Posted Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Sonic Grab-Bag: Dot-Matrix Symphony, The Sound of the Universe, and More Old Radio

Today, a random collection of audio oddities for your listening pleasure.

Symphony #2 for Dot Matrix Printers. Via MacSlash by way of Leander Kahney's must-read Cult of Mac blog, a couple of thinkers different have composed and recorded a symphony of synchronized dot matrix printers. It can be yours at the iTunes Music Store. At this writing, track number 3, a three-minute, seven-second piece named %%%%%%%%$$$$$$$>>>>>>>>@@@@@@@, is the most popular download. It's no wonder.

The sound of the universe. As reporter Leonard David reports, "An astronomer has turned observations of the early universe into a sound clip that represents a primal scream from the first million years after the Big Bang."

The sound resembles a synthesizer's filter sweep. To quote the article, the sound "represents the first million years of the cosmos and it is compressed into about 5 seconds for easy listening." Listen now.

This isn't the first time scientists have turned astronomical observations into audible sound. Also available for your listening pleasure is the music of the magnetosphere (more here).

Last year, scientists determined that a black hole is producing a B-flat that's 57 octaves below middle-C. If anyone can tell me what this page is talking about, I'll sing the note for you. Big bong, indeed.

There's a lovely collection of space sounds at -- where else? -- This University of Iowa site has more.

Meanwhile, back on Earth. And finally, a friend replied to my post of May 12, in which I recommended, which contains hundreds of old radio programs. If you're into old radio, you should also know about Bill Sparks' amazing collection. The Old Time Radio WebRing should also be on your places-to-surf list.

From the beginning of time to Fibber McGee and Molly to dot matrix symphonies, we aim to please here at If you please, pre-order The Macintosh iLife '04 at Amazon for $20.99. It ships next week!