There’s something very satisfying about using consumer-grade technology and apps for the sake of science, especially the type of applications that revolve around the idea of having the users contribute to scientific research by using their smartphones in their daily lives. Record the Earth 2 is an Android application for education, which was developed and released by Purdue University in a quest to record the sounds of the Earth. Each user can contribute to the research, as well as browse existing sound recordings from the Global Soundscapes Archive.
Record the Earth 2 is a fairly simple application with a straightforward goal of recording soundscapes around the world. As the developer describes the process, “each soundscape recording is a snapshot of a unique place and time”, and the Purdue University Center for Global Soundscapes’ mission is to build a rich database of soundscapes from all over the world, with the help of Android smartphone users. By downloading the application, users can record sounds around them, and upload the sound clips to the Global Soundscapes Archive at the Purdue University, thus contributing to advancing the research for global ecological data collection. “You are collecting information about the health and well-being of the planet through sound and helping researchers understand human’s connection to soundscapes”, reads the application description, which also informs users that the app allows them to rate, sort, share, and explore data collected by users from all over the world. Users can even save their favorite sounds and create playlists.
As for using the application, simply press the “Record” button to start and stop a soundscape recording, and then describe the soundscape while choosing a mood, such as “Negative”, “Neutral”, and “Positive”. The app then asks users to select the type of sounds they have heard, and they can submit the recording to the database. Each recording can be up to 3 minutes long, and the default recording format is AAC. However, due to “differences in manufacturer specifications” some smartphones (including Samsung devices) will default to WAV format with a maximum of 1-minute recording. Click the Google Play banner below if you wish to download the application or read more of its original description in the Play Store.