Binary data decoded as audio

IMG_0119If you don’t already know, all data inside computers entirely consist of numbers. These numbers are used to represent text and programs and images and audio and anything else that can be encoded as numbers. Normally, this data is separated into files with specific formats so the computer decodes the data in the correct context, but since they’re all essentially just numbers, you can mix up the context and turn the computer into a “noise machine.” Here are some examples of programs being interpreted as audio:


(directions to replicate in description)


(1:45-4:00 – the interesting part with many different patterns)

I think it’s amazing that binary data in these programs form regular enough patterns to create discernible frequencies and tonality, along with an incredible variety of digital noise. Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to control, and compressed data (eg .zip or .mp3 or .jpeg) nearly always turn out to be featureless noise.

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