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    316 sounds
    118 posts
    Sound Quality versus Popularity


    I'm curious about how some really bad sound files with bad clipping etc here get thousands of downloads and dozens of overly enthusiastic comments and yet other beautifully and painstaking recorded sounds get next to nothing. WHat gives? :roll: Is suspect it may have something to do with the quality of the playback equipment - or lack thereof..? I'm very new to this and certainly don't consider myself an expert but I do have ears and I'm rather perplexed by this...!

  • avatar
    50 sounds
    11 posts


    It's strange...
    I always try to avoid low quality sounds, and I thought that everyone used to do the same, because the sounds around here are used to musics, flash games, videos, etc, and you expect that the author cares about the sound quality.

  • avatar
    371 sounds
    254 posts


    Sound quality versus popularity?I don't think there's a conflict...more like two different things.The world outside is full of noise,white,pink brown....technology gives us popular noisy audio through cheap tv's and mp3 players.Pristine sound quality belongs in the recording studio or in those rare places free from noise interference.Digital audio is so clean that noise is often added later to give realism and analog 'warmth'.
    So both clean and dirty sounds are what we have and this is reflected in the freesound archives...a good thing.Many of these sounds-whatever the quality-also come to have an increasing historical value,like capturing jesus talking by galilee on a mobile phone.

  • avatar
    316 sounds
    118 posts


    @juskiddink I feel you've perhaps misinterperated what I was trying to say. I love all kinds of sounds. Including all the old analogue and lo-fi sounds. It's the unintentionally ugly and distorted digital sounds that I'm thinking of. I'm reluctant to give any specific examples for obvious reasons...

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    371 sounds
    254 posts


    oh sure there's plenty of ugly and distorted sounds....i've sent a few myself,....but what exactly is unintentionally ugly and distorted other than my subjective opinion?Others hear the same sound and say yes, just what i need (many if it's popular).It's not only about quality,ideas can be found anywhere and if it's too distorted to use directly perhaps it can be recreated using the original as inspiration.

  • avatar
    15 sounds
    135 posts


    There's a lot of things at first glance that makes certain sounds appeal to people. Plus, just being a sound that is sought out by many helps. A lot of people might not recognize recording quality issues till later, if at all.

    There was actually a discussion on whether all sounds on here should be normalized. While you might technically get better use out of unnormalized audio, a lot of people would prefer the louder version, if you just gave a comparison of it to a lot of people.

    There are some great sets of samples that have low downloads but can be of great use anyway to a smaller set of users.

  • avatar
    1345 sounds
    1525 posts


    This is an interesting question, and I think it is great to see people wondering about what happens at Freesound and why does it happen rather than just thinking of it and using it as a "sound library" (for downloads) or "sound repository" (for uploads).

    As far upload/download ratios there are 3 types of users:
    - those that rarely (or never!) upload but download a lot
    - Those that upload and download sounds
    - those that upload a lot but rarely (or never!) download sounds

    There are some reasons for all of the above behaviours... smile

    If you consider what users do for a living you have several types of users...
    - Professionals (sound engineers, sound designers, etc, etc)
    - Musicians
    - Amateurs (people who take an interest in sound, hobbysts, etc)
    - Students
    - The occasional lost soul browsing the web that just happens to bump onto Freesound
    -...

    Why do people upload sounds?
    -To help others / to share with others
    -To store them for prosterity
    -...

    Why do people download sounds?
    -For a specific project (school, amateur film, etc)
    - For professional use (music, film, etc)
    - Some just seem to collect them! grin

    All these people with different motives, equipment and level of expertise will provide or look for very very different kinds of sounds. I think that is part of what makes Freesound great: All sounds (provided copyright OK) are welcome and so are all users (even the ones that just download stuff).

    hmmmm..... erm..... I forgot...
  • avatar
    316 sounds
    118 posts


    That's a good synopsis thanks AlienXXX! I have no issue whatsoever with the variety and different types or genres of sounds here. I think its all great! It was more of a knee=jerk reaction on my part after hearing a particular sound via the random sample on the front page. It was clearly meant to be a nice dreamy sounding harp sound, but had very extreme and harsh clipping. However it had seemingly hundreds of positive comments verging on the orgasmic and only one person who seemed aware of the clipping problem.

  • avatar
    306 sounds
    74 posts


    This one?
    http://www.freesound.org/samplesViewSingle.php?id=27130

    People seem to like the percussive quality of the clipping. But I agree with you. Sometimes I degrade a sound clip or loop for a project. But I like to have it presented clean. Then you have all the options open.
    So clean is better from this point of view. But in general you can't really say. I hate bitdowngrading, but it's prolific in songs nowadays as one of the many digital producer tricks.

  • avatar
    135 sounds
    359 posts


    Above certain threshold - the more sounds are in the database, the less times individual sounds are downloaded (except "false downloads" to increase the "downloaded" rate). Popularity/rating system (in relation to "new files" versus "more than 5 years old files"wink - does not works well for such large database; popular files become more popular, because they are in "popularity" area, and unknown files - stay rather unknown. If you don't know, what you are looking for (by name), then - how can you find it? How the system can inspire you, to make your direction? Tags... are not enough. Lack of objective system that would "measure"/rate the quality of sonic material. Lack of hierarchical promotion of good quality materials. An idea - "groups of certification" - could add some taste to freesound, I guess. For example a groups of professionals, who collectively rates "field recordings" or "synth pads and textures", and so on.

    (-;

    http://planetaziemia.net - independent research on sound and consciousness
    http://conscious-sound.bandcamp.com - best sounds for extraordinary inner experiences
  • avatar
    306 sounds
    74 posts


    I'd wish there was a personal rating system with stars or the like, so you could make your own lists of preferred sounds, libs and contributors, like you do in iTunes, Aperture etc. Sometimes I hear wonderful stuff I'd like to keep for future reference, without dl-ing it.
    Btw, what is Freesound 2.0 keeping so long? Just curious!

  • avatar
    1345 sounds
    1525 posts


    Although you can rate sounds from 1 to 10, I agree that it would be excellent to be able to search the database for a sound using keywords and then be able to sort the results list by "number of downloads" or "sample rating", instead of the default reverse chronological order.
    Still, there is no guarantee that the "best" samples would be higher rated or have more downloads and therefore would show up higher on the list. After all what is "best" depends a lot of what you are looking for, the intended use and your personal taste.

    How to make best use of the database (with its known limitations) ?
    I cannot enphasize this enough: tags, people!!! Tags!!!
    I am one of the moderators and often I accept samples into the database which are of high quality (in my view, at least) BUT which have been poorly tagged. And I think "No one is ever going to find that. What a shame!"
    I mean, if the tags are clearly insufficient, missing or meaningless, we warn the user and ask them to correct. But we can't do this for every sample.
    I have also sometimes added tags myself - anyone can do that, by the way: add tags to samples. But this is again too time consuming for moderators to do for every sample.

    Here is an example... imagine someone uploads a pistol shot with a single tag "caliber .44".
    I mean, although correct and higly descriptive... this tag is clearly insufficient... Onle someone who decides to search the database and writes "caliber .44" will ever find this sample!
    When tagging samples you should use all possible correct descriptions and classifications for that sound.
    So, in the example abve additional labels would greatly improve the number of times the sound is found, playe dand downloaded... for example: pistol, firing, shot, gunshot, weapon, firearm... and so on.

    Same applies if you are looking for a sound. Run searches on sinonyms and related words, especially if your first search did not produce any sounds that you were entirely happy with.

    hmmmm..... erm..... I forgot...
  • avatar
    1345 sounds
    1525 posts


    Although you can rate sounds from 1 to 10, I agree that it would be excellent to be able to search the database for a sound using keywords and then be able to sort the results list by "number of downloads" or "sample rating", instead of the default reverse chronological order.
    Still, there is no guarantee that the "best" samples would be higher rated or have more downloads and therefore would show up higher on the list. After all what is "best" depends a lot of what you are looking for, the intended use and your personal taste.

    How to make best use of the database (with its known limitations) ?
    I cannot enphasize this enough: tags, people!!! Tags!!!
    I am one of the moderators and often I accept samples into the database which are of high quality (in my view, at least) BUT which have been poorly tagged. And I think "No one is ever going to find that. What a shame!"
    I mean, if the tags are clearly insufficient, missing or meaningless, we warn the user and ask them to correct. But we can't do this for every sample, and often people add one or two tags to samples that could easily have a dozen tags.
    I have also sometimes added tags myself - anyone can do that, by the way, no just moderators. But this is again too time consuming for moderators to do for every sample.

    Here is an example... imagine someone uploads a pistol shot with a single tag "caliber .44".
    I mean, although correct and higly descriptive... this tag is clearly insufficient... Onle someone who decides to search the database and writes "caliber .44" will ever find this sample!
    When tagging samples you should use all possible correct descriptions and classifications for that sound.
    So, in the example abve additional labels would greatly improve the number of times the sound is found, playe dand downloaded... for example: pistol, firing, shot, gunshot, weapon, firearm... and so on.

    Same applies if you are looking for a sound. Run searches on sinonyms and related words, especially if your first search did not produce any sounds that you were entirely happy with.

    hmmmm..... erm..... I forgot...
  • avatar
    135 sounds
    359 posts


    @AlienXXX

    Do you believe in... people?
    Yes, it is a part of democracy, but most people use democracy to express laziness (-;
    Sure, it is a proper thinking, that incoming people should do various things.
    But... the reality is different than such expectations.
    Besides - it is also a matter of some knowledge and imagination.

    Either you gather a pro team, and do a great background job (job, that nobody will pay for, and even more - a lot of people will not respect it, because they will not see it, because they will believe that what they see is made by nature...; it must be your passion) or get very frustrated with wishful thinking (which usually results in aversion and impassivity to making something for other people).

    (-;

    On the other hand - I guess, there are several social mechanisms, that could be adapted to such portal like freesound, to make the portal more alive.

    A silly example of social improvements. Now, freesound has a "rate random sample" system. Is it attractive for incoming people? Nope. But make a simple game, that involves rating the samples or something else samples related. People love games. How many of them would like to win a virtual prize-cup or "you are hyper mega blaster!" sentence with some medal connected to fs avatar? Make some fun, to awake the curiosity in unexplored areas related to sounds.

    http://planetaziemia.net - independent research on sound and consciousness
    http://conscious-sound.bandcamp.com - best sounds for extraordinary inner experiences
  • avatar
    121 sounds
    1544 posts


    HerbertBoland
    Btw, why is Freesound 2.0 keeping so long? Just curious!

    Let's say it's more work than we expected it to be... weird

    - bram

    Warning: if you break the rules, see my avatar. Freesound Admin, Moderator, Ex-Freesound-Coder & Benevolent Dictator For Life.
  • avatar
    371 sounds
    254 posts


    I say hats off to Alienxxx and all the mods and admins here...you do a fantastic job!!!!!!

    ayamahambho....Democracy may well encourage laziness but start getting active and vanity will not be far behind (something i would add to Alienxxx's list of reasons for uploading)....so people come,people go and after all this what is left?...A wonderful wealth of sounds and yes,they're freesounds!...it's ultimately about sounds,not people.

    Puniho....i agree with you aswell,but when it comes to popularity the three chords used in that sample are just SO huge in modern music that it's no suprise surely?

  • avatar
    1345 sounds
    1525 posts


    ayamahambho
    @AlienXXX

    Do you believe in... people?


    No.... and yes!
    I know 95% of the people who come here are only interested in grabing a few (or lots of) sounds for free with no desire to contribute anything in return.
    I believe about 5% of people will upload something in return or at least participate in the forums.
    Probably 0.5%-1% actually do get more seriously involved and contribute the majority of samples found here.
    An even smaller percent (gueesing 0.05%) gets involved in moderating at some stage.

    So, I do not believe in the majority of people. But I believe that a few good ones can make the difference.

    If people go to the trouble of uploading 200 samples or more, all I am asking is, spend a little time tagging these correctly.
    Often samples are uploaded in packs, similar (often the exact same) tags apply to all samples.
    Copy and past these from the first sample to a text document and then all you need to do is copy/paste on the next samples as you upload them.
    There is no point posting 200 samples no one will find... So, if you are going to post, tag them!

    ayamahambho
    @AlienXXX
    Either you gather a pro team, and do a great background job (job, that nobody will pay for, and even more - a lot of people will not respect it, because they will not see it, because they will believe that what they see is made by nature...; it must be your passion) or get very frustrated with wishful thinking (which usually results in aversion and impassivity to making something for other people).

    (-;


    Disagree. Sorry. smile
    There is no "pro" team. Actually, we are the "team".
    Freesound falls onto the category os user content websites. It is what you upload into it and reflects the effort you put into it.
    As I said, anyne can contribute by adding more tags to a poorly taggeed sample. So there is no excuse to think or say someone else should do it. Takes seconds to make an improvement for yourself and others by adding a tag to a sample.
    There is no "pro" team...All mods have day jobs and contribute some of their time for free for the benefit of others.
    So your question back to you... Do YOU believe in people? smile

    ayamahambho
    @AlienXXX
    A silly example of social improvements. Now, freesound has a "rate random sample" system. Is it attractive for incoming people? Nope. But make a simple game, that involves rating the samples or something else samples related. People love games. How many of them would like to win a virtual prize-cup or "you are hyper mega blaster!" sentence with some medal connected to fs avatar? Make some fun, to awake the curiosity in unexplored areas related to sounds.

    There you go... Contributing ideas is also a form of contribution!
    I know Bram is always listenning...

    hmmmm..... erm..... I forgot...
  • avatar
    135 sounds
    359 posts


    @AlienXXX:

    We misunderstood. A "pro" team is a team of people who "work" instead of "talk about work" (-; Plus patience (a lot of) plus some dedication (or passion) plus some knowledge, how to make things simple (you can spend several days in doing something or only a few minutes if you know how). Would I give a difficult task to someone who is not able to make it? No. That's the difference. And it is not about "giving a chance". Either you know what to do or not. A matter of balance. And a good strategy. And knowledge/understanding. We can talk about various aspects of anything, and from theoretical point of view - you are right and I'm right, and many else. But... There are facts and there are interpretations. Facts are in numbers, statistics, measurable trends. Interpretations are just opinions. Do I believe in people? No matter what I believe, measure of my authenticity is my effectiveness. Two different approaches. Trust me, if I had no faith in freesound project, I would spend no time nor write no word on this conversation board.

    p.s.: I'm not in the majority, rather in less than 0.000001% (-;

    http://planetaziemia.net - independent research on sound and consciousness
    http://conscious-sound.bandcamp.com - best sounds for extraordinary inner experiences
  • avatar
    3055 sounds
    476 posts


    AlienXXX

    I cannot enphasize this enough: tags, people!!! Tags!!!
    I am one of the moderators and often I accept samples into the database which are of high quality (in my view, at least) BUT which have been poorly tagged. And I think "No one is ever going to find that. What a shame!"

    A M E N ! I hate seeing good samples without any meaningful description and/or with useless tags, and it happens all the time. I can understand if the uploader has absolutely NO knowledge of English but other than that... it pisses me off! Only explanation is these 'dumb' users upload only for their own use, e.g. as if Freesound was providing free (to them) network storage... which pisses me off even more! Some user even geotag the samples but can't describe, can you believe it?

    Are you a dumb uploader? Come on man, take just a little more time and add at least a short descriptive sentence and a few good tags ! You are treating the site unfairly if you don't so... please!

    D

  • avatar
    1345 sounds
    1525 posts


    ayamahambho

    Got the sensation I may have somehow offendd you with my reply.
    That was not the intention, nor the point was being made at you specifically.

    What I mean is that statistically, most people will interact with Freesound merely for the purpose of extracting samples and will give nothing in return.
    That is how it works on every site that is free and accessible like Freesound.
    I mean, think of Youtube: What is the percentage of people who VIEW videos to the percentage of people who post them?

    There would be many ways in which to make Freesound not free, to limit access or to censor uploadd samples.
    We do none of the above. That is not the spirit here.
    If someone wants to upload rubish samples, so be it. We require only that they are legal (i.e., no copyright infringement) and there is some minimal description and tagging of each sample.

    So, the point was: we know the reality of how most people interact with Freesound.
    We also know (from experience) taht just a few well intentioned people can keep the site going (uploaders, moderators, etc).

    Again, this was a "statistical" comment. Not aimed at you. Nor do I wish to influence you in the way you use Freesound either. As I said.Everyone is welcome (from 100% downloader, to 100% uploaders and anywhere in between). - That is why it is FREEsound.

    Peace

    hmmmm..... erm..... I forgot...
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