Are you missing the golden sounds of yesteryear? Do you keep waking up in the middle of the night lamenting that today’s youth will never know the sounds of dial-up internet? Fret no more, for The Museum of Endangered Sounds has indeed preserved these audio relics.
This fantastic site was created by Brendan Chilcutt in January 2021 as a college project. He insists that sounds like “the textured rattle and hum of a VHS tape being sucked into the womb of a 1983 JVC HR-7100 VCR,” “the symphonic startup of a Windows 95 machine,” and “the chattering of angels lodged deep within the recesses of an old cathode ray tube TV” are absolutely worth preserving so that future generations may remember them.
You can check out awesome retro hardware audio clips, like a payphone, a VCR rewinding, a Speak & Spell, a Dot Matrix printer, and an Olympus camera, on The Museum of Endangered Sounds. Of course, there are also classic video game sounds like a Tamagotchi, Pac-Man, a Nintendo cartridge, Tetris, and MindMaze.
Such a collection would also be incomplete without iconic sounds like movie countdowns, the Mac warning, AIM, TV snow, inserting a floppy disk, and cassette tape static. While the site could certainly stand to have a more robust collection (especially since it tends to focus on tech from the 80s and 90s), Chilcutt stated that these are his favorite old technology sounds. It’s also still a darn good catalog and a great starting point for anyone who has never heard them.
At The Museum of Endangered Sounds, you’ll see a variety of black-and-white photos. You can hover over each one to see what the sound is, and if you want to hear it, just give it a click. This loops the sound and starts a bright and colorful GIF that’ll run until you turn it off. The site lets you play multiple sounds at once, which is great for those wanting a more cacophonous experience.
Chilcutt also lists his AOL address on the site in case you want to contact him. Honestly, I can’t tell whether he’s listing it for nostalgia’s sake, given the content of this website, or if he genuinely still uses that address. Either way, this simple site is a fun walk down memory lane, and a fun journey for those who enjoy nerdy soundscapes.