Search Results for Tag: Audio
“What software can I use for converting and compressing files?”
It’s a question trainers are often asked on broadcast and multimedia courses involving a lot of work with audio and video files.
These tools are particularly useful as video or audio Swiss Army knives – between them they can handle just about any sort of file and convert or compress it to whatever size or format you need.
And both tools let you create a batch list if you have a lot of files to convert or compress at the same time.
Sound clips make a story livelier, more interesting and more authentic. But not all voice clips are good and make sense. Before you use a sound clip, you should consider whether it will truly provide users or listeners with new insights.
In practice, some “golden rules” for using voice clips have evolved:
1. Voice clips should be unique.
Sound clips make sense if they contain at least one of the following:
* Strong feelings
* Expressions of opinion
* Something about the personality of the interviewee
* Eye witness reports
* Historical sound documents
It also helps to stay calm and collected when learning to use the tools and technologies. It’s much like long-distance running. You start out full of confidence and high expectations, then lactic acid builds up in your muscles. Suddenly you feel like you’re reaching a dead end, frustration and exhaustion make you want to throw in the towel. Rage rises up, causing you to ask yourself why you even bother. But in the end, when you’ve achieved your goal and you click that “publish” button, you feel a rush of satisfaction.
Like any kind of creative activity, working with multimedia can stir up emotions and fray your nerves. But it doesn’t have to be stressful. Follow these tips to stay nicely on top of your multimedia work without losing your head.
Don’t overdo it!
The Internet has unlimited possibilities. The temptation is huge to exhaust all those possibilities. That’s not always to the benefit of the user. And the user is the main point to keep in mind.
Multimedia projects are often overloaded, bursting at the seams with (sometimes sub-optimal) video, audio and photographic footage. Driven by their excitement about the technical potential, authors can easily lose sight of the actual story they’re trying to convey. Just think of the endless audio-video slideshows with thinly told stories and so-so orchestration, the masses of blurry photos and unsteady video clips.
Bear in mind your own capabilities and keep an eye on your time management.
Freedom Fone: dialing community media
As mobile phones become more sophisticated, it’s easy to overlook the simplicity, and yet the power, of the most basic type of handset that offers voice calls and text short message service (SMS) for communication.
It’s those basic services that Zimbabwe’s Kubatana Trust had in mind when they developed Freedom Fone to reach communities and audiences that do not have access to the Internet, and where literacy or language presents a barrier to gaining information.
From their website Freedom Fone is described as:
“…easy to build interactive, two way, phone based information services using interactive audio voice menus, voice messages, SMS and polls.”
Importantly, Freedom Fone is developed to be independent of the internet, both for the content provider and the end user.
Farmers in remote areas could for instance call an agriculture information service hosted on the Freedom Fone platform; navigate the interactive voice menu with the phone keypad (say, press 2 for market prices) and listen to the information they need. Or, radio stations could gather audio reports from listeners as voice mail messages or receive SMS answers – making another form of local community media available.
At the recent Global Media Forum in Bonn, Freedom Fone’s Co-Founder and Technical Director, Brenda Burrell, gave a couple presentations of the platform.
One audio example she played particularly stood out – so called “micro audio dramas”: broadcast as a series of short audio clips that people could call a service and listen to on their phone.
Burrell says educational micro dramas were among the most successful of the pilot projects using Freedom Fone.
For international media development agencies, innovative community media projects such as Freedom Fone, CGnet Swara in India, Voices of Africa and NT Mojos in Northern Australia, should also be good motivation to develop specific training programmes to produce audio and video content using mobile phones, or for “broadcast” via mobile phones.
From the Global Media Forum, have a listen to Brenda Burrell explaining more about the development of Freedom Fone, and you also can follow her on Audioboo.
Author: Guy Degen
TagsAudio, community media, community radio, freedom fone, media development, mobile phones, zimbabwe
When it comes to professional radio journalism and audio production training, it's hard to beat having the opportunity to attend workshops conducted by experts. But if you have access to the net, learning new skills or brushing up on the basics via online tutorials and web resources could be the next best thing.
Whether you're a working journalist, trainer or j-student, here is a selection of resources useful for radio journalism and producing audio materials.