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Certain sounds can take you back to a different time and place. Any time someone says the word “fight” in a deep voice, I’m immediately transported to a dingy room at the local video game parlour, playing Mortal Kombat 2.
As with most things, such sounds have a home on the Internet. In some nook or corner, you can find the perfect ding of a game you love, a short dialogue from your favourite geeky movies, the ignition sequence from NASA, and much more.
It can be turned into the perfect ringtone or notification tone. It can punctuate the point you’re making in a heated argument online. Here’s where to find the right sound…
Movie Sounds (Web): Updated Catalog of Movie Quotes
A long time ago, we showed you 10 sites to download famous movie quotes. Sadly, most of those have died or are no longer updated regularly. That’s not a problem with Movie Sounds, where you can download a quote from 2014’s Interstellar or from 1975’s Dog Day Afternoon.
The big search bar at the top lets you search for a phrase quickly, or you can just search for the movie’s name. The highest rated quotes show up first. There’s a full transcript of a quote, and you can preview the audio before you decide to download it.
Click a quote to download it, and also get the context in which it was said in the movie. The downloads are usually MP3s sampled at 128 kbps.
NASA Sounds (Web): Official Archive of Audio from NASA Missions
You’ve probably read countless times about the Apollo 11 mission, and you can even learn about the moon landing on the web, but it’s all just a build-up to hearing Neil Armstrong say those immortal words, “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Well, those and several other audio files from decades of NASA missions are now available for free download.
The NASA Sounds archive is categorized into Discovery, Shuttle and Station, Apollo and Mercury, Missions, Beeps and Bites, and Sounds of the Future. Each item is labelled clearly so you know what to click, and available in MP3 or M4R file formats. The MP3 files can be previewed in your web browser, but the M4R files will only work in iPhones and iPods through iTunes.
Houston, we no longer have a problem, at least to get the space sounds we want.
Parcel (Web): Collated Clips of Founders on Podcasts
Startup founders, especially those from Silicon Valley, often make an appearance on the various tech podcasts geeks should listen to. But how do you find your favorite founder’s advice from the different resources? And what about when you want advice from different founders on a particular topic? That’s where Parcel comes in.
Search for a personality, a company, or a topic, and you’ll get a list of all the clips stored in Parcel’s database of podcast appearances — complete with a transcript. You can preview search results, and add the ones you like to your custom “parcel”. The created parcel can then be downloaded or shared for free.
If you like the idea of this, you really should sign up for Parcel’s newsletter to get recommended parcels delivered to your inbox regularly.
The Sound Archive (Web): Eclectic Collection of TV Shows and Movies
Everyone has their own opinion about what constitutes the must-watch geeky TV shows or movies. But that’s not to say a show has to have something about technology or science for geeks to enjoy it. The Sound Archive is one such eclectic collection of audio samples from popular culture that few geeks could resist.
Here’s the current roster of what’s on offer: Archer, Star Wars, South Park, The Simpsons, Beavis and Butthead, Napoleon Dynamite, Ace Ventura, Caddy Shack Monty Python, Talladega Nights, Austin Powers, The Hangover, Space Balls, Something About Mary, Tommy Boy, Flight of the Conchords. Each movie or show has plenty of audio files from their best moments, and there are also two other collections for quotes related to emails and audio that will fit best for ringtones.
It’s surprisingly difficult to find a good collection of video game sounds that you can search, preview, and download with ease. Retro game sounds are perfect for ringtones, but finding the right ones are proving to be more difficult than anything. What this means is that an old favorite, VGMusic is your only real option right now.
But even that site is difficult to browse, only has MIDI files, and is quite outdated. Instead, to get the right video game sounds, you should search for it on YouTube or SoundCloud and download it as an MP3 from MP3Fiber. More often than not, you’ll find the right audio effect. And just in case you have a bigger clip than you wanted, chop it up with MP3Cut or other tools to split music files.
What’s Your Geeky Ringtone?
Let’s get inspired a bit and share what we use as our ringtones. Personally, I made an MP3 out of Pomplamoose’s cover of the Angry Birds theme. Check it out and use the aforementioned MP3Fiber to download it to your smartphone.