Questions about sharing old Audio Archives online.
November 21, 2017 6:45 PM   Subscribe

I have an old computer not connected to the internet (Mac OSX 10.6.8) (not my main computer) with some old audio files (Audacity 1.3.14-beta) archived on it. I would like to hear some suggestions for the easiest way to share these audio files online.

1. I'm not tech-savvy, so it would be nice if detailed technical suggestions could be broken down into steps.

2. The files from the old computer will be transferred to my main computer via USB stick. I'd prefer not to connect my old computer directly to the internet because I don't want to deal with it getting overwhelmed with auto-updates, or other weirdness.

3. I hate LAME which is lame. I have LAME on the old computer, but it's begging for a password that I don't have. The obvious solution is to download a vintage LAME and try to re-install it, but I would prefer not to, unless there is no other solution possible.

4. I think the old Audacity might create Ogg Vorbis files, maybe. Is there a free audio-sharing site online that likes these files, or should they just be converted into MP3?

5. I'd like to hear your personal suggestions about a nice free place for sharing audio files on the internet. We've used YouTube videos, but that interface has been a bit clunky for us. SoundCloud seems like it might be okay, but I've heard that they've had issues lately. MeFi-Music seems nice if I go with MP3 files, if they're okay with vintage stuff.
posted by ovvl to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
For audio sharing, soundcloud is great. Although there was some talk this summer that they would be closing up shop, that has died down and they seem to have stabilized and apparently found more capital to burn. There is also which looks pretty slick but does not have as big of a community as soundcloud or as nice of a mobile app (ymmv).

You can actually just upload the uncompressed files to soundcloud, although that will be a lot slower than compressing them and then uploading them because they will be so large. So, I would install Audacity, and then follow the instructions on the audacity website for installing the FFmpeg library here. Then you can export your audio files to AAC, and upload the AAC format files to soundcloud or
posted by dis_integration at 8:29 PM on November 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Hi -- it would help to know how many files, and what kind of audio we're talking about here -- for instance, a dozen vs. a hundred, or field recordings vs. pop song covers vs. original songs vs. spoken word, etc. I may have missed something -- you mention working with the audio files on the old Audacity / old computer -- can you work with them on your new computer?

Not knowing the above, and guessing that the files aren't in the hundreds, here's one way to approach this:

- From the old computer, open each file in Audacity and export (mix down) into AIFF files (if they are mono, stick with mono, if they are stereo, stick with stereo).
- Copy the audacity projects (for backup) and the AIFF files onto your newer/main computer via USB stick (as you are already planning).
- Download and install the latest version of Audacity on your newer computer (which I'm guessing is a Mac also).

(The above so far is under the assumption that the latest copy of Audacity wouldn't be compatible with the older project files -- you might want to try seeing if your newer computer can open the old Audacity projects.)

- To create mp3s from the Audacity on the main computer, install LAME for Audacity. You'll definitely find more places that accept .mp3. (Creating .ogg files is baked into Audacity.)

As for where to share the files, that really will depend on the content of the audio and if you're just looking to host the files somewhere, or if opening up the floor for feedback/comments is required. Can you elaborate a little more?

dis_integration already covered Soundcloud, so some notes on a few others:

- You mentioned MeFi Music: I hang out there every so often when I can, so I hope you join us there! Based on the various recordings I've heard on MeFi Music -- as long as the audio content is at least somewhat music-related, something you recorded/participated in making yourself, is under 20 MB each, and you're not posting a bunch of files all at the same time, it should probably be fine. Shouldn't matter how old it is -- there have been some really nice posts of audio recorded literally decades ago, and there's a huge range in styles. (If you're not sure, it's best to ask the mods specifically via contact form with some info on the type of audio you'd be posting.)

- is a great place for sharing field recordings, sound effects, background music, and other types of audio samples, recordings or music. All shared files must be released under a Creative Commons license (or released in the public domain). Here is their FAQ. Fwiw they accept mp3, FLAC, ogg, and AIFF/WAV formats.
posted by rangefinder 1.4 at 12:03 AM on November 22, 2017 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Hi, Thank you for the advice! I have dozens of files of old atonal sound sculpture/experimental audio/video soundtracks from the 20th century. Not sure if this stuff fits in with MeFi Music vibe, but I also have some old lo-fi home recording songs that might, if I can find the cassettes.
posted by ovvl at 8:04 PM on November 22, 2017

old atonal sound sculpture/experimental audio/video soundtracks from the 20th century

IANAM (I am not a mod) but I think this would not be out of place at all on MeFi Music. There've definitely been atonal pieces shared there before. Lo-fi is welcome, too.

Honestly the range of music styles there is vast, which is one of the reasons I like it. If you haven't already listened to examples there, I recommend just going through some of the songs posted, e.g. the lists on the front page sidebar or the MeFi Music tags and listening to get a sense of what's there. There's also a few posts that have the atonal tag.

So maybe post one of the atonal pieces and then if you want to continue posting the others, you could ask cortex for what would be an acceptable frequency.
posted by rangefinder 1.4 at 12:24 AM on November 26, 2017 [1 favorite]

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