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What do you guys think about Soundsnap.com? Its my sound effects website and I 'm working on improving it.

I 'm looking for feedback from the sound community to see what areas of the site we can improve.

Thanks in advance for your help.

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I'm one of your "old school" members. I have to say I love the idea of the site. I use it a lot for getting something specific or different (as in not in the usual libraries) and has got me out of a hole plenty of times.

However I do have 2 things I'd like to add. There's one thing I wish you'd bring back, the ability for me to upload and sell individual sound recordings. I'm guessing that the vetting process which I'm sure is a mammoth undertaking.

My other issue is that some of the sounds are of a fairly poor quality. Some have background hiss and hum while others are clipped. I don't want to get into naming files and therefore people but it has rendered some files unusable in a TV broadcast setting. Perhaps vetting the person instead of every single file might be a way around the workload. Or perhaps you could add a way of reporting a poor recording and make the users become the vettors (is that a word)?

Please forgive me if this comes across harsh but I really do love the site and am frequently on there looking for sounds.

Good luck with it and long may it continue!

Ian

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  • I'm going to second @ianjpalmer's suggestions. I too am an "Old School" member and have found a few sounds that are a little too "lo-fi" for my tastes. And I'll second more search options as well. The faster folks can find what I'm looking for, the more they'll use. – Sonsey Mar 11 '11 at 15:15
  • Add a third to everything including the ability to upload and sell. John. – Dog and Pony Mar 11 '11 at 16:39
  • Hey Ian. Thanks for the feedback and thanks for being Old Skool! We don't mind the quality control process. But unfortunately, I don't think we 'll go back to a user generated model. I have expanded on this here: socialsounddesign.com/questions/6475/soundsnap-com-feedback/… But if you think your sounds are amazing and rare, please send me a short demo here: soundsnap at gmail.com – Tasos Frantzolas Mar 15 '11 at 6:15
  • I 'm adding a new comment, cause it won't let me write too much as a comment. In regards to quality: As you probably know, we are now partnering only with professional sound libraries. So the quality is quaranteed because these are real sound designer stars. More than 85% of our sounds are totally pro (we started with 30,000 sounds and now we 're at 130,000) But we 've done huge progress with the quality of all of our sounds- new and old. We did a massive, expensive cleanup of the library a year ago and deleted hundreds if not thousands of sounds. It was painful but it was worth it. – Tasos Frantzolas Mar 15 '11 at 6:21
  • The only lo-fi sounds that we 've left are from a specific library which is supposed to sound old because its a classic, old, Hollywood library. There's a lot of old splats and boings that are supposed to sound vintage. And we even say that in the description! Its this one: soundsnap.com/audio/user/5417 Let me know if you you hear any other noisy/ hissy sound and I will delete it instantly. My email is soundsnap at gmail.com. Quality is so important to us. Thanks again for the feedback and kind words! – Tasos Frantzolas Mar 15 '11 at 6:24
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Hi Tazos, Another "old school" user here and lover of Soundsnap. I don't know what I would do without you guys actually. Would it be possible for you to implement some file naming conventions for your submitters. Right now the files are named all sorts of ways and sometimes those names are very non-descriptive. This means I end up renaming them but then I don't know if I've already downloaded that file and I end up with a lot of duplicates. I also agree with the above commenters but above all, keep up the good work and thank you!

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  • Hey Brendan, you 've got a point about a naming convetion. I think we 've gotten better over time, but there's still a lot of different naming. to be honest, this is hard to fix now, btu we can try to enforce to our content providers from now on. I 'm taking a note. Thanks for the feedback and the Old Skool love! – Tasos Frantzolas Mar 15 '11 at 5:54
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old school ftw. has saved me a few times already.

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I too discovered Soundsnap a couple of years back (does that make me an old skool user too?) and definitely agree with Ian's point about quality. The idea of the site is great and allows us to access very specific sounds and to purchase a license for individual sounds. This is very useful.

However, I think that the quality issue is something that can cause many of us to hesitate using Soundsnap. Most sounds are available in MP3 and WAV formats. Personally, when I'm working on a project I will never use an MP3 sound (unless it was so unique that I had no choice), even if I will eventually render down my final mix as an MP3 (for an iOS-platform game for example). I prefer to use the highest possible quality (96KHz 24 Bit or 192KHz 24 Bit if poss) that allows me more flexibility.

Forgive me if I'm wrong, but I can't seem to find anywhere on the site where the quality of sound files is discussed. And it's been a while since I purchased a sound so maybe this issue has been addressed. But overall, it's a great site in terms of usability. Very easy to search and I love the clean layout.

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  • At the start you could upload your own files and there was a note saying they had to be of a certain quality. That's the only mention I can remember and of course it's gone now. – ianjpalmer Mar 14 '11 at 9:05
  • Hey Colin! Thanks for the feedback. I 'm happy you like the interface and find the site it useful. The mp3 file is there jsut for a few people that might need a light-weight file to use in video games, iPhone apps etc. We just make it easier by converting it for them. Its the same sound, but in lower quality. All sounds have a high res version. In regards to quality in general, I have analyzed this on my reply above: socialsounddesign.com/questions/6475/soundsnap-com-feedback/… Thanks a lot for the feedback and using our service. Cheers! – Tasos Frantzolas Mar 15 '11 at 6:29
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Soundsnap.com is great how it is! Though the enemy of the better is the best... I would only suggest some upgrade on the search engine with more tag keywords and stuff to make it easier to find what are you looking for.

Congrats though!

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  • Thanks Niko! The video games company seems cool, nice site at least! I 'm Greek too, but based in NYC, get in touch soundsnap at gmail.com. Ta leme! – Tasos Frantzolas Mar 15 '11 at 6:06
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I have been using Soundsnap for a number of years and I am also an "Old Skool" member. I remember the change from a free to paid for service that you offered.

You once had an active community on the website forums, which seems to have diminished since the change has taken place. I particularly liked the Request a sound forum. It would be great to grow that community again, or work with another great community of Sound People.

As IanJPalmer said, it would be great to be able to upload individual Sounds to your library. Infact, I'd rather upload mine to your library than to some of the others out there because I love the layout and simplicity of the website.

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  • Hey Owen, I just wish there was somewhere I could sell some individual recordings I've made outside of the prosumer library format that's appeared in the last year or so. – ianjpalmer Mar 14 '11 at 9:07
  • Hey guys, Hey Thanks, You 're right about the community. We might have to partner up with anotehr sound community, like this place (which is great by the way). The 'request a sound' forum is not relevant now that we are partnering with larger, professional libraries. But I doubt we 're going back to user-generated model. – Tasos Frantzolas Mar 15 '11 at 6:08
  • A lot of the 'uploaders' are great, but a lot fo them don't know much- a lot of students and amateurs. And a lot of the 'user contributors' end up uploading their collections, large or small, to many sites. They can make some money after all. Thats all fine, but we 've chosen a different path. Therefore, I don't believe that this particularly adds 'character' to the library as many believe, since many of us end up with the same sounds. The pro contributors add 'character' to the library too, with a high commitment to quality standards. Thanks for your feedback. – Tasos Frantzolas Mar 15 '11 at 6:08
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I have to admit, that soundsnap is pretty nice. Very affordable sounds and an amazing variety of ambiences at least since that's all I've looked into so far. Good quality preview and skilled recordists.

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I have been a member of soundsnap for a long time, but I must say I almost haven't used it since it changed to the new business model. I thought it was pretty cool that you could share good sounds and in return get access to all the other sounds for free. I had hoped it would be possible with the new business model to still share sounds and at least get a discount on a membership and have the feeling of being part of a community, but sadly I think that part has faded. Soundsnap is just not so appealing to me anymore.

I used Soundsnap for the special and personal sounds, you do not normally find in archives. They are perhaps not as special and personal as the sounds you might find in freesound.org, but at least you don't have to deal with the confusing licenses. I can't really use an internet based sound archive for the bread and butter sound effects, because it is simply too slow. When I work in soundminer, I just import the sounds i think I might use, check them out in the track and discard them afterwards, if they don't feel right.

When paying per sound effect, this process is simply too slow and too inefficient for me.

It is still a great site, but perhaps I have just bought too many sound effects to need it the way it is now.

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  • Hey Morten, How 's things? Of course you get a discount. In fact, all the old contributors get a free account. It just expires after a year and people need to remind us to upgrade you again (I just upgraded you). Aa you probably know, we 're now focusing on pro sounds.. but still try to get some of the more 'personal' sounds. And we know it won't be perfect for everyone. It sounds like you have a huge library already, so it might not be as important for you anymore.. Thanks for the support even if you don't visit us much anymore. ;) Take care! – Tasos Frantzolas Mar 15 '11 at 5:51
  • Thanks Tasos, I'm doing fine! If you are planning to take in more sounds from the users, that would be great. I have some sounds I would like to upload to Soundsnap, perhaps 50 or so, but not thousands.... Will you be taking uploads in that volume soon? – Morten Green Mar 15 '11 at 11:19
  • It really depends on what they are. Please email me with a description of what they are and lets see. Cheers! – Tasos Frantzolas Mar 15 '11 at 17:47
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There's something I don't understand about the Soundsnap licensing model, and this has prevented me from really using so far, even though I'm interested in subscribing for the 'Annual pack'.

In the FAQ it says:
For how long can I use the downloads I bought? Are there limitations?
There is a limitation of two years on all packs you purchase.
You will have to download your sounds within two years after your first download.

But in the license itself I cannot find anything about having a 2 year restriction on the license of the sounds I purchase. How does this work then? I don't really like the idea of having to renew the license on sounds I purchased every two years. Maybe I'm just confused by the wording of the FAQ question/answer though?

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  • Hey Daan, Thanks for your comment. Perhaps the wording is not that clear. This just refers to the limited download packs. It means that the downloads expire after two years of not being used. So if you buy ten sounds today and only use 5, you 'll have to use the other 5 within two years. But this doesn't apply to the Annual account. Annual accounts are unlimited and expire after a year of their purchase (as the name suggests!) I hope this is clear now. Thanks! – Tasos Frantzolas Mar 15 '11 at 17:46
  • @ Tasos Frantzolas OK, cool - just to confirm so that I have it absolutely clear (pardon my cautiousness): so it has nothing to do with the licensing agreement, only with limited availability of downloads? I.e. all sounds I download in a year under the annual subscription I can keep using for the rest of my lifetime, right? :) – Daan Hendriks Mar 16 '11 at 0:06
  • Yes, absolutely! Email me anytime with questions, ideas etc.: soundsnap at gmail.com. Cheers! – Tasos Frantzolas Mar 16 '11 at 21:23

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