The Audiotarium - A Concept for a Public Domain Sound Object Repository

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School of Arts, Design and Architecture | Master's thesis
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Uuden median maisteriohjelma
In creative activity, the tools of creative work form the matrix of possibilities. If these tools are not available or if they are not supporting the activity well enough, the threshold of starting to play and to experiment may be too high for most people. The purpose of this work is to understand and develop tools that would enhance everyone's possibilities to play with sounds in the context of the web. Practically the work documents a design and development exploration made by concentrating on three main themes: creativity, the Internet and sound. Creativity is condensed in the idea of "the play", the web refers to the Internet and a sound object is considered to consist of a sound file and of meta data related to it. Based on a series of design objectives - Public Domain to Liberate Sound Objects, The Audiotarium Platform to Lower the Threshold of the Play and The Audiotaruium API to Expand the Element of the Play - the work proposes The Audiotarium concept, a simple, free and open platform for creative sound work on the web. The Audiotarium service offers a possibility to contribute and get access to sounds. The concept is validated through iterative prototyping and preliminary user test of a functional beta version of the service that functions as proof of concept. The prototype uses a combination of Open Source and free tools (WordPress, MySQL and PHP) that exemplifies the main functionality of the concept and serves as a playground for further development. In its basic description the Audiotarium service consists of a public domain repository of sound objects expanded by a standard way to access the repository programmatically (API). Building on both the public domain ideology (the idea of completely free cultural entities) behind the concept and the Audiotarium API (Application Programming Interface that makes it possible for other applications to automatically access the functionality of the Audiotarium) the work proposes a grey area for users and developers to expand the concept and continue the play with sounds.
Ikonen, Antti
Thesis advisor
Correia, Nuno
Botero, Andrea
Sound, Sound tools, Tool development, Creativity, Internet, Audiotarium