Listen to live air traffic communications


Air Traffic Control

When I was a kid, I always loved going to airport cafes, many of which allowed you to plug your headphones into small boxes where you could listen to the air traffic communications as they occurred. Though I never learned to fly (and in all honesty, HATE flying), I was always curious as to what exactly was going on between the pilots and ground control. So years have passed and never did I imagine I’d be able to listen to pilot to ground communication over the internets, but hey, it *is* the future. LiveATC is a great little community site for aviation enthusiasts, aviation students and flight-sim enthusiasts to monitor live communication from various airports around the world, letting you know exactly how French pilots communicate with Korean air traffic controllers and what exactly angry pilots sound like when their takeoff spot gets scooped up by millionaires in private jets.

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February 14th in Audio, Aviation, Internet |
Gallery of odd music instruments with sound samples


Odd musical instruments

Oddmusic.com, a pretty self-explanatory name for a domain, has collected a huge gallery of strange musical instruments, complete with pictures, description and sample sounds of the instrument in-use. The gallery covers just about everything from ancient Greek instruments, such as the Aeolian Wind Harp (from 6 B.C.) to modern-day folk-festival favorites, such as the Dijbass which is an electronic hybrid, combining a stringed bass guitar with a Didgeridoo. There are about a 100 (if not more) instruments covered, so browse the gallery and let the inner-hippie inside of you feast it’s little heart out.

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August 10th in Audio, Music, Photos |
Samuel L. Jackson to play God in upcoming audio version of Bible


Samuel L. Jackson

Moviestar Samuel L. Jackson is rumoured to be playing the voice of God in an upcoming audio version of the New Testament due to be released September 2006. The recordings will feature many other famous actors and musicians with Jacksong playing lead role thanks to his deep and authorative voice. A box set of the Old Testament will follow in 2007, hopefully also featuring Jackson’s voice of God. From Snakes on a Plan to God, the man knows what he’s doing!

[Samuel L. Jackson to play the voice God]

July 17th in Audio, Bible, Hollywood |
Future not looking bright for Freedb


Freedb - Open CD and music lookup service

After 6 years of providing a high-quality (somewhat-open) alternative to CDDB’s CD information lookup services, the future of Freedb is not looking so bright. Over the weekend, one of the main contributors to Freedb, Joerg has announced his departure from the project, over what seems to be riffs between the founder of the service and the remote development team involved with creating the next generation version of Freedb.

Directly from Joerg at Freedb:

Today, after six long years, it is time for me to say goodbye to freedb. I started off creating database archives for download and finding ftp mirrors to host it in 2000 and ended up being responsible for basically every aspect of freedb. I feel like freedb is a part of my identity and it is ripping me apart, having to leave it now.

For almost two years now Ari and I have supported a developer from Australia, who was working on the next generation of the freedb server, which would have overcome most of our current technological problems and offered text searching. This was the biggest chance for freedb in years. Unfortunately there have been rising tensions in our team about the question, how long we should support a development project, which has not yet been made open source by the developer and which is not yet running on freedb servers. Last weekend the line was crossed by the founder of freedb, who owns the domain, when he took action against that developer without talking to the rest of the team first, while we were still trying to find a solution in everyone’s interest.

With every chance gone for the developed software to become part of freedb and with the necessary basic level of trust between the owner of the domain freedb.org and me being destroyed, I see no more point in investing my spare time in this. I am not sure what me leaving will really mean for freedb, but considering my experiences from the past six years, I expect the future is not looking too bright. It is devastating for me to see that this issue could accomplish in a matter of weeks what Gracenote couldn’t do for 7 long years since freedb was started.

[Freedb shutting down]

July 2nd in Audio, Internet, MP3, Software |
Classic ice cream truck jingles in MP3 format


Ice cream truck music in MP3 format

Liz over at the amazingly cool WFMU radio in New York has posted an article full of spooky (at least we think so) classic ice cream truck jingles in downloadable MP3 format. You know, those songs you’d love to hear coming down your street while simultaneously panicking at the thought that your dad couldn’t get a dollar out of his wallet fast enough for you to run out and buy that bomb-pop? Unfortunately listening to them today, they just make me think of that scary clown monster from Stephen King’s IT mini-series (Tim Curry in clown makeup!), but, maybe some of you will be able to re-live some fond memories of hot summer days with a sticky melting ice-cream in your paws.

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June 27th in Audio, Ice Cream, MP3, Music, Scary |