After months of blogging about online audio, I decided to actually have a go myself. And, as an impoverished student in (yes, we know) a struggling profession, have a go as cheaply as possible.
I decided to start simple – and slightly pretentious and artsy-studenty at the same time. A selection of sounds telling the story of – well, how to write a story.
Armed with a little dictaphone, I trotted about City, recording some noises. We had the story itself – a weird, twangy instrument some people were demonstrating in a corridor as part of a uni event. Then a good journalist will scribble down notes. Next step – the library, to do some research. Then type up the story, and Bob’s your uncle, the next person to turn a page of the paper finds it there one the page. Time for a well-earned beverage.
With my clips recorded, I plugged the wee device into the computer USB. I wanted to put them all together into one file, and asked the famous Gary Moskowitz the Online Guru (aka Blogowitz) to help. He advised I use the programme audacity, a sound editor and recorder which you can download for free. To use that, it turned out I had to convert every file individually from WMA files to MP3s.
Step up free conversion website www.youconvertit.com, which allows you to convert files to AAC, AIF, AIFF, RA, WAV – and MP3. To be honest, I’m not sure what all of those mean. Just that MP3 was the one audacity wanted. So I uploaded each file, selected convert to MP3, and into my email inbox popped the nice little converted files. Then it was a short step to audacity, pressing CTRL X then CTRL V to make them into one track.
Sadly, there is no way of avoiding cost when uploading audio to wordpress. I had a look around for free audio hosting sites – Audioboo, SoundCloud (cue inspiration for “review of hosting sites” post – watch this space!) but to be honest, we really wanted to let our fabulous readers get our clips straight off the site. This involved buying a space upgrade at the costly sum of $20 dollars for a year, giving us 5GBs to play with.
Then, after a bit of a faff – you have to put an audio file into your online library, then in square brackets, type “audio” followed by the http:// name of your file – and then….