As a big fan of digital storytelling and oral history, I was very interested to learn about the website Narrable.com a couple of weeks ago during TEDxOU, thanks to David Glover. Narrable is an app which seeks to “Capture the voices that give life to your photos.” It went out of beta in December 2012, and has some good features I really like. This is a four photo Narrable I created about “The History of the Beaver Hat.” The original photos I used in this Narrable are included in this Flickr set. A video interview with the trapper re-enactor shown on the Narrable cover image is also available on YouTube: “Origin Of The Mad Hatter (Mercury In Beaver Hats).”

Narrable reminds me in many ways of VoiceThread, but it only allows one audio recording per image. I love how Narrable provides three options for recording audio to accompany an image: either by phone call (Narrable calls your phone after you enter your number), you can upload an audio file, or you can record audio using your web browser.
Narrable

I recorded the audio for the four images in my initial Narrable using my cell phone.

Narrable: Call to Record

Unlike VoiceThread, which just gives users 5 minutes of free cell phone-based audio recording, Narrable doesn’t limit free phone-based audio recording minutes. When you sign up for a free Narrable account, you get to create 5 free Narrables. A premium plan is available for $5 per month, which allows you to create an unlimited number of Narrables. Each time you share a Narrable you create on Facebook, however, you ‘earn’ a bonus Narrable. So, as long as you’re willing to publicly share your Narrables on Facebook, you can apparently create an unlimited number of digital stories with a free account.

There is currently not a mobile app for Narrable, but I definitely like the way it allows users (potentially including students) to use cell phones as voice recorders for digital stories. I’m hoping to interview Dustin Curzon, one of the co-founders of Narrable, soon over Skype for a podcast. The past few years we’ve seen a number of excellent phone-based web 2.0 platforms come and go, including Gabcast and Cinch.fm. I hope Narrable will succeed and grow as a digital storytelling platform supporting cell phone audio recording!

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  • Kathy Schrock

    Thanks for sharing this! It is a bit like Pixntell on the iPad, but that creates a movie at the end.

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