You might remember the tortured screams of a 56k modem handshake and the soothing drone of television static, but those sounds don’t exist in the wild anymore, and there’s an increasing number of children, teens, and soon adults who will never know the once pervasive tech sounds of the past. Granted, that’s because we’ve moved on to bigger and better things, but what kind of generation would we be if we didn’t try to force the past on the youth of today, or at least preserve it for our own nostalgic musing. That’s what the Museum of Endangered Sounds is for.
Created by Brendan Chilcutt, the Museum of Endangered Sound aims to archive the classic sounds of years gone by. The name of the site might be a bit of a misnomer — many of these sounds are effectively extinct, and in that sense it’s almost more of a zoo — but the mission is a righteous one. The site works exactly as you might imagine; it displays images of antiquated tech and if you click them, it plays the associated sound. You can even activate several at a time if you want to emulate the sound of connecting to AOL while inserting a disk into a floppy drive as your little brother plays Tetris on a Game Boy in the background.
So far, the museum only contains 15 exhibits, but among them are the important classics that immedaitely leap to mind along with some other less intuitive ones, like sound effects from a Tamagotchi. Chilcutt explains his drive to archive these noises on the site. He puts it this way:
Imagine a world where we never again hear the symphonic startup of a Windows 95 machine. Imagine generations of children unacquainted with the chattering of angels lodged deep within the recesses of an old cathode ray tube TV. And when the entire world has adopted devices with sleek, silent touch interfaces, where will we turn for the sound of fingers striking QWERTY keypads? Tell me that. And tell me: Who will play my GameBoy when I’m gone?
These questions and more led me to the undertaking that is The Museum Of Endangered Sounds.
My ten-year plan is to complete the data collection phase by the year 2015, and spend the next seven years developing the proper markup language to reinterpret the sounds as a binary composition.
If you don’t understand my passion and the significance of my work, you probably never will. But if you do, then you’ve come to the right place.
It seems, in that case, that I have come to the right place, and I hope those of you who feel the same way will spread the love to your friends who are stuck in the past with you.
(via The Next Web)
- Geekosystem’s own list of iconic sounds in tech
- You still hear floppy drives a lot nowadays, but not in the original sense
- Here’s a site for listening to people imitate a modem