Where can I listen to Japanese train station melodies?
December 25, 2009 8:38 PM   Subscribe

Where can I listen to Japanese train and bus station melodies and onboard announcements, preferably without installing RealPlayer? My previous go-to archive is 404ing. My Japanese is mediocre but good enough to help me navigate sites.
posted by avocet to Travel & Transportation around Japan (6 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: This one might have what you want...?
posted by mykescipark at 9:22 PM on December 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

Also, if you want them on CD.
posted by mykescipark at 9:23 PM on December 25, 2009

...and another site.

(I'm done now.)
posted by mykescipark at 9:24 PM on December 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The last site mykescipark mentioned doesn't have the 発車メロディー on it, just a list of stations.

There used to be a bunch of these sites; my favorites were Majin House (now dead) and oriori station. But if you read the note (albeit in Japanese) at the bottom of the oriori station home page, JASRAC (the Japanese version of ASCAP) started going after these sites about a year ago for publishing unauthorized recordings of these sounds which are copyrighted by the companies that produce them. Sadly, most of them gave in without a fight, so there are few places to listen to them now.
posted by armage at 12:59 AM on December 26, 2009

My favorite found-sound source is the freesound project, a small but dedicated community of sound enthusiasts releasing sound clips through the Creative Commons license. Unfortunately I can't link it because it's behind a php script, but using the search field in the upper right-hand corner to search for "japan train" I get 32 different results, most of which are various station announcements. You should look around a bit there; there are probably more buried in collections, those are just the ones I found right off.
posted by koeselitz at 2:49 AM on December 26, 2009

The last site mykescipark mentioned doesn't have

the actual music now, what I hear are loops of just the station name (yuk!), perhaps because of what armage said. And those are .wav files. (So maybe best download Sound of Station's mp3s pronto.)

I've heard that CD, and its recordings have only the music, no announcements, and most of the tracks are combinations.
posted by Rash at 4:06 PM on December 26, 2009

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