Well this is a bummer, but perhaps not entirely unexpected. As of Sunday, March 1, 2009, Gabcast is NO LONGER offering free, phone-based audio recording to mp3 format. According to the Gabcast blog, the following changes are now in effect:
- No distinction among channel types (Free, Pro, Premium). There will only be one kind of channel and it will have all of the features that were previously reserved for Premium channels.
- Telephone recording will become pre-pay, just like conference call minutes. Members that have used telephone recording in the past will have to purchase minute packs.
- Our Amsterdam, NL access number unfortunately will no longer be available. This is due to a requirement passed down from our service provider that a local address in the country is required to continue with service.
Gcast is still offering free, phone-based audio recording. I have used Gabcast much more than Gcast, however, and am REALLY going to miss sharing Gabcast as a free, cell-phone based audio recording option with workshop participants in sessions focusing on cell phone digital storytelling as well as our Celebrate Oklahoma Voices digital storytelling project.
When you login to your Gabcast account, in the right sidebar you can view how many minutes you have available:
Gabcast minute packs are currently available for $1 per 10 minutes starting with increments starting at 100. ($10 for 100 minutes.) Purchased minutes can be used for ANY of the Gabcast channels you’ve created with your Gabcast account.
I wish Gabcast would offer new accounts at least 100 minutes of free recording time. Gcast does not currently have any limitations (as far as I know) for phone-based audio recording as Gabcast does.
One thing I did learn two weeks ago in Portland when I shared a workshop on cell phone digital storytelling was that Gabcast DOES record the phone numbers of people who call into your Gabcast channel. This is good from an accountability standpoint, since students (and others) who call into your Gabcast channel (if you share your channel number and password with them) CANNOT remain truly anonymous. When you click CALL DETAILS after you login to your Gabcast channel, all the recent phone calls (including the originating phone numbers) are shown, time and date stamped.
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