Although I am not sure of the purpose of the waveform as it is too small to be useful. Clicking on it however gives you the sounds technical info. Sort by popularity or other criteria. See comments made on sounds, who uploaded it and click to see their profile and what else they have uploaded. You can expect the usual set of ranking and sorting features that are ever present in Web 2.0 style sites.

One feature that I really like is the ability to drill down the data within each category without searching. Under each category you can click on sub categories to refine your manual search. Makes it easier to find a specific type of sound. This is also a nice way to search for a specific sound as you might find something better than what you were thinking of.

Once you have found a sound that you want they are free to download and use. Sounds are available in .wav, .mp3 and .aiff. You don’t have to have an account to download files. Great to have the access without another login to worry about. The quality varies slightly but on the whole they are very good.

The presentation of the site is excellent. It looks slick and well done. There is plenty of Ajax goodness and the navigation is easy and intuitive. Full credit to the developers on this front. There are a number of sound repositories out there but there are none that are this well done. For a new (to me at any rate) site there are many, many FX to download and even some obscure ones that are hard to find. I noticed that the is a bucket load of loops available for music buffs; around 3,700 and this will only grow as time goes on. Hopefully one day it will make those very expensive sound effects disks that are available commercially obsolete. As a podcaster this is a fantastic resource and I would encourage those that are actively involved in the community to keep producing sounds and samples that will save our bacon.

Soundsnap Screenshot


Thanks etc.


Web Development Resources

One of the things that I found extremely difficult to adapt to and learn was when I was challenged to built a website for the podcast when it first started. Sure the page had a theme, but it was limited and there were heaps of other features that I wanted to include and the template was very hard to manipulate. There are some great on-line resources popping up that I wish I had then and this is another one.

Free is one of the better sites that I have found for heaps of resources related to building your web site. What’s more it is all free and from a green site. There are a number of dodgy sites out there and I am sure their resources come with a few “extras” that you were not counting on. Not so with Free who offer a great array of layouts, tools and templates including:

  • Website Templates
  • Flash Templates
  • MySpace Layouts, Templates and Generators
  • CMS Templates; including WordPress Themes and Text Pattern Templates
  • Website Generators and Tools
  • Articles and Tutorials

Sure you need a bit of knowledge, however this is where I was at when I was battling the template and the HTML. In the end the code looked like a train wreck. According to a web page developer friend of mine. With these resources you might just be able to put something out that will look great. At the very least it is a shortcut to the inclusion on your page of some complex elements that you probably would not attempt, like flash.

The site looks to be under constant development with new material added often. If you are even thinking of building a website and have never attempted it before then this is definitely worth checking out. Especially for you MySpace junkies out there , there is some great looking layouts here. For the rest of you this looks to be a worthwhile resource that may hold a few gems that you did not know about.