Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Listen to Wikipedia Being Edited - CityLab

 

Trying to buckle down and work? Noise-cancelling headphones aren't the only mellow way to drown out your co-workers' incessant chattering or the whirring of a coffee machine at your local café. Try listening to the dulcet tones of Wikipedia being edited in real time.


Listen to Wikipedia is a site and app that that draws from Wikipedia's recent changes feed to translate the sum of the tweaks into a chilled-out symphony.


Bells denote additions to a page, and plucked strings represent deletions. Synthesized strings swell and fall in the background as new users join Wikipedia. Larger revisions yield more resonant notes. It uses a pentatonic scale to avoid screeching dissonance. (Think: tones produced by xylophones and lutes.)


As much as the site is about a zen-inducing auditory experience, it's also an aural celebration of collaboration and freedom of speech. It serves as a sensory reminder that people are sharing and responding to ideas all the time, at a mind-boggling pace. 


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