15 years of Freesound!

Today, 5th of April 2020, is the 15th anniversary of Freesound. Incredible, isn’t it? we couldn’t have imagined, when it all started back in 2005, that Freesound would become such a reference website for sharing Creative Commons sounds, worldwide.

Freesound was created by the Music Technology Group of the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, and we’re still the ones developing and taking care of it. Here you can see Bram and me talking about Freesound past, present and future at the BCN Music Technology Forum. But Freesound would be nothing without its community and the more than 445k sounds you all have uploaded. Thanks to everyone. Thanks to the people who record and upload sounds, people who download, people who comment and rate, and even people who spam – they remind us that Freesound is an important place. Well, spammers are not really welcome. Thanks to the moderators who do an amazing job, in a volunteer way. Thanks Sam for taking care of support requests! Thanks to the people who contribute to software development and to the technical support staff from the university. Thanks to the researchers that experiment with Freesound and share it with the world, and also to companies and individuals that use the Freesound API to make great sound applications. Thanks to the donors who give money which helps us cover part of our expenses. Thanks to everyone who says nice things about us on Twitter, and to everyone who complains as well 🙂 Above all, we are especially proud of being able to offer a very useful service to a huge community.

To celebrate the anniversary, you’ll see some balloons and a new temporary banner that appears next to the Freesound logo (thanks Bennett Feely for letting us reuse your balloons animation!). Also you’ll have seen that these days, the random sound of the day, is not so random. Thanks Merlijn Blaauw and Jordi Bonada for creating this nice birthday song for Freesound! We encourage you to upload celebration sounds adding the tag Freesound15Years 🙂 You can also add this tag to an existing sound of yours that you feel representative or special or would like to highlight for the anniversary. We’ll make a new post with your anniversary sounds!

There are so many things we want to do… we’ll keep you posted as new developments happen. Until then, keep on Freesounding!

– frederic, on behalf of the Freesound team

ps: nice logos huh? most of these are tests that the graphical designer of Freesound 2 (the current design) did when designing what was going to be the new look back in 2008. Bottom right is the new official logo which will be released when the new interface is ready. I know, we said in the past that it should have been finished by now and it is still not there, but eventually will come and we’ll all enjoy it 🙂

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75 Responses to 15 years of Freesound!

  1. Roy says:

    Happy Birhday!

  2. Jasm?na says:

    You are amazing!

  3. ruboc says:

    Amazing! I love you!!

  4. Jes?s Lastra says:

    ??Feliz Cumplea?os!!

  5. Dmitri says:


  6. Many Happy Returns – and thanks for hosting all the terrific sounds over the last 15 years. Here’s to many more!

  7. Alex_suruceanu says:

    Happy birthday to you !

  8. Michael says:

    Love you with all my heart, happy birthday and thank you for your work!

  9. xerq says:


  10. Fabi?n LM says:

    ?Felicidades y muchas gracias!

  11. Gabriel Zang says:


    I’m hopefully about to make good money with a project with sounds from here, I’ll drop a generous donation after that!

  12. Sam says:

    Son los mejores, mientras estudio audiovisual he utilizado esta p?gina durante a?os y siempre me impresiona la calidad y la gran comunidad que se ha formado. Gracias! Happy B-day!

  13. Tim says:

    Wonderful work! Onward to the next 15!

  14. Colin Djukic says:

    Amazing! Congrats!

  15. maxfraid says:


  16. Andrew says:

    Happy B-Day! And I wish a good health and income to FS’s administrators and a new design to the website 🙂

  17. Stella Finn says:

    Honestly saving me in my radio broadcasting unit. You guys are sick!

  18. klankbeeld says:

    You make me happy every day.

    Happy birthday young man or lady

  19. unfa says:

    Freesound is such an amazing place for the open culture. Thank you, and happy birthday!

  20. Mariane says:

    Congratulations !!!!!!

  21. Ann Brundige says:

    ?Feliz cumplea?os, y

  22. cabled_mess says:

    Happy Birthday und alles Gute zum Geburtstag!!!

  23. dobroide says:

    So you mean I’m nearly 15 yrs older? I could do very well without this info… Nah, just kidding.
    I couldn’t know then, but the day I stumbled upon Freesound was a happy one. The site changed my life in a number of (often exciting) ways, I’m glad it happened.

    Cheers to all!

    Javier Herrera, aka dobroide

  24. James aka jameswrowles says:

    Many happy returns!
    It’s been a great resource! Long may it continue.

  25. Happy birthday! Loving this project more and more every year!

  26. Jason says:

    Thank You all at Freesound for providing this space and helping us bring our dreams to life. Here’s to many more, with love.

  27. Hakren says:

    Parab?ns! It’s really good to see it’s been working this well for so many time.

  28. Jos? Esteban says:

    Enhorabuena , siempre con una alta lista de sonidos, desde ambientales hasta creados.

  29. LyghtningWither says:

    Wow. Fifteen years.
    That’s a lot.

  30. DJ SoMaR says:

    Gracias Hermanos por todo lo lindo que fueron creando ;=)

  31. LiMing says:

    happy birthday!!!!!!!!!!! love you guys!!

  32. Jordan says:

    Very thankful for this website. Happy birthday!

  33. yaplasut1843 says:

    THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING! Happy Birthday, and stay alive and healthy !

  34. Jan says:

    Happy birthdaaay!

  35. Alex Savage says:

    Absolutely love this site, Thanks you and happy birthday.

  36. LibreDude says:

    15 years of supporting non-free licenses like CC BY-NC on a website that ironically has ?free? in it’s name.

  37. frederic.font says:

    We also support CC0 and CC-BY (and encourage them over NC in our upload form). There are some reasons that made us choose NC over SA as a third option because we thought it made more sense for the type of sounds being shared here (mostly short sounds that will only be a small part of a bigger thing when reused elsewhere). Also we thought it was easier to understand for the community Freesound could potentially target. We won’t know for sure if this was a good or bad decision, but we definitely strongly believe in CC and in Freesound supporting free sharing.

  38. LibreDude says:

    “The key problems with -NC licenses are as follows:

    * They make your work incompatible with a growing body of free content, even if you do want to allow derivative works or combinations.
    * They may rule out other basic and beneficial uses which you want to allow.
    * They support current, near-infinite copyright terms.
    * They are unlikely to increase the potential profit from your work, and a share-alike license serves the goal to protect your work from unethical exploitation equally well.”


    This is why I don’t like -NC. Yes, I’m of course you also support libre licenses, which I am a huge fan of. I have been using those for years. Yes, that’s cool.

    But please note that CC != free. CC offers numerous licenses, some of which are truly free (like CC0 or CC BY), but some of them are not (like those with -NC and -ND clauses). CC has been cricicized again and again for refusing to take a clear stance and drop -NC, or at least reform the NonCommercial clause is it’s being incredibly vague. There has been no improvement whatsoever even in version 4.0. Many uses of a -NC-ed work can be surprisingly classified as ?commercial? and thus a copyright infringement (see link above for details) ? Which is not what I think you want if you *truly* want to promote libre media.


  39. LibreDude says:

    Addendum: To emphasize what I say is not just purely theoretical: There also has been a real-world negative impact on real-world free software: OpenTTD. OpenTTD is a free software transportation simulation game. Many sound effects came from Freesound, but back in the days, people were careless in adding non-free -NC media and now we’re kinda having a bad awakening and we have a little hard time finding libre replacements.
    We have 2 choices: Contacting every author of the sounds on Freesound and hope they grant us a more libre license. Or finding replacements. We already tried the first option. Some granted us a libre license (which is great, but a tedious process), but not everyone.

    Yes, you might blame the OpenTTD project for being too careless when picking sounds, but on the other hand, the way the website is built is that it’s very easy to ?accidentally? get non-free sounds in your collection ?

    Maybe the 15 years celebration is a good time in history to rethink the core values of Freesound. CC deprecated Sampling+ a long time ago. Maybe it’s time to deprecate -NC and promote freedom. Or at least have a discussion about it.

  40. Michael Jessen says:

    Happy hilarious b-day!

  41. vicente says:

    Happy Birthday!!! Thanks!

  42. It’s amazing! I congratulate you! I wish you prosperity! For the portal to exist for 15 years and not lose relevance – is worth a lot. I myself have been promoting the game portal and imagine how much effort it took you to exist for so long! You have achieved good heights and i`am congratulations you!

  43. Happy birthday !! Thank you for the great work during all these years

  44. frederic.font says:

    Thanks everyone for your messages, It makes us so happy to see there is so much love for Freesound 🙂

    To @LibreDude,

    Thanks for your detailed answers and comments. We understand that NC license does not work perfectly for everyone, but we include it in Freesound as a complement to CC0 and CC-BY. This has been discussed with the community in the past and there seems to be agreement that NC is useful for Freesound.

    I agree that there are things to be done to improve how we communicate about licenses, how licenses are filtered on the website and, in general, to raise awareness about implications of CC licenses in Freesound. We have plans for improving these things in the new Freesound UI that we’re working on. We hope that improving the presentation and explanation of license terms is something that can help in situations like the OpenTTD example you mention.

    Nevertheless, NC sounds make up only 12% of Freesound, there are plenty of CC0 and CC-BY sounds available. We are aware of some of the concerns about the NC license, however we are making a pragmatic decision about what licenses to support, based on use and demand. We are always open to discuss Freesound values and how we support what the community wants. If you want, you can open a new discussion in the forums where we can all contribute. We’re happy that you were still able to use Freesound during all these years.

  45. lenguaverde says:

    ?Feliz cumplea?os!
    ?Felicidades to all that use this amazing site!

    Wonderful, one of the greatest initiatives to help artists, multimedia producers, locos aficionados… whoever who loves, appreciates or needs sounds.
    Let’s keep going

  46. dividedx11 says:

    Happy birthday! Thanks for all the help with my projects

  47. mohammad says:

    congratulation to you . wish you be steady eternally.

  48. Nitzan says:

    you’re the bast!
    happy 15th birthday!

  49. Tim Green says:

    A very Happy Birthday to all the core people who do what core people do.
    I give you a standing ovation , and salute . Keep up the great work.

  50. Iceofdoom says:

    Thanks for your amazing efforts. I can’t think of a better resource for my little filmmaking needs. I love this site and can’t wait to see it grow more.

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