Saturday, 21 April 2007


It's amazing to think that sound has been around for over 100 years. We now take for granted every-day noises like birds coughing, cars squeaking and Terence Trent D'Arby...

Some of the earliest sound recordings were made using Edison's mechanical cylinder phonograph. Now, thanks to the magic of the Interweb, the University of California, Santa Barbara is making available it's huge archives of early sound recordings.

Spanning the period from the late nineteenth century to the late 1920s (when gramophone records finally killed off the cylinder) the archive contains thousands of recordings, available in streaming format or to download. If you don't know where to start you can also listen to a hand-picked selection via the streamed 'radio' channel.

Personally, I think that this is the sort of thing that the internet was invented for - making available on-demand small yet fascinating pieces of history. Surely it'll only be a matter of time before broadcasters such as the BBC follow suit and make their archives available in this way...?

1 comment: