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    Sound Around You - Public Engagement project pilot just star


    We want you to capture and tell us about the sounds around you with our free mobile phone and pc software.

    Take part in this exciting research project hosted by the University of Salford, UK to discover how our everyday soundscapes make us feel - be it happy, excited, productive, sad, uncomfortable, stressed, etc.

    Participation is easy and fun and will help our research team discover ways to improve the design of our everyday environments.

    To get involved visit our website @ www.soundaroundyou.com

    We are beta testing our project software at the moment so any feedback would be most appreciated.

    C

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    An excellent idea - unfortunately by limiting your research to data supplied from mobile phone audio, you will end up with a distorted result.

    Do mobile phones have the necessary recording sensitivity or bandwidth to faithfully reproduce or encompass the full audio spectrum of environmental/ambient sound?

    Surely it would be more beneficial to accept high resolution audio files from other sources.

    I concur

    "I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by." Douglas Adams
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    I understand and have sympathy with Microscopia and Benboncan's views, but I imagine that for the University's project to have the best chance of obtaining scientific credibility it needs to attract the broadest and flattest possible cross-section of public involvement. Freesound members are, sort of by definition, a filtered set from the general public that in one way or another have a specific interest in sound, it's values, it's recording, manipulation or reproduction that could perhaps skew statistical results and make them less accurate when applied to the social landscape as a whole. Even limiting participants to those with mobile phones, fast internet connections, and to technophiles-not-phobes, is already compromising the projects input base. For instance, my mother-in-law, in her eighties bless her, and all her circle and ilk will have strong and valid views but not the same ability to participate as the club-going, ipod toting, Youtubing younger subset of our society. I've used what what I see as perhaps opposite extremes of life style to illustrate my point here, whereas true scientific endeavour has to account for much more subtle artifacts that will undermine the accuracy of it's conclusions.

    None-the-less I think that involvement from guys and gals at freesound could be valuable and exiting to everybody.

    Just another opinion democratically expressed.

    luv and peace.

    Heaven in the sky is to die for, Heaven on earth is to live for.
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    Microscopia
    An excellent idea - unfortunately by limiting your research to data supplied from mobile phone audio, you will end up with a distorted result.

    Do mobile phones have the necessary recording sensitivity or bandwidth to faithfully reproduce or encompass the full audio spectrum of environmental/ambient sound?

    Surely it would be more beneficial to accept high resolution audio files from other sources.

    Regards

    Hi microscopia, apologies for the delayed reply. I know what your saying and ive now added new ways for participants to get involved and contribute. The PC software has always allowed people to upload any soundscape recordings whatever the device used, just with a 10 meg size limit. The main reason for people using the mobile app was so that the recording of audio and opinion data could be done using the same package and automatically retrieved by the PC app. I really just wanted maximum participation from members of the public who don't have or have the skills to use recording equipment.

    Theres now an upload page on the site (still a bit shaky as im still beta testing it), which allows you to upload, locate and comment on any wav, mp3 or amr recordings you might make upto 10MB in size.

    We get a range of qualities coming on from people depending on the device used to record, and this goes from the lowest of an 8kHz wav converted from the lossy AMR format (not ideal I know) upto a 22kHz PCM from the higher end phones. We can also take any recording upto the size of 10MB.

    For environmental noise we have found that for our research needs a range of upto 11kHz is good enough. I would of course want more as im an acoustics turbo nerd!, but we have these limitations imposed by the mobile devices and upload size limits.

    Thanks for the interest and please let me know what you think of the new site!

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    strangely_gnarled
    I understand and have sympathy with Microscopia and Benboncan's views, but I imagine that for the University's project to have the best chance of obtaining scientific credibility it needs to attract the broadest and flattest possible cross-section of public involvement. Freesound members are, sort of by definition, a filtered set from the general public that in one way or another have a specific interest in sound, it's values, it's recording, manipulation or reproduction that could perhaps skew statistical results and make them less accurate when applied to the social landscape as a whole. Even limiting participants to those with mobile phones, fast internet connections, and to technophiles-not-phobes, is already compromising the projects input base. For instance, my mother-in-law, in her eighties bless her, and all her circle and ilk will have strong and valid views but not the same ability to participate as the club-going, ipod toting, Youtubing younger subset of our society. I've used what what I see as perhaps opposite extremes of life style to illustrate my point here, whereas true scientific endeavour has to account for much more subtle artifacts that will undermine the accuracy of it's conclusions.

    None-the-less I think that involvement from guys and gals at freesound could be valuable and exiting to everybody.

    Just another opinion democratically expressed.

    luv and peace.

    Well said there, thanks for the vote of confidence!

    This is very true, as the people that have shown the most interest so far have been the kind that are into sound recording already (mainly due to our web based roll-out at first).

    When I began the project we had a very tech interface on the phones showing real-time scope and FFT plots, which had us acoustician's thinking it would be loved by all. When I trialled the software in local schools though, the students were not amused by all our tech stuff and just wanted to record, so we stripped it all down for the consumer market.

    I'm actually taking the project to local community groups in the next few weeks so they can give it a whirl, help me refine it and also map their neighbourhood in terms of its sonic environments. Some of the members of these groups are 60+ and pretty non-tech, so ive also added a print off question sheet to the site where people can still take part without having any recording kit (or they can use their phones built in recorder if they know how).

    By the end of October I hope to have got the project national or hopefully international as we are going out in the national press and TV. Thanks a million for your feedback and check out the new site and let me know what you think.

    C

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