I’m going all gooey about AudioBoo at the moment. It’s sat around in the perpiphery of my vision for a while now but in the last month or so I’ve started to see it as a really useful addition to my network of tools, especially now I’m a JesusPhone user.
Here’s why I’m gushing:
It’s simple – Using the iPhone you can go from recording to publishing in a matter of clicks. The audio record function allows you to pause during recording and append. It won’t allow you to chop your audio around in an Audacity stylee but adding too much functionality would get in the way of the simplicity. I can live with that.
It’s social – There aren’t as many people using AudioBoo as Twitter, for example, but it still has the same mechanisms for following and you can also comment on Boos bringing your network in on the act.
It’s fun – Sound is overlooked, I think, but still plays a massive part in our lives. I love the idea of taking sound snapshots and sharing them. Listening forces you to take things more slowly and experience the world differently.
It’s mobile – I’m surprised by the quality of the audio you get from recording on an iPhone (none of that compressed MP3 gurgle you get with many online audio recorders). The fact that it’s mobile means that you can record your thoughts regardless of location and allows you to easily bring in other sounds and voices where hulking round large amounts of equipment or dragging someone near a laptop aren’t feasible. I find it really useful for reflecting on conferences or other events where I’m likely to be on the move or in a hotel room immediately after. The iPhoen’s great but trying to type an extended blog post on it would make me want to cry. It also helps you to capture serendipitous bits of discovery or random thought in awkward places bringing informal and formal learning together.
It’s personal – Hearing someone’s voice, especially when they’re speaking conversationally and not off a script is a great way of feeling your getting closer to someone. It gives you more clues about emotion and personality than you would get from written text.
It’s spatial – As a failed geographer I still love the idea of landscape and space and I’ve done work with schools before where students have captured sounds in a location and then mashed them together in Audacity to create soundscapes. AudioBoo geotags your recordings but it will also let you export your recordings as mp3 for use elsewhere (see handy tip)
It’s connected – Boos are public, sharable, embeddable and you can link to other apps like Twitter, Facebook to get your recordings out to your network quickly and easily. Adding a hashtag into an AudioBoo title when you’re linked to Twitter automatically hastags the Tweet which saves retweeting later.
Oh, yes. It’s free!
As a learning tool it’s something powerful to include in the arsenal for capturing formal and informal experiences and introducing a sense of play into things.n I’m going to be investigating more about the possible applications of digital storytelling in FE and HE soon and AudioBoo is likely to figure quite prominently.
Right, I’m off to run through a sunny cornfield hand in hand with AudioBoo while recording the pretty birdsong.