Pretty pictures and lovely sounds make the (cyber) world go round. Here are some resources for finding free photographs, video and music on the World Wide Web. Just, don’t breach any copyright laws, OK?
Identifying Songs off the Radio: Use the iTunes Music Store’s Radio Charts, listed by city and station, to listen to song clips from tons of radio station playlists. Perfect for nabbing the details of that elusive radio song that’s been stuck in your head all day long.
Movie Scripts: Drew’s Script-O-Rama has film scripts, TV scripts, film transcripts, and even a fun section on movie-themed haiku!
Movie Subtitles: OpenSubtitles.org is the “biggest multi-language subtitle database.”
Music: Wanna turn Google into your own personal Napster? Copy and paste the following complex operator into the search box and replace “Beastie Boys” with whichever band or artist you’re looking for.
-inurl:(htm|html|php) intitle:”index of” +”last modified” +”parent directory” +description +size +(wma|mp3) “Beastie Boys”
Photographs: As well as flickr.com, you can search the Creative Commons archive directly through Google: create an advanced image search and check the box for “Search only CC material.”
Torrents: Torrents are “map” files you download to your computer that let you see and download different pieces of the file you want from multiple users simultaneously, which makes download rates much faster. All types of file are available, from movies to audio to programs and more. Search directly at The Pirate Bay or at ISOhunt.
For when you’re bored, or Facebook is down, or your printer is blinking at you in a strange code, here’s how to find:
Blogs You Might Like: Google Blog Search is Google, but for blogs. Cool, huh?
Deleted Files: It’s not easy, but the instructions at this site helped me recover three years of documents.
Down Websites: If you want to know whether Gmail – or a number of other popular sites – are broken or just not working for you, visit DownRightNow to find out.
IP Address: WhatIsMyIPAddress.com will let you know your IP address just by visiting the site, which could be useful for those interminable calls with technical support.
Stars in the Sky: You can’t always find the North Star, but PBS’s Your Sky Tonight makes pointing out the constellations easy.
Your Own House: The Google Maps Street View covers nearly the whole inhabited world, and Bing’s Bird’s Eye View is a seriously awesome companion. I use these both religiously when searching for an apartment.
Just For Fun
The Internet wouldn’t be the same if we didn’t use it to waste time that we could be using productively. With that in mind, here’s a few lighthearted sites where you can find:
Anagrams: WordSmith will give you anagrams of whatever text you type in. Names are particularly good. Did you know an anagram of Jason Wire is I jaw snore?
Chuck Norris: You’d think you could just Google him, but….
Connections Between Random Things: Omnipelagos knows how Lady Gaga, Ebeneezer Scrooge, and rocking chairs are connected. Do you?
How Much Money You’re Worth: Answer a bunch of questions on Human For Sale, and you’ll finally know the answer!
Which of these resources and tricks do you already use? Are there any other useful ones you can share with us?