10 years zip right past…

Dear Freesounders,

You maybe didn’t know this yet, but Freesound has just turned 10 this month! The project started out as an all-red website back in the days. It was built on rather shabby technology and has by now grown way beyond its initial goals. Way back in 2005 I took Xavier Serra‘s idea of “having a website where composers can exchange sounds” for ICMC 2005. I hacked together something rather rudimentary and invited some of my friends over. We started adding a few sounds and very quickly Freesound unexpectedly exploded into a massive sprawling community.

Freesound was rewritten from scratch to support the high demand and by now I’m no longer involved in Freesound on a fulltime basis: other amazingly capable people at the Music Technology Group have taken over while I moved a bit more to the background. I still keep an honorary position in Freesound as the “Self-Proclaimed Benevolent Dictator for Life” which is probably why I’m writing this happy post…! 😉

So, what about the next 10 year? Well, many plans are brewing!! As you might know, a lot of research is being carried out in the Music Technology Group, including plenty of research related to Freesound. Work is being done to improve the way in which sounds are stored, analysed and described. Improvements in searching and browsing would be a first result from this work. Improvements in uploading and describing sounds a second. The Freesound Team is also starting collaborations with third parties and preparing really exciting new research and development projects that will support Freesound in the coming years. Stay tuned, future looks promising!

So, what about some fun nerdy statistics?

  • 240 000 sounds, uploaded by 13 000 people. If all sounds were played after one another, Freesound would by now play for 146 days straight!
  • More than 4 million people have signed up to download sounds more than 65 million times.
  • More than 50 000 people visit us each day.

In order to celebrate this joyous day, one of our moderators who you all know as AlienXXX has created a new “Freesound Dare” that matches the 10 year anniversary theme! We dare you to join it!

Best Greetings,

Bram – in the name of the Freesound Team

PS: have you freed your sound today??!

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A new feature you’ll like…

Dear Freesounders,

It is christmas time (again), and the freesound team has prepared a present for you…
We have been working on a new functionality* which has just been deployed, and that will allow you to follow freesound users and get notifications when these users upload new sounds! But not only that, you’ll also be able to follow groups of tags, and be notified when new sounds are uploaded that have these tags. It all works in the following way:

  • When visiting a user profile, you’ll find a “Follow” button right under the user avatar. Click on this button to start following that user.
  • When browsing sounds by tags, you’ll find a “Follow tags” button under the group of tags that you selected for browsing. By clicking this button, you’ll start following sounds tagged with all of these tags.
  • In your settings page, you can tick the new checkbox that says “Receive weekly stream update email notifications” to turn on notifications for new sounds uploaded by the users you follow or with the tags you follow. We will only send you one email per week, with a summary of all updates, and we are only going to send that email if there are updates.
  • Once you start following users and tags, you can use your new activity stream page to show all updates from users and tags you follow. By default this page shows updates for the last week (just like the email notification), but you can also specify other periods of time and, for example, list sounds uploaded by the users you follow that were uploaded during the last month. You’ll find a link to the activity stream in your home page.

Hmmm.. that is all! We hope you enjoy this new functionality and, as always, please tell us if you find things that are not working as expected!

keep on Freesounding!

* thanks to nunoh who joined the team for a while and did most of the implementation of this functionality

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CCMixter needs your help

CCMixter, one of the first open platforms for Creative Commons music sharing out there is in trouble. The site was started by Creative Commons themselves many years ago, but understandably “let go” because Creative Commons is a legal organisation, not a music publishing one! Now CCMixter needs your help.

About 5 years ago the main creator and developer -good friend of freesound.org!- had to move on to other things in life and the site was taking over by new management. Not wanting to turn the site into a commercial venture, CCMixter was kept on life support for as long as possible. A heap of volunteers are keeping the site up, but lately it is becoming too much work for the volunteers to keep up with the work. This is mostly due to some much needed development work.

CCMixter is now doing an indiegogo campaign to raise some funds for better hosting and development work – we thought you might want to know about this…

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Dare 30 – Support the developers

Hello Freesounders

Sometimes I promote the Freesound Dares (our friendly competitions) here on the main page. But sometimes I forget…
So, I am trying to make up for it, because this dare is definitely worth promoting.

This time the dare is not about samples at all. It is about recognizing, helping and encouraging free-software developers.
In particular, the developer of an android app called UFXLoops. – Don’t let the name fool you. This app is actually a DAW powerfull enough to allow you to build a complete music piece.
Full details of the dare are here:

Now, if you have only seen this now and you did not know about the dare, I have extended the deadline to 30 Nov 2014. So you still have time to participate!

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Dare-28 – a chance to have your music played on an online radio

Hello Freesounders

Just thought I would post here to raise awareness of the dare that is currently going on. The entry voted the best piece will be played on an online radio. It could be yours!
Read here for details and rules:

But hurry: deadline for submissions is 20 Sep 2014!

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Help us improve Freesound! (2.0)

Dear Freesounders,

some of you will already know that as part of our research towards improving Freesound, we’ve been working on a tag recommendation system for Freesound. The goal of this system is to make it easier for you to tag your sounds and at the same time to try to get more comprehensive sound descriptions. The better the sounds are described, the better Freesound will be 🙂

One year ago we opened an online experiment to evaluate the tag recommendation system that is currently implemented in Freesound. Your participation and feedback was very helpful, and since then we’ve been working on a new version which includes some radical changes that we think will be very useful. For that reason, we are opening now a new online experiment in which we want to compare the new system with the one currently implemented in Freesound.

The new experiment is called Freesound tagging experiment 2, and in it you’ll have to annotate a total of 15 sounds. In the experiment, not all of the participants will be using the new interface to annotate these sounds, so don’t be surprised if you only see the typical tag recommendation interface. After the experiment is finished, we will deploy a beta-testing version of the new interface so those who could not try it this time, will be able to do it later.

We kindly ask you to participate in the new experiment that we have set up at http://labs.freesound.org/tagrecommendation/. Please carefully read the instructions and follow all steps until the experiment is finished. It will take around 20 minutes.

So that is all for the moment, thank you very very very much in advance for your participation.  I hope you find the experiment interesting!

keep on Freesounding!

ps: you can leave comments and suggestions here

EDIT: Thank  you all for participating! The experiment has been closed now with almost 200 participants! We really appreciate your effort 🙂



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New Freesound API!

Hello everyone,

we’re happy to announce that today we are officially releasing a new api for Freesound, APIv2!

The new api enables developers to make better applications that make use of Freesound content. APIv2 brings many improvements over the previous version such as the possibility to upload sounds or to define queries combining sound metadata and audio descriptors. For more information on whats new, you can check the api documentation here.

Let’s see what developers do with the new api!!!


keep on Freesounding!

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Issues with HTTPS

Recently (about a month ago) we have added https to our web server. This was a requirement for the new v2 API, but it also allows us to browse the page securely. You can tell if you are using https by checking the icon at the left of the address bar.

Unfortunately there have been some issues with the transition that took us some time to catch. One possible reason is that it took some time for google to start directing people to the https version of the site.

Registration. The captcha was not appearing when using https. Thus you could never prove you are a human even if you are. Should be fixed now.

Uploading. Uploading sounds larger than 1MB failed as well on https. Fixed too!

With respect to 503 and 504 errors mentioned in the previous post, we are still working on it, but it’s looking good. We hope to restore the packs browsing page next week.
more information

Happy freesounding!

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Experiencing some turbulence

Hi. As you are probably noticing, the site is working intermittently at the moment, with 503 and 504 errors appearing often. We haven’t been able to find the source yet. We’ll update this post as we get a clearer idea by tomorrow morning (CET). Hopefully it should improve in the mean time as traffic slows down … bear with us!

UPDATE 1: There seems to be a problem with a recent upgrade of the search server. Things seem to work normally again after a restart, but it could still come back…

UPDATE 2: After reconfiguring the search server the worst part seems to be passed. We are still looking at some connection problems. Pages may still take a bit to load some times, but most of the time the site seems to run fine.

UPDATE 3: In the end the most serious problems were not related to the search server, but to some of our database queries. We are still working on that, but in the mean time you may have noticed we have disabled the link to the page for browsing packs. That helped us to put the situation under control. It will be back very soon.

UPDATE 4: The “browse packs” page is back online and optimized so that it does not create problems again.

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Pack management improvements

Hi there!

we added a small new feature to facilitate the way in which you add and remove sounds from your packs. Say welcome to the “Edit Pack” page!

Just like when editing sounds information, you can now click on the “edit pack information” link that you’ll find in your pack pages and use the new interface to edit name, description and add/remove sounds from the pack.


keep on Freesounding!



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