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Natural Environment CDs for Relaxation

Don't buy a sound machine.
Get cheap natural sound albums on eMusic.com

Copyright © 2007 Andrew B. Davidson. All Rights Reserved.
Last Updated: September 2007
UPDATE AUGUST 2010: This information is now largely obsolete due to eMusic's new pricing scheme. Prices for tracks over 10 minutes have increased by a factor of 12. Some environmental CDs (those that can be downloaded on a track-by-track basis) are slightly more expensive. This article is left here for historical purposes.
— Drew
"Natural Environment" CDs are albums that generally do not contain music, but rather are filled with relaxing nature sounds and sound effects such as ocean surf, crickets, rain, thunder, whale song, soothing bubbling streams, or other pleasing soundscapes. These albums are typically used for relaxation, meditation, or just to put on as background sounds.

You may have seen those "sound machines", "sound conditioners", "white noise generators", or "sleep machines" in stores for $50 or more, or seen these CDs in the yoga, meditation, or reiki or relaxation section of your local record store. But there is no need to pay a lot for expensive machines and CDs. If you want the best value for your money, as well as the chance to sample the albums, your best bet is to subscribe to the MP3 download service eMusic.com.

The reason these albums are so cheap on eMusic is due to the eMusic subscription model. With eMusic, you pay a certain amount each month (from $10-$20) for a certain number of MP3 downloads. The cost per track ends up being only about 25-30 cents. The MP3 files are yours to keep; unlike other music subscription services, you don't lose them when you cancel.

For natural environmental albums this plan is fantastic, because they are often available on eMusic as a single MP3 track download. That means you can often get an entire natural environment album from eMusic for (essentially) only 30 cents! You could get 30 different environment albums for your $10 subscription. This is an incredible deal, and it allows you much more freedom to sample different albums to see which one you like. Instead of physical CDs, you will get MP3 files that you can listen to on your iPod or computer, or burn to audio CD to play in a regular CD player.

So, for the cost of a typical relaxation/sound effect/sleep machine ($40 or so), you could literally buy dozens of different relaxation albums from eMusic, and choose the one you like best on a nightly basis.

eMusic often gives you additional free tracks when you sign up, so you could choose the 30-tracks-per-month plan and end up getting 55 tracks the first month (75 + 25 free) for only $10. You could download 30 natural environment albums and have some downloads left over to sample eMusic's selection of music and comedy.

I have been a member of eMusic for about 18 years now, so obviously I'm a big fan. You can read my extensive review of eMusic to find out more about what eMusic offers. You could cancel after you got your favorite natural environments, but I wouldn't recommend it. eMusic is such a great deal I would highly recommend sticking around for a while.

If you use the referral email emusic2@drew.to I'll get some free downloads myself for letting you know about eMusic. But the only reason I put this page up is that it's such a great deal for fans of natural environment CDs like me, so go ahead and sign up however you want.

Nature Sounds That are Available on eMusic.com

As of September 2007, the following albums are available:

"Relax With Nature" from New World Music
Ocean Waves At Sunset
Tranquil Summer Garden
Woodland Nightfall
Mountain Stream
Forest Raindrops
Dolphins Whales
Thunderstorm
Rainforest
Tibetan Monastery
Sea Moods
Underwater Cave
Drifting In A Calm Bay
Jungle
Tropical Night
Surf and Spray

"Relax With..." series from Azzurra Music
Some of these are "Enhanced with Music". I prefer the ones without music, but whatever you prefer
Alpine Serenity (Enhanced With Music)
Amazing Amazon
Amazon Rain Forest (Enhanced With Music)
Appalachian Autumn
Autumn Symphony
Desert Winds (Enhanced With Music)
Desert Winds
Golden Pond (Enhanced With Music)
Golden Pond
Ice Symphonies
Mountain Streams
Ocean Relaxing Surf (Enhanced With Music)
Outback Morning
Riding The Winds
Sailboat Journey (Enhanced With Music)
Secret Jungle (Enhanced With Music)
Secret Jungle
Singing Birds (Enhanced With Music)
Singing Birds
Song Of The Dolphins
Song Of The Whales
Song Of The Whales
Soothing Waterfalls
Sound Of The Everglades
Sounds At Sunset
Sounds Of The Wolves
Summer Evening Serenade
Thundering-Rain-Sorm (Enhanced With Music)
Thundering Rainstorm
Tropical Rain Forest (Enhanced With Music)
Wild White Water
Wind Chimes

"Biosphere: Nature Sounds" (Biosphere: Sons De La Nature) from Fonda-Mental
Unfortunately these are not one long track, so it costs a little more to get these via eMusic. But they are excellent and worth a listen.
35 Degrees In The Shade
A Jaunt To Hawaii
Airs Of Provence
Birds Of Paradise
Dolphins Whales
Sailing Away
The Belling Of The Stag
The Chattering Of Monkeys
The Concert Of The Earth
The Howling Of Wolves
The Symphony Of The Marshes
The Voices Of The Forest
The Whispering Wood
Thunderbolt

"Our World's Sounds" from Oreade Music
Cats Kittens
Horses
Inside the Dragon's Lair
On the Farm
Seals
Trains

"Sounds Of The Earth" from Oreade Music
Birds In The Rainforest
Dolphins
Dusk
Exotic Paradise
Frogs
Garden
Hot Summer Sounds
Humpback Whales
Into Africa
Jungle
Loons
Morning Birds
Mountain Stream
Ocean Waves
Paradise Island
Rain In The Country
Rainforest
Rock Water
Sea Dolphins
Soft Ocean Sounds
Sounds Of The Earth Collection
Sounds Of The Night
Storm
The Sea
Thunderstorm
Tropical Twilight
Wadden Sands And Seagulls
Waterfall
Whales
Wind Chimes I
Wind Chimes II
Wolves
Woodfire

"Nature's Rhythms" from Columbia River Entertainment
Sunrise Chorus
Peaceful Forest
Peaceful Ocean
Serene Waterfall
Ocean Surf
Enchanting Waterfall
Humpback Songs
Roaring River

"Listening Earth" series by Andrew Skeoch & Sarah Koschak
Unfortunately these are not one long track, so it costs a little more to get these via eMusic. But they are excellent and worth a listen.
A Morning in the Australian Bush
A Walk in the Rainforest
Call of the Ocean
Favourite Australian Birdsong
Heart of the Rainforest Sulawesi Indonesia
Spirit of the Outback
Streams Waterfalls
Tall Forest
The Himalaya
The Living Desert
The Sacred Forests of India Nagarahole
Tropical Dawn

Other Relaxation, Meditation, and Yoga Albums on eMusic

I've listed only the natural environment albums above. There are literally thousands of albums that are available that contain relaxing music for meditation, yoga, and sleep, as well as white noise or other sounds for masking conversation or other annoying sounds. From Tibetan bowl music to low soothing drones, there is something there for you. Some of the natural environments above are also available in versions with background music, but I prefer the ones with just nature sounds.

And of course eMusic has 2 million+ music tracks available if you just want regular music!

Summary

If you like natural environment / nature sound albums, and you like saving money, you should absolutely check out eMusic.com. It will save you a ton of money! And in my opinion eMusic is great for music also. Definitely check it out!

Feedback?

If you have an comments or feedback, you can email me at AndrewDavidson {at} AndrewDavidson {dot} com, or use my Feedback Form if you prefer.

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