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Tuesday’s class, April 14, 2009


What do you think?

Here’s a little multimedia production to start the day.

Is print dead?

I found this video interesting. At the risk of putting you to sleep, let’s watch it, then discuss.

This is a link to Nick Bilton’s essay, “How Many Links Are Too Many Links?” posted on Radar O’Reilly, a publishing blog.

If you read the essay, you’ll can grasp some idea of what this thing represents.

Soundslides play time

Before arranging your photos on Soundslides, it’s good to have some sound.

You can check out this story in from The New York Times about downloading without peril. One site The Times suggests and one recommended by others is Creative Commons but it appears to cost $25 for students.

Another route may be to go directly to Free Music Archive. And I’ve had success doing the totally banal; I Google for “free music” or “royalty free music. There’s plenty out there.

If you know what kind of sound you’re looking for — say you want to use something from The Beatles’ “The Long and Winding Road,” but you can’t afford the royalties — then try Owl Search. You’ll need a snippet of your tune. Owl Search will try to match it with something affordable.

On his blog, Prof. Brett Atwood describes a special feature of Owl Search:

“This is an amazing sound-based search engine that allows you to find Creative Commons music that ‘sounds’ similar to other songs. It’s a great free tool if you’re looking for a ‘sound-alike’ track or a song with a particular mood or energy.”

So play with Owl Search a bit. But before you decide on anything, know what licensing guards that audio. Owl Search has a feature that lets you limit your selections to inexpensive or free tunes.

Today we’ll checkout this Soundslides tutorial video from It says it’s 16 minutes but it didn’t seem like it. Beware: it ends abruptly, almost like in mid paragraph.

The author’s next SS tutorial shows how to make “chaptered” projects, which we don’t need to learn. That said, if you want to see what this program can create, it’s might be worth 20 minutes of your time.

The dreaded assignment

For class Thursday, here’s what you’ll need.

  • a series of photographs found online that, to you at least, represents some kind of story thread or theme. I’d say you’ll need at least 6, maybe as many as 10. They should be loaded into a single file. Here’s a ready-to-print step-by-step Soundslides tutorial from the Knight Digital Media Center at Berkeley. You can click through to the particular subjects you want or need. Remember: you can’t really edit your photos in Soundslides. (If you need some editing guidance, try this Photoshop How-To.
  • at least a minute of music/sound, preferable .MP3, that you’ve found to accompany or supplement your chosen images. Bring your sound on a USB drive. Here again, consulte the Knight Center’s tutorial, if needed.
  • earbuds, earphones and headphones.

In class Thursday we’ll work as if it’s a lab. We’ll practice doing this thing.

The assignment for Tuesday will be to build you own Soundslides project using either photos you’ve taken or photos you’ve found online. Again, it will be just a minute in length.

On Tuesday, we’ll play them for the class and discuss. More information Thursday.

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