I'm always on the look out for free white noise and sleep sounds. This explains the number of articles that I have written about that particular topic over the years. Some of the better findings where White Noise for Chrome which allowed you to tune in directly in the browser, and Ambient Mixer, which let you mix different ambient sounds together on a website.
What I never thought of, and that confession worries me a bit, is to search YouTube for these kind of sounds and music. While I had no trouble finding "regular" music on YouTube, I never bothered to look for ambient sounds, meditation music, and the like on the video hosting site.
I stumbled upon a 12 hour white noise video on YouTube yesterday evening, just before bed time, by accident. First I was stunned because of the length of the video, but when I looked into the suggestions listing, I had an Eureka moment. There they were, hundreds of sleep sounds videos, and many with play times in the hours, and not minutes.
Even more surprising are the view counts, which beat most other YouTube videos by a mile. The 12 hour White Noise video for instance is about to hit the 1 million views mark, the majority of videos have hundreds of thousands of views.
Here is a selection of videos to get you started. Please note that some, but not all, allow their videos to be embedded on third party websites.
6 Hours of rain sounds
6 Hours of wave sounds
2 hours of rushing water at Cow Creek
11 hours of forest creek sounds
9 hours of Forest sounds Bird chirping and singing
75 minutes of thunder and rain sounds
You get the drill. A good starting point for additional sleep sounds and the like are the suggestions displayed on the right of the video that is playing on YouTube. You can alternatively look at other videos that the author uploaded, or search YouTube for sleep sounds, ambient music, white noise. If you favor a particular type of sounds, you can combine it with the search, e.g. rain sleep sounds.
Suggested search terms:
A big issue that some users may have with sound on YouTube in general is the audio quality, which may in many cases not as good as CD quality. And while you may be able to improve it by selecting a different video quality level, it may not be enough for some users.
Some uploaders are offering ambient mp3 sounds as downloads on their web pages. Some free, some not. This may be the best bet in this case to get a better audio quality.
If you are not an audiophile, you can use YouTube to find hundreds, of not thousands of free long-playing sounds that you can use to improve sleep, for power napping, or meditation.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.