Listen to Wikipedia

Listen to Wikipedia, also known as L2W or Hatnote: Listen To Wikipedia, is a multimedia visualizer developed by Mahmoud Hashemi and Stephen LaPorte, which translates recent Wikipedia edits into a display of visuals and sounds. The open source software application creates a real-time statistical graphic with sound from contributions to Wikipedia from around the world. To accomplish this, L2W uses the graphics library D3.js.[1]

Listen to Wikipedia
License3-clause BSD license

The concept of Listen to Wikipedia is based on BitListen, originally known as Listen to Bitcoin, an application by Maximillian Laumeister.[2][3]



Each edit produces an orchestral sound in the pentatonic scale.[4] The bell-like sounds of a celesta correspond to additions of content to Wikipedia, and the strings of a clavichord show subtractions. The pitch is inversely proportional to the size of the edit (higher pitch notes are produced by smaller edits).[5] Newly registered Wikipedia users are welcomed by a violin chord.


Each edit creates a circle of one of three colors: white for registered users, green for non-registered users, and violet for bots. The size of a circle is proportional to the size of the edit (larger circles are produced by larger edits).[3] Clicking on the display text will open a new page in the user's browser showing the revision.


  1. Listen to Wikipedia,, Retrieved 27 August 2013.
  2. "Listen to Wikipedia – Wikimedia blog". Retrieved 2016-06-23.
  3. Hashemi, Stephen LaPorte and Mahmoud. "Hatnote Listen to Wikipedia". Retrieved 2016-06-23.
  4. Listen To The Orchestra Of Users Updating Wikipedia,, Retrieved 27 August 2013.
  5. "Listen To Wikipedia: Engineers Translate Edits Into Sound". Retrieved 2016-06-15.
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