I come across many new ideas in Facebook and of course on Twitter.
I actually have very few friends on Facebook and do not really use it to make new ones or communicate with my friends about social events. What I do like about Facebook is the chance to connect to interesting organisations and follow important individuals. I am a follower of Gustavo Dudamel the brilliant young conductor whose work with the young musicians of Venezuela (and now Los Angeles) I have written about in an earlier post. I follow people like Mitch Albom because I find their work interesting and like to keep up with his ideas and projects. I also follow organisations like UNICEF because I am am a long time supporter of this organisation.
Being interested in web 2.0 and the applications of technology to education I follow a website called “Mashable”. This site has a huge following and reviews new developments in technology on a daily basis. There have been many new Apps and ideas that I have picked up from Mashable. Yesterday I read their latest input in Facebook called “HOW TO: Send an Audio Tweet” http://mashable.com/2010/07/26/how-to-audio-twitter/
As usual with Mashable articles I found this very easy to read and to follow. The idea of being able to broadcast using Twitter was quite exciting and I therefore decided that I would attempt to send a recording as a Tweet to my followers.
I then embarked upon a learning process that I always use to understand and use any new program. I decided to look at the suggested downloads until I found the one that looked the best for me. I decided that Twaud.io was the best download for my purposes… this is how it appeared in the Mashable article:
Twaud.io is another service that lets you both record online and upload files. Recording online is easy: Just sign in with OAuth, authorize use of your mic and you’re good to go for a generous thirty minutes worth of record time, which is practically podcast length.
Just hit the record button, hit it again to stop, and then press play to review whatever it is you’ve just uttered. Once you’re done on the same screen there’s a box to enter up to 100 characters of text, then just press the “Twaudio it!” button and you’re done.
Twaud.io’s URLs are super short (http://twaud.io/ls4) and play automatically when someone hits the link. Those who listen to your recordings also get the option to download them, get an embed code, retweet them or comment on them, which is sent as an @reply to the creator.
Sound quality is good, and the site tells you how many listens you’ve racked up, which is also good for an ego boost.
This had all the features that I was loking for. It was free, easily accessible through the web and easy to sdet up. I therefore went onto the site and found that I could record directly or upload a previous recording. I decided to do the latter as I could make my recording directly onto my netbook.
I tried this and I made a pretty decent attempt to record an audio review of “The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind” by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer which I had just finished reading and was the subject of my last post in this blog.
The recording finished up as a Windows Media Audio file (WMA). Unfortunately Twaud.io does not allow for WMA uploads! I now had a perefectly good recording that I couldn’t upload! I therefore decided to go to Google and put in a search on WMA to MP3 conversion programs. I found that there were quite a lot of them and that, mostly, they were freely downloadable.
I tried one and found that it didn’t work for me. This is not an unusual event but due to the fasct that these programs are free they are no longer a big outlay for me that later proves to be a waste of money (and I can tell you that I’ve had quite a few of those in my time!).
I therefore went back to the drawing board and tried another program called “Switch Sound File Converter” http://www.nch.com.au/switch/index.html This worked perfectly and I was able to change my WMA recrding to MP3. I then went back to Twaud.io and uploaded my audio Tweet.
Because Twaudio comes with a counter I was able to see that, within a couple of minutes, my audio posting had been heard by 34 people. This may not seem world shaking to you but it does show the potential of the technology. I shall be doing more audio Tweets to my followers.