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Sounds of Street View takes you on a virtual vacation

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You can only experience so much of a place by poking around it in Google Maps, and that's why Amplifon, a hearing aid company from the UK (seriously), put together a little getaway-in-a-browser called Sounds of Street View. The name really says it all -- once you pop on your headphones (trust us, it's important), you can virtually explore Place du Palais, Hawaii's Hapuna Beach and Balboa Park in San Diego complete with some much-needed aural ambience. It's a surprisingly comprehensive experience too: As you "cruise" down the streets of Avignon, France, you'll hear the lilting tune of an accordion give way to the din of a dining crowd and a church bell ringing in the distance. Is it just like being there? Erm, not quite, but it's way cheaper than a plane ticket at the very least. Alas, those are the only three locales available at the moment, so you can't vicariously experience the ceaseless thrum of Hong Kong or New York City... until a crafty developer uses the provided tools cobbles together the soundscape for you, anyway.

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