Everyone knows the audio resources are enlightening, educational and entertaining, but it can be difficult to know how to integrate content such as that provided by the British Library’s Archival Sound Recordings.

The EASAIER Project: Enabling Access to Sound Archives through Integration, Enrichment and Retrieval is building tools that solve these problems. Project member Ceila Duffy spoke of the need to create tools that allows audio on the web to go beyond playback.

Some of the tools created by the project include web clients that allow audio files to be speed up or slowed down (useful for music practice), to locate emotions or accents without spoken word files (useful for resource discovery), to separate out different speakers or instruments or sounds, to represent music in visual form, or to do searching based not on keyword but on actual audio content.

This is all fantastic stuff and makes audio material so much more attractive. The next challenge will be to embed such tools into web interfaces that give end-users easy ways to tag, analyse and manipulate the content of audio archives.