Thursday, January 24, 2008

Thing 49: So Many Great Music Sites, So Little Time!

Since this is my last post and I couldn't decide which site to choose, I will share them both!

The first is This is a free library of over 30,000 sounds and more are being added every day. This site allows you to download sound effects and loops or upload your own sounds to the site. All sounds are available to download in .mp3 and .wav format. Creator Tasos Frantzolas is a sound designer and producer from Greece who says he wanted just such a service for himself. The goal of this site is to provide “high-quality” sounds, categorized by use, with everything from music loops to sound effects. You can search using tags, categories or keywords.

This is a fun website just to play with and an amazing resource for electronic music geeks. You could also use these sounds to spice up a library website or program. Be sure to check out the Ant Stereo sample of “a mic stuck into an anthill.” (To find it, enter “anthill” in the search bar.)

The second is Using this (free!) music conferencing platform, musicians can sign up, download Musigy Maker to plug in and play music over the Internet with anyone, anywhere. This technology enabled the world's first remote real-time jazz festival with musicians playing together while 3,000 miles apart. “Imagine: remote, real-time performances, rehearsals, auditions or lessons. It’s as if you were in the same room!”

You could use this website to schedule and coordinate online “jam sessions” through your library website. What excellent partnership opportunities for libraries! Musicians visiting local universities or performance groups (symphony, jazz ensemble, etc.) could schedule an online “jam session” in which library patrons would have an opportunity to perform with that artist.

Oh, one more thing! Well, not a "thing" thing, but anyway.... I have been keeping my eye on a site called This site was created by MC Hammer (yes, that MC Hammer!) to be a sort of Youtube for dance moves. How fun is that! The twelve year old girl in me can't wait for this site to be up and running. (It is expected to be up in January/February.)

Discovery Exercise:

1. Go to (I have found that this site is sometimes slow to load)
2. Find a sound that you like and download the MP3.
3. In your blog, discuss how you could use these sounds. Are they just for musicians? How could librarians use them? Do any of you tech-savvy folks see a way to enhance your library's website with these sounds?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Thing 48 - Is there any free AND legal music out there?

As a library employee who works in the computer lab, I am often assisting patrons who want me to help them burn a CD or put songs on their mp3 player, but they have brought in no music. They are often infrequent computer users and think that there is all this free music out there to download from the internet. Here is the only site I found that has fairly easy to find, legal and free song downloads. Below I have listed the steps to get songs they might want to listen to (more popular/top 40 stuff.) If a patron wants free and legal MP3s to download and burn onto a CD or add to their mp3 players, this is an option. This only works if they don’t have a certain artist/song that they want.

  1. Go to http:
  2. Click on the yellow “110,462” in the green bar. It reads “110,462 Free MP3s” (The number might have changed if new songs were added or removed.)
  3. Sort by “total listens” to get more popular artists listed first.
  4. Click on the blue “see all free tracks” line.
  5. If a song is available to download you will see“Download Free MP3” next to the song title. Not all songs will have this option.
  6. Click on "Download Free MP3" download the song.

Discovery exercise:
1. Follow the steps above.
2. Download the song of your chosing and save it to your desktop or mp3 player.
3. Write a blog post about this website. Did you find it easy to use? Do you think it would be easy for patrons to use? Do you know of any other websites that might be useful for this purpose?

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Thing 47: For the Musically Inclined, or Not!

I'm not musically inclined by any stretch of the imagination, but I know lots of people who are. Therefore, I know that when it comes to music, most musicians can' t get enough. There are many fun 2.0 sites that musicians and even non-musicians like myself can use and enjoy. The great thing about many of the sites that I found was that you don't have to know much about music to use them. You can even create your own songs without knowing how to play an instrument.

In this and my future posts, I will explore some of these websites and how they can be fun even useful to libraries.

The first site I would like to highlight is Jamstudio.

This "online music factory" allows you to create and share songs on the web. Use the "Help" tab to guide you through the first process, although it’s pretty easy to figure out. Create your song. Once you join, using only your email address and a password, you can save your song on the site and share your song through email. When you email a song to someone, it sends them a link to the website and they can then edit your song and email it back to you. This is a fun site to play with even if you aren’t a musician.

Discovery exercise:

  1. Go to and join.
  2. Create a song and email it to a friend and yourself.
  3. Write an entry in your blog about your experience. Copy and paste the link from your email to your blog.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Welcome, Jennifer, our January guide!

As impossible as it seems, we're well and truly into the month of January. Okay, so the highs are in the 70s - sorry, Helene, I guess it's probably snowing up there where you are, huh? - but I checked every calendar I can think of, and they all agree that it is indeed 2008.

Which means it's time for a new Discovery Guide. Our January Discovery Guide is (drum roll, please) Jennifer Wishart, the newest staff member in Virtual Village. (She's the, umm, human one on the left.) In case you missed her in the October Emerging Technology Newsletter, Jennifer is pursuing her MLIS at UNCG, but still finds time to run, read, cook and enjoy music and movies. She has great plans for us. She even has a theme to unite all her posts, but I'll let her explain that. I've had a little preview, and it's going to be lots of fun!

Oh, and this is a double-duty post. Here's the second update on our Learning 2.0 sites. Please do take a look; there have been major changes to quite a few, especially online productivity and online videos. I'll sneak the Learning 2.1 site updates online in the next few weeks.