Showing posts with label Audio. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Audio. Show all posts

Thursday, March 16, 2023

The Microphone I Recommend for Video and Audio Recordings

The podcasting platform that I recommend the most recently changed names. The screencasting tool that I use the most also recently changed names. One thing that hasn't changed is the microphone that I use with those tools. 

For years I have used and continue to recommend the Snowball iCE microphone.

The Snowball iCE microphone is the microphone that I have used for years to record on my Mac, Windows, and Chromebook computers. It's very easy to use the Snowball iCE just plug it in and it works. I have two of them, one of which I bring to workshops just to let people see how easy it is to plug in and use. The Snowball iCE has an MSRP of $49.99 and is currently on sale on Amazon for $39! 

Disclosure: the product links in this blog post are affiliate links which mean that I'll make a small commission if you purchase either product. Using the links doesn't affect the price you pay. And I only link to products that I have actually purchased myself. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Dan Russell Teaches Us How to Search for Audio Files

Dan Russell, whose book and other work I've referenced dozens of times on this blog, recently published a good lesson on how to find audio files. His post is not a lists of places to find audio files (I have a list of those here). Dan's blog post teaches readers how to locate specific sounds and podcasts. 

There are three parts to the lesson and each one is useful on its own.

  • How to locate podcasts about a particular topic across multiple podcast platforms.

  • How to search within the transcript of an audio recording. That part introduced me to a couple of new tools including this one for analyzing audio and video

  • How to search for specific audio sounds like the bells of Notre Dame. 
Applications for Education
As more and more podcasts, and useful ones at that, are published they are going to become a good source of information for students to use as part of larger research projects. Knowing how to locate podcasts about a specific topic is going to become an important skill. Furthermore, being able to create transcripts and search within transcripts is a skill that will be important to students who create their own podcasts and videos. 

Monday, April 12, 2021

How to Quickly Record Voice and Video Messages in Gmail

Sometimes it is easier, faster, and more effective to record a video or audio reply to an email than it is to type a response. For example, when I get asked for technical help it is often faster and more effective to create a screencast video than it is to write directions.

Sending an audio message in response to an email can be useful when you need to use some voice inflection to deliver meaning that you might not be able to deliver with just text. This is particularly true when replying to students who are still developing their reading skills or when replying to parents whose first language isn't your own.

In the following videos I demonstrate how to record video and audio messages directly from your Gmail inbox.

Two Ways to Create Videos in Your Gmail Inbox

How to Record and Send Voice Notes in Gmail

This post originally appeared on If you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission. Sites that steal my (Richard Byrne's) work include CloudComputin and 711Web.

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Three Easy Ways for Students to Make Short Audio Recordings - No Email Required

Earlier this week I answered an email from a reader who was looking for suggestions for tools that her elementary school students can use to make short audio recordings. Since most elementary school students don't have active email addresses, I suggested some tools that don't require any registration or log-in. In the video included at the end of this blog post I demonstrate how to use the following free tools to create short audio recordings. Those tools are Vocaroo, Online Voice Recorder, and Twisted Wave. 

I've been using Vocaroo for more than a decade. It's incredibly simple to use. Just head to the site, click the record button, and start talking. When you're finished recording hit the stop button. You can listen to your recording before downloading it as an MP3. If you don't like your recording you can create a new one by just refreshing the homepage and starting again.

Online Voice Recorder offers the same simplicity of Vocaroo plus a couple of features that I've always wished Vocaroo had. One of those features is the ability to pause a recording in progress and resume it when I want to. The other feature is the option to trim the dead air at the beginning and end of a recording.

Twisted Wave
Twisted Wave offers many more features than either of the tools mentioned above. But at it's most basic level you can still just head to the site, launch the recorder, start talking, and then export your recording as an MP3 all without creating an account on the site. For those who are looking for a way to save audio directly into Google Drive, Twisted Wave offers that capability. 

Watch this video for a short overview of all three of the services mentioned above. 

Friday, May 15, 2020

How to Share Audio and Video in Google Classroom Without YouTube or SoundCloud

Earlier this week I had a reader ask me for advice on sharing videos in Google Classroom with her students without having to use YouTube. My suggestion was to simply upload the videos to Google Classroom as either announcements or as assignments. When you do that the video is automatically added to your Google Drive. And if you choose the assignment option, you can quickly distribute copies of the video to your students' Google Drives.

You can also share audio files with students by uploading them to your Google Classroom as announcements or assignments. Just like with videos, when you upload audio files to Google Classroom they are automatically added to your Google Drive. If you upload an audio file as an assignment in Google Classroom, you can choose to make copies for each student to have in his or her Google Drive.

In the following video I demonstrate how to upload and share audio and video files in Google Classroom without having to use third-party services like YouTube or SoundCloud.

Monday, May 11, 2020

How to Add Background Music to Screencastify Videos

Last week I published an article about how to extract the audio from your videos. A related question that I got from a reader was about how to add background music to Screencastify videos. There are a few ways that you can add audio to videos that you make with Screencastify including uploading your video to WeVideo or iMovie then adding a background track. Those methods are fine, but there is an easier way.

To add background music to a video that you created with Screencastify all that you need to do is upload the video to YouTube then use YouTube's built-in editor and library of free music. In the following short video I demonstrate how to add background music to your Screencastify videos.

Applications for Education
Adding some background music to a video can help reduce some of the echo or tinny sounds that sometimes occur in screencasts that are recorded without an external microphone. Adding background music can also have the effect of covering up some of the "ums" and "uhs" that we sometimes make when recording a video. Both of those audio improvements can lead to students viewing instructional videos for a bit longer or at least make paying attention a little bit easier.

Friday, May 8, 2020

Three Ways to Convert Video into Audio

Earlier this week I had a colleague ask me how she could extract the audio from a video that she had made. Some video editing tools, including iMovie and WeVideo, have an option to export just the audio from your video projects. But if the video was created by just filming with a smartphone or with a webcam integrated into a laptop, you'll need a third-party tool to convert the video into audio.

Online-Convert is a service that I've used for many years to convert files. One of the many file conversions that it can perform is MP4 into MP3. In the following short video I demonstrate how easy it is to convert a file with Online-Convert.

Convert Video to Audio in WeVideo
WeVideo includes an option to export just the audio from your video projects. You'll find this option when you click "Finish" in the WeVideo editor. You can upload any video that you own  into the WeVideo editor then export it as audio.

Convert Video to Audio in iMovie
Much like WeVideo, iMovie offers the option to share just audio from your video project. You'll find this option when you select "Share" in the "File" drop-down menu then choose "File" again. Like WeVideo, you can import any video that you own into iMovie then export just the audio.

Applications for Education
Converting a video into an MP3 can be a quick way to create a podcast from a video. If you've recorded a video of a guest speaker (virtual or in-person) and want to release just the audio, Online-Convert could be the tool for you to use.

On a related note, here's an overview of a quick way to produce and publish a podcast from a video.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Adding Audio to Google Slides When Your Domain Doesn't Have the Native Audio Feature

Six weeks ago Google announced the introduction of native support for audio in Google Slides. Unfortunately, the roll-out of that feature seems to be taking longer than was initially promised. I have been receiving emails for weeks from people asking me if they missed something in their Google accounts. They haven't. I don't have the feature in any of my accounts yet, either. And, unfortunately, Ed Tech Team seems to have pulled support for their AudioPlayer for Slides extension and add-on.

If you want to add audio to your Google Slides and your domain doesn't have new audio feature, you're not completely out of luck. The methods that I outlined in the following two videos that I published a couple of years ago.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Google Slides Now Has Native Support for Audio! Finally!

For years Google Slides users have wanted to be able to add audio to their slides. There have been Chrome extensions that would do it and there are some other hacks that do work, but they always felt like trying to play a cassette tape on CD player. Finally, Google has listened to users and is adding native support for audio to Google Slides.

As was announced by Google earlier today, beginning this month Google Slides will support audio files. The catch is that your audio file will have to be stored in your Google Drive account before you can insert it into a slide. But once that is done you'll be able to re-use the audio file in as many presentations as you want by simply going to the "Insert" drop-down menu then selecting "Audio."

Once you have an audio file added to a slide in a Google Slides presentation you have control over the timing of the audio playback, looping, and location of the audio icon on your slide. You can even hide the audio icon on your slide and still have the audio play as soon as you transition onto a slide.

The new option to add audio to your Google Slides is starting to roll-out now to G Suite users who are on the "rapid release" track. Other users may have to wait until April 18th or later to see the new option to add audio to their slides.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Video - An Overview of How to Find & Keep Track of Free Audio Files

Over the last couple weeks I've published a series of posts featuring free sources of audio files that you can download for re-use in your multimedia projects. In the following video I provide an overview of three places to find free audio files. In the video I show how to find files on each of the services. I also included a demonstration on how to keep track of the attribution information that you need to publish when you re-use the files.

Friday, March 2, 2018

5 Audio Recording & Editing Tools - Feature Comparison Chart

A few years ago I put together a series of charts that provided quick overviews of the features of popular ed tech tools. Since then some favorite tools have changed features, changed business models, or went out of business. So I've decided to update all of those charts. Here's my updated comparison chart of the features of five free audio recording and editing tools. The updated version includes links to video tutorials on each of the five tools included in the chart. The chart is embedded below.

Click here if you cannot see the embedded chart.

Monday, March 27, 2017

How to Add Spoken Audio to Google Slides

The Practical Ed Tech Tip of the Week that I published yesterday was about adding music to Google Slides. In the twelve hours since that tip was published a bunch of people have asked about adding spoken words to slides. The process is a little more involved than just adding music, but it's the same basic process. In the following video I explain how I add spoken audio to Google Slides.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Spoken - A Network for Publishing Short Audio Recordings

Spoken is a new social network that is designed for sharing audio recordings of four minutes or less. Spoken describes itself as "Instagram for audio." On Spoken you can upload audio recordings that are up to four minutes long then attach cover images to those recordings. All of your recordings appear in your profile where people can follow you and you can follow others.

Spoken does not have a built-in recording tool. You have to record outside of Spoken then upload your recording. I used Vocaroo to make the recording that I uploaded to test Spoken. Clyp is a simple and free app for recording on Android and iOS devices that could pair well with Spoken.

Applications for Education
Spoken could provide a good way for high school or college students to share audio recordings in which they reflect on learning experiences and or share advice with other students. As a teacher you would have to follow each of your students to hear their recordings.

AudioBoom is a service similar to Spoken that offers a service specifically for students and teachers.

Spoken is currently in beta. You will need to request an invite to use the service. My invitation arrived about 24 hours after my request.

Thanks to Jake Duncan for sharing Spoken on Twitter. 

Monday, May 4, 2015

How to Privately Share Audio Recordings on SoundCloud

Last week I shared a post about how SoundCloud is making it easier for anyone to publish a podcast. That's a great option if you're trying to reach a large audience. But what if you want to share with a limited audience. For example, let's say that your students are just using audio recordings to share with you their efforts at learning a new language. They might not want to share those recordings with a public audience. So in that case SoundCloud's private sharing option is handy. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to create and share a private recording on SoundCloud.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

AudioViator - Free Audio Tours of Cities and Landmarks

AudioViator is an excellent collection of audio tours of cities and landmarks all over the globe. All of the tours that I previewed are Creative Commons licensed and available to download for free. You can search for audio tours by keyword or use the map to browse for free audio tours. I used the map to find audio tours of Boston's Freedom Trail and Mount Rushmore.

Applications for Education
If you're taking your students on a field trip, take a look at AudioViator to find an audio tour that your students can use while on that field trip or in preparation for it. You could also use the audio tour files as part of a Google Earth tour. For example, you could take the Mount Rushmore audio file then have students create a visual tour in Google Earth to match the audio tour.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Aviary Roc Rocks! Make Your Own Music Loops

Last week Aviary introduced a new service designed to complement their Myna sound mixing service. The new service is called Roc and it does rock. Using Roc you can create your own music loops or samples. After you've created your music samples you can download them, reuse them in Myna, or embed them into your blog. Below you will find a brief tutorial on how to create sound loops using Aviary Roc.

Google Apps for Education users, remember that Aviary's services can be incorporated into your account through the Google Apps Marketplace. This means that teachers and students can save their Aviary creations in their Google Accounts. Below is a tutorial on how to add Aviary to your Google Apps for Education services (note: you have to be the administrator of your organization's Google Apps for Education account to make this happen).

Applications for Education
The combination of Aviary's Myna and Roc services could be a great way for your students to create their own audio tracks for podcasts, videos, and other multimedia projects. Because your students will be creating original works neither you nor they have to worry about violating anyone's copyright rights.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Free Royalty Free Music for Education

When creating an audio podcast or a video that uses music tracks, the sure way to avoid any worries about copyright infringement is to use music you created. Unfortunately, often that is not a feasible option for a lot of folks. The next best thing to using music you created is to use Creative Commons licensed music or royalty free music. Royalty Free Music hosts music tracks that can be reused in numerous ways. Royalty Free Music charges the general public for their downloads, but students and teachers can download quite a bit of the music for free. To access the free music tracks students and teachers should visit the education page on Royalty Free Music.

Applications for Education
If you have students creating podcasts, videos, or other multimedia projects Royalty Free Music offers your students music that they can use for free.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Sound Bible - Free Sound Clips
PodSafe Audio - Sounds for Podcasts
Free Music Archive

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Jamendo - Free Music for Multimedia Projects

Jamendo is a source of free and legal music downloads. The music on Jamendo comes from the artists who upload it themselves. While not all of the music is licensed for re-use, there is a substantial collection of music labeled with a Creative Commons license. As always, before re-using any of the music you download make sure it is labeled for re-use.

Applications for Education
Jamendo could be a good source of music downloads for students to use in video and podcast projects. Some of the music does come with an "explicit" label so you probably don't want to send young students searching on Jamendo on their own. In that case it would be better for you to build a collection from which students choose.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Sound Bible - Free Sound Clips
PodSafe Audio - Sounds for Podcasts
Free Music Archive

Monday, November 2, 2009

Huffduffer - Easily Embed Professional Podcasts

Huffduffer is a simple, free, service that allows you to create podcast playlists and embed podcasts into your blog or website. Finding podcast content and developing playlists is a simple matter of using the search box. The real utility of Huffduffer is the ease with which you can embed a podcast recording into your blog or website. To do this simply select the podcast you wish to embed then find the embed code provided by Huffduffer in the lower-right corner of the page. Then just copy and paste the code in the same manner as you would use for a YouTube video. I've embedded a sample podcast from American Public Media below.
APM: Marketplace All-in-One Podcast on Huffduffer

Applications for Education
If you're looking for an easy way to enrich your classroom blog or website with audio content, Huffduffer might be the tool for you.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
20 Interesting Ways to Use Audio In Your Classroom
Mix Your Own NPR Podcast
Sound Bible - Free Sound Clips

Thursday, October 29, 2009

20 Interesting Ways to Use Audio In Your Classroom

Last Friday I wrote a post about Tom Barrett's latest installments to his Interesting Ways series. At the time, one of the installments, Interesting Ways to Use Audio in Your Classroom, didn't have any ideas or resources in it and Tom was looking for contributors. As a testament to the power of crowdsourcing, Zero Interesting Ways to Use Audio In Your Classroom is now 20 Interesting Ways to Use Audio In Your Classroom. The crowdsourcing hasn't stopped yet. If you have ideas to add to the slideshow, contact Tom.

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