The MP3 Metronome Experiment
The MP3 Metronome Experiment
zip containing all files (49 MB)
  • 60 BPM.mp3
  • 65 BPM.mp3
  • 70 BPM.mp3
  • 75 BPM.mp3
  • 80 BPM.mp3
  • 85 BPM.mp3
  • 90 BPM.mp3
  • 95 BPM.mp3
  • 100 BPM.mp3
  • 105 BPM.mp3
  • 110 BPM.mp3
  • 115 BPM.mp3
  • 120 BPM.mp3
  • 125 BPM.mp3
  • 130 BPM.mp3
  • 135 BPM.mp3
  • 140 BPM.mp3
  • 145 BPM.mp3
  • 150 BPM.mp3
  • 155 BPM.mp3
  • 160 BPM.mp3
  • 165 BPM.mp3
  • 170 BPM.mp3
  • 175 BPM.mp3
  • 180 BPM.mp3
  • 185 BPM.mp3
  • 190 BPM.mp3
  • As a convenience, we've added an on-line Flash player to play the clicks without loading them on your computer.

    Tempo
    _
    Start
    Pick a tempo.
    Note - Adobe Flash required.

    We're calling this an experiment because the concept of using relatively large mp3 files to implement a metronome is, perhaps, the most ineffecient way to do so but turns inexpensive non-metronome media player devices into accurate timing references. If you think of the click sound as an amazingly short song, a metronome application is really just a media player that loops very accurately. The audio files on this page are just copies of these clicks and the silence between them.  Like a normal mp3 song, these take up space.  This wouldn't be so bad if you didn't need to create a seperate file for each tempo, and each sound. Oich!

    So, why are we doing it? Even though a metronome is one of the simplest audio programs you can write, inexpensive mp3 players don't include them. If you own such a media player, you can load the mp3 files on this page (about 200MB worth) onto your device to turn it into a metronome.  To save space, you can load just a few tempos that you use often.

    We're also looking into implementing metronomes using the loop feature built into most media players.  There are at least two problems with this we can think of.

    1. The time it takes the media player to STOP and REWIND will almost certainly be different for different devices. Ultimately, "reset" time has a big influence on the resulting metronome tempo so it is difficult to create mp3 files labeled with specific tempos (which is what we want).

    2. The other potential problem is the precision of the loop mechanism in the media player. If the player checks for the end of the loop on a timer, you should get stable time but the resolution might be coarse depending on the polling time.  Others might have other things going on such as animations which can make the precision of the metrome loop unstable.

    We're going to put together some test files for this. Check back.

    Forum thread for this article Forum thread

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    Background image by Pauline Moss. at http://paulinemoss.deviantart.com/art/Stars-307119758