How can I get sounds from Librarian?

Let's assume you would like to hear samples of VOA's Mandarin service between 1300 - 1500 UTC over the past 3 days from Beijing and Shanghai. How do you get that information from Librarian?

Step 1. The first thing you would do is go to: where you'd see a webpage that looks like the graphic below.

Step 2. In our example, sounds from Beijing and Shanghai are available from the 'asia' server. You would click on the symbol in the 'asia' column to access RMS sounds from Beijing and Shanghai.

Step 3. After clicking on the symbol, you should see something similar to the graphic below.

Now it's just a matter of selecting things to match your needs.

In our example, we first choose VOA as the 'Broadcasters'. Just scroll down in the 'Broadcasters' field until you see VOA - they're alphabetical - and click on the letters 'VOA.'

Next, we'll choose CHIN as the 'Languages' since VOA still uses that as the 'official' abbreviation for their Mandarin service.

Then we'll select BEIJ [Beijing] and SHAN [Shanghai] as our 'Locations.' You'll make this double selection by clicking on BEIJ and then holding down the 'Apple' key on a Mac or the 'ctrl' key on a PC while clicking on SHAN. When you've done this right, both BEIJ and SHAN should be hilighted.

Next we'll use the pull-down menus to pick the 'Time Range.' Click and hold on the top-most 'Time Range' box until a list of 4-digit UTC times drops down. Then run your cursor down to 1300 in our example. Do the same with the bottom-most 'Time Range' box to select 1500.

Finally we'll choose '- All -' under Dates. Even though we're interested in sounds from the last 3 days, the '- All -' selection is a lot easier and doesn't make our query take any longer.

Your query creation should look like this now:

Now hit 'Submit Query'

Step 4. After a short wait, you should see something similar to the graphic below. This window summarizes your selection criteria and lists a whole bunch of frequencies that the server found sounds for. You can pick one or more of these in the same way we picked more than one 'Locations' in step 3. In the last column you can 'Sort' the sound samples by frequency or time. Try both and see which matches your need. I often find grouping by frequency most useful. To start out, try selecting '- All -' 'Frequencies' and 'Sort' 'by freq', then hit 'Listen.'

Step 5. Now you should see something like the graphic below ... with REAL links to sounds! Click on one of the underlined, numbered links and if you have RealPlayer properly installed on your computer, you should hear whatever it is you selected!

Step 6. If you want to have some fun and have a java-capable browser, click on the word 'Graph' that follows any of the sound links. You will then not only hear the sound with RealPlayer, but also SEE graphs of 3 data types taken during or just after the recording of the sound. Pay close attention, this is cool! What you get looks like the graphic at the right.
Here's a larger version of the graphs seen on the lower right of the picture above. It resulted from hitting the 'Graph' link to the right of the sound link.