Engel and Resnick are part of Google Magenta—a small team of AI researchers inside the internet giant building computer systems that can make their own art—and this is their latest project. It’s called NSynth, and the team will publicly demonstrate the technology later this week at Moogfest, the annual art, music, and technology festival, held this year in Durham, North Carolina.
Image Source: ars technica | Gregory F. Maxwell/Wikimedia Commons
It’s bizarre but true: wire recording is the longest-lasting capture format in audio history, one that paved the way for reel-to-reel tapes and a host of others—even though most people today, and some techies included, have barely heard of it. READ MORE: Forgotten audio formats: Wire recording | Ars Technica
Beautiful Maps Let You Explore How Your City Sounds | Gizmodo The urban aural landscape has a huge impact on our lives—from the roar of traffic and clatter of jackhammer, to the groove of music and lullaby of birdsong. These maps roll that information together to let you explore how cities around the world sound.
Who knows…one day librarians may be cataloguing these audiophiles or a next generation version of…
WARNING: Do not try this!
Here’s something for all you hardcore party animals: when you can’t get to the rave, you now have the option of the “Audiopill.” It’s a miniaturized sound system housed inside a plastic microcapsule that you can swallow to groove internally to those sweet beats. And yes, it’s as crazy dangerous as it sounds. READ MORE: Swallow This ‘Audiopill’ At Your Own Risk To Get Your Rave On | Gizmodo
The Spotify playlist “1200 Years of Women Composers: From Hildegard To Higdon,” reveals that women started shaping what we now know as classical music far longer ago than most of us realize. (If you don’t have Spotify’s free software, download it here.) The playlist, which contains over 900 pieces and will take you days to listen to, begins in medieval times with the Byzantine abbess, poet, composer, and hymnographer Kassia and ends with female composers from around the world not only living but (especially by the standards of those who write orchestral music) still young, like Misato Mochizuki, Helena Tulve, and Lera Auerbach. This comes arranged by Spotify Classical Playlists, whose site describes how the playlist offers not just an anthology of women composers, but also “a brief history of western classical music…” MORE: 1200 Years of Women Composers: A Free 78-Hour Music Playlist That Takes You From Medieval Times to Now | Open Culture
The tiny, Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan has a unique national aspiration that sets it apart from its neighbors, China and India. (And certainly the United States too.) Rather than increasing its gross national product, Bhutan has instead made it a goal to increase the Gross National Happiness of its citizens. There’s wealth in health, not just money, the Bhutanese have argued. And since the 1970s, the country has taken a holistic approach to development, trying to increase the spiritual, physical, and environmental health of its people. And guess what? The strategy is paying off. A 2006 global survey conducted by Business Week found that Bhutan is the happiest country in Asia and the eighth-happiest country in the world. It’s perhaps only a nation devoted to happiness that could throw its support behind this — postage stamps that double as playable vinyl records. READ MORE: Postage Stamps from Bhutan That Double as Playable Vinyl Records | Open Culture
During these summer months, we’ve been busy rummaging around the internet and adding new courses to our big list of Free Online Courses, which now features 1,150 courses from top universities. Let’s give you the quick overview: The list lets you download audio & video lectures from schools like Stanford, Yale, MIT, Oxford and Harvard. Generally, the courses can be accessed via YouTube, iTunes or university web sites, and you can listen to the lectures anytime, anywhere, on your computer or smart phone. We didn’t do a precise calculation, but there’s probably about 35,000 hours of free audio & video lectures here. Enough to keep you busy for a very long time. READ MORE: A Master List of 1,150 Free Courses From Top Universities: 35,000 Hours of Audio/Video Lectures | Open Culture.
Despite no study, no public demands, and the potential cost to the public of millions of dollars, the government announced that it will extend the term of copyright for sound recordings and performances from 50 to 70 years…
…Canada will extend term without any public discussion or consultation, yet other studies have found that retroactive extension does not lead to increased creation and that the optimal term length should enable performers and record labels to recoup their investment, not extend into near-unlimited terms to the detriment of the public. For Canadian consumers, the extension could cost millions of dollars as works that were scheduled to come into the public domain will now remain locked down for decades.
If you like listening to audiobooks then I have some good news for you. Goodreads is in the process of adding audiobook excerpts to its website. Soon GR members will find free audio samples for 180,000 Audible titles on the book listing pages. Along with the option of reading a sample from the book, GR members can now also listen to an excerpt from the audiobook. The excerpt will (should) play in a pop up window the web browser, and if you like what you hear you can the title to your “want to read” list, or you can head over to Audible and acquire the audiobook directly.
Obviously this feature is not available for all titles listed on Goodreads, but when it is available you’ll find the listen button below the cover image on the left side of the page. Goodreads told me that the new feature is only available on the desktop site, but not GR’s mobile site or its Android and iDevice apps.