Xavier Serra participates at the Unlocking Audio 2 Conference organized by the British Library in London from the 16th to the 17th of March 2009 with a talk on "Technologies to support the collaborative production of sounds: the example of Freesound.org".
"Unlocking Audio 2: Connecting with Listeners" is a conference dedicated to explore ways that researchers and other audiences expect to discover, browse, audition and analyse archival audio resources.
Abstract of Xavier's talk:
On-line collaborative production is becoming a very promising way to produce, share and exploit digital content. There are very successful examples of text-based repositories being developed through open and collaborative initiatives. Also a few collaborative repositories of sound and music content are becoming competitive in relation to the traditional industrially produced repositories. However there are many social, cultural, legal and technical issues that impact these initiatives and that need to be carefully studied and planed. In this presentation we want to focus on the technical challenges that these initiatives face and we will use Freesound.org as a test case to explain some of the current technical solutions.
Freesound.org is an on-line community of people that share sound files under a creative commons license. They share sound files, snippets, loops, etc? but not music. After three years of activity the Freesound database includes more than 62,000 sound bites. The community has grown to over 800,000 registered users and the website has become very popular among sound-related communities and even among the general public, getting over 20,000 visitors per day.
To support an initiative like Freesound.org it is important to have powerful, scalable, and user-centered web-based technologies. The web-portal has to promote the social interaction and has to give added value to the user content. The content generated by users is very unstructured and for it to be reusable it is necessary to provide advanced information retrieval technologies for searching and organizing the content.