Whenever we want to search for something, the first thing that comes to our mind is Google. However, there are situations when Google is not of much help, for example while looking for images similar to an image, or while searching for people. For such situations, we have sites like Tineye-The Reverse Image Search Engine and Pipl-To Search People on the Web.
But what if you want to search for a sound? Not songs or ringtones, but sounds that you can use for your presentation or for composing some music. Google or any other commonly used search engines like Bing, Yahoo etc will be useless in this case.
Find Sounds fills that empty space by providing a search engine for sounds. While there are lots of search engines that let you look for text and images, FindSounds.com is the only search engine fully devoted to sounds.
How to search for sounds?
- Point your browser to www.findsounds.com and enter the type of sound you are looking for, say, ocean.
- Beneath the search bar there is an option to specify file format, minimum resolution and sample rate (which defines the quality of sound) and maximum file size.
- Once you click the search button, you’ll see a search page showing top ten hits for that sound. To play or download the sound click on the URL of the audio file or the volume icon.
- For every audio file listed, information such as size, number of channels, resolution, sample rate, and duration is mentioned. Link to the web page where the sound was originally found is also provided. You can even e-mail the sound to someone else by clicking on e-mail this sound.
An Interesting Feature…
The most interesting thing about this search engine is that you can search for sounds similar to some other sound. That is, instead of searching for sounds by providing a text label, you provide a sound file, and it searches for sounds similar to that. This is a better way of exploring sound because the audio files are searched based on how they sound, and not based on how they are labeled. It is difficult at times to describe a sound and so not every sound can be labeled in a category.
However using FindSounds you can do a sound-like search only on the search results that are displayed. If you want to search for sounds similar to the ones stored on your computer then you’ll have to buy a software “FindSounds Palette”.
In the search results page just next to the audio file URL you see a button. When you click this, it shows sound similar to the one that was displayed along with percentage of similarity between the two sounds.
The FindSounds’ database has an excellent collection of sounds, ranging from the sound of a frog to sound of a washing machine! The only thing I didn’t like is that the ads appear to be a bit intrusive.
Interestingly enough the site has been in function since 1st Aug 2000, but has maintained a low profile. Or is it that we are so used to of Google that we don’t know there are search engines beyond that :P?
You may also want to check 5 Useful Search Engines for Students.
Were you aware of this site? How are you going to use the sounds you find here? Let us know through your comments.