Cornell University’s Macaulay Library is the world’s largest and oldest collection of naturally occurring wildlife sounds, and it’s now completely digitized and available for you to listen to from your home computer. Consisting of about 150,000 sounds totaling out to be around 10 terabytes of data, the site offers around 7,513 hours of listening time.
No, you probably won’t listen to everything that the Macaulay Library has available in your lifetime. But if you’re into the outdoors, it may be of interest of you.
The website offers its content to users completely and totally free, and while there is an obvious emphasis on bird songs, other sounds can be heard. Furthermore, the website incorporates some video content for users to watch as well. You can also order compilations of sounds to be used for your own purposes (such as for projects or commercial usage).
Other than that, this is all the Macaulay Library really is, but despite its simplicity, don’t discount it. To be real, it is the product of a scientific research revolution. Rather than making people visit museums or take advanced courses, the data and research is brought to them instead. This is the true beauty of the virtual Macaulay Library.
Although interesting, the site has a very limited market. You probably won’t spend your Saturday night hanging out online, listening to bird sounds. (If that’s your thing, no offense.) Other than that, the site is a very well-designed, purposed publication that fits a certain niche.
- Browsing by taxonomy.
- Vast collection of wildlife sounds available for free.
- Options to request record compilations.
- Easy-to-navigate interface.