2022 in numbers

Hi everyone,

2023 is here and that means it is time for us to grab our year in numbers calculator and show you some statistics about last year’s Freesound activity. As usual, we start by showing some general statistics similar to those shown in previous years’ posts, and at the end we focus on a different aspect of Freesound, which this year has to do with the relation between text queries, sound plays and sound downloads. But let’s start from the beginning. The number of new sounds uploaded during 2022 was…

49,153 new sounds!

which corresponds to…

961 hours of audio!

This number is not as high as in 2021 (which reached a record of 56k new sounds), but it is still 3,000 sounds more than in 2020 and even more than in years before so the number of uploaded sounds is still growing strong (more on that below)! The average duration of sounds has not changed much compared to the previous years, and sits at 70 seconds per sound.

Here is the Creative Commons license distribution of these newly uploaded sounds:

Distribution of licenses

In 2021, we observed that the distribution had shifted a bit in favour of using CC-BY sounds (and in detriment of CC0), but this year we see how the use of CC0 goes back to what it used to be before 2021 and it represents two thirds of the licenses used for new sounds.

With the new additions from 2022, Freesound now currently hosts an amazing total of 581,369 sounds, for a total audio length of 384 days and 9 hours. Here is the evolution of the total number of sounds since the beginning of Freesound, and the prediction for the future that we made last year:

Total number of sounds and prediction for the future

As you can see, we are very slightly below the prediction, but that is to be expected as last year’s prediction would be biased by the record number of newly uploaded sounds. If all goes as expected, we should be closing 2023 with about 650k sounds and reach 700k in 2024.

Here is a tag cloud of the tags of the sounds uploaded during 2022:

Tags used to describe newly uploaded sounds
Tags used to describe newly uploaded sounds

The usual big tags are still big (field-recording, music, loop, synth, …), but this year it looks like noise has made a strong entrance in the top tags, partially because of the contributions by Hewn.Marrow who seems to have been exploring noise quite deeply (e.g. see this pack):

Here is the classic chart of the users who have contributed the most sounds in 2022:

  Username # uploaded sounds   Username uploaded time (hours)
#1 strangehorizon 3648 #1 klankbeeld 77
#2 Hewn.Marrow 3177 #2 felix.blume 38
#3 Duisterwho 1827 #3 kyles 30
#4 josefpres 1583 #4 Philip_Goddard 28
#5 klankbeeld 1197 #5 tim.kahn 27
#6 kyles 1167 #6 TheRandomSoundByte2637 24
#7 The_Sample_Workshop 860 #7 KevinSonger 20
#8 storyofthelie 716 #8 josefpres 19
#9 DiscordantScraps 475 #9 kevp888 19
#10 felix.blume 464 #10 W1ZY 15
#11 nlux 333 #11 juandbermudez 11
#12 Alba_Mac 309 #12 USBMED_Ambiences_Sound_Library 10
#13 SuddenDice 292 #13 Garuda1982 9
#14 Erokia 289 #14 dibko 8
#15 kevp888 286 #15 jose.viana 8
#16 N0IZ 282 #16 TRP 8
#17 e0fd96 265 #17 Hewn.Marrow 8
#18 deadrobotmusic 238 #18 e0fd96 8
#19 dibko 235 #19 Duisterwho 7
#20 frenkfurth 218 #20 strangehorizon 7

Thanks everyone (not only those appearing in the table) for all the contributions! It is absolutely incredible to see that many new and high-quality sounds being uploaded every year ๐Ÿ™‚

And what about downloads? The number of sound downloads (including packs) during 2022 was…

23,688,268 downloads!

This is even more than in 2020, when we observed a significant increase of downloads which we attributed to the increase of visitors due to COVID-19 lockdowns. All in all, users have downloaded more than 215M sounds and packs from Freesound!

The term-cloud below shows the most common query terms that have been used when searching in Freesound during 2022:

Most common terms used to search sounds

The top 10 terms are the same as in previous years, with slight variations in the ordering: rain, wind, explosion, music, footsteps, piano, fire, thunder, whoosh, and woosh. Approximately a thousand users search for the sounds of rain and wind every day! Also interesting is the use of both whoosh and woosh. According to the dictionary, the first spelling is used as a verb and the second one as a noun. Both are therefore correct, but Freesound does not use intelligence to somehow “link” the two terms. Maybe this is something to improve in the future!

Now some extra general statistics: In 2022, you sent 17k messages, wrote 1.2k forum posts, added 174k sound ratings, and made 49k sound comments. These numbers are decreasing with respect to the previous years in which we saw a big increase that we attributed to COVID-19 lockdowns. This behaviour was somehow predicted last year and now we see that these “community activity” indicator are close to what we observed in 2019.

And now, to conclude this blog post, we will provide some statistics about sound plays (i.e. every time you listen to a sound while browsing Freesound), sound downloads and their relation to user queries and data transferred. If we take the total number of sound downloads in 2022 shown above we can easily see that this means a rate of 2,700 sounds downloaded every hour. But have you ever wondered how many sounds are being played every hour in Freesound? Well, this varies a lot depending on the time of the year and it is actually difficult to estimate even for us, but after some number crunching we have estimated that 8,600 sounds are being played every hour. This could be interpreted so that for every sound downloaded, approximately 3 sounds have been previewed before. What might be more surprising however is that if we look at the number of user queries per hour, we see that about 6,500 text queries are made every hour, which means that only 1.3 sounds are played per user query, and also means that at least a 60% of the queries result in no sounds being downloaded. All in all, considering all sound downloads and sound plays, our severs stream about 2TB of information per day. If you look at the blog post from last year (2021 in numbers), it was actually briefly mentioned that the amount of data transferred was 1TB per day, but our estimate for this year has doubled. This could be due to having wrong estimates in the previous year, but will also be most likely related to our changes in the downloads infrastructure which allowed for much better download speeds and might have therefore resulted in overall higher amount of data transferred every day.

Thatโ€™s it for this year’s post, thanks for reading and we hope you enjoy a 2023 full of sounds ๐Ÿ™‚



frederic, on behalf of the Freesound Team

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3 Responses to 2022 in numbers

  1. It’s good to know that so many people want the wind and rain. I’ve recently begun recording them whenever I hear them outside. My logic was that the more recordings I got, the more I could put such sounds into projects, and I’d eventually reach a point where I never had to use the same recording twice. This year I hope to help others reach this same point, not only with wind and rain, but much more. The data here will help me achieve just that! Cheers.

  2. TheHomelessJoe says:

    One of the best things about freesound is that it is always here when I need it and I’m always able to find what I’m looking for. I am ever so thankful that something like this exists and I have been using freesound on and off for projects for roughly 10 years now!

  3. Tim says:

    As always a fun and interesting post to read! I’m really curious if the downturn in comments can be in part be explained that there isn’t really a good way to respond to comments in the sense that the original commenter isn’t notified. I understand this can have its problems as well but it prevents a useful “conversation” about a particular sound which is separate from the forum.

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