Monthly Archives: September 2011

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Adding Audio to a WordPress Sound Blog

Category : Tips

Last week I received a question, via Twitter from Rob Ackerman, about how I’m adding audio recordings to the new sound blog I created this month, “Sounds of my World.” To answer this question, I recorded a twelve minute screencast showing these steps on my MacBook Pro laptop. Before sharing the tools I’m using to do this, I’ll point out (as I do in the screencast) a MUCH easier approach: Use email and a free website. That’s the method used by Australian educator Jess McCulloch on her sound blog, “Life Sounds Like This.”


The tools I’m using for this process (and describe in the screencast) include a WordPress blog, the free “Blubrry PowerPress Podcasting plugin” for WordPress, the free iTalk Recorder app for iPhone / iPad / iPod Touch, the PixelPipe iOS app uploading to Flickr, and free Switch software for audio conversions. Note the PixelPipe app was removed from the iTunes Store by Apple in 2010. Other apps and methods (described the in screencast) can be used to take a photo off an iPhone and share them as part of a blog post. Here’s the screencast!


Remember to check and and share examples of student media projects on!

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New Video Editing Options with YouTube’s Browser-based Editor and Magisto

Category : Tips

The increasing availability of flash-based video recorders, or camcorders, continues to fuel the explosive growth of online video. “No edit” and “quick edit” videography has many advantages, but editing is still important at times and can be necessary in many cases. Fortunately, available tools continue to grow in their capabilities alongside hardware for capturing videos.

Google announced last week YouTube now supports enhanced video editing for clips you upload to the site. Unlike the previous online editor, which created NEW videos, you can now edit the same video you uploaded– even later, and not change the website link/URL or lose views/comments. This 40 second video explains how. Think “Instagram effects” for videos, but without an application. All the editing takes place in “the cloud.”

The video effects remind me of my favorite iPhoneography editing application, Camera Bag. (Hat tip to Marco Torres for sharing this back at ACTEM in 2009.) Even more exciting than those effects, however, is the ability to TRIM a video right on YouTube in your web browser! I used the new YouTube video editor tonight to trim some extra footage from the start of a clip I recorded back in November 2010 of David Glover explaining how “The Square” lets anyone accept credit card payments with an iPhone.

Trimming a video in the YouTube editor

This capability is very exciting, since it eliminates the need to perform these “quick edit” video trims on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch before uploading to YouTube. The trimming can be done afterwards in a browser-based post-production process. It’s also great to see the YouTube editor provides the option to SAVE or SAVE AS when you make edits, so you don’t have to overwrite your original video if you don’t want to.

Save or Save As

For people wanting to do even LESS work editing together video clips so they can be shared online with others in shorter versions (even with an included musical soundtrack) the website Magisto is here to help. I learned about Magisto today via Jennifer Van Grove’s article for Mashable. This two minute video cleverly explains the problem Magisto can help us solve: Breathing “shareable life” into video clips from trips and other excursions which are too long and boring to put online “as is.”

What is Magisto from magisto on Vimeo.

I gave Magisto a try tonight, uploading six video clips from our family’s visit to Disneyland last March which I’d never uploaded to YouTube or Flickr previously. The site has a limit of uploading a maximum of 16 different videos, or videos which total 600 MB in size at one time. My six videos (shot with an iPhone4) were about 480 MB. I selected the videos to upload just like email attachments, gave a title to my video, and chose a song. I could have uploaded one from my computer, but I opted to go with one provided by Magisto. I’m wondering if Madonna is earning a royalty for this?!

Creating my first video with Magisto

Here’s my finished video on Magisto. I also cross-posted it to YouTube right from the site. It took about 40 minutes for this to process and finish. It’s 1 minute, 40 seconds long. Magisto sent me an email message when it was complete. I’m not sure the “Holiday” music by Madonna exactly fits for the Star Wars / Darth Maul scenes, but given how little effort I had to put into making this video, I’m not complaining. It IS fun to see these video clips online at last with “new life!”

I elaborate further on the benefits as well as procedures of “no edit” and “quick edit” videography in my eBook, “Playing with Media: simple ideas for powerful sharing.” If you’re not creating and editing flash-based videos yet, it’s time to get started! It’s exciting to see these new, cloud-based options for editing and enhancing videos. These complement mobile apps for video editing like iMovie, and provide even more choices for storychasers and iPhoneographers!

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Share “timed” comments on Audio Recordings with SoundCloud

Category : Tips

Soundcloud is an excellent website and smart phone application offering the ability to not only record and share “no edit” audio recordings (similar to AudioBoo, Cinch, and iPadio) but also add “timed” comments. A timed comment is linked to a specific minute and second mark in a sound recording. I interviewed my 13 year old, 8th grade son tonight about his recent English project, “Living in Oak Ridge.” He created a Glogster site for the project with photos he’d obtained from his grandmother (my mom) who lived in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, during World War II. I used the free iOS application for Soundcloud to record this ten minute interview, using my iPhone and an iRig microphone. If you play the embedded Soundcloud audio recording below, notice how comments appear as the audio file plays back in your web browser. I LOVE this feature! As far as I know, this is unique to Soundcloud at this point.

Discussing Oak Ridge Glogster Project at Oklahoma City, OK by wfryer

Comments to a Soundcloud recording can be added using the iOS application, but those comments are not “timed.” To add a timed comment, you need to use your web browser. After logging in with an account to Soundcloud, click in the blue space below the audio “waveform” to add a comment.

Add a timed comment in SoundCloud

Mouse over a comment and click REMOVE (if you are the owner of a Soundcloud recording) to delete unwanted comments.

Removing a Soundcloud comment

It’s possible to include hyperlinks in timed comments as well as regular text. This is a great way to provide additional information as well as website suggestions relating to a recorded audio file. Links are clickable in the “hovering text boxes” which appear over the audio waveform as the recording plays in your browser, and also clickable below the sound recording. People can also reply to specific comments. Those appear as Twitter-style “@ reply” messages, however, rather than threaded / hierarchical comments. Soundcloud does not appear to currently support comment moderation, or to offer an education-specific version of its product.

Examples of "timed" comments in a Soundcloud recording online

The Soundcloud iOS app doesn’t appear to currently show comments. Users can add “untimed” comments to a sound recording, but not view or listen to any comments– just the original recording. The app is a great tool for creating “no edit” audio recordings, however, and I highly recommend it. SoundCloud supports “the ethic of minimal clicks” for student and teacher media projection, which I discuss in my eBook, “Playing with Media: simple ideas for powerful sharing.” Soundcloud provides users with 120 minutes worth of free audio hosting, and older files can be deleted to make space for new ones if desired. Premium Soundcloud accounts offer more features, including the ability to download each track more than 100 times. This complete Soundcloud account feature overview shows what can be added if you’re willing to pay money for the service. Other platforms like AudioBoo, Cinch, and iPadio provide free, unlimited accounts, but don’t currently offer the “timed commenting” feature of Soundcloud. Soundcloud recordings are not limited in duration for individual episodes, either, as recordings are on AudioBoo. (AudioBoo’s limit is 5 minutes each.)

Check out additional audio sites and resources on I’ll continue to keep that site updated in the weeks and months ahead. Thanks to Sheldon Bradshaw for sharing Soundcloud during our “digital storytelling” cohort sessions at the Learning 2.011 conference in Shanghai last week!

Check out examples of student audio projects on SHARE: Playing with Media. Remember you still have a couple of weeks to contribute / share your own example of a student media project (audio or text / image / video) on the site and possibly win an iRig microphone!

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Share Student Media in September: Win an iRig Microphone!

Category : Tips

Today I’m enthused to announce a new website: SHARE – Playing with Media, as well as a monthly raffle for educators and parents sharing examples of student media products and projects on the site. Here are the details. Please help spread the word!

'iRigMic' photo (c) 2011, Jochen Mai

The website has been launched to encourage more creative, responsible and ethical playing and sharing with media by students, educators and parents. Categories of shared media projects follow the chapters of the eBook, “Playing with Media: simple ideas for powerful sharing.” The site already includes ten examples of student media projects using digital text, images, audio and video. Now it’s your turn. In the month of September 2011, I challenge you as an educator / parent / media creator to share at least ONE example of student-created media on the site using the provided CONTRIBUTE form. Contributed media projects can be created by your students, your own children, grandchildren, after-school program student participants, or other kids. In all cases, submissions must comply with the website posting policy. Submitters are responsible for obtaining permission from the student(s) originally creating the media products and the student’s parent/guardian for sharing the work online under a Creative Commons Attribution-Only license.

Every individual submitting an example of student media on the site, which is approved by site moderators, will be entered in a raffle for an IK Multimedia iRig Microphone. This microphone ($60 US) plugs directly into an iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch and functions as a WONDERFUL external microphone for media projects created inside or outside the classroom.

'iRig iMic' photo (c) 2011, Wesley Fryer

Submissions for this September 2011 promotion must be received via the online CONTRIBUTE form no later than midnight, Pacific time on Friday, September 30th. One winner will be selected via a random drawing on October 1st. Anyone is welcome to submit more than one entry, but each person can only enter ONE time for the raffle. The iRig mic prize will be shipped to a mailing address (in the United States or an international location) provided by the winner during the week of October 3rd.

If you have questions about this contest promotion, please ask them as comments to this post. Please subscribe to updates to the SHARE – Playing with Media website, and also “like” the Playing with Media fan page on Facebook. As submitted media projects are approved on the website, they’ll be linked automatically on the Facebook page. Let’s all have fun “playing with media” and sharing our media creations with each other in the month of September!


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