Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Anything but Audacity!

I knew when I decided to try a podcast and first looked into trying Audacity I thought it was going to be difficult. I don't think I realized how difficult. I am not against podcasting but more so with this particular Web 2.0 tool. Here are my first initial thoughts on the tool:

  1. The home screen is not appealing to look at. 
  2. There is a lot of small text, the kind that reminds me of a site that isn't really trustworthy. 
  3. Sometimes when I see (Beta) it doesn't always give me the warm fuzzies, the exact opposite. I'm very leery to be honest. Beta is the work in progress and sometimes this work in progress can cause some headaches. I do not need anymore than I might already have. 
  4. It's a download and not web based which means that you've got to have it on each of your computers you use, personally or at school.
  5. Did I mention a lot of text? I do not find it user friendly at all. Too be really honest, I don't want to have to read all of this text. 
  6. When you go to the wiki for help, it is filled with text. I clicked on Tutorials thinking I would come to some video but it was more text.

I clicked on Audacity for Teachers to then be taken to this screen.  Yet again, more text. So I'm not all that impressed so far. I don't want to have to read all of this.

I was able to do a small test from following what instructions I did read. But to save it was really confusing to me. Maybe I have a bad attitude towards Audacity or I just REALLY don't get it.  Sometimes when something is too difficult, we just need to find an easier way to do it. From what I've experienced so far, I think this it too difficult and it takes too many steps to record a podcast and then to save it. Berger and Trexler (2010) suggest Audacity as a tool to create a podcast on and then you need to download "LAME, which is an encoder for converting the file to MP3 format." Right now I'm not sure I want to continue with this Web 2.0 tool. LAME is another download and I am not keen on doing another download. In Deitz's article (2011) he states,
most people want to concentrate on their content and worry less about the technical aspects
 I would agree with him completely. I feel I'm working too hard on trying to figure out the tool and not on dealing with the content. Young children could record their own voice on here but to get them to save it, I think is too much work for them and for myself who would then have to convert them into MP3 files.

When I tried AudioBoo with my students, I created an account, pressed "Make a recording/Upload a File. It loaded quickly, I hit record and talked (did a short test), listened to the recording, decided to keep it or not (or rerecord) and uploaded it. Simple, straight forward and no fussing around.

I never intended for this to be a comparison between the two podcasting Web 2.0 tools but after learning about AudioBoo from @kathycassidy 3 weeks ago, and trying it out with my students, I feel it's a much better tool to use with your children. As a busy teacher and very active students, I do not have time to be completing extra steps. AudioBoo also gives you an embed code, which you can then embed into a blog post or website. It allows you to tag and use RSS feeds, which I'm finding to be very useful. This Web 2.0 tool is so much easier to use.

Therefore, I am going to use AudioBoo to complete my podcast assignment and still use the Voice Recorder. I've got to find my two voice recorders and put batteries into them. Yikes, another problem to solve. Maybe this is a sign that I going to prefer AudioBoo much better.

Berger, P., & Trexler, S. (2010). Choosing web 2.0 tools for learning and teaching in a digital world. Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited.
Deitz, C. (2011). How to create your own postcast-a-step-by-step tutorial. Retrieved from 


  1. Tough one. I love audacity because it isn't a web 2.0 tool, it's not on the web! My school does not have bandwith to spare and web 2.0 tools, especially audio ones that sometimes glitch on the JAVA or IE can be a pain. Audacity is installed in our lab, kids are familiar with the interface (red circle to record, green triangle to play) and there are no bells and whistles. Just a simple MP3 recorder. Not pretty, but functional! My two cents!

  2. Hey Jen
    Thanks for your two cents :-). I hadn't considered the bandwidth thing. I've seen it on the computers in our lab. It's the saving of the MP3 file that I'm finding frustrating. I'm still working through this part of it. I still prefer the simplicity of AudioBoo and how it is easy to embed in a blog or website.

  3. Thanks April. This post is so timely. I am trying to use Aviary (Myna) and I'm having problems recording. I am hoping to use Audioboo to record and then mix with Aviary. We'll see how it goes! So glad I found your post!

  4. I wanted to have students post their audioboos and couldn't figure out how to get it into itunes? Did you do this? I used italk - a free app for iPad/iPods that I was able to easily import into itunes them upload to each student's blog.
    Thank you for sharing,