10 Incredible interactive audio experiences

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Audio isn’t just for podcasts and slideshows. The following sites are using audio in new and creative ways to make create unique interactive experiences.

BBC: Save Our Sounds

The BBC map is indicative of the latest trend in audio: collecting user-generated audio and displaying it on a map. For this ambitious project, visitors are invited to upload sounds from all over the world, which anyone can listen to by navigating around the interactive map. This means you can hear the purr of a cheetah in South Africa or listen to a wrestling match in Mongolia without ever leaving your couch.

Tracks on a Map

Tracks on a Map takes the user-generated audio concept in a different direction and lets users from all over the world upload music to the site, which allows the viewer to hear great music and how it differs from country to country.

Vocalo.org Local Music Map

The aforementioned maps are powered by complex databases, but the Local Music Map shows that audio and maps don’t have to be grand productions to be good. The map mashup catalogs the music scene of the Lake Michigan area and provides photos and links to some of the area’s local artists, venues and other music-related landmarks.


This series of maps takes audio to a new and innovative level by taking the viewer or an audio tour of various locales. As the audio plays, the adjacent dynamic map moves to indicate where the audio was recorded. The technology is a combination of Google Maps, Quicktime and Javascript and is reminiscent of Vidmap which combines maps and video in the same way.

Cold War Kids: I’ve Seen Enough

Indie rock band Cold War Kids used the web to create an interactive music video where fans can toggle on and off each member of the band as they play the song “I’ve Seen Enough.” The effect is sort of like a mixing board where the viewer can listen to one or all of the band members play at the same time.

Interactive Band

The Flash-animated band is a lot like the Cold War Kids experience, only with more instruments and a groovy samba beat. Users can again toggle between the different band members and, if neither French or Spanish is your first language, learn a few bits of the languages as well.

Buckle Drum Set

This virtual drum set is proof that interactive audio experiences don’t have to be all fun and games. If you want to learn the basics of how to play the drums but aren’t yet willing to drop the cash on a whole set, you can use this Flash-based interactive to learn the various parts and sounds of a drum set.


If electronic music is more your thing, The Daft Punk Console allows users to recreate and remix the Daft Punk hits “Technologic” and “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” (famously sampled by Kanye West) using an interactive interface.

in Bb 2.0

This online collection of YouTube videos combines both user-generated content, an interactive audio experience and just plain fun into one cool project. A variety of musicians recorded themselves playing individual instruments and uploaded the video to YouTube to create one big collaborative song. You can play any combination of the embedded videos to create a unique harmony that sounds pretty great no matter which video you choose.

Economía musical

This last project is proof that news infographics don’t have to be boring. This series of charts from lainformacion.com takes what would otherwise be another sad bar chart about the failing economy and turns it into a fun interactive, musical experience.

Also on 10,000 Words

How to create, edit and embed audio for free
9 Tips for recording audio for the web
5 Creative uses of Flash and interactive storytelling
A is for Audio: The ABCs of Multimedia