The new gold standard for freesound descriptions

Hello all,

It’s not always easy to describe your sound files, we know. Hoever, we did want to let you know that even we at freesound are impressed at this example of a perfect description. The uploader describes the recording gear, the environment, why he uploaded the file, etc etc. Thanks a lot Philip Goddard!

If everyone would use 1/10th the description power Mr. Goddard seems to wield freesound would be an even better place.

- Bram

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12 Responses to The new gold standard for freesound descriptions

  1. Douglas Jewett says:

    I find Klankbeeld to be a great describer as well. I get a sense of his passion, resourcefulness and patience.

  2. klankbeeld says:

    I agree completely and have a PM correspondence with Philip for a long time now. Learning a lot…

  3. dobroide says:

    And not just this sample, but all by Philip have similar ‘descriptions’! Amazing… But Bram, would you really like every sample in FS to be asociated to a written ‘paper’? The site would have be renamed to ‘Freesoundpedia’ or something, lol… Anyway, I wish I had the language skills needed to do that! (not meaning I would *use* such skills to do that)

  4. A says:

    Maybe you should make some of the things mandatory?

  5. stomachache says:

    Philip’s description was indeed wonderful to read. A serious point that should not go unsaid, however, is that an uploader should carefully consider how much personal information is appropriate to submit to a public website, including what amount to a catalog of the fancy stuff they own.

    My past file descriptions range from detailed to negligible. At a point, I had decided it most prudent to omit further mentions of specific recording gear I may use or own for reasons of personal security. With geocaching and external links, most of us aren’t as anonymous as we’d realize. In my own situation – and everyone will have to decide what is appropriate for themselves – I don’t think it wise to draw attention to whether I may be using a $500 piece of kit instead of a $50 one. Uploaders should not be discouraged from being generic in their descriptions or feel pressure to name exact models of expensive technical gear to appease gear nerds, at the cost of their own comfort levels towards risk.

  6. Well, naturally I’m tickled at having had this little bit of very positive publicity (thank you, Bram! :-) ).

    Somehow I don’t think we are in imminent danger of Freesound getting bogged down with all its contributors suddenly producing long and detailed info about their uploaded recordings! However, the big advantage of some uploaders who are so disposed actually doing so is that it does serve a very constructive educational purpose beyond just making more of the listening experience derived from the respective recordings. I have found through much life experience that people genuinely learn best when they are given opportunities to learn from other people’s ‘living example’, rather than through being told what they should and shouldn’t do to produce ‘good’ work. That way one can see for oneself from one’s own perspective what works well and what doesn’t do so

    I myself have picked up various methods / ‘disciplines’ remarkably well in this way – including precise identification of insects and other living things, various types of literary writing, symphonic music composition, Alexander Technique, web design / development, and the whole gamut of self actualization methods – recording of natural soundscapes being the latest thing I’ve taken on. Where I didn’t have other people’s living example to examine and see what worked well and what didn’t, rather than be a ‘sheep’ (which most people, sadly are), I simply functioned as my own experimental subject, trying things out and learning from the various expected and unexpected and welcome and apparently unwelcome outcomes.

    Although one can talk of detailed descriptions on Freesound as being ‘educational’, what I see as particularly important is that they can be inspirational, and encourage other people to take the plunge and get doing similar types of recording themselves. Without the sort of ‘living example’ that detailed descriptions can give, there remains for most people still just a sense of mystique and inaccessibility about making good recordings. To me, ‘mystique’ is a bit like the figurative red rag to a bull – I seek to demolish it and show how simple and straightforward it really all is, provided that one applies a certain degree of awareness and plain good sense to what one is doing.

    Thus, although I would not want to see everyone expected or even compelled to enter detailed info about their recordings on Freesound, I’m sure it would be a very positive move for some encouraging notes about the sort of info that could be helpful in a description to be put right there on the form that is presented when uploaded files are initially described. Amazon does something like that on their review submission page. It can be just a short note linking to a short separate page that opens in a new tab / window.

  7. frederic.font says:

    Hello everyone,

    this is a very nice discussion!
    I would say Philip is right at pointing out that some more guidance should be added to the description form so we promote better and more useful descriptions. Actually, that is something that sound moderators team has also mentioned a lot of times and we’re working on it. We’ll definitely don’t have anything implemented in the very short term, but are researching and working on a couple of nice ideas for the description process that will make Freesound a better place both for uploaders and downloaders.

    Suggestions and ideas will be very appreciated!!!

    frederic

  8. Dara says:

    Great job Phillip!
    Detailed description about each sound is what we need to encourage more in the freesound community. There are many great sounds that have little description and because of that are rarely discovered by searchers. Also sometimes, the descriptions are very subjective and specific and many other informative aspects present in the sounds are ignored. That also prevents the discovery of these sounds through paths that don’t necessarily correlate with the concrete descriptions/tags provided by the uploader. I think the more description, the better…. provided that they are valid.

  9. I second Stomachache’s caution with regard to being prudent security-wise about revealing possession of significantly expensive or otherwise ‘desirable’ kit. In my case this hasn’t been an issue, because I’m using very modestly priced equipment, which is outshone by the price of such things as mobile phones, computers and TVs that most people in developed countries seem to have nowadays. (Sort-of, like lightning tending to strike the most upstanding objects within easy reach.) It would be very paranoid indeed of me to conceal the identity of my equipment (and I don’t even have a TV or mobile phone for anyone to steal anyway!), and indeed it would be particularly unhelpful, because part of my ‘message’ is that really good recordings can be made with such small and relatively inexpensive equipment, given the application of a reasonable degree of awareness, good sense and of course empathy with what one wants to record. If I just said I was using a small and inexpensive recorder, that could well lead many people to go out and purchase models that are far short of the PCM-M10 in the quality they deliver, so there is good point in my being precise there, considering the lack of significant security issue for me.

    Anyway, it’s really nice to hear that some sort of encouragement to uploaders to add / improve descriptions for their recordings is being actively considered at the moment.

  10. anankalisto says:

    I feel that example is more of a “tl;dr” standard. I like being able to get a sense of the recording from the preview text, and it’s easier when the description is concise. I had to skip this guy’s life story to find out what he was trying to say about his sound, which is that it’s sub-par in several ways, which I could have gathered from hearing it. That being said, this website is excellent and I plan to purchase a t-shirt.

  11. bdejong says:

    I wondered if I should let anankalisto’s answer go trough as it is formulated a bit… rudely, but in this case all opinions are valid. anankalisto: we’re quite protective of our uploaders, and quite restrictive to our only-downloaders, so… take care with your language ;)

  12. Although it would appear that anankalisto was being a bit habitually negative out of issues of his own, at least he did draw attention to the fact that I myself had pointed out that the recording did have certain issues, and I was really a bit surprised that it picked up several 5-star ratings. I have now uploaded a new and dramatically improved version of it, so you can hear for yourself what ‘crap’ the original, 5-star rated, version of the recording really is! I’m retaining it here, however, for the difference between the two versions is quite educational.